Ethiopian Mammals Tour in Three National Parks
This is an 8-day Mammals of Ethiopia Tour focuses on the varied mammals found in the three national parks and two wildlife reserves located inside the Great Rift Valley lakes region and the South Eastern Highlands of Ethiopia. These areas are highly regarded for wildlife viewing and outstanding birdlife.
Awash National Park is situated in the Rift valley and is home to a diverse range of plains wildlife. These including the Beisa Oryx, Desert Warthog, Summering Gazelle, Lesser Kudu, Hamadryads Baboon, Olive Baboon, Grivet's Monkey, Abyssinian Hare, Harar DikDik, Spotted Hyena, Ard Wolf, Bat-Eared Fox, Golden Jackal and African Wild Cat. There are tremendous bird watching opportunities, with over 400 species recorded here.
In the South-Eastern part of Awash National Park, you will get a chance to explore the Hallyadege Wildlife Reserve (also called Alledeghi Wildlife Reserve). This is a newly proposed national park that is home to more than 32 mammals and 140 bird species. It also offers some superb interaction with the local Afar tribe's people. The reserve supports a large group of Gerenuk, Salt's dik-dik, Lesser Kudu, Leopard, Lion, Spotted and Striped Hyenas, Warthogs, Black-backed Jackal and porcupines. The most significant and most isolated populations of Gravy's Zebra in Ethiopia are found inside the park.
On the way to Lake Awassa you will have a chance to visit other prominent parks inside the Great Rift Valley lakes region of Ethiopia. These include Abijatta-Shalla Lakes National Park, established to conserve the wetland birds.
The drive from Lake Awassa to Bale Mountain National park and Senkele Game Reserve. The open acacia woodland of the reserve is quite scenic and some of the animals are easily spotted. In particular the especially the Swayne's hartebeest is a mammal with much reduced numbers. Other animals including Bohor, reedbucks, greater Kudus, Orbis antelopes, Spotted Hyenas, Serval and Civet cats, Caracals, Warthogs, Common Jackals as well as 91 species of birds.
A great part of this wildlife tour is the visit to Bale Mountains National Park. This Park is the ultimate destination for hikers, wildlife watchers, and culture and nature enthusiasts.
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. It is one of the best sites to spot the rare and endangered Ethiopian Wolf on the spectacular Sanetti Plateau which is best as the sun rises.
Tour Highlights include:
- The rare and endangered Ethiopian Wolf, the last wolf of Africa.
- See the endemic Bale Monkey, Giant Molrat, Grevy's Zebra, the Gerenuk, the Beisa Oryx, the giant Nile Crocodiles, and more
- Experience the Great Rift Valley lakes and abundant birdlife of Ethiopia.
- Explore the beautiful Awash National Park
- See the Senekele game reserve.
Alternative Tour Name: Mammals of Ethiopia Tour
Arrive in Addis Ababa International Airport in the morning. On your arrival, you will met by your guide and driver at the airport and transferred to the city for breakfast the drive 225km south of Addis Ababa to Awash National Park driving through by going through typical Oromian towns such as Adama.
Awash National Park is situated in the east of the Africa Great Rift Valley, known for wildlife viewing and outstanding birdlife. It also contains an exciting range of volcanic landscape. The park vegetation is typical of the hot and arid lowlands. The park takes its name from Awash River, the largest river in Ethiopia, with some spectacular waterfalls near the park headquarters.
The Awash Park is home to over 460 species of birds and several mammals, including the Beisa Oryx, Desert Warthog, Summering's Gazelle, Lesser Kudu, Hamadryads Baboon, Olive Baboon, Grivet's Monkey, Abyssinian Hare, Harar DikDik, Spotted Hyena, Ard Wolf, Bat-Eared Fox, Golden Jackal, and African Wild Cat.
You will arrive in the park in the afternoon check in to your hotel. You can take lunch and then proceed to the Awash river to see crocodiles, dik-dik and other antelope that come to the river to drink. In the late afternoon drive 35 km from the Awash Lodge to seethe hyenas coming out of their dens for the evening and then drive back to the Awash Lodge for dinner. Often there are local dancers who come to the lodge to perform. One exciting feature on this drive is a place where the tectonic plates of Asia and Africa are separating that give rise to the volcanic activity in this area. Nearby is an active volcano called Mount Fentale which is fun to climb.
