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Day 1: Leave early and drive north through the Sululta plain to Debre Libanos and the Jemma River Gorge. Debre Libanos is an important monastic center for Ethiopian Orthodox Christians established in the 13th century. On arrival at Debre Libanos, we will first stop at the viewpoint of the alluring Zegawodeb River gorge and Jemma from distance. The Jemma River is one of the tributaries of the Nile, and there is a drop of elevation nearly 1000meters from the general level to the valley. Here at the gorge, and in the forest around the church we can expect to see the Banded Barbet, the Black headed forest oriole, the White billed starling, Red winged starling, the White winged cliff chat, the white backed black tit, white cheeked Turaco, Lammergeyer, Ruppell’s s and Lappet faced vultures etc and we will also see one of Ethiopia‘s endemic mammals, the Gelada baboon.We will leave Debre Libanos to Addis Ababa .O/N Ghion Hotel.

Day 2: We get off early in the morning with a picnic lunch to Akaki wetlands that are great for aquatic birds like; Shovelers, Avocets, Flamingos, Gull Billed Terms, Spur Winged Geese, Wintering Common cranes, Wattled Ibis and the Black Winged Poker, etc. can be seen. Then, we return to Addis Ababa late in the afternoon.

Monday, 07 July 2014 09:13

Bird Watching

Ethiopia’s Rift Valley lakes, highland massift, lowlands and semi-deserts provide the varried terrain to support an amazing variety of Birds. The country’s position and terrain has enabled the evolution of many birds of the region into unique forms and species. Ethiopia boasts 857 bird species, of the world 9,500 species 10% of the world bird species lives and found in Ethiopia, of which 30 are considered Endemic. 


Bird Watching is your life time ticket to the theater of the Nature. So bird watching can be organized at different places as per the request of the client.

Abiyyata and Shalla Park
It was created primarily for its aquatic bird life, particularly those that feed and breed on lakes Abijatta and Shalla in Large numbers. The park compresses the two lakes, the isthmus between them and a thin strip of land along the shorelines of each. Developments have been limited to a number of tracks on land, and the construction of seven outposts. While attention is focused on the water birds the land area does contain a reasonable amount of other wildlife.

Lake Abijatta: Fresh water flows into it trough the small Horakello stream. The steam mouth is a source of relatively fresh water, much frequented by water birds for drinking and bathing. The Lake is surrounded by gentle, grass covered slopes and acacia woodlands. 

Lake Shalla: By contrast surrounded as it is by steep, black cliffs and peaks that reflect in its waters, is the deepest lake of the Rift valley 260meters (853 feet). It is exceptionally beautiful, with shores that give a scent of mystery with their hot sulphurous springs that bubble up and flow into the lake.

There are over 400 bird species recorded here almost half the number recorded for the whole country. Although the islands in Lake Shalla are a real birds paradise, the birds fly to Lake Abijatta to feed. Abijatta itself is very alkaline but shallow, so flamingoes can be seen scattered over most of its surface, and especially along the windward edge where their algal food source concentrates. You can approach quite closely, but beware of treacherous deep and mud if the lake is low. Large numbers of flamingos gather here, together with great white pelicans and a wide variety of other water birds. 
Besides of the rich Bird life, some mammals can be spotted at the Lake Abijatta-Shalla National Park, especially Grant's gazelle, Oribi warthog and the golden Jackal.

Hot springs: The headquarters houses a small museum which gives an excellent idea of the wealth of bird life in the park. A further track leads on from dole to the shores of Lake Shalla where hot steam mud and water bubble to the earth's surface. Revered locally for their medicinal properties the hot springs have a sense of primeval myustery about them, especially in the cooler early mornings. They are relics of the massive volcanic activity that has formed this amazing country and landscape.

Awash Park
The birds of Awash Park are numerous; over 450 species are recorded for the park: (The check list is available at the museum at park Head quarters). They range from the great ostrich frequently and easily observed and the less common secretary bird and Abyssinian ground hornbill to the flashes of brilliant pink which are the carmine bee eaters, and the Abyssinian roller with turquoise and purple wings. And turaco, go away birds, birds of prey, and birds of the savannah.

