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Ultimate Endemic Birds of Ethiopia Tour - 25 Days

Ultimate Endemic Birds of Ethiopia Tour

Ethiopian Endemics Birding Tour

This 25-day Ultimate Endemic Birds of Ethiopia Tour is a unique and spectacular birding experience for the birder who wants to see everything and is prepared to take his/her time.

The tour is designed by Ethiopian expert bird guides who know their country better than any foreign tour operator. The tour focuses on birds but the visitor is likely to see a wide variety of mammals as well.

With over 850 species recorded many of them endemic, Ethiopia offers enormous opportunities for the passionate birdwatcher.  There are 16 birds found only in Ethiopia and another 20 birds shared with neighbour country Eritrea.

Ethiopia is truly a land of contrasts and extremes. It is a land of remote and wild places. Some of the continent’s highest mountains, plateaux, impressive escarpments, Great Rift Valley lakes, volcanoes and very varied vegetation from juniper forests to arid savanna are found here. Descending from the high mountains to the lowlands far below can seem like entering a completely different world.  As geography and climate change then so do the birds and this is why Ethiopia is such a unique destination.

Many birdwatching clients are in fact attracted to Ethiopia's wildlife too. Consequently, there is ample opportunity to see some of the country's mammals and primates during the 25-day tour.

We start in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia and then drive southward to Awash National Park.   On the black lava flow at Lake Baseka, we will search for the highly localized Sombre Rock Chat.

Next, we will scour the grass plains and bushes land for specials such as Arabian Bustard, Hartlaub’s Bustard, Red-winged Lark, Somali Fiscal and Yellow-breasted Barbet.

We will continue our journey southwards, passing various crater lakes and wetlands, such as Lake Ziway and Langano. In the acacia bush we might be lucky enough to see the Northern Grey Tit and Black-billed Woodhoopoe. Lake Langano is an excellent place to break the drive and is full of migrant birds.  It is a good place for Greyish Eagle-Owl and Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl.

On we go towards the south for a night spent at Lake Awassa where we will look for waterbirds before continuing to the astonishing Bale Mountains.  The breathtaking scenery of the Bale Mountains provides some of Ethiopia’s best birding.

We will spend two days examining the alpine moorlands and Hagenia forests of the area. We will continue on to Negele and Yabello wildlife sanctuaries to try to find the dry-land birds. Heading north again to the town of Arbamich located in the rift valley, we will visit the Nechisar National Park and lakes of Chamo and Abaya known as an important habitat for migrating bird populations.

Then we will fly back to Addis Ababa for a stayover.  The next day we will fly north to Gonder before continuing to the Simien Mountains National Park. The Simiens are a UNESCO world heritage site and here we will see several endemic birds to Ethiopia such as Spot-breasted Plover, Abyssinian Catbird, Abyssinian Longclaw, Ankober Serin and Black-headed Siskin and also see endemic wildlife such as Gelada monkeys, Walia ibex and the Ethiopian wolf.

We return to the ancient city of Gonder to visit the impressive 17th-century ancient castle of Gondar and then continue our way to Bahir dar to see the variety of birds around the Blue Niles Falls and on the islands of Lake Tana.

The Birds you will see on Lake Tana are African openbill, Black-crowned crane, copper sunbird, Grey-headed Gull, Kingfisher, wattled Crane, white-throated seedeater, Yellow-crowned Bishops, Yellow-fronted Parrot, White-cheeked Turaco, Abyssinian Oriole, White-headed Babbler, Yellow-crowned Bishops White-throated Seedeaters and many more. We will also visit NABU -Lake Tana biosphere project.

South of Bahir Dar lies Debre Libanos and here we will be in the Blue Nile Gorge. In Debre Libanos we look for several birds such as an endemic Banded Barbet, White-cheeked Turacos, Abyssinian Slaty Flycatcher and Black-winged Lovebird.

Then we drive to Debre Birhan en route birding at Jemma River valley, Jemma-River valley is a small paradise for birds and animal watchers with a breathtaking panorama. Bearded vultures, Verreaux's Eagle, Steppe Eagles and White-Cheeked Turaco, can all be seen.

Then we will continue to drive to the highlands of Ankober to see the rare endemic Ankober serin, and we may also be spotted White-Throated and Yellow-throated seed-eater. Finally, we drive back to Addis Ababa to end this amazing tour.

Our Special Vehicle for birding:

Ethiopian Adventures are the only company in Ethiopia that are specially adapted for Birdwatching. The seating behind the driver's seat is staggered so the clients look over the driver's head. There is a special higher windscreen too for better forward vision so as to avoid those frustrating situations when the guide sees the bird but the clients do not. The side windows slide open so that long lenses can quickly be focused before a bird or animal disappears. Each seat is an individual armchair rather than a bench seat so that everybody sits close to a window. The two middle seats fully recline whilst the rear seats recline 20°. This is important because there are some long distances, especially on our 16-day and 25-days tours. Every seat has a 230 volt and USB port for battery charging. Of course, the vehicles are fully four-wheel drive but they have improved suspension for real off-road driving.

Eth-adv - vehicle 2 Eth-adv - vehicle

Ultimate Endemic Birds of Ethiopia Tour Highlights

  • See up to 400 - 450 bird species, including 30 of Ethiopia’s and Eritrea’s endemics Birds.
  • Visit the rich diversity of birds and mammals in Awash N.P and Bale Mountains National Park.
  • Visit of unique birds species of the UNESCO world heritage site of Simien Mountains and Biosphere reserve of Lake Tana.
  • Visit the Great Rift Valley Lakes of Ethiopia.
  • Endemic mammals; Gelada Monkeys, Ethiopian Wolf and Mountain Nyala.

If you’d like to try an alternative tour, look at what this Ethiopia Endemic Mammals Tour has to offer.

Alternative Tour Name: Complete Bird Tour Ethiopia
Day 1
Day 1 - Addis Ababa

Arrive at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa and at the airport you will be met and greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel for check-in, the hotel is located five minutes away from the Airport.