Accommodation: Awash Fall Lodge, Awash National Park Meal Plan: Full Board
In the morning after breakfast you will do a game drive by car in the open areas and grass plains you should see grazing Beisa oryx, Kudu, Soemmerring's gazelle and Swayne's hartebeest. Olive and hamadryas baboons, as well as colobus and grivet monkeys, can be seen near the river, and the tiny dik-dik is often well camouflaged in the shade of the acacia thorn. Cats such as Cheetah, Serval, and Leopard are also present (although less easy to spot). Lion, black-backed and golden Jackals, and Caracals can occasionally be seen. Over 400 species of bird have been recorded in Awash, ranging from the great Ostrich to the less common secretary bird and the Abyssinian ground hornbill.
Vivid flashes of colour come from the carmine bee-eaters and the Abyssinian roller.
Accommodation: Awash Fall Lodge, Awash National Park Meal Plan: Full Board
Early in the morning, drive to Aledeghi Wildlife Reserve which is 80 km from the Lodge with a packed lunch.
Aledeghi Wildlife Reserve is the large expanse of grassland plains which is home to a number of wildlife specis including endangered Grevy's Zebra estimated around 150 individuals and small number of Africa Wild Ass, lion and cheetah are also reputedly present.
Other larger mammals include Gerenuk, Salt's Dikdik and Warthog. Notable bird species include Ostrich, Arabian Bustard, Hartulaub's Bustard, Kori Bustard, Grasshopper Buzzard and Carmine Bee-eater can be seen. In the late afternoon drive back to the Doho Lodge to relax the natural hot springs.
Accommodation: Doho Lodge, Awash National Park Meal Plan: Full Board
Early morning depart to Awassa 293 km, via the Great Rift Valley lakes area.
On the way stop by at AbijattaShalla National park, the National Park is a combination of Lakes Abijatta and Shalla, and the land between and around them. Neither lakes have outlets, and the water is alkaline. Lake Abijatta is very shallow (only up to 14 m), while Lake Shalla, in the crater of an extinct volcano, and is very deep (up to 266 m). Three rivers, the Gogessa, Bulbula and Hora Kelo, feed Lake Abijatta. The lake has an area of 19,600 ha, a shoreline of 60 km and was once full of fish, but by 1995, it had shrunk dramatically and no fish-eating birds were seen. Nonetheless, over 400 species have been recorded from the park.
The park is at one of the narrowest parts of the Great Rift Valley. It is a primary migration path for both Pale arctic and African migrants, particularly raptors, flamingos and other water birds. Great White Pelicans, Storks, neon pink Flamingos, Egrets and Herons are often found in the park. You will also see Ostrich in the forests en route to the lakes.
Swinging in the trees, a range of endemic monkeys can be found, such as the friendly Colobus monkey. Most of the wildlife at Abijatta-Shalla is of the bird variety.
After the visit of AbijattaShalla National park you will drive back to Hawassa (Awasa), to spend the night at Haile Resort Awassa owned by the famous athlete and long-distance world record holder. It has situated with magnificent views of Lake Awassa.
After checking in to your hotel, you will drive to Lake Awassa and walk around the Lakeside and visit the colourful fish market ('Amora Gedel'). The main bird species around Lake Awassa are Banded Barbet, Manachite King Fisher, Rufous Necked Wryneck, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Blue-headed Coucal, Giant Kingfisher and Pied Kingfisher.
Accommodation: Haile Resort Awasssa Meal Plan: Full Board
Early in the morning, after breakfast, you will drive from Awassa to Bale Gobaen-route visiting Senkele Game Reserve.
Senkelle Swayne's Hartebeest Sanctuary is located 48km west of Hawassa and 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 and some of the animals are easily spotted. The Hartebeest population is currently estimated at 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 Bale Mountains National park, when you reach at Dinscho you will stop for park entrance fee & permit and continue to drive to the Lodge.
From Dinsho you will continue to driving straight, through Robe, until you reach Goba. From there it is 60km of reasonable dirt road, up and over the Sanetti Plateau, which takes approximately 1:30 hrs to the Lodge, which is located 6km south of the village of Rira, the only settlement on the road.
After check-in at the Lodge, you will have a short break. The Lodge has a superb location from which to explore the forest. Take a walking safari in the company of your guide. You will do 1- 2 hour short walk around the lodge area.
In the evening at the Lodge, you will enjoy a large sunken firepit acts as the focal point of the dining room with fires laid on both sides of the hearth.
Accommodation: Bale Mountains Lodge, Bale Mountains National Park Meal Plan: Full board
In the morning after breakfast, your picnic lunch will be packed, and we will drive to the Sanetti Plateau. The Plateau is home to probably the main attraction of the National Park, a mere forty minutes' drive away from the Lodge.
Here are found numerous families of Ethiopian Wolf is the world's most rarest canid. The Wolf has specially adapted to living on the high altitude plateau and its prey are the abundant rodent populations, many of which are endemic themselves, including the Blix's Grass Rat and the Giant Mole Rat.
