Endemics Wildlife Tour in Ethiopia Focused on Mammals
This is 10-days Ethiopia mammals offers unique opportunities to experience and understand the endemic and varied rare mammals found in two national parks and one wildlife sanctuaries.
Ethiopia is one of the top 25 biodiversity-rich countries in the world. The Bale Mountains and Simien Mountains are posses the lion's- share of the country's unique biodiversity.
The Simien Mountain National Park is a stunning mountain range located in the Northern part of Ethiopia which UNESCO classified the SMNP as a "World Heritage Site" since 1978. It is an exotic setting with unique wildlife and breath-taking views on a landscape shaped by nature.
Then Simiens are angular highland ridges at altitudes above 3600 meters above sea level. They are covered with grasses, isolated trees, Erica forests and the bizarre Giant Lobelia. The high plateau falls abruptly into 1000- to 2000-m deep escarpments. It is home to several endemic flora and fauna, including the Gelada monkeys, which live in large bands of up to 200 individuals which the visitor can get very close for some great photography. In addition, there is the Walia ibex, a large mountain goat and the very rare Ethiopian Wolf, a highly endangered species. The combination of altitudinal variation and isolation of the Simien Mountains National Park makes it an extraordinary region to visit.
Bale Mountains National Park is the largest area of Afro-alpine habitat of the African continent, as well as a significant section of moist tropical forest, the second-largest in Ethiopia. Then bale mountains cover an area higher than 3000m above sea level. The highest peak is Tullu Dimtuu, at an altitude of 4,377 mtr, is the second-highest peak in Ethiopia.
The Bale Mountains have one of the highest incidences of animal endemism of any terrestrial habitat on earth. The park itself holds 26 per cent of Ethiopia's endemic species. It is home to a wide range of bird species. Rated by the African Bird Club as the number four birding spot in Africa, the Bale Mountains are home to over 300 species of birds – six of which are endemic to Ethiopia and 11 to Ethiopia and neighbouring Eritrea. The Bale Mountains National Park offers opportunities for unsurpassed mountain walking, horse trekking, and scenic driving. However, perhaps the primary attraction of the Bale Mountains is the simple escape it offers from the city life; into peace, serenity and beauty.
While you drive from Lake Awassa to Bale Mountain National park, you will have a stop at Senkele Game Reserve, the open acacia woodland of the reserve is quite scenic and some of the animals are easily spotted especially the Swayne's hartebeests. There are other wild animals including Bohor, Reedbucks, Greater Kudus, Orbis Antelopes, Spotted Hyenas, Serval and Civet Cats, Caracals, Warthogs and Common Jackals.
• See the awe-inspiring landscapes of Simien Mountains National Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Bale Mountains National Park
• Spot the rare and endangered Ethiopian Wolf, (the last Wolf of Africa) and Gelada Monkeys
• Experience the Great Rift Valley lakes and abundant birdlife of Ethiopia.
• Explore the beautiful Senekele Wildlife sanctuary
• Visit the ancient castles of Gondar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Alternative Tour Name: Endemic Mammals of Ethiopia Tour
Arrive at Addis Ababa International Airport in the morning and you will meet and greet by your guide and transfer to the City for Breakfast and refreshment. Subsequently, transfer back to the domestic airport for your flight to Gonder later in the morning.
On your arrival at Gonder Airport you will transfer to your hotel in the centre of the Gonder town. After checkin to your hotel and lunch, you will begin to visit of the impressive ancient castle of Gondar including the royal Compound of Fasil which is named after the city founder Emperor Fasiledas also Known as Fasil. The castles were inscribed as UNESCO heritage sites in 1979. The half dozen stone castles are protected within the tall compound walls, built over the 17th Centuries, have led to Gondar being called the Camelot of Africa. Additionally, you will visit the church of Debre BirhanSillase near the centre of the city, known for its unique church design and highly decorated ceiling and mural paintings and portraits of angles and other biblical histories.
