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Monday, 07 July 2014 09:19

Birding around the rift valley Lakes, Wondo Genet and the Bale Mountains

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Day 1: Arrive Addis Ababa and transfer to Ghion Hotel.

Day 2: After breakfast birding in the hotel compound that has White backed Black Tit, Warbler, Blue-collar pigeon, pied crow, Mouse bird etc. After lunch in the hotel we leave for Geferssa reservoir 20 Kilometers west of Addis Ababa where one can see the Blue winged Goose, Black headed Siskin, Abyssinian Long Claw, Wattled ibis, sacred ibis, Hammer kop etc. Return to Addis Ababa early in the evening. O/N Ghion Hotel.

Day 3: We leave Addis Ababa early in the morning heading south to the Rift Valley; we will be birding along the main road stopping at Koka Dam, Awash River and then at Lake Ziway, where Yellow billed storks, Marabou stork, Collared Pratincoles, lesser Jacanas, African Jacanas, Cattle egret, African Fish Eagles Crowned and Common Cranes are some of the species to be seen here in large number. After lunch we leave Ziway to Lake Langano for an overnight in the Sabana Resort Hotel Situated on the Shores of the Lake.

Day 4: After breakfast we drive to Abijata-shalla lakes national park. Passing the tame ostriches at the gate, we first go to Lake Shalla the deepest of all the Ethiopian Rift valley lakes. This lake is the breeding ground of birds since it has islands. Then drive to lake Abyata the feeding ground of birds since it is rich in aquatic life and where one can see thousands of both lesser and greater Flamingos, Africa Pochard Avocet, Gull billed Tern and pintail Ruff, Greater white pelican, and a variety of ducks are among other species to be seen. Then, we leave to Lake Awassa and check into Wabi-Shebelle hotel. Lake Awassa is rich in bird life; Black Winged Lovebirds, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Bare Faced Go away birds, Greater cormorants, Storks, Ducks are some of the species to be seen. O/N Wabi-Shebele Hotel.

Day 5: Before breakfast we go to the fish market where we can get really close to birds, which used to accompany human for the fish offal that may be thrown. After breakfast in the hotel we leave for Wondo Genet, about an hour’s drive. Wondo Genet one of the strong holds of forests in the country and where a Field Gene Bank is established has a therapeutic hot mineral springs and naturally heated swimming pool in a lush, forested mountain setting. After lunch, we will climb through the captivating juniper forest where the endemic Yellow fronted parrot, the Black headed Forest Oriole and the Abyssinian Golden-backed Wood-pecker can be seen, along with the Red winged starling, Grosbeak weaver, mounting wagtail etc. O/N Wabi-Shebelle Hotel.

Day 6: Full day birding in the forest around Wondo Genet. O/N Hotel.

Day 7: We set off early for the magnificent Bale Mountains National park (BMNP), with its forests, volcanic lakes and trout filled streams. About 14 endemic birds have been recorded here, plus some endemic mammals like the mountain Nyala, Ethiopian wolf and Menelik’s bushbuck. In the BMNP we expect to see the following endemic birds: the spot breasted plover, Roget’s Rail, Abyssinian cat bird, Black headed Siskin, Blue winged Goose, Wattled Ibis, White collared pigeon and Black Winged love bird. Other no-endemic birds and animals can also be seen. We stop at Dinsho on the way, and arrive in Goba late afternoon. O/N Goba Wabi- Shebelle Hotel.

Day 8: Full day birding on the amazing Afro-Alpine setting of the senate plateau, home to the endemic Ethiopian Wolf and Giant mole rat, and among the birds the beautiful spot- breasted plover, Blue winged goose, Wattled ibis, Harwood francolin, Lammergeier, Auger buzzard etc. We should also be able to see the rare wattled crane. After Picnic lunch and more sites seeing, drive to Goba late in the afternoon. O/N Hotel.

Day 9: We set off back to the Lakes region, arriving at Sabana Resort Hotel, Lake Langano in the afternoon, and spend the remaining time of the day birding along the shores of the Lake. O/N Sabana Resort Hotel.

Day 10: After early breakfast morning birding by the cliff nests to the lake, and we leave for Awash National park (ANP). Over 350 species of bird have been recorded in this savanna grass land including: the Abyssinian roller, Abyssinian Ground Horn bill, Wire tailed swallow, Buff crested Bustard, Dark chanting Goshawk, pygmy Falcon, Honey guide, Woodland Kingfisher, Kori bustard, Black shouldered Kite, White Crowned and Helmet shrikes, Swallow-tailed Kite, Rosy patch shrike, Carmine bee eater, Orange billed parrot, Lilac Breasted Roller, Lappet faced and Ruppell’s Vultures, Helmeted guinea fowl, Yellow billed horn bill etc. We will also see different animals, including Greater and Lesser Kudus, Warthog; Black backed jackal, Grivet monkey, Anubis baboon, Sommering’s gazelle, crocodiles and (sometimes) lions. O/N Genet Hotel.

Day 11: Full day birding in the park, including a trip to the filweha (hot spring), shaded by Palm trees. O/N Hotel.

Day 12: Return to Addis Ababa, stopping at Kuriftu Resrt and Spa in Debre Zeit for lunch and birding, arriving Addis Ababa late afternoon.

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