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Ethiopia, 17 days

Ethiopia is one of the most diverse countries in Africa with regards to culture, geography, nature and wildlife. Our tour takes us to 3 national parks and several wildlife reserves. We explore the Rift Valley lakes, the Afro-Alpine Highlands, savannahs, lush forests and deserts in search of endemic and regional endemic birds, mammals and other wildlife.

We visit Geffersa Reservoir and Jemmu Gorge around Addis for many exciting birds among them Wattled Ibis and Rüppell's Chat. We continue to Lake Langano and stop at various wetlands and Lake Ziway on the way. We explore the Abiyata-Shalla National Park to see thousands of flamingos and Wondo Genet National Forest for Yellow-fronted Parrot and other endemics. We spend 2 days in the Bale Mountains National Park visiting the Sanetti Plateau in quest of Spot-breasted Plover and Rouget's Rail and Harenna Forest. We drive south visiting Genale River in search of Ruspoli's Turaco and spend some time on the Liben Plain in search of Sidamo and Gillett's Lark. We spend a day in Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary to see Stresemann's Bush-Crow and White-tailed Swallow. Then we drive north exploring Lake Awassa and Awash National Park. On the way back to Addis if time permits we visit Fantele Crater to see Boran Cisticola among others.





Fact File

- 15 birding days in Ethiopia

- start and finish in Addis Ababa

- 8 accommodations


- 400-500 bird species expected

- many endemic and near-endemic birds and mammals

- birding in typical east African and unique Afro-alpine habitats

- big game photography opportunities

- 3 National Parks explored: Abyata-Shalla, Bale, Awash

- superb scenery


2 nights in Addis Ababa

2 nights at Lake Langano

1 night in Wondo Genet

2 nigts in Goba at Bale NP

2 nights in Negele

2 nights in Yabello

1 night at Lake Awassa

2 nights at Awash NP

Departure Dates


Ask for the actual price.

Our price includes:

- all travel within the country as noted in the itinerary;

- all accommodation based on shared rooms (most rooms are twin bedded), at most locations there are single rooms as well for extra charge (Please ask for a single room at the time of booking!);

- 3 meals per day, generally breakfast at the accommodation, packed lunch, dinner (consists of at least two courses);

- services of the leader(s);

- trip materials.

Not included:

- flights to and from Addis Ababa

- optional programmes to places of interest and entrance fees involved;

- airport and other departure taxes, tips;

- food beyond generally 3 meals/day mentioned in the itineraries;

- excess baggage charges;

- telephone calls;

- alcoholic beverages;

- compulsory personal insurance.

If you have questions about the inclusion of any cost item, please contact us.

Activity level

Moderate walks, sometimes steep slopes

Some longer drives expected





We depart from London to Ethiopia and spend the night on board.


We arrive to Addis Ababa in the morning. First we drive to our hotel and after a bit of relaxing we explore the extensive birding grounds of the capital where we expect to see Sacred Ibis, Nyanza Swift, Tacazze Sunbird, Thick-billed Raven and Abyssinian Slaty Flycatcher. In the afternoon we leave for the Geffersa Reservoir, which supports Blue-winged Goose, Black-headed Siskin, Wattled Ibis, White-collared Pigeon and Abyssinian Longclaw.


We drive north and passing through the Sululta Plain we might see Black-winged Plover, White-winged Cliff-chat, Erlanger's Lark and Red-chested Swallow. On arrival at Debre Libanos, we stop at Jemmu gorge, which supports seven endemics. Here we expect to see Lammergeier, Rüppell's Griffon, Verreaux's Eagle, Erckel's Francolin, White-billed Starling, Black-winged Lovebird and Rüppell's Chat.


We leave Addis Ababa heading south for the main Ethiopian Rift. First we stop at the Akaki Wetlands to search for Black-crowned and Wattled Crane. Our next destination is at Chelekleka Marsh and Lake Hora where African Darter, Maccoa Duck, Hottentot Teal, Southern Pochard can be found. Our next stop is at Koka Dam, an important site for many waterbirds including Black Crowned Crane and Lesser Flamingo. Then we arrive at Lake Ziway, where we expect to see Marabou, African Fish-Eagle, Black Crake and other birds attracted by the fisheries. We also look for Lesser Moorhen, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Shelley's Starling and Salvadori's Weaver. We leave Ziway to reach Lake Langano. Our hotel offers good birding with Little Rock-thrush, Banded Barbet, Mocking Cliff-chat, White-winged Black Tit, Black-winged Lovebird, Steel-blue Wydah and Abyssinian Ground-hornbill..


