NATIONAL PARKS SAFARIS ETHIOPIA

HIGHLIGHTS, WHERE THEY ARE AND HOW TO VISIT THEM

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ETHIOPIA SAFARI TOURS

ETHIOPIA SAFARI TOURS, ENDEMIC WILDLIFE + CULTURAL MONUMENTS + TRIBAL VISITS. Hosted by charming forester who explored all national parks for Ethiopian Parks Service

Ethiopia Central and Southern Parks & Tribes Safari Tour

Ethiopia safari tours are different from safaris in the traditional safari countries to its south. National parks in Ethiopia are not teeming with wildlife as one often sees on television. Even though most species of wildlife are still present, numbers in Ethiopia are down in all of its parks. Only few species are occur in relatively large numbers, such as buffaloes in Gambella National park, and Zebras in Nechisar National Park.

 

Why consider booking our our Ethiopia Culture & National Parks modules? Because for the same price, our tour gets you to ALL cultural places Ethiopia is so famous for, and on top of that, you get to see up to 12 National Parks/Reserves accompanied by a conservation forester. There is nothing similar on the market. As Ethiopia can be combined with other East African countries, we organize tours in modules. Destinations Overview: Historical Circuit; Danakil Depression; Eathern Route; Simien Mountains; Bale Mountains; Southern Parks Safari; Gambella; Addis Ababa BUT WAIT: if you buy your international ticket with Ethiopia Airlines, they will sell the internal flights at a price that you can't even ride the bus for. But you MUST plan it all in one package and making changes will be very costly. So let us help you plan your entire trip for an incredibly low price!

 

However, what is lacks in numbers, it compensates with extremely rare and endemic mammals and endemic birds. For birdwatching is Ethiopia an El Dorado, with 43 restricted range species and 18 endemic species. The total number of species of birds exceed 860 species of which 596 are residents and 224 are regular migrant species.

 

Ethiopia being one of Africa's most ethinically diverse countries of Africa, one can't just look at nature and ignore the fabulous cultural and ethnic variety of the people of Ethopia.

 

Also the landscapes of Ethiopia are very different from most countries in Africa. While the parks in the south and the west are somewhat similar to parks elsewhere in Africa, the highland parks are very different, as Ethiopia is the only country with significant highland plateaus and high mountain regions. As an extension to this package you can include Bale Mountains National Park module described below.

 

Our Central and Southern Parks and Tribes Safari tour combines Ethiopia's wildlife, birds and living culture in a fascinating itinerary below, or Take me to the descriptions first.

 

ETHIOPIA CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN PARKS & TRIBES SAFARI TOUR

WILDLIFE SAFARIS ETHIOPIA. DISCOVER ETHIOPIAN NATIONAL PARKS with former professional to Ethiopian Park Service

8 days. Price: starting at $890.

Day 1: ADDIS ABABA - AWASSA, ± 275km

  1. Stop at Lake Ziway for watching wetland birds;

  2. Abyjata-Shalla Lakes National Park to watch Ostriches and wetland birds at alkaline Lake Abijatta, including potentially Flamingos;

  3. Senkele Wildlife Sanctuary to watch the Swayne's Hartebeest. In this small nature reserve one almost can see the extremely rare Swayson's Hartebeest of which less than 500 survive in the wild, all in Ethiopia;

  4. Spend the night in Awassa.

 

Day 2: AWASSA - YABELLO, ± 410km

  1. Proposed Megado Podacarpus National Monument to take a look at one of the nicest Podocarpus forests of Ethiopia trees up to more than 1m wide and 35m high.

  2. Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary to see the endemic Stresemann's Bushcrow and White-tailed swallows, Burchell's Zebras and other wildlife.

  3. Spend the night at Yabello Motel.

 

Day 3: YABELLO - KONSO, ± 220km

  1. Konso tribal villages at Mecheke, including Konso tribal king's house. Konso is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site for its traditional landscape with terraces, its uniquely structured villages and huts and for their famous wooden statues;

  2. New York Village, so called after the vertical erosion formations that in the minds of local people look like sky-scrapers. In fact they are hoodoo formations of quartz minerals similar to those in Brice National Park in the USA.