In Awash National Park Camping is far out the best alternative camping sites are located on the edge of the river above the falls, Large spreading trees provide not only shade but also they shelter a wonderful collection of birds. 

Omo Park 

Located in the south-west on the west bank of Omo River, 870km south west of Addis Ababa covering an area of approx 4,068sq km

Wildlife found in this park include buffalo, elephant, giraffe, cheetah, lion, leopard, zebra, kudu, hartebeest, oryx, Anubis baboon and many other animals over 306 species of birds can be seen.

Monday, 07 July 2014 09:12

Hadar and Awash via Kombolcha

Day 1: Arrive at Addis Ababa and overnight in Hotel.

Day 2: After breakfast drive to Kombolcha, en route glimpse to Debre-Brehan (mount of light) 15th century town established by Emperor Zera Yacob. Stop at Ghemassa Ghedel where one can clearly observe the separation of the highland, i.e. Shewan plateau and the contrasting lowland, northern part of the rift valley. Probably a troop of Gelada baboon (endemic to Ethiopia) can be seen. Then, continue your journey through the subway of Tarmaber, which was built by the Italians during their trial of occupation and glimpse at Wof-washa natural forest, which was seedling production center in the 15th century AD and, picnic lunch there. If the day is Sunday, that is a great opportunity to visit Senbete market where the Afar, the Argoba, the Amhara and the Oromo people who have their own costume and decorational style gather for the market with their product. O/N Tekele Hotel.

Day 3: After breakfast drive to Bati (41km.) northeast of Kombolcha. The colorful Monday market at Bati is the second largest market in the country after Mercato. The surrounding Afar, Amhara and Oromo people come in large number every Monday for the market. The Afar men like to sling a rifle on their shoulder, hang a dagger in a leather sheath on their waist and the women wear brown skirt, beads and bracelets. Then, proceed to Mille (90km.) for dinner and overnight.

Day 4: Drive to Hadar (80km.) to the northeast direction, the famous archaeological site where the most complete yet, discovered fossil of Lucy, and of others were unearthed in the semi-desert hot environment. Then, drive to Mille for dinner and overnight.

Day 5: After breakfast drive to Awash National Park. En route visit Yangudi Rassa National Park (4731km2) with an altitude that ranges from 400 -1459 m. ASL. Semi-desert trees, succulent scrubs, semi-arid grasses, herbs and open woodland cover this park. Animals like Wild ass, Beisa Oryx, sommering’s gazelle, Hamadryas baboon, Ostrich and many scrub birds can be seen. O/N Genet Hotel

Day 6: After breakfast game drive to Awash National Park. This park is also found in the rift valley system and has hot temperature. The park has a total area of 756km2,with altitude range of 750- 2007m asl The average rainfall of the park is 950mm and temperature ranges between 9.6- 42 oc. It has semi-desert plant; acacia trees, Savannah grasses, thorny bush etc. The park has 81recorded species of mammals and 450 species of birds. Among the mammals; Beisa Oryx, Sommering’s gazelle, Golden jackal, Black backed jackal, Anubis baboon, Hamadryas baboon, waterbuck, Lesser kudu, Greater kudu, Warthog, etc among the birds; Herons, Storks, Pelicans, Ibises, Hawks, Lammergeier, Eagles, etc can be seen. The captivating Awash River fall, the Majestic Fentale volcanic Mountain, the hot spring shaded by palm trees is among the attracting features of the park. O/N Hotel

Day 7: After breakfast drive to Addis Ababa. En route visit the sprawling town Debre Zeit (Bishoftu) is situated 47km. south east of Addis Ababa at an average altitude of 1900m above the sea level. Debre Zeit with total population of 250,000 is one of the big towns around Addis Ababa. The National air force base, the veterinary faculty of Addis Ababa University, the University college of Ministry of defense is some of the social institutions in the town. This town is one of the most frequented excursion towns for its richness in crater lakes teemed with aquatic birds. Lake Hora is one of the five crater lakes where "Irecha", the Oromo traditional (thanks giving) ceremony takes place on the 1st of every October

Monday, 07 July 2014 09:12

Surma and Gambella

Day 1: Arrive at Addis Ababa & City tour. O/N Hotel.