Addis Ababa, the capital of modern Ethiopia, and gateway for most tourists is the political and commercial heart of the country. The name of Addis Ababa can translate as ‘New flower’, spanning an altitude of 2,350m to more than 2,600m, climatically the city is warm and temperate, and the summers are much rainier than the winters. The average annual temperature in Addis Ababa is 16.3 °C (61.4 °F). The current population of the city is around 4.5 million people; it was founded by Emperor Menelik in 1887.

Accommodation: Momona Hotel, Addis Ababa (https://www.momonahotel.com)

Meal plan: Dinner

Day 2
Day 2 - Addis Ababa - Awash National Park

Morning drive to the south of Addis Ababa to Awash National Park, driving a total of 225km (140 miles) through by going through the first expressway in Ethiopia for 110 Km (70 miles), a toll road that connects Addis Ababa to Adama, Oromiya regional towns and we will have a lunch break along the route then continue to drive 115 km to Awash on the major busy highway that connect Addis Ababa to Djibouti port.

Along the route, we cross and enjoy the scenic farmlands as well as many birds on the roadside such as Augur Buzzards, Long-crested Eagles, Northern Carmine Bee-eaters, Abyssinian and Rufous-crowned Rollers and also we may have a short stop at Lake Basaaka and will continue to drive to Awash Nation Park.

Awash National Park is situated in the East Africa Great Rift Valley, known for wildlife viewing and outstanding birdlife; it also contains an interesting range of volcanic landscape. The park vegetation is typical of the hot and arid lowlands. The park takes it’s name from Awash River, the largest river in Ethiopia, with some spectacular waterfalls near the park headquarters. In the afternoon we will arrive at Awash National Park to stay over in Awash falls Lodge for two Nights.

Awash National Park is enriched with many species of birds that exceeds 400 and mammals in this park, after checking in the lodge

we will search for Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Abyssinian Roller,Abyssinian Scimitar bill, Arbian Bustard, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, black –billed wood hoopoe, Black-headed Lapwing ,Blue-naped Mouse bird, crested francolin ,Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Gillett's Lark, Karibustard,Nile Valley Sunbird, Northern carmin bee eaters, Olive Bee-eater, Red-bellied Parrot, Somali bulbul buff crested bustard, White-bellied Go-away-bird, Yellow-breasted Barbets.

And in the later afternoon we will enjoy the beautiful sunset over the park and see some interesting Wildlife.

Day 3
Day 3 - Birding in Awash National Park

Today we explore the wide-ranging species of birds available in and around this semi-desert Awash National Park for full day; the terrain is mainly acacia woodland and grassland.

Today’s target birds in the park include; African Collared Dove, African Fire Finch, Boran and Ashy Cisticolas, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Somali Ostrich, Chestnut-backed, Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Larks, Cut-throat Finch, Egyptian Vulture,Eastern Olivaceous, Warbler,Mouse-colored Penduline Tit, Red billed Quelea, Northern Masked Weaver, Northern White –crowned Shrike ,Pale and African Grey Flycatchers, Singing Bush Lark, Somali Fiscal, Southern Grey Shrike, Swallow-tailed Kite, Woodchat Shrike.

The park also popular for a variety of mammals such as Beisa Oryx, the Anubis Baboon, Colobus Monkey, Black-backed Jackal, Bat-eared Fox, Egyptian Mongoose,Warthog ,Soemmering’s Gazelle, Lesser Kudu, Salt’s Dik-dik etc. The Predators are rare though and very unlikely to be seen.

Accommodation: Awash Falls Lodge, Awash National park

Meal plan: Full board

Day 4
Day 4 - Awash National Park – Lake Ziway

Today we will drive 215km (135miles) from Awash National Park to Lake Ziway for Birding in the Great Rift Valley lakes; on your way we will a stop at Lake Koka to see birds such as Greater and Lesser Flamingoes, Great White Egret and many others.

The Great Rift valley of Ethiopia is a branch of the East African Rift that runs through Ethiopia in a southwest direction from the Afar Triple Junction. The Ethiopian Rift Valley lakes are the northernmost of the African Rift Valley lakes, in central Ethiopia, the main Ethiopian Rift, also known as the Great Rift Valley, splits the Ethiopian highlands into northern and southern halves, and the Ethiopian Rift Valley lakes occupy the floor of the rift valley between the two highlands. Most of the Ethiopian Rift Valley lakes do not have an outlet, and most are alkaline. Lake Ziway is the largest of the Northern group of rift valley lakes covering 440 km2 surrounded by volcanic hills and is home of the Zay people. The lake earned just a quick hit on a southern stopover, for its productive birdlife and hippopotamus. The lake encompasses five Islands, including Gelila, Fundro, Debre Sina, Tsedacha and Tulu Gudo, which is home to a monastery said to have housed the Ark of the Covenant around the ninth century.

The Key bird Species we will explore today around the rift valley lakes area will be Spur -Winged Goose, African Comb Duck, Garganey, Hottentot teal, Northern Carmine Bee-eater and Silver Cheeked Hornbill.

Then we will have stay over at the beautiful Haile Resort Ziway, owned by a famous Athlete Haile Gebre sillase; Olympic gold medalist and numbers Long distance world record holder.

Accommodation: Haile Resort, Ziway, Lake Ziway (https://www.hailehotelsandresorts.com/ziway-resort)

Meal plan: Full board

Day 5
Day 5 - Lake Ziway - Lake Langano

Today in we early morning we start birding around the Lake Langano area, other wetland sites of the Great Rift Valley and we will visit some beautiful fig forest and associated woodlands that teem with birds, looking for Abyssinian Woodpecker, African fire Finch, African Pygmy Goose, Banded Barbet, Bare- faced go away bird, Bearded Woodpecker, Black Crowned Crane, Black-winged love bird, Black-billed Wood Hoopoe, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Boran Cisticola, Buff-bellied Warbler, Clapperton’s Francolin, Collared Pratincole, Double-toothed Barbet, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Gray Black fiscal, Grey-headed Batis, Lesser and African Jacanas, Gull-billed tern, Gree backed Eremomela, Red-fronted Barbet, Heuglin’s courser, little waver Reichenow’s seedeater Mouse-colored Penduline Tit, Northern Black Flycatcher, Pygmy Batises, Rüppell’s Weaver. Von der Decken’s Hornbill, Western Marsh Harrier, White-cheeked Turaco, White-headed Vulture, White-rumped Babbler, White-winged Black Tit, woolly-necked stork, Yellow-fronted parrot.