  3. Kanta Lodge, a beautiful brand new lodge in Konso style luxury sleeping cabins and restaurant.

 

Day 4: KONSO - BUSKA LODGE, ± 130km

  1. Drive to Turmi to visit the Hamer People.

  2. Birding at the floodplane of Chelbi Wildlife Reserve

  3. Spend the night at Buska Lodge

 

Day 5:  BUSKA LODGE - JINKA, ± 140km

  1. Early in the morning, drive to the Mursi village in Mago National Park. Mursi women wear clay lip plates that they make from locally dug clay. The men adorn themselves with clay;

  2. game viewing Mago National Park. While wildlife stocks in Mago National Park are down, it is still one of the better places to see extraordinary wildlife;

  3. Sleep at Jinka Resort Hotel.

 

Day 6: JINKA - ARBA MINCH, ± 275km

  1. Long drive until arrival at hotel in Arba Minch, overlooking Nechsar National Park.

  2. If we can get permission from the park we go looking for the mysterious Nechisar Nightjar.

 

Day 7: NETCH SAR PARK AND LAKE CHAMO EXCURSIONS

  1. In the morning drive to Netchsar National Park on the istmus seperating Lake Abaya and Chamo. There still is a herd of the endemic Swayne's hartebeests, Burchell's zebra are very common, greater and lesser kudus are frequently seen, as well as grants gazelle. Out of the more than 180 species of birds recorded, you have a good chance at seeing Secretary bird, Ground hornbill, different species of bustards, etc.

  2. In the afternoon we go on boat ride along the western shore of Lake Chamo to watch African Crocodiles, Hippopotamus and a large variety of wetland birds.

  3. Return to the hotel at night and if permission granted again look for the Nechisar Nightjar.

 

Day 8: ARBA MINCH - ADDIS ABABA, ± 505km

  1. Return to Addis Ababa. Alternatively you have the option to fly back to Addis Ababa at additional costs for the flight, which we would recommend as it is a long ride back to Addis Ababa.

The price of this WILDLIFE SAFARI ETHIOPIA starts at $890 and includes transportation, entry fees, non-alcoholic beverages, tee/coffee at meals, hotels.

 

BALE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK AND

SOF OMAR CAVES

MODULE

SOF OMAR CAVES. DISCOVER ETHIOPIAN NATIONAL PARKS and wildlife with former professional to Ethiopian Park Service

Day 1: AWASSA - GOBA ± 225km

  1. Departure from hotel early in the morning and drive to Bale Mountains National Park entrance Dinsho and watch the Mountain Nyala, as well as other species of wildlife at the Sanetti Plateau;

  2. Spend the night at Goba Wabe-Shebelle hotel or hotel of similar quality.

 

Day 2: BALE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

  1. Spend the day in the park to look for the Ethiopian Wolf, the Giant Mole Rat, Starck's Hare, all endemic mammals. Endemic and special birds include the Wattled Ibis, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Spot-breasted plover**, Rouget’s rail*, just to name a few. The extreme density of rodents makes the park ideal for many birds of prey.

  2. Visit the peak of Mount Tulu Dimtu

  3. Visit a splendid example of a full grown Erica Tree forest covered in thick cushions of mosses and draperies of lichen hair.

  4. Return to hotel in Goba.

 

Day 3a: GOBA - AWASSA ± 225km

  1. Hotel in Awassa

  2. In Awassa, the options are to return to Addis Ababa or to continue on the Ethiopia Central and Southern Parks & Tribes Safari module.

 

Day 3b: GOBA - SOF OMAR CAVES ± 120km

  1. Continue through the park to the Sof Omar Caves at from Goba. The bushes surrounding the caves have the reputation to be the best location to see the extremely rare endemic bird, the Salvadori's Serin. Greater and Lesser Kudu may also be seen. Accommodation in the neighborhood of the caves will be extremely basic.

 

Day 4B:  - AWASSA ±  250km

  1. Hotel in Awassa

  2. In Awassa, the options are to return to Addis Ababa or to continue on the Ethiopia Central and Southern Parks & Tribes Safari module.

 

Costs $240 for 3 days (3a) program. Included: meals, transportation, fees, non-alcoholic beverages, tee/coffee at meals. Minimum number of  passengers is 2.