It is this population of rodents that also provide sustenance for the population of plateau raptors. The plateau hosts a small population of Golden Eagles and other rare varieties such as Lammergeyers and Long Eared Owls. For bird enthusiasts, the species on the plateau include the most northerly breeding pair of Wattled Cranes, the near-endemic Rouget's Rail, and the endemic Black-Headed Siskin, the kla Lark and Blue Winged Goose.
Visually, the plateau is a mixture of amazing 'moonscapes', of lakes and waterfalls.
Continuing again by car, you will pass Tulu Dimtu or "the Red Mountain" just 4km off the main road. This is the second-highest mountain in Ethiopia at 4,377m. The summit is reachable by car or by foot in under an hour.
As you reach the end of the plateau, you enter the Harenna escarpment, plunging more than 2,000m towards a vast tropical forest in just 8km. Driving down switchback roads, you'll be treated to magnificent views. On returning to the Lodge you will pass through the 'fairy tale' forest of Erica with 'old man's beard', reminiscent of a Grimm's fairy tale. The small village of Rira offers the authentic experience of taking tea, coffee and local food.
Accommodation: Bale Mountains Lodge, Bale Mountains National Park Meal Plan: Full Board
On Day 7 you will drive 250km from Bale Mountains Lodge to Lake Langanoo via Shashemene Town and when you arrive in Lake Langano you will check-in at Sabana Resort. Sabana Beach Resort, it is located on the shores of Lake Langano. The bungalows are situated on a clifftop each with an expansive view of Lake Langano and the Arsi Mountains from a private balcony. The bungalows are built with local materials and their ventilated thatched roof design ensures an ideal room temperature at all times.
At Sabana Beach Resort, you can start your day with the whistling of birds, admiring the sunrise over the lake's horizon right from the room of your clifftop bungalow.
Accommodation: Sabana Beach Resort, Lake Langanoo Meal Plan: Full Board
After a relaxed morning and having lunch at Sabana Resort, Ethiopia Adventure car will come to Lake Lanngano to collect you, and you will drive back to Addis Ababa.
You will arrive in Addis Ababa in the late afternoon where you can do some shopping for souvenirs. Finally, you will be taken to a farewell dinner tradition Ethiopia food and enjoy Folklore music and dance; you will be transferred out to Bole International Airport for return flight back home.
Wildlife species expected to see:
Ethiopian Wolf, Mountain Nyala, Bale Monkey, Menelik’s Bushbuck, Rock hyrax,Beisa Oryx, Desert Warthog, Summering’s Gazelle, Lesser Kudu, Hamadryads Baboon, Olive Baboon, Grivet’s Monkey, Abyssinian Hare, Harar DikDik, Spotted Hyena, Ard Wolf, Bat-Eared Fox, Golden Jackal, African Wild Cat, Swayne’s hartebeest, Olive and hamadryas baboons, colobus and grivet monkeys, Blix’s Grass Rat, Giant Mole Rat, Gerenuk, Salt’s Dikdik and Warthog, Lion, black-backed and golden Jackals, Caracals, Grevy’s Zebra, Africa Wild Ass,Gerenuk, Salt’s Dikdik and Warthog, Bohor, Reedbucks, Greater Kudus, Orbis Antelopes, Spotted Hyenas,
Notable bird species include Ostrich, Arabian Bustard, Hartulaub’s Bustard, Kori Bustard, Grasshopper Buzzard and Carmine Bee-eater, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Abyssinian Roller, Abyssinian Scimitar bill, Arabian 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.
What is included?
- Full board hotel accommodation at best available hotels on a double-room basis.
- All transfer in and transfer out services from the airport.
- All ground transportation with our New Brand Toyota Land cruiser 4WD Car 2020 models. These vehicles have been specially adapted so that passengers view over the driver so they will not miss wildlife sightings. They have enlarged lateral windows for photography.
- Experienced English speaking Wildlife Expert Guide
- 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.
- Village Visit fee
- All entrance fees
- 15 % Government VAT tax
What is not included?
- Domestic & International Flight
- Travel insurance and Visa fee
- Any alcoholic drinks
- Any video camera fee
- Optional safari extensions
- Laundry service
- Tips and any expense of Personal items, internet & telephone
- Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”
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.
The Hotel standard in Ethiopia has shown great progress in the last ten years. For this tour, we carful select the best available and comfortable accommodation located in ideally near to the attractions.
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.
All year round is the best time to travel in Northern part Ethiopian, but from October to the end of January is busy and peak season.