May be if we have time we will also visit nearby Lake Abijata, home to thousands of Lesser and Greater Flamingos.

Accommodation: Hara Langano Eco Lodge, Lake Langano

Meal plan: Full board

Day 6
Day 6 - Lake Langano – Lake Hawassa (Awassa)

In the morning we drive 75km (46 miles) to Lake Awassa one of Ethiopia’s most beautiful lakes and home to a huge population of birds.

Awasa, also called Hawassa, is a city in the Great Rift Valley of central Ethiopia; it lies at the eastern edge of large Lake Awassa. Lake Awassa watershed is located in the middle of the Ethiopian Rift Valley between the Abijata–Shalla basin to the north and that of Lakes Abaya and Chamo to the south. Significant numbers of congregatory water birds occur on the lake, 20,000 birds counted along less than 25% of the shoreline in January 1999. It is particularly important for Red-knobbed coot (Fulica cristata) Over 300 Marabou stork (Leptoptilos crumeniferus) were counted in November 1997, the largest concentration of this species in Ethiopia.

Today we will spot will spot various birds that include Pink-backed Pelican, Black -headed heron, Goliath Heron, yellow billed stork, GlossyIbis, and Black Crake.

It is also a good place to find: Banded Snake Eagle,African Harrier Hawk,Bare-faced Go-away-bird,Blue-headed Coucal , Senegal Thicknee, Giant Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Pygmy Kingfisher, Woodland Kingfisher, Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Little Bee-eater, Red-breasted Wryneck, Black-billedWood-hoopoe, Grey-backed Fiscal, Spotted Creeper, Variable Sunbird, Shining Sunbird, Lesser Swamp Warbler, Masked Weaver, Grospeakweaver, White-browed Sparrow-weaver, Pied Crow and the king of the lake the Hippopotamus.

Accommodation: United Africa Hotel

Meal plan: Full board

Day 7
Day 7 - Lake Hawassa - Bale Mountains National Park

After further birding around the lake Awassa early in the morning, we will drive for 225 km (140 mils) from Lake Hawassa to Bale Mountain National park via Shashemene, then we began climbing steadily upwards through the southeastern highlands then we shall break our journey at the park headquarters where we will see your first Bale birds and mammals.

The Bale Mountains National Park contains a spectacularly diverse landscape. The high altitude, afro-montane Sanetti Plateau rises to over 4,000m and includes the highest peak in the southern Ethiopia highlands. This undulating plateau is marked by numerous glacial lakes and swamps and surrounded by higher volcanic ridges and peaks. The southern slopes of the massif are covered by the lush and largely unexplored Harenna Forest.

Often called the “Rooftop of Africa,” the Bale Mountains forests harbour a wide variety of flora and fauna that evolved in isolation. In Bale visitors will see many species of mammals, birds, amphibians, and plants found only in Ethiopia and in some cases only in the Bale Mountains.

With such a high diversity of wildlife, the Bale Mountains National Park is a crucial protected area for a significant portion of Ethiopia’s and the world’s biodiversity. Visitors to the area can see mountain Nyala, the largest population of Ethiopia wolfs, black and white colobus monkeys, baboons, bushbuck, and warthogs, among other animals. Lucky visitors might also get a glimpse of lions, leopards, the rare Bale monkey, or wild dogs.

The Bale Mountains are considered Ethiopia’s most important bird area with over 280 bird species. Visitors to the Bale Mountain National Park can explore a variety of bird habitats including grasslands, woodlands, forests, moorlands, wetlands, and alpine lakes. Six of Ethiopia’s 16 endemic bird species are found in Bale and 7 globally threatened bird species can be seen here including the greater spotted eagle, imperial eagle, lesser kestrel, and the wattled crane.

Today we will spot some of the endemics such as Blue-winged Goose, Spot-breasted Lapwing, Abyssinian Longclaw, Wattled Ibis, Black-headed Siskin, Rouget’s Rail, Banded Barbet and other species.

We will also have the chance to encounter variety of Mammals that include Mountain Nyala,now entirely restricted to the Bale Mountain massif, Menelik’s Bushbuck and Warthog, unusual at this high altitude.

Then we drive to Goba Wabe Shebelle Hotel to stay over for one Night, Goba WabeShebelle

The hotel is a basic standard hotel but ideally located for early morning Birding.

Accommodation: Wabishebele Hotel,Goba

Meal plan: Full board

Day 8
Day 8 - Blae Mountain National Park

Today we will have a full day for Birding in Sanetti Plateau, Bale Mountains National Park, this will be a day of great contrasts and amazing scenery and birding.

We will depart early and ascend the Bale Mountain massif onto the Sanetti Plateau, which lies between 3,800m and 4,377m to search for birds with a special focus on the endemic to the Bale Mountains.

Today we hope to see the endangered and endemic Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco and other rare birds by walking along a dry river bed and carefully checking the large fruiting figs, you should come across this stunning and charismatic creature to spot birds such as Chestnut-naped Francolin, Mountain Thrush, the secretive Abyssinia Ground- thrush, the vocal Abyssinian Catbird, Abyssinian Slaty Flycatcher, Abyssinian Woodpecker, Brown(Bale)Parisoma, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Ethiopian Cisticola, Lammergeier, Moorland Francolin, Red-throated Pipit, Thekla Lark, Wattled Ibis and the endemic White-backed Black-Tit and many more birds. If we are very fortunate, we will see a pair of the endangered Wattled Cranes in the moist grasslands.