Accommodation: Goha Hotel, Gonder Meal Plan: Full Board
In the morning after breakfast, you will drive to Simien Mountains, the only UNESCO World Natural Heritage site in Ethiopia. At the same time, you will enjoy and appreciate the landscape of Northern Ethiopia.
The Simien Mountains National Park is Ethiopia's most popular hiking destination and its highest peak Ras Dashen 4,543 Mts (14,900feet) above sea level makes it the fourth-highest mountains in Africa. The Simien Mountains were recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site for two reasons; firstly the incredible views and also for being the home of the three incredible endemic mammals. The Walia Ibex, the Gelada monkeys and Ethiopia Wolves. In addition, 57 tree species, variety of herbaceous plants and about 180 bird species have been recorded.
The drive from Gondar to Simien Mountains is 130 km. After driving the first 100km on an excellent asphalt road, there will be a short stop at Debark town for National Park office for an entrance fee and for guide and scout/Ranger appointment. Then you will drive to the lodge for 22km in a gravel road, after check in to the lodge, you will have a break, then you will drive to Chekwanit viewpoint area to spot Gelada Monkeys with the spectacular scenery of the mountains and rerun to the lodge.
In the evening, you will see documentary movies about the mountains in the lodge's cinema room while enjoying the bar or the cinema room.
Accommodation: Simien Lodge, Simien Mountains National Park Meal Plan: Full Board
In the morning the car will drop you around Sankaber campsite and you will walk along the escarpments to spot large groups of the Gelada monkey.
Sankaber Campsite area is an area covered with Afro-montane forest dominated by Juniper, Haginiaabyssinica, St John's wort, Giant heather and the like.
Around the waterfall area, you will have a picnic lunch and one-hour break while enjoying the scenery and you will spend more time to photography the Geladas with the most spectacular views of the mountains before finally driving back to the lodge.
Accommodation: Simien Lodge, Simien Mountains National Park Meal Plan: Full Board
In the morning, we will drive to the Chennek camps site area (3,620m). At Chennek there are again excellent views of the mountains and you should see more Gelada monkeys on the way. The higher we go, the more the scenery becomes magnificent at this high point of the mountain range. Then you will drive from Chennek to BwahitPass4,200mt, the second Summit in Ethiopia. The Bwahit pass provides good views ofthe impressive rock formation of Imet
Gogo and Inatiye and morechances to see the Walia Ibex ( Capra ibex walia) which is endemic to theSimien Mountains and the Ethiopian Wolf, one of the most endangered mammal
species in the world.
The Ethiopian Wolf (Canissimensissimensis) is the rarest canid in the world and Africa's most threatened carnivore. The closest living relatives of the Ethiopian Wolf are grey wolves and coyotes. The Ethiopian Wolf is the ancestor that crossed over from Eurasia during the Pleistocene period less than 100,000 years ago. During this time, sea levels were lower and Africa and the Middle East were connected. At the time, the highlands of Ethiopia were predominately Afroalpine grasslands and heathlands,and these habitats were ideal for many small mammals, particularly grass rats and mole rats.
Walia ibex (Capra ibex wake) has become a national symbol, it is endemic to the Simien Mountains, and is one of the most endangered mammal species in the world. Walya ibex live on the steep slopes and grassy ledges of the escarpment towards the eastern parts of the park and beyond.
Accommodation: Simien Lodge, Simien Mountains National Park Meal Plan: Full Board
In the morning, you will drive back to Gondar then transfer to Gondar airport for the flight to Addis Ababa. At arrival in Addis Ababa Airport, our tour representative will wait for you and you will drive to Bishoftu (Debre Zeit) town for 45 km from Addis Ababa for stay over.
Bishoftu (Debre Zeit) lying 47 Km south-east of Addis Ababa, along its route of a highway to Awash Nation Park. Bishoftu (Debre Zeit) is a resort town, known for five crater lakes: LakeBishoftu, LakeHora ), Lake BishoftuGuda, Lake Koriftu and the seasonal Lake Cheleklaka. Kurftu Resort has a great atmosphere, good weather, and a peaceful environment. It is known for the best spa and ladies love it.