Day 2: Drive to Nekemet, Wolega province, which is in the western part of Ethiopia. O/N Hotel.

Day 3: Drive to Gambella, crossing the Baro River where the Annuak & Neuer people lives. O/N Hotel.

Day 4: An excursion visit, to the Neuer people's village, which is out of the town of  Gambella. O/N Hotel.

Day 5: An excursion visit, to the Anuak people's village, which is out of the town of Gambella. O/N Hotel.

Day 6: Drive to Teipi, which is one of the biggest coffee plantation areas. O/N Fly camp.

Day 7: Drive to Bebeka, en-route visiting the tea plantation as well as the organic coffees. O/N Bebeka, Fly Camp/Lodge.

Day 8: Drive to Kibish, where the Surma people regional village. O/N Camping.

Day 9: Full visit of the Surma peoples village around Kibisht. O/N Camping.

Day 10: another extra day visit of the Surma propels village. O/N Camping.

Note: If it is the harvest season there will be a chance to see "DONGA" (it is a stick fight  Game, that is taking place with 5-7 villages warriors in one field).

Day 11: Drive Bebeka coffee plantation guesthouse for an overnight stay. O/N 
Camp/Guesthouse

Day 12: Drive to Jima, which is the Capital City Kaffa. Where a goat shepherd finds coffee For the first time and coffee is introduced to the rest of the world. O/N Hotel.

Day 13: Visit the town of Jimma and the palace of Aba Jifar, who was the king of Kaffa and Then drive to Woliso town crossing the valley of wbai Shebele River, that is the upper Part of the Omo River for an overnight stay at Negash Lodge, where you can enjoy the Hot spring swimming pool. O/N Negash Lodge.

Day 14: Drive to Ambo en-route visiting Wonchie Crater Lake. O/N Abebech Hotel.

Day 15: Drive to Addis Ababa through the Menagesh forest and Addis Alem where you can 
Visit a Museum. O/N Hotel

Monday, 07 July 2014 09:11

South Omo and Borena Region

The rift valley is a funnel shaped depression that opens up in the northeast in to Gulf of Aden and red Sea and crosses Ethiopia from northeast, Afar area to southwest, lower Omo area. It is formed as a result of the volcanic movement of tertiary period. During that period there was extensive lava outpouring followed by a great uplifting movement of earth and the crust of the earth was pushed up to 3000m.

Eventually, the uplift movement and the removal of magma from beneath the crust weakened the central part of the arch. This resulted in cracks and rift valley was created. Several lakes were created, too.

Day 1: Arrive at Addis Ababa. O/N Ghion hotel.

Day 2: In the morning, drive to Langano (215 km.) En route, visit lake Ziway (on average 434km2 large, 4m.deep). It is rich in bird life; Village weaver, Marabou stork, Egrets, Hammer kop, Egyptian goose, Plover, African fish eagle, Sacred ibis, are only few of the birds that can be seen on the shore. After lunch at the namesake Town, proceed to lake Langano. After checking in to Wabi-Shebelle hotel, proceed to Abyata-Shalla National Park. Lake Abyata, the feeding ground of birds is 205 km2 in area and 14 m. in depth. This lake is referred, as the bird watchers’ paradise for the abundance of birds, most importantly Flamingos and Pelicans, where as Lake Shalla the breeding ground of birds is 410-km2.in area and 250m.deep.Then, relax on the shore of lake Langano, some more birds can be seen on the shore. O/N Sabana Resort Hotel.

Day 3: After breakfast, drive to Arbaminch (40 springs), where one start to see people with there uninfluenced indigenous culture. En route, glimpse to the green land. Then visit the village of the Dorze people, famous for their intricately woven Bamboo huts and weaving of traditional closes. O/N Tourist hotel.

Day 4: After breakfast, drive to Nechisar National Park for game viewing. Mammals like Burchel’s zebra, Gazelles, Kudus, Dikdiks, Swayness hurt beast, etc and many birds can be seen. After lunch, boat trip on Lake Chamo where crocodiles can be seen in abundance. This place is locally known as the crocodile market since several crocodiles can be seen at a time. Hippos and plenty of birds; like storks, Egyptian goose, herons etc. can also be seen. O/N Tourist Hotel.

