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Ethiopia National Parks.

Ethiopia’s National Parks:  Explore the historic splendour.  Awash National Park, is home to the Fantalle Volcano and diverse wildlife, the untouched wilderness of Mago National Park. The savannah grasslands are home to a variety of wildlife species, adventure in Gambela National Park. The Baro River area offers a true African safari experience with a unique Ethiopian touch. The breathtaking beauty of Simien Mountain National Park, a plateau rich in natural wonders. Explore the diverse landscapes and unique wildlife of stunning Ethiopian destinations.

Few nations, if any, can boast the historic splendour of Ethiopia. Evidence of its extraordinary past is everywhere, from its rock-hewn churches. Still places of living worship to its ancient historical traditions and magnificent cultures. Ethiopia is a nation of surprises, full of diversity and contrast, from the ancient to the modern. Legend has it that Emperor Menelik I, the son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, brought the Ark of the Covenant from Jerusalem to Axum. This is where he settled and established one of the world’s longest-known, uninterrupted monarchical dynasties.

 

National parks.

Awash National Park.

Awash National Park is the oldest and most developed wildlife reserve in Ethiopia. Featuring the 1,800-metre Fantalle Volcano, extensive mineral hot springs, and extraordinary volcanic formations. This natural treasure is bordered to the south by the Awash River. It lies 225 kilometres east of the capital, Addis Ababa. The wildlife consists mainly of East African plains animals, but there are now giraffes, buffalo, or Kudu, and 450 species of birds all living within the park’s 720km².

Mango National Park.

East of the Omo River and stretching south towards the Chew Bahir basin lies the Mago National Park, rich in wildlife and with few human inhabitants. The vegetation is mainly savannah grassland and bush, extending across an area of 2,160km². Mammal species total 81, including hartebeest, giraffe, roan antelope, elephant, lion, leopard, and perhaps even a rare black rhino.

Gambela National Park.

The Baro River area, accessible by land or air through the western Ethiopian town of Gambela, remains a place of adventure and challenge. Travelling across the endless undulating plains of high Sudanese grass, visitors can enjoy a sense of achievement in just finding their way. This is Ethiopia’s true tropical zone, and here all the elements of the African safari are found, enhanced by a distinctly Ethiopian flavour.

Siemen Mountain National Park.

The Simien Mountain massif is a broad plateau, cut off to the north and west by an enormous single crag over 60km long. To the south, the tableland slopes gently down to 2,200 metres, divided by gorges 1,000 metres deep, which can take more than two days to cross. Twenty kilometres north-east of Gondar, this Ethiopian National Park, Simien Mountains National Park covers 179km² of highland area at an average elevation of 3,300 metres. Ras Dashen, at 4,620 metres, the highest peak in Ethiopia, stands adjacent to the park. The Simien escarpments, which are often compared to the Grand Canyon in the United States of America, have been adopted by Unesco as a World Heritage Site.

Omo National Park.

Far to the southwest lies Omo National Park, the largest in the country, with an area of 4,068 square kilometres. The vast expanse of true wilderness, adjacent to the Omo River. It flows southward into Lake Turkana and is one of the richest and least-visited wildlife sanctuaries in eastern Africa. It is one of Ethiopia’s national parks.

Ethiopia has many rivers, and a visit to this part of the Rift Valley, studded with lakes, volcanoes, and savannah grassland, offers the visitor a true safari experience. Abundant wildlife, spirited rapids, innumerable side creeks and waterfalls, sheer inner canyons, and hot springs all combine to make the Omo one of the world’s classic river adventures. The season for rafting is between September and October when the river is still high from the June to September rains but the weather is drier.

Ethiopia is often referred to as the ‘water tower’ of eastern Africa because of the many rivers that pour off its high tableland. A visit to this part of the Rift Valley, studded with lakes, volcanoes, and savannah grassland. It offers the visitor a true safari experience. Abundant wildlife, spirited rapids, innumerable side creeks and waterfalls, sheer inner canyons, and hot springs. All combine to make the Omo one of the world’s classic river adventures. The season for rafting is between September and October when the river is still high from the June to September rains but the weather is drier.

Bale Mountains National Park.

The Bale Mountains, with their vast moorlands on the lower reaches covered with St. John’s wort. It has an extensive heathland, virgin woodlands, pristine mountain streams, and an alpine climate, remains an untouched and beautiful world. Rising to a height of more than 4,000 metres, the range borders Ethiopia’s southern highlands. The highest peak, Mount Tullu Deemtu, stands at 4,377 metres. The establishment of the 2,400-square-kilometre Bale Mountains National Park was crucial to the survival of the mountain nyala, Menelik’s bushbuck and the Simien red fox.