Accommodation: Kurftu Resort & Spa Meal Plan: Full Board
During the early morning, we drive 230 kilometres to Bale mountains national park. The drive takes you from the rift valley and we climb up on the southeastern escarpment of the rift valley to the Bale- Arsi massif.
Bale mountain national park is a wildlife paradise, home to more locally endemic species of mammals than any other area of equivalent size on the planet. We will stop at Dinsho (Bale Mountains N.P. Head Quarter) and walk 1 to 2 hours. This will give us the chance to see the unique mammals like Mountain Nyala and Menelik Bushbuck.
Less obviously, 26% of Ethiopia's endemic species (including one primate, one bovid, one hare, eight species of rodent, and the entire global population of the giant molerat) can be found in the park. Six of the 18 birds endemic to Ethiopia are also found in Bale Mountains National Park, as well as 11 of the 14 birds endemic to Ethiopia and Eritrea. Finally, we drive to Bale Lodge crossing Senetti Plateau and Harena Forest.
Accommodation: Bale Mountains Lodge Meal Plan : Full Board
For the next two days, you will have time on the Senatti plateau for scenic attraction and presents the chance to view one of the endemic and endangered species, especially the Ethiopian Wolves.
The highest peak in the park (the second-highest in Ethiopia) is Tulu Dimtu (the Red Mountain) with an Altitude of 4,377m. It is locatedd in the Senatti plateau moorland, one of the largest Afro Alpine Moorland. Here, with Giant Mole Rats thrive that are hunted by the Ethiopian Wolf. Many rodents themselves are endemic. Giant Mole Rats pop out from burrows whilst Blix Grass Rats scuffing around finding food. They attract the attention of plateau raptors which swoop down from the sky. Of particular interest are Golden Eagles, Lammergeyers and many other raptors.
We will move on to visit the Harenna Forest. The vegetation and topography across Bale is hugely diverse with the largest afro montane moorland in Africa, alpine moorlands and the Harena secondary rainforest - all occurring within one park. The Harena forest vegetation invites you to explore. It has beautifully secluded waterfalls surrounded by trailing vines and framed by white and purple orchids and wild pink roses. Species found in the Harena forest and juniper forests include Mountain Nyala, Meneliks bushbuck, reedbuck and warthogs.
Accommodation : Bale Mountains Lodge Meal Plan : Full Board
In the early morning, you will drive to Hawassa (Awasa) en-route visiting Senkele Game Reserve.
Senkelle Swayne's Hartebeest Sanctuary is located 48km west of Hawassa, it covers an area of 54km2. The Sanctuary was originally established to protect the endemic and endangered antelope species called Swayne's hartebeests. The open acacia woodland of the reserve is quite scenic. Some of the animals are easily spotted, especially the Swayne's hartebeests which has a population of between 600 and 800 animals. The Sanctuary harbors other wild animals including Bohor, reedbucks, greater kudus, orbis antelopes, spotted hyenas, serval and civet cats, caracals, warthogs, common jackals as well as 91 species of bird.
After visiting the Sanctuary you will drive to Awassa and stay over in Haile Resort owned by the famous Olympic runner, Hale Gebre Selassie. In the evening you will walk around the Lakeside and visit the colourful fish market ('Amora Gedel') and finish the day by enjoying the amazing sunset over Lake Awassa.
After a relaxing morning, you will drive 279 km to Addis Ababa through Ethiopia Great Rift Valley alongside the lakes and will stop for lunch at Lake Ziway. On your arrival in Addis you will check-in the hotel for day use.
In the late afternoon, you can go shopping for souvenirs. Finally, you will be taken to a farewell dinner tradition of Ethiopia food and enjoy Folklore music. Later you will be transferred out to Bole International Airport for return flight back home.