In the morning we bird on the shores of Lake Langano. In the afternoon we move to Bishangari forest to search for Golden-backed Woodpecker, Narina Trogon, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Verreaux's Eagle-owl and White-winged Cliff-chat.


After breakfast we drive to Abiyata-Shalla National Park. Lake Abiyata is home to thousands of Lesser and Greater Flamingos. In the afternoon we reach Wondo Genet. We explore the forest, where Yellow-fronted Parrot, Black-headed Forest Oriole, Abyssinian Slaty-Flycatcher and Brown Saw-wing live.


After a morning birding we head to Bale Mountains National Park. The park is the best place in Ethiopia for endemic and rarely seen birds. We stop at Dinsho, the HQ of the park to spend some time looking for the endemic Mountain Nyala and Menelik's Bushbuck. We expect to see Spot-breasted Plover, Rouget's Rail, Thick-billed Raven, Blue-winged Goose, Abyssinian Longclaw, White-collared Pigeon and Cape Eagle-owl on the way. Then we reach Goba where we spend 2 nights.


A full day will be spent on the Sanetti plateau, where we should also be able to see Wattled Crane, Abyssinian Catbird, Black-headed Siskin, Slender-billed Starling, Brown Parisoma, Abyssinian Woodpecker and Lammergeier. We hope to see Simien Wolf, the rarest wolf in the world. Later we arrive to the Harenna Escarpment, from where we will have an astonishing view over the giant forest 2000 m below.


We depart early to reach a dry wadi on the Genale River, home to Ethiopia's most sought-after endemic, Prince Ruspoli's Turaco. In the late afternoon we arrive in Negele where we spend two nights.


We visit the Liben Plains east of Negele, to which the endemic Sidamo Lark is restricted. We search for this special bird and with luck we should also find Coqui Francolin, Kori and Black-bellied Bustards, Temminck's Courser and Somali Short-toed Lark. The surrounding dry woodland and thorn savanna support Boran and Tiny Cisticolas, Golden Pipit, Mouse-coloured Penduline-tit, Red-and-yellow Barbet, Taita Fiscal, Northern White-crowned Shrike, Golden-breasted, Shelley's and White-crowned Starlings, Somali Crow, Somali Golden-breasted Bunting and Northern Grosbeak-canary, Gillett's Lark, Grey-headed and Red-naped Bush-shrikes.


We drive towards Yabello to arrive there in the afternoon. On the way we stop at the Dawa River to search for the range restricted African White-winged Dove, Black-bellied Sunbird and Juba Weaver. In Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary we expect to see Stresemann's Bush-Crow and White-tailed Swallow.


We spend a day in the Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary where target birds will include Red-naped and Rosy-patched Bush-shrike, White-crowned Starling and White-bellied Bustard. Other birds here include Somali and Heuglin's Courser, Taita Fiscal, Chestnut Sparrow, Straw-tailed Wydah, Foxy Lark, Bare-eyed Thrush, Pringle's Puffback, Grey-capped and Black-capped Social Weavers and White-bellied Canary.


After a morning birding we drive back to Lake Awassa where we hope to find Red-breasted Wryneck, Spotted Creeper, Allen's Gallinule, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Banded Barbet, Blue-headed Coucal and Eastern Honeybird.


After a morning visit to the fish market of Awassa we set off to Awash National Park. In the park we expect to see many ungulates, including Beisa Oryx, Salt's Dikdik, Soemmering's Gazelle and Swayne's Hartebeest, as well as Spotted and Striped Hyaenas. The bird list of the park includes Somali Ostrich, Pygmy Falcon, Kori and Buff-crested Bustard, Two-banded Courser, Spotted Thick-knee, Yellow-breasted Barbet, Orange-bellied Parrot, Lilac-breasted Roller, Yellow-throated Serin, Singing Bushlark, Red-winged and Gillett's Lark, Ashy Cisticola and Somali Fiscal.


We spend another day in Awash National Park to look for the specialities. If we get permission we do a night drive in the park in search of Slender-tailed and Plain Nightjar, Heuglin's and Violet-tipped Courser and jackals.


In the morning we visit Fantele Crater to look for Sombre Rock-Chat and Blackstart. Then we return to Addis stopping en route in suitable habitats to add a few extra birds. The afternoon activities in Addis are optional. Then we have a farewell dinner in a local restaurant before we depart for the airport for our late night flight.


We arrive back to London.