This fox is one of the most colourful members of the dog family and is more abundant here than anywhere else in Ethiopia’s National Parks. All three endemic animals thrive in this environment, with the nyala in particular often being seen in large numbers. The Bale Mountains offer some fine high-altitude horseback and foot trekking. The streams of the park, which become important rivers further downstream, are well-stocked with rainbow and brown trout.

Nech Sar National Park

Nech Sar National Park also consists of grasslands, savannahs, mountains, and hills. Major attractions include the “Crocodile Market” located on the shores of Lake Chamo and the groundwater forest. This is the only one in Eastern Africa with hot springs.

The diversity of habitats within the park provides the birder with splendid opportunities to see a vast array of Ethiopia’s spectacular avifauna. As in this case, the Nech Sar National Park has 273 species. Of these, 21 are endemic to north-east Africa, with the thick-billed raven only occurring within Ethiopia. Nech Sar Nightjar is only known to occur within the park. There are over 72 species of mammals, including the large mammals lion, zebra, and gazelle. The forest is home to the park’s primates, including the Anubis baboon, grivet, vervet monkeys, and the beautiful black and white mantled guereza. It is one of the most recommended national parks for birders in Ethiopia.

Abijata Shalla Lakes National Park

One of the country’s most I.B.A. (Important Bird Areas), with the highest wetland bird diversity, is found in the centre of the Ethiopian Great Rift Valley. A National Park sprawls over an area of 887 km2 of which 482 km2 is covered by water. The lakes are Lake Abijata, Lake Shalla, and Lake Chitu.  The area has feeding grounds and breeding islands, as well as the unique scenery rendered by its three lakes: Abijata, Shalla, and Chitu. Lake Shalla serves as a breeding site, whereas Lake Abijata serves as a feeding site for birds. In addition, ASLNP has immense natural resources in its wetlands and terrestrial ecosystems. Holds various species of wild animals, including the birds of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The existence of high bird species diversity in the area makes the park one of the unique biodiversity hotspots.

Wildlife: Grant’s gazelle, Oribi, Warthog, Greater kudu, Anubis baboon, Gureza, klipspring, Grivet and golden Jackel

Birds:  Ostrich, Pied avocet, White Pelican, Great and Lesser Flamingos, African Fish Eagle, Egyptian goose, various plover species, herons, flycatchers, barbets, bee-eaters, and starlings

This Park is home to three Great Rift Valley lakes and serves as a home to many water birds. Lake Shalla is the deepest lake in Africa (266 m). There are also hot springs.

Chebera Churchura National Park

This Ethiopian national park is a unique and diverse national park consisting of a mountain cloud forest, tall-grassed savannah habitat, and thick woodland forest. Hot and cold springs and historical caves are also found in the area. The park is one of the best-preserved areas in the country for elephants and buffaloes. “Trekking the African Forest Elephants” Trekking is much closer to wild elephants than anywhere else in Ethiopia. The park is not only a home for this forest of African big mammals. It is also rich in diversity of flora and fauna.

Wildlife: Elephant, Hippopotamus, African buffalo, lion, leopard, wild dog, spotted hyena and warthog

Birds: White-winged cliff chat, Banded-barbet, Wattled ibis, Black-headed Forest Oriole and Thick-billed Raven

Alitash National Park

 Undulating savannah plains interrupted by valleys, streams, scattered hills, and seasonal wetlands make this national park a great destination. A visit to Alitash also offers the chance to observe rich cultural interactions and historical sites. The park is bordered by the Dinder National Park of Sudan. It holds the ideal site for an ecological corridor for wildlife conservation, transboundary tourism, and ecotourism. Above and beyond the affluence of flora and fauna, it is also enriched with historical, cultural, and traditional attractions.

Kafta Shiraro National Park

Bordering Eritrea to the north, Kafta Shiraro National Park is one of a few areas in Ethiopia that conserve elephants. Furthermore, over 20,000 Demoiselle Cranes winter within the park, the only place in Ethiopia where they can be spotted.

One of the country’s elephant ranges is situated at the northern tip of the country, bordered by Eritrea. Kafta Shiraro National Park is decorated with arid-land plant species, a riverine forest, savanna grassland, and palm trees.  The park harbours unique populations of several nationally and globally conserved species, such as the endangered African elephant. In addition to the African elephant, the park possesses several conservation concerns and economically important faunal and floral species. This includes the only known population in Ethiopia of red-fronted gazelle and one of the two populations of roan antelope occurring in the country. KSNP is also the only site in Ethiopia’s national parks where several bird species have been known, such as the Demoiselle Crane.