Wildlife species expected to see:
Walya Ibex, Ethiopian Wolf, Gelada Mountain monkey, Menelik’s bushbuck, Klipspringer, Grey duiker, Golden (common) jackal, Spotted hyena, Serval, Rock hyrax,, Vervet monkey, Hamadryas baboon, Olive baboon, Hippopotamuses, Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Crested Porcupine, Civet, African openbill, Black-crowned Crane, Copper Sunbird, Grey-headed Gull, Kingfisher Wattled Crane , white-throated seedeater, Yellow-crowned Bishops, Yellow-fronted Parrot, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Moorland Chat, Chestnut–naped francolin, Lammergeier, Black-headed siskin, Red-billed Chough, Wattled ibis, White-collared pigeon, Nyanza swift Menelik’s Bushbuck and many more.
What is included?
- Full board hotel accommodation at the best available Hotel on Double room basis.
- All transfer in and transfer out services from the airport.
- All ground transportation with New Brand Toyota Land cruiser 4WD Car 2020 model.
- Experienced English speaking Wildlife Expert Guide
- All activities as specified in the itinerary
- Professional driver & driver allowance.
- All fuel expenses and lubricants expense
- Local guide's fee and Scout fee where needed.
- Village Visitfee
- All entrance fees
What is not included?
- Domestic& International Flight
- Travel insurance and visa fee
- Single room supplements Start 28. June US$930, (July to October US$ 1,040)
- Any alcoholic drinks
- Any video camera fee
- Optional safari extensions
- Laundry service
- Tips and any expense of personal items such as , internet and telephone
Ethiopian Adventures is an original tour operator that stands out unlike no other. This is because the origins of the company lie in the award-winning Simien Lodge, the only lodge in the country to win genuine tourism awards. Quality is our hallmark. African conservation is our desire. Sustainability is our future. We are a sister company of Simien Lodge, reputed for its community philanthropy. Ethiopian Adventures do just what the name suggests. We make your tour into an experience and not simply a day-to-day drive around the sites. We adapt the journey according to the wishes of our clients by listening attentively to their wishes.
Ethiopian Adventures is the only incoming tour operator to own purpose-built safari car in Ethiopia. Every client gets an individual reclining seat with electrical charging points for recharging cameras and phones. Vision is also improved by a larger windscreen giving better forward visibility and larger side windows for photography. A fridge is a nice touch for cool drinks. The Car seat capacity is for a maximum of four clients, each gets individual seats at the back and two front seating spaces next to the driver for guide and Scout. The tour programmed is designed based on the new safari Cars but an advance booking is required to secure the cars for the program since we have three cars.
For this tour, we carful select the best available and luxury accommodation located in ideally near to the attractions, Simine Lodge for Simien Mountains National Park and Bale Mountains Lodge for Bale Mountain National Park. Bale Mountain Lodge;- Bale Mountain Lodge, set in the heart of Bale Mountain National Park nestled amongst lush forest and with sweeping panoramas of the surrounding mountains from each of the eight cottages. Simien Lodge:- The Simien Lodge is the highest hotel in Africa at 3,260 metres. It is an eco-friendly and upmarket property built at Buyit Ras with wonderful views across the mountain range. The accommodation has traditional tukul-style exteriors and the interiors are very comfortable with tasteful decor.
During the month of October to end of April it will be warm and sunny during the day hence a hat, sunscreen, lip salve are essential to avoid sunburn. In the evening a temperature can drop dramatically, so warm clothes are essential. In addition to regular packing, here is a Checklist for Simien Mountain Trekking: Good walking boots and socks, Comfortable shoes, Trekking pants During June, July & August it will be d rainy season hence it is recommended bring Rainy clothes and warm closes
Yes, we will provide a professional and experienced English Speaking Guide for this Tour. This tour program is designed based on experienced, professional and knowledgeable escort Guide to accompany you for the entire tour. Guides speaking languages other than English may be available upon request.
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?