Costs $320 for 4 days program (3b). Included: meals, transportation, fees, non-alcoholic beverages, tee/coffee at meals. Ask for a group discount.

 

Nature and People

 
The Common Ostrich lives in several of the national parks of Ethiopia, including Mago National Park.

The Maribou Stork may have ugly heads, but they are certainly gracious in their own way and common along the Riff Valley's lakes.

Common Ostriches live in  Abyjata-Shalla Lakes National Park.

   
Swayne's Hartebeest in is a common sight in Senkele Wildlife Sanctuary. Common in the highlands, the Thick-billed Raven is an endemic bird of Ethiopia.

Swayne's Hartebeest in is a common sight in Senkele Wildlife Sanctuary.

Common in the highlands, the Thick-billed Raven is an endemic bird of Ethiopia.

   
Podocarpus forest at Proposed Megado Podacarpus National Monument, Ethiopia Leaves of Podocarpus in Ethiopia.

Podocarpus forest at Proposed Megado Podacarpus National Monument has some of the tallest and widest podocarpus trees in the country.

Leaves of Podocarpus tree in Ethiopia.

   
Stresemann's Bushcrow is an endemic bird in Central South, particularly in Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary. Burchell's Zebras are common in several parks, particularly Nechsar National Park.

The Stresemann's Bushcrow is an endemic bird in Central South, particularly in Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary.

Burchell's Zebras are common in Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary.

   
Konso is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site for its traditional landscape with terraces, its uniquely structured villages and huts and for their famous wooden statues.
Wakas or wagas are statues representing diseased family members at Konso, Ethiopia
Roofs of traditional houses of Konso UNESCO World Heritage Site. Brand new Kanta Lodge in Konso.

Roofs of traditional houses of Konso UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 Brand new Kanta Lodge in Konso.

   
Hamar women near Mago National Park. Hamar girl with locks saturated with fat and red ochre and then twist into dreds.

Girl with locks saturated with fat and red ochre and then twist into dreds.

Their appearance is extremely important to the Hamar People, having spectular hairstyles, for both men and women, so hair grooming is essential to the Hamar's sense of beauty.

   
There are no lodges within the boundaries of Mago National Park, and the closest quality lodge is Buska Lodge. FWD vehicles parking for the night before entering Mago National Park

The Buska Lodge is frequently used for its location near the Hamer town of Turmi.

   

If you visit Southern Ethiopia in February, you will no doubt fall with the Desert Rose, that looks like a miniature Baobab Tree with Rhodondendron leaves and flowers, but to neither of which it is related.

   
Extremely rare worldwide, Grevy's Zebras are still present in Mago National Park

Some hoofed animals are very small, like this common Grey Duiker.

Extremely rare Grevy's Zebras are still present in the park.

   
The Mursi are famous for the women stretching up their underlip to fit a large terracotta disk. Several villages in the park can be visited. The Mursi are famous for the women stretching up their underlip to fit a large terracotta disk, Mago National Park

The Mursi are famous for the women stretching up their underlip to fit a large terracotta disk. Several villages in the park can be visited.

Giant Fig Tree in Nechsar National Park Gradually, new quality lodges are being built in Ethiopia.

Giant Fig Tree grove in Nechsar National Park.

Terrace at hotel in Arba Minch, overlooking Nechsar National Park.

An often heard question is, what season is better? The wet season or the dry season. The answer is that both have advantages and disadvantages. During the wet season, the landscape is lush green but not all roads are passable. During the dry season, wildlife is better visible among the bushes.

Nechisar in the wet season with flowers but less wildlife visibility Nechisar in the dry season without flowers or green, but better wildlife visibility.

Nechisar in the wet season with flowers but less wildlife visibility.

Nechisar in the dry season without flowers or green, but better wildlife visibility.

 

 

Cheetahs still occur in Eastern Ethiopia. The "Black" Maned Lion was the symbol of the Ethiopian crown.

Large predators still populate the parks of Ethiopia, although not in great numbers. The "Black" Maned Lion was the symbol of the Ethiopian crown. Cheetahs still occur in the Southern parks of Ethiopia Ethiopia including Nechsar National Park as well as in Bale Mountains National Park.