Later in the day, we will head to the beautiful Bale Mountain Lodge to stay over for one night, Bale Mountain Lodge is one of the best and luxury eco-lodges available in the country, and it is located deep in the Harenna Forest.

Accommodation: Bale Mountain Lodge

Meal plan: Full board

Day 9
Day 9 - Bale Mountains – Negele Borena

Today you will have a long drive ahead of us and we will start our journey early. Leaving Harenna Forest we will gradually lose altitude en route to Negele, a town in the Guji Zone of the Oromia Region. Negele is one of Ethiopia’s great endemic hotspots and the entire area is packed with great birds. We will exit the forest zone and enter progressively drier thorn savanna in this remote, southern sector of Ethiopia.

Along our drive, we can expect to start adding a number of new species tour list including, Northern Red-billed and Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbills, Lilac-breasted Roller, Orange-breasted bush shrike, Pringle’s Puffback, Red-headed Weaver, Golden Breasted Starling, Violet-backed Starlings, White-crested helmet shrike and yellow-breasted Apalis.

Later, we will reach a dry wadi on the Genale River; it is one of Ethiopia’s great endemic hotspots and home to Ethiopia’s most sought-after endemic, Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco. The bird is named after an Italian Prince, its hapless discoverer, who was killed by an elephant soon after collecting the type specimen in the 1890s.

Then we will search for fruiting fig trees along the wadi and should enjoy excellent views of this very unusual and beautiful Turaco. Finally, we will arrive in Negele in the early evening and check into our basic hotel.

Accommodation: Marega Guest House

Meal plan: Full board

Day 10
Day 10 - Birding the Negele area and the Liben Plains

Today we will also seek the endemic Sidamo Lark and the Somali Short-toed Lark and possibly Heuglin’s Bustard on the Negele Plains. In the East of Negele lies unique open grassland, the Liben Plains, to which the little known Archer’s Lark is restricted. This species belongs to the unusual genus Heteromirafra, which also includes South Africa’s Rudd’s Lark, and is considered one of the most endangered birds on Earth.

We will walk through these plains in search of this special bird, which we hope to watch performing its parachute display flight. We should also find salvadori’s seedeater, African Bare-eyed Thrush, Foxy Lark, northern Grosbeak canary, Pale Prinia, Pectoral- patch cysticola ,Plain Backed pipit, Rattling Cisticolas, Reichenow’s Seedeater, Shelley’s Rufous Sparrow, Somali Courser, Spotted Palm Thrush, White-bellied Bustard and White-crowned Starling.

If we’re very lucky, we may see coveys of Coqui Francolin or flush a migratory Corn Crake.

Accommodation: Marega Guest House

Meal plan: Full board

Day 11
Day 11 - Negele Borena to Yabello

Today we will have a long drive that takes us near to the Kenya border then to Yabello, home to two of Ethiopia’s most sought-after endemic birds, both listed as globally threatened: the enigmatic Stresemann’s Bush crow and glistening White-tailed Swallow.

This area of Acacia savanna is characterized by giant red termite mounds, some towering 5m above the plains) and both these birds seem to be associated in some way with these marvels of natural architecture.

Today we are expecting to increase the number of new birds in our list including White-tailed Swallow, Stresemann’s bush crow, Acacia Tit, African White Wing Dove, Banded Parisoma, Black-capped Social Weavers, Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird, Grey-capped, Hunter’s Sunbird, Juba Weaver, Magpie Starling, Purple Grenadier, Parrot Billed Sparrow, Scaly Chatterer and Shelley’s Sparrow.

Accommodation: Yabello Motel, Yabello

Meal plan: Full board

Day 12
Day 12 - Yabello - Birding in Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary

Yabelo Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area and wildlife sanctuary in the Borena Zone of the Oromia Region southern Ethiopia, covering an area of 2496 sq km, this wildlife reserve was originally created to protect Ethiopia’s endemic Swayne’s hartebeest.

Today we will have a full day birding in Sanctuary and get better familiar with Stresemann’s Bush crow , White-tailed Swallow.

For the entire day we will explore Yabelo Wildlife Sanctuary and Reserve; species to look for include Stresemann’s Bushcrow, White-tailed Swallow, D'Arnaud's Barbet, Eurasian Hobby, Red-naped Bushshrike, Short-tailed Lark, Somali Courser, Somali Fiscal, Speke’s Weaver, Taita Fiscal, Steel blue Whydah, Straw-tailed whydah and purple gerenadier.

Accommodation: Yabello Motel

Meal plan: Full board

Day 13
Day 13 - Yabello – Arbamich

Morning drive from Yabello to Arbaminch for 195 km (120Mile), on the way we look for Birds such as Great spotted cuckoo, Golden-breasted starling, Taita fiscal, steppe Eagles, Boran cisticola. We will arrive in Arba Minch around midday and checked into a good hotel and enjoyed lunch in the late afternoon we will make the short drive to Nechsar National Park to see birds such as Bat hawk, masked weaver, yellow-throated dangerous, desert cisticola, black-bellied bustard, Lesser kestrel, African cuckoo hawk, moutagus barriers, scaly-throated Honeyguide.

Accommodation:Paradise Lodge, Arbaminch

Meal plan:Full board

Day 14
Day 14 - Nechisar National Park , Arbamich

Today we will send full day for further birding in Nechisar National park and Lake Chamo area. Nechisar National Park, located between the rift valley lakes of Chamo and Abaya, Nech Sar Park ranks top among the most visited Ethiopia safari National parks. Established in 1974, the park covers a small area of 514sq km of savannah, swamps and muddy lakeshore and rolling hill plains of up to 1,650m above sea level on Amaro Mountains. The Name Nechisar meaning “white grass” and officially called Nechsar in the law – is a very scenic and accessible park.

