This is a relatively condensed bird watching tour of 10 days which includes many of the places in the southern and eastern part of the country. The drive includes a tour to bird watching destinations of Menagesha Forest , Debre Libanos Monastry, Bale National Park , Yabello Sanctuary, lake Awassa , Lanagano and Africa ’s best spot to see pelicans – the Abijata Shall lake and Wondogenet.
Day 1: Upon arrival in Addis Ababa , Ethiopia , You will be greeted with the traditional Ethiopian hospitality at the airport and transferred to the hotel. (Depending on your arrival time we can arrange afternoon or after hour city tour)
Day 2: Leave Addis Ababa for Awash National Park. This morning we stop at Chalalklaka wetland near Debre-Zeit. The White-backed Duck, Tufted Duck, little stint, Ruff, African Spoon bill, Yellow billed stork, Common and crowned cranes, White-winged Black Tern and others are expect to be seen. Then we will have a short stop at lake Hora for more birding. Lunch will be at Nazerath. After lunch proceeding to Awash, one of the best birding sites in Ethiopian Rift valley. O/n Awash Kereyou Lodge.
Day 3: Drive to Langano, before lunch we will have short stops at Koka Dam ( Awash River Bridge ) for more aquatic and woodland birds. Then, we continue to Lake Ziway where we stop for lunch and an afternoon birding. Lake Ziway is one of the important areas of the Ethiopian Lakes . The Black Heron, Lesser Jacana, African Pygmy Goose, Pink backed and White Pelicans, Crowned Crane, Black-headed Gull, Great-black headed Gull, Verreaux's Eagle Owl, Green Shank, Wood Sandpiper, common and African Snipe, Red breasted Wryneck, Masked Weavers, Beautiful Sunbird and some others would be seen. O/n Langano Bekele Molla.
Day 4: Drive to Wendogenet: Drive to Wondo Genet (There is naturally heated open air pool) set among forested hills. In the gardens of the hotel and juniper Forests behind the hotel, we will see the silvery-cheeked Hornbill, White -cheeked Turaco, Yellow-fronted Parrot, Black-headed Forest Oriole, golden-backed Woodpecker, Red wing Starling, Grosbeak Weaver, Mountain Wagtail and Black-roughing Swallow. We can also see Columbus monkey ,Anubis baboon and Bushbuck. O/N Wondo Genet Lodge
Day 5: Set off for Lake Awassa . The spotted creeper, African pygmy kingfisher, Bruce's Green pigeon, Viloet-backed Starling, Grey Kestrel, Giant Kingfisher, Klaasa's Cuckoo, Tree pipit, Allen's Gallenue, Lesser Moorhen, Painted Snipe, Lesser Swamp Warbler, Grey kingfisher, Banded snake Eagle, the African and common snipe, purple and Goliath Heron, Greater Honey Guide, Grosbeak weover, Red-breasted Wryneck, African Harrier Hawk and Greater spotted Eagle are one of the birds have been recorded in Awassa. O/n Awassa.
Day 6: We drive south towards the border with Kenya , birding along the way. We should reach Yabello by lunch time. We can either set up a fly-tent in the reserve, or stay at a local hotel in town. The general vegetation type is acacia savannah. After lunch we head into the reserve, where in 1996 210 species were recorded, including the White-tailed Swallow and Abyssinian Bush Crow. Other species we can expect to see: Short-tailed Lark, Pringle's Puff-back, Northern Grey Tit, Abyssinian Grosbeak Canary, Somali Sparrow, Black-capped Social Weaver, Grey-headed Silverbill, Magpie Starling, Archers' Greywing, Little Spotted Woodpecker, Little Tawny Pipit, and Donaldson-Smith's and Star-spotted Nightjars.
Day 7: Drive to Shashemene. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Overnight Htl.
Day 8: After breakfast in the hotel we set off for the Bale Mountains National Park , an area of diverse habitats, rich in endemic birds (6 from Ethiopia , 14 including those shared with Eritrea ), animals, trees and plants. It has the largest extent of Afro-Alpine habitat in Africa , and the all weather road that crosses the Sanetti Plateau is the highest on the continent. We stop at Dinsho, HQ of the park, for picnic lunch and will spend some time exploring the area around the HQ as here is found the main concentration of the endemic Mountain Nyala. We can also see the endemic Menelik's Bushbuck, Grey Duiker and Warthog. Birds we can expect to see here (as elsewhere in the park) include the Spot-breasted Plover, Rouget's Rail, Thick-billed Raven, Blue-winged Goose, Abyssinian Long Claw, White-collared Pigeon and Black-winged Love Bird. Dinsho has no tourist class hotels so unless visitors are prepared to camp or share space at the Park Lodge, we push on to Goba and the Wabe Shabelle Hotel.
Day 9: Drive to Sodere. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Overnight Htl.
Day 10: Drive to Addis Ababa . Addis Ababa is located at 2,500 meters above sea level at the footstep of the highest parts of series of Mountain chain. Addis is also the seat of African Union (AU) and many International offices and over 100 Embassies. It enjoys an excellent climate all year round; with an average temperature of 16°C. Addis Ababa is a pleasant city with wide avenues of jacarandas, interesting museums and one of the largest open-air markets in Africa , known as the Merkato. After early breakfast we will visit the National Museum (a multi-collections representing Ethiopia 's past and present image). Among the famous exhibits, the 3.5 million year old skeleton of 'Lucy' is worth visiting. We will also visit the Ethiopian Studies Institute Ethnological museum for it’s extraordinarily collection of the priceless and varied ethnic medley. Then we continue driving up to the mount (over 3000 meters) Entoto, the first seat of Emperor Menelik II before he established Addis Ababa as the capital of Ethiopia in 1886. Visitors will also have the opportunity to visit Trinity Cathedral and Merkato. Along our way we will have the chance to see avenues, squares, obelisks and many places of interests and shopping. Late at night transfer to the Bole International Airport and depart for home.
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