   
Hippos occur in quite a few lakes and rivers in Ethiopia. You have a good chance at spotting them in the outlet of Lake Tana into the Blue Nile. African Crocodiles can also be found in many of the rivers and lakes of Ethiopia.

Hippos occur in quite a few lakes and rivers in Ethiopia. You will almost always see them in Lake Chamo.

African Crocodiles can also be found in many of the rivers and lakes of Ethiopia. A good place is in Nechsar, Lake Chamo near the former crocodile farm.

   

Bale Mountains extension module

The Bale Mountains module usually departs from Awassa. From there is takes you to the parks headquarters, where the night can be spent in cabins or in the new Bale Mountains Lodge. The next day will be spent in the higher part of the park and the night will be spent again in the same location. The next day return to Awassa to spend the night, after which the Ethiopia Central and Southern Parks & Tribes Safari Tour will be followed as described above. For details and different options, click on Bale Mountains National Park Tour.

 

Giant Erica Trees in Bale National Park, covered with moss. Ethiopian Wolf in Bale National Park

Giant Erica Trees in Bale National Park, covered with moss.

Ethiopian wolfs are a common sighting in Bale National Park.

   
The Mountain Nyala, can be frequently seen in Bale National Park Giant Tuber Passion Flower, Ethiopia.

The Mountain Nyala, can be frequently seen in Bale National Park.

Giant Tuber Passion Flower, Ethiopia.

Ethiopia Safari Tours & Lodges

Not all places in Ethiopia are accessible from quality lodges and at times one needs to be willing to accept somewhat lesser accommodations and such inconveniences as power outages on our Ethiopia Safari Tours. Nevertheless, every year new tourism infrastructure is opened and travel conditions and hotels improve.

   

Ethiopia modernizes and changes more rapidly than any other country in Africa. Many features may not be there anymore in the near future. If you want to see it the way it was for thousands of years, see it now before it has changed forever! Compose your own once-in-a-lifetime Ethiopia-Africa-Adventure from our affordable modules:

Famous Ethiopia Historical Circuit

Simien Mountains trek or car visit

Danakil Depression and Erte Ale Volcano Expedition

Awash Babile Harar Safari Tour

Ethiopia Central and Southern Parks & Tribes Safari Tour

Bale Mountains National Park and Sof Omar Caves Tour

Gambella National Park Safari

Addis Ababa City Tour & Airport Transfer

All Ethiopia modules and prices together

We designed our itineraries in such a way that you can compose a 2 to 4 weeks journey from different modules that can show you the entire country or just the parts that interest you, all depending on your personal preferences, available time and budget. Email us on your interests and we can discuss a custom program with you by phone (we have phone lines from the USA and Europe) or skype. So, weather you have a great ethnic affinity, are a birdwatcher or want to go on safari, contact us and we work out a customized program that focuses on YOUR interests.

Blue Nile Falls, EthiopiaSt. George Church, LalibelaStellas, Axum, EthiopiaTukuls, Lalibela, EthiopiaElephant bull, Babile, EthiopiaEthiopian Wolf, Bale National Park

Gelada, Simien Mountains National ParkFacilides Bathroom, Gondar, EtiopiaWabia Ibex, Simien MountainsChurch, Lake Tana, EthiopiaErica trees, Bale Mountains National Park.Facilides Castle, Gondar, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is home of Ethiopian Airlines, featuring Africa's youngest fleet of the latest intercontinental jet airplanes - including 2 Dreamliners - as well as short-distance Bombardier turboprops for very comfortable, affordable and reliable in-country flights servicing all major cities of Ethiopia. The second best airline of Africa, will fly you non-stop from the USA and Europe to Addis Ababa. Take our 1-week Ethiopia Cultural Monuments Tour and than continue for your Kenya or Tanzania safari - or any other East African capital - thus completing your journey. IF YOU BUY YOUR INTERNATIONAL TICKET FROM ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES, YOU WILL GET MOST INTERNAL FLIGHTS FOR $25 - $35 PER LEG! BUT CHANGING AFTERWARDS IS EXPENSIVE, SO WORK OUT A SCHEDULE WITH US TO GET A FABULOUS DEAL FOR FLYING THROUGH THE COUNTRY IN STEAD OF SPENDING ENDLESS TIME ON THE ROAD!!!

 
 

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