Nechisar National Park is considered an important habitat for bird populations particularly those migrating. It has a noted population of kingfishers, storks, pelicans, flamingos and African fish eagles. Other birds include Falco naumanni and Circus macrourus, which are fairly common on passage.

Wildlife species in the park include Greater kudu, Ethiopian Swayne’s Hartebeest, Burchell’s Zebra, Grant’s Gazelle, Guenther’s Dik-dik, black backed jackal, grey Duiker, wild boar, gureza and the endangered African hunting dog. Some of the primates in the park include bushbuck,vervet monkeys, Anubis baboon and many others.

Accommodation: Paradise Lodge, Arbamich

Meal plan: Full board

Day 15
Day 15 - Arbaminch – Addis Ababa

After breakfast and relaxing morning in paradise lodge , you will transfer to Arbaminch Airport for the flight to Addis Ababa and you will check in for day use room and finally in the evening you will taken to traditional restaurant for fair well dinner live folklore dance and transfer to International Airport.

Accommodation: Momona Hotel, Addis Ababa

Meal plan: Full board

Day 16
Day 16 - Addis Ababa - Simien Mountains

Early morning you will transfer to the domestic airport for your flight to Gondar; you’re arrival, meet with your driver then straight away to Simien Mountain National Park, it is 125 km ( 78 Mile), about 3 -4 hour’s drive from Gondar to Simien Mountains National Park.

Simien Mountains National Park is Ethiopia’s most popular hiking destination, its highest peak Ras Dashen 4543 Mts (14,900feet) above sea level, making it the fourth-highest mountains in Africa. Simien Mountains was recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site and famous for being home to 22 large, 13 small mammals and the three of which, the Walia Ibex, the Gelada monkeys and Ethiopia Wolves are some indigenous mammals in the Mountains and also it has 57 tree species, variety of herbaceous plants, about 180 bird species have been recorded.

Over 180 species of birds have been found in the Simien Mountains National Park. Of these, five are endemic to Ethiopia such as Spot-breasted Plover, Abyssinian Catbird, Abyssinian Longclaw, Ankober Serin, and Black-headed Siskin,

Further to these 12 to Ethiopia and Eritrea, these are Wattled Ibis, Abyssinian Slaty Flycatcher, White-collared Pigeon, Black-winged Lovebird, Banded Barbet, Abyssinian/Golden-backed Woodpecker, Abyssinian/Black-headed Forest Oriole, Thick-billed Raven, White-backed Black Tit, White-billed Starling, White-winged Cliff Chat and Ruppells Black Chat.

The drive from Gondar to Simien Mountains is 130 km, after driving the first 100km on a very good asphalt road there will be a short stop at Debark town for the National Park office for an entrance fee and for Guide and scout/Ranger appointment.

Then you will drive to the lodge for 22km on a gravel road, after Check in the lodge, you will have a break, then you will do a short trek 2-3 hours around the lodge area and chekwanit to search for bird species such as Eastern imperial Eagle, Chestnut-napped Francolin, Somali Starling and Rupplle’s blackhat while you enjoy the spectacular scenery of the mountain in selected viewpoints and rerun to the lodge in the later afternoon.

In the evening, you will see documentary movies about the mountains in the lodge’s bar while enjoying a fire in the bar chimney.

Accommodation: Simien Lodge, Simien Mountains

Meal plan: Full Board

Day 17
Day 17 - Birding in Simien Mountains National Park

In the morning your picnic lunch will be packed, the car will drop you around the Sankaber Campsite area and we will send a full day for birding in the National Park.

Our target bird for today will be Eastern Imperial Eagle, Moorland Chat, Chestnut –naped francolin, Lammergeier, Black-headed siskin, Red-billed Chough, Wattled ibis, White-collared pigeon, Nyanza swift and many more.

Lammergeier also called The Bearded Vulture or Bone Crusher), one of the largest and most spectacular birds in Ethiopia, this enormous bird has a wingspan of over 2metes. They are often seen soaring alone along high cliffs and rock outcrops looking for food. Clocked at speeds of 130km/hr and flying at staggering heights with barely a beat of their gigantic wings, they are a magnificent sight.

Around the water fall area you will have a picnic Lunch and one hour break while enjoying the views then drive further inside the park to Chennek camps site area (3,620m). Around cheneck camp site chenneck there are again excellent views of the mountains and you would see more Gelada monkeys, Walia ibex and if you are lucky the Ethiopian wolf as well.

Accommodation: Simien Lodge, Simien Mountains

Meal plan: Full Board

Day 18
Day 18 - Simien Mountains National Park – Gonder

You will spend some of the mornings in the Mountains to further exploring for more birding and then you will drive back to ancient town Gondar 120 km from Simien Lodge.

Gondar ‘the African Camelot’ is famous for its many medieval castles and the design and decoration. It was the first capital of the

Abyssinia Empire founder by Emperor Fasilades of the 16th Century, it is a travel back in times by visiting the royal enclose famous for its rare castles.

You will visit the impressive ancient castle of Gondar in the royal Compound of Fasil which is named after the city founder Emperor Fasiledas also Known as Fasil and it was inscribed as UNESCO heritage sites in 1979. The half dozen stone castles are protected within the tall compound walls, built over the course of the 17th Centuries. Additionally in the afternoon after lunch and break you will visit the church of Deber brharn Sillase near the centre of the city, known for its unique church design and highly decorated with mural paintings of portraits of angles and other biblical histories.

Accommodation: Goha Hotel, Gonder

Meal plan: Full Board

Day 19
Day 19 - Gonder – Bahir dar

In the morning after breakfast, you will drive to Bahir dar 180 km, while on your way you will enjoy and appreciate the landscape of North Ethiopia.

Bahir Dar is the resort town located in the Northwestern part of Ethiopia 578 Km from the capital city and at an elevation of 1,840 meters (6,036 feet) possesses tropical ambience weather and position along the southern shore of Lake Tana, the biggest Lake in Ethiopia and the source of Blue Nile River. It is the first popular first stopover for the Northern highland historical circuit tour of Ethiopia.