WildlifeElephant, Red-fronted gazelle, Greater Kudu, Roan Antelope, Water back.

Birds: Meyer’s (Brown) Parrot, Abyssinian Roller, Demoiselle Crane, Egyptian Plover, different species of Sand grouse birds

Geralle National Park

Geralle National Park was primarily established as a national park in Ethiopia to conserve endangered wildlife species. Those included gerenuks, giraffes, and elephants. Over 42 mammals and 250 bird species are known to occur. The park consists of savanna, woodlands, and open shrublands.

Wildlife: Elephant, Gerenuk, Greater and Lesser Kudu, Beisa Oryx, Grant Gazelle.

Birds: White-tailed Swallow, White-winged Dove, Juba weaver, Black-fronted francolin

 

Wildlife Reserve.

Alledighe National Park

Known for its magnificent endless plains decorated with acacia trees and hot springs. The AWR is made up of lowland areas of the Great Rift Valley. Mount Asebot is the dense forest mountain where the oldest Asebot Monastery is situated. It has historic and spiritual endowments. It has recognition within Ethiopian national parks.

Alledighe Wildlife Reserve (AWR) is an outstanding open grassland area. It has a breathtaking landscape, wonderful weather, and perfectly unique wildlife. The AWR is found in the Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia. It consists of the largest expanse of grassland plains with the highest mountain peak, which measures 2,506 m and is situated on the eastern edge of the Great Rift Valley.

Wildlife:  Basi Oryx, Grant gazelle, Gerenuk, Soemmering gazelle, Gravy Zebra, Lion, Leopard, Black-Backed Jackal and

Birds: Ostrich, Kori bustard, Arabian bustard, Black-headed Lapwing, Little Egret

 

Sanctuaries.

Senkelle Swayne’s Hartebeest Sanctuary

Spectacular views of the Lalima and Borena hills. It is small in size, and the open terrain makes it a place in Ethiopia where Swayne’s hartebeest sightings are guaranteed.

The home of the endemic Swayne’s heartbeest is situated 305 km south of Addis Ababa. It was primarily created for the conservation of the endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest. The sanctuary is now home to 36 mammals and 191 bird species, three of which are endemic to Ethiopia. It entails scepticism to hear that Swayne’s Hartebeest is a member of the Hambentu clan of the Oromo.

Wildlife: Swayne’s Hartebeest, Bohor Reedbuck, Oribi, Leopeard, Greater Kudu.

 

Babile Elephant Sanctuary, ” Land of Giants”

Designed to protect a native elephant sub-species, this sanctuary is lined with Jurassic limestone scenery.

The Sanctuary is the only elephant sanctuary in Africa, established to conserve one of the biggest land animal species in the world. It is the largest conservation area in the country. The area is covered with different higher plant species, most of which are indigenous to the country.  Besides the giant land mammals—elephants—the sanctuary is also decorated with scenic Jurassic limestone nature art.

The Babille Elephant Sanctuary (BES), situated in the eastern part of Ethiopia, encompasses approximately 6,982 km2 of the extensive Somali-Masai Biome.  The elephant population at BES is the last remaining easternmost population in the Horn of Africa. Besides its relic elephant population, this site also harbours other significant fauna and flora. Recent reports indicate that there are about 30 species of mammals and not less than 191 species of birds in the area. Together with Gara-Muleta Mountain, BES also forms a significant section of the watershed for the Wabi-Shebele River Basin.

 

Community Conservation Areas.

Abune Yoseph, Zigite and Abuhay gariya Community Conservation Area

“The Nature, Culture, Historic and Technology Destination”  

The Abune Yoseph Massif is one of the country’s most I.B.A. (Important Bird Areas). It measures 4,284 m, the country’s third highest point. Abune Yoseph, Zigit, and Abohoy massifs have afro-alpine flora and fauna. The Cordial community’s historic rock-hewn churches of St. Lalibela. One of the country’s satellite technology sites. Imagine all of these are found in one place.

Menz-Guasa Community Conservation Area

Guasa has been conserved in a traditional resource management system since the 17th century. This is known as the oldest sub-Saharan management system. Experience our worlds of incredible biodiversity, endemic mammal destinations, and cottages constructed in indigenous architectural design and traditions.

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