On the way to Bahir Dar, we will break our journey for birding around the Fogera Swamp area to search bird species such as African Openbill, Black Crowned Crane, white billed Starling, copper sunbird and other many birds.

We will continue to drive to Bahir dar, on your arrival at Bahir dar, you will check in your hotel and will have Lunch, then in the afternoon we will drive out to the Blue Nile Falls, locally known as Tis- Isat Falls - 'Smoke of Fire' - the Blue Nile Falls is the most dramatic spectacle on either the White or the Blue Nile rivers. 400 meters (1,312 feet) wide when in flood, and dropping over a sheer chasm more than 45 meters (150 feet) deep, the falls throw up a continuous spray of water, which drenches onlookers up to a kilometre away. This misty deluge produces rainbows, shimmering across the gorge, and a small perennial rainforest of lush green vegetation, to the delight of the many monkeys and multicoloured birds that inhabit the area. To reach the falls, this is about 35 kilometres away from Bahir Dar, drive south from Bahir Dar for about half an hour, and stop at Tis-Isat village.

In the afternoon we will drive to the Blue Nile falls to see the variety of birds that will captivate you as you hike to the Blue Niles Falls (Tis Isat Falls); White-cheeked Turacao, Abyssinian Oriole, White-headed Babbler, Yellow-crowned Bishops and the endemic White-throated Seedeaters – there are enough species here to keep you busy here for hours.

Accommodation: Abayminch Lodge, Bahir dar

Meal plan: Full Board

Day 20
Day 20 - Birding on Island of Lake Tana,Bahir dar

Morning you will embark on a private boat trip on Lake Tana with Picnic Lunch for Birding on the island of Lake Tana and visit and visit NABU – projects.

Lake Tana, the largest lake, in Ethiopia is the source and from where the famed Blue Nile starts its long journey to Khartoum, and on to the Mediterranean. The 37 islands that are scattered about the surface of the Lake shelter fascinating churches and monasteries, some of which have histories dating back to the 13th Century. Uniquely varied habitats at Lake Tana make for excellent bird watching, from majestic Black Crowned Cranes to endemic White-throated Seedeaters; a visit to the Lake Tana Biosphere Reserve will astound you with some of the world’s most amazing birds.

Today the key bird's species we look for on islands of Lake Tana are African openbill, Black-crowned crane, copper sunbird, Grey-headed Gull, Kingfisher, wattled Crane, white-throated seedeater, Yellow-crowned Bishops, Yellow-fronted Parrot and many more.

If we may have extra time we may visit some of the many ancient monasteries hidden on the shores and islands of Lake Tana.

Accommodation: Abayminch Lodge, Bahir dar

Meal plan: Full Board

Day 21
Day 21 - Bahir dar – Debre Libanos via Debre Markos

Today we will start long drive from Bahir dar to Debre Libanos for 380 Km en route birding in Blue Nile Gorge.

We could break the journey for Lunch at Debre markos , Debre Markos is the largest town and was a former capital of the province of Gojam ,set an altitude 2,450mt in the moist highlands north of the Blue Nile Gorge.

In the Blue Nile Gorge area we search Birds such as Abyssinian wood pecker, African Stanechat, Banded Barbet, Black headed Siskin, Black-wing Lapwing, Rouget's Rail, Ruppell’s black chat , wattled Ibis, white backed black Tit, white-billed starling, White-Collared Pigeon. In the late afternoon we will arrive in Debre Libanos and will check in to Cillale Hotel to stopover for two Nights

Accommodation: Cillale Hotel, Debre Libanos

Meal plan: Full board

Day 22
Day 22 - Debre Libanos

Today we will drive a short distance to the Debre Libanos monastery forest area, stopping along the way to find Gelada Monkeys and other bird species such as Red-collared Widowbird.

The forest surrounding the monastery is a very attractive and good place to see several White-cheeked Turacos and also an endemic Banded Barbet, Abyssinian Slaty Flycatcher and Black-winged Lovebird.

We also look for Abyssinian Oriole, Abyssinian CatBird, Hemprich'shornbill, Ruppell's black chat, Montane White-eye, Yellow-Bellied Waxbill, Blue-winged Goose, Erckel's francolin, Moorland chat, Ortoln Bunting, Cinnamon-Breasted Bunting, Yellow-bellied waxbill, Tacazze sunbird, White–Winged Cliff chat and Ethiopian Cisticola.

Accommodation: Cillale Hotel, Debre Libanos

Meal plan: Full board

Day 23
Day 23 - Debre Libanos- Debre Birhan with en route birding at Jemma River

Early in the morning, we will drive to the surrounding area of the Jemma Gorge. This is an arid land, where we will look for a very different type of birds compared to those of the Debre Libanos area.

The Jemma River is one of the main tributaries of the Blue Nile. The altitude at the Jemma river-crossing from 1,300 meter to 2,000 meter at the top of the gorge.

Here we have fast flowing rivers inhabited by various species. The limestone soil supports Sterculia Africana trees, Tamarindus indica and Ficus thinning; the endemic Aloe schelpii. The acacia woodland found away from the rivers and on the gorge sides provides different bird habitats.

Jemma-River valley is a small paradise for birds and animal watchers with a breathtaking panorama. Bearded vultures, verreaux's Eagle, Steppe Eagle and White-Cheeked Turaco, can all be seen. We'll also watch out for Hemprich's Hornbill, White-billed Starling, Black-billed Barbet and Foxy Cisticola, Abyssinian black wheatear, Fox kestrel, Steppe eagle, White-Throated Seedeater, Speckle fronted Weaver, moorland francolin and Erckel's francolin and if we are very fortunate, the scarce Red-billed Pytilia.

In the late afternoon, we will arrive at Debre Birhan and stay over in Eva Hotel for one night.

Accommodation: Eva Hotel ,Debre Birhan

Meal plan: Full board

Day 24
Day 24 - Debre Birhan to Ankober

Today we drive to the highlands of Ankober 40 kilometres (25 mi) to the east of Debre Birhan. Here we might find the endemic & other vulnerable spices.

Ankober was the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Shoa around the 18th Century when the ruler descended from the Solomonic Dynasty. There are many famous Ethiopian Orthodox monasteries and churches in the area surrounding Ankober.

Ankober is perched on the eastern escarpment of the Ethiopian Highlands at an elevation of about 2,465 meters (8,100 ft). The highlands of Ankober are great for hiking and even more rewarding for birdwatchers. The very rare endemic Ankober serin can be found here, and you may also be spotted White-Throated and Yellow -throated seed-eater.

Additionally, we will also watch out for Verreaux's Eagle, Rufous-breasted Sparrow Hawk and Black Headed Siskin.

Accommodation: Ankober Lodge, Ankober

Meal plan: full board

Day 25
Day 25 - Ankober to Addis Ababa

After early morning Birding, we will have breakfast and will have a relaxing morning then in the afternoon we will drive to Addis Ababa then check-in the hotel for a day use Room and leisure afternoon.

In the evening you will be taken to a farewell dinner tradition Ethiopia food and enjoy live Folklore music and dance.

Finally, you will transfer to the international Airport for the flight back home.

Day Use Hotel: Momona Hotel, Addis Ababa

Meal plan: Full board

Wildlife species expected to see:

Endemic Birds of Ethiopia and Eritrea

Spot-breasted Lapwing, Harwood’s Francolin, Yellow-fronted Parrot, Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco, Abyssinian Woodpecker, Degodi Lark, Sidamo Long-clawed Lark, White-tailed Swallow, AbyssinianLong-claw, Abyssinian Catbird, Nechisar Nightjar, Ethiopian Bush-Crow, Yellow-throated Serin, Black-headed Siskin, Ankober Serin and Salvadori’s Serin, Wattled Ibis, Blue-winged Goose, Rouget’s Rail, White-collared Pigeon, Black-winged Lovebird, Banded Barbet, White-winged Cliff Chat, Ruppell’s Chat, Abyssinian Slaty Flycatcher, White-backed Black Tit, Black-headed Forest Oriole, Thick-billed Raven, White-billed Starling and White-throated Serin

Other Birds of Ethiopia

Abyssinian and Rufous-crowned Rollers, Abyssinian black wheatear, Abyssinian Catbird, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Abyssinian Longclaw, Abyssinian Oriole, Abyssinian Roller, Abyssinian Scimitar bill, Abyssinian Slaty Flycatcher, Abyssinian Woodpecker, Abyssinian Woodpecker, Abyssinian Oriole, Abyssinian/Black-headed Forest Oriole, Abyssinian/Golden-backed Woodpecker, African cuckoo hawk, African Bare-eyed Thrush, African Collared Dove, African Comb Duck, African fire Finch, African Harrier Hawk, African Openbill, African Pygmy Goose, African Stonechat, Ankober serin, Arabian Bustard, Augur Buzzards, Banded Barbet, Banded Snake Eagle, Bare- faced go away bird, Bat Hawk, Bearded vultures, Bearded Woodpecker, Black-billed wood hoopoe, Black Crowned Crane, Black-headed Siskin, Black-winged love bird, black-bellied bustard, Black-billed Barbet, Black-billed Wood Hoopoe, Black-headed Lapwing, Black-headed siskin, Black-wing Lapwing, Black-winged Lovebird, Blue-naped Mousebird, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Blue-winged Goose, Boran and Ashy Cisticolas, Boran Cisticola, Brown(Bale)Parisoma, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Buff-bellied Warbler, Chestnut –naped francolin, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Larks, Chestnut-naped Francolin, Chestnut-napped Francolin,Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Cinnamon-Breasted Bunting, Clapperton’s Francolin, Collared Pratincole, copper sunbird, Coqui Francolin, crested francolin, Cut-throat Finch, D’Arnaud’s Barbet, Desert cisticola, Double toothed barbet, Eastern imperial Eagle, Eastern Olivaceous,Egyptian Vulture, Erckel’s francolin, Ethiopian Cisticola, Eurasian Hobby, Fox kestrel, Foxy Cisticola, Foxy Lark, Fulvous Whistling Duck, Garganey, Gillett’s Lark, Karibustard , Glistening White-tailed Swallow, Golden Breasted Starling,Gray Black fiscal, great spotted cuckoo, Gree backed Eremomela ,Grey-backed Fiscal, Grey-headed Batis, Grey-headed Gull, Grospeakweaver, Gull-billed tern, Hemprich’s Hornbill, Heuglin’s courser, Hottentot teal, Kingfisher, Lammergeier, Lesser and African Jacanas, Lesser kestrel, Lesser Swamp Warbler, Lilac-breasted Roller, Little Bee-eater, little waver Reichenow’s seedeater,Long-crested Eagles,Malachite Kingfisher, Masked Weaver, Montane White-eye,Moorland chat, Moorland francolin, Mountain Thrush,Mouse-colored Penduline Tit,Moutagus barriers,Nile Valley Sunbird, Northern Black Flycatcher,Northern Carmine Bee-eater,Northern Grosbeak canary, Northern Masked Weaver,Northern Red-billed and Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbills,Northern White –crowned Shrike ,Nyanza swift,Olive Bee-eater, Orange breasted bush shrike, Ortoln Bunting,Pale and African Grey Flycatchers, Pale Prinia,Pectoral- patch cysticola ,Pied Crow, Pied Kingfisher, Plain Backed pipit, Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco, Pringle’s Puffback, purple grenadier, Pygmy Batises, Pygmy Kingfisher, Rattling Cisticolas, Red-billed Quelea, Red-throated Pipit, Red-bellied Parrot, Red-billed Chough, Red-breasted Wryneck, Red-collared Widowbird, Red-fronted Barbet, Red-headed Weaver, Red-naped Bushshrike, Reichenow’s Seedeater, Rouget’s Rail, Rufous-breasted Sparrow Hawk, Ruppell’s black chat, Rüppell’s Weaver, Ruppells Black Chat, Ruppell’s black chat, Salvadori’s seedeater, scaly-throated Honeyguide, Senegal Thickness, Shelley’s Rufous Sparrow, Shining Sunbird, Short-tailed Lark, Silver Cheeked Hornbill, Singing Bush Lark, Somali bulbul buff crested bustard, Somali Courser, Somali Fiscal, Somali Ostrich, Somali Starling, Southern Grey Shrike, Speckle fronted Weaver, Speke’s Weaver, Spot-breasted Lapwing, Spot-breasted Plover, Spotted Palm Thrush, Spur -Winged Goose, Steel-blue Whydah, Steppe eagle, Steppe Eagles, Straw-tailed whydah, Stresemann’s Bush crow, Swallow-tailed Kite, Tacazze sunbird, Taita Fiscal, The secretive Abyssinia Ground- thrush, The vocal Abyssinian Catbird, Thekla Lark, Thick-billed Raven, Variable Sunbird, Verreaux’s Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Violet-backed Starlings, Von der Decken’s Hornbill, Warble, wattled Crane, Wattled Ibis, Western Marsh Harrier, White-backed Black Tit, white billed Starling, copper sunbird, White-crested helmet shrike, White-Throated Seedeater, White-backed Black Tit, White-bellied Bustard, White-bellied Go-away-bird, White-billed starling, White-billed Starling, White-browed Sparrow-weaver, White-cheeked Turacao, White-collared pigeon, White-crowned Starling, White-headed Babbler, White-headed Vulture, White-tailed Swallow, White-throated seedeater,  White-Throated, White-winged Black Tit, White-winged Cliff Chat,White–Winged Cliff chat, Woodchat Shrike, Woodland Kingfisher, Woolly-necked stork, Yellow fronted parrot, Yellow -throated seed-eater, Yellow-Bellied Waxbill, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Yellow-breasted Barbets, Yellow-crowned Bishops, Yellow-fronted Parrot, Yellow-throated dangerouse

What is included?

  • Full board hotel accommodation from simple to good middle-class hotels /lodges with bathroom or shower / WC in sharing Twin room Basis.
  • (24 Dinner/ 24 Lunch / 24 Breakfast with Water/Soft drinks and coffee/tea
  • 2 Litters water per day in the car
  • Sanitiser in each car
  • All transfer in and transfer out services from the Airport
  • All ground transportation with New Brand Toyota Land cruiser 4WD Car 2019 model OR with New Toyota Coaster Bus.
  • Experienced English speaking Bird tour Expert Guide
  • Two Domestic Flight ticket for Local Bird Guide (from Arbaminch to Addis Ababa and From Addis Ababa to Gonder)
  • Printed Field Guides checklist for each client
  • All activities as specified in the itinerary
  • Experienced driver & driver allowance
  • All fuel expenses and lubricants expense
  • Local guide’s fee and Scout fee where needed
  • Private Boat trip on Lake Chamo and Lake Tana
  • Village Visit fee
  • All entrance fees
  • Farewell Dinner and live folklore music & dance at the end of the tour
  • 15 % Government VAT tax

What is not included?

  • Domestic & International Flights
  • Travel Insurance and Visa fee
  • Any alcoholic drinks
  • Any video camera fee
  • Optional safari extensions
  • Laundry service
  • Tips and any expense of Personal items like, internet, fax, telephone
  • Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”

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Why book with Ethiopian Adventures?

Ethiopia is a unique and spectacular birding destination with over 860 species recorded, and among them, 26 birds are endemic species, found only in Ethiopia. This 16 days Ethiopia Endemic Bird tour is designed by Ethiopian expert bird guides who know their country better than any tour operator. This is probably the most complete birding tour of Ethiopia currently available.

What sort of Vehicles do you supply?

The most important aspect of this tour is the vehicles we used; Ethiopian Adventures have specially adapted Land Cruisers for bird watching with no bench seats. They have large lateral windows and raised rear seats so that clients see forward over the driver’s head so that they never miss a bird sighting.

What sort of accommodation do you supply?

The Hotel standard in Ethiopia has shown great progress in the last ten years. For this specific tour we used accommodations from simple to good middle-class, we will use better standard lodges and hotels for Debre Birhan, Ankober, Awash NP, Lake Ziway, lakes Langano and Awassa, for Bale mountain we use delightful and high standard Bale Mountain Lodge, located right in the forest on the south side of Bale Mts. However some accommodations ( DebreLibanos, Goba, Negele and Yabello) are still very simple, and you may experience some issues with power-outages and no hot water.

What are your group sizes?

The group size for this Bird tour will be 6 pax.

Do you arrange airport pick up/drop off?

Yes, we arrange Airport port pick up and Drop off service. Our Guide will meet and greet you at the Airport on your arrival and see you off on your departure. Do you charge a single supplement? Can you accommodate a third person/family?

Do you charge a single Supplement?

Yes the single Supplement price for this 16 days Ethiopia Endemic Bird tour will be USD 930

Can you recommend any articles and/or books to read before this tour?

Birds of Ethiopia and Eritrea Book by John Atkins or Birds of the Horn of Africa: Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia and Socotra Book by John Fanshawe, Nigel Redman, and Terry Stevenson

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

25 Days

Price & Availability

USD4,895 / per person
Based on twin/double room
Single Supplement USD 930
Group Discount Available
Group Discount Guide
Refer to Group Discount Terms
This tour is operated by: Ethiopian Adventures

Quick Enquiry Form

Tour Facts

  • Ethiopia
  • On Request
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • Birds
  • 6 pax
  • 25 Days
  • +15 Years
  • Challenging
  • Yes
  • English
  • Addis Ababa Bole International Airport
  • Addis Ababa Bole International Airport
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