Day 5: After breakfast drive to Jinka, on the way visit the Gidole, Tsemay, Bena, and Ari people.O/N Jinka Resort hotel.

Day 6: In the morning, drive through Mago National Park, This Park has a total area of 2162km Square, 84-recorded species of mammals, and 257 species of birds. Buffalo is the charismatic species of the park. Then, visit the Mursi people famous for the clay disc the female insert in to their lower lips as a mark of beauty. As the larger the disc is, the more beautiful the lady is. After picnic lunch by the head quarter of the park, drive back to Jinka for dinner and overnight stay in the hotel.

Day 7: After breakfast, drive to Turmi (128 km.) through Keyafer and Dimeca to visit the Hammer people known for their dancing known as Evangadi, occasional bull jumping as a mark of promotion for the young men from childhood to adulthood, jewelries; like copper bracelets, beads etc and hairstyle. O/N camping.

Note: Thursday, Saturday and Monday are the market days of Keyafer, Dimeca and Turmi respectively, where the surrounding people gather in large number.

Day 8: Afterbreakfast, drive to Murule to visit the Karo people known for their body painting with the use of local colors especially white lime, which they use to imitate the plumage of Guinea fowl. Then, cross-river Omo at Kangate to visit the Gnangatom (Bume) people, brave warriors, and also known for their decoration style. After Picnic lunch by the rift Valley safari Camp, drive back to Turmi for dinner and overnight camping.

Day 9: After breakfast, drive to Omorate (75km.), cross the river Omo to visit the Geleb (Dassenech) people. These people are mainly pastoralists and to some extent they also produce grains. The Geleb people have their own cultural dressing style. The unmarried girls wear leather skirt with double flaps where as the married ones wear a single flap skirt. Then, drive back to Turmi for over night camping.

Day 10: After breakfast drives to Konso via Erbore (120km.). The Erbore are people with culture and language that relates to those of the Konso and the Tsemay. The Konso people are famous for their natural resource conservation activities like, terracing for water and soil conservation. They are also known for wood carving art. Visit the red soil pinnacle carved by erosion, Gesergiyo village, and Waga village for the woodcarvings erected as a mark of tomb. O/N Edget Hotel/Camping.

Day 11: After breakfast drive to Yabello (105km.) to southeast, on the way glimpse to the way of life of the Borena, pastoralist people. After check in to a hotel/pitching tent and lunch, proceed to visit the Crater Lake at a place locally known as El Soda, 100km. South of Yabello town. On return, visit one of the cattle watering wells at Dibluque (65km. South of Yabello) where people haul up water from depth for their cattle & other animals. People sing a song to moralize themselves while they are on work, for which reason those wells are known as singing well. O/N Hotel/ tent at Yabello Motel.

Day 12: After breakfast drive to Wondo-genet via Awassa. On the way visit the Sidamo verdant plain renown for the best quality coffee production. Boat trip on lake Awassa; visit the fish market where a number of species of birds (like Marabou Stork, Herons, Cormorants, Pelicans, King fishers etc) can be seen. Lunch at Awassa, and proceed to Wondo-genet, relax at the thermal swimming pool. O/N Wabi-Shebelle Hotel.

Day 13: After breakfast, dive back to Addis Ababa and in the after noon city tour.

Note: This program can be combined with the historic route, or with Harar. It can also be extended to Kenya through our company or through our agents in Kenya.

Monday, 07 July 2014 09:10

Arbaminch via Hossana

Arbaminch is 500km.south of Addis Ababa situated on the foot of mountains and neighbored by Abaya and Chamo lakes.

Day 1: Arrive at Addis Ababa. O/N Ghion Hotel.

Day 2: After breakfast drive to Hossana. En route, visit; Melka Kunture archaeological site discovered in 1963 and yielded many eco-facts and artifacts that date back to 1.7 million years ago. Then, proceed to Addadi Mariam rock hewn church established in the 12th century by Lalibela. The church has 12 gates and 24 windows those represent the 12 apostles and the 24 priests of the sky to mean in the heaven. After picnic lunch proceed to Tiya where several megalithic stele can be seen. These steles have engravings of green plants that are common food for the local community and household tools. O/N at Hossana.

Day 3: After breakfast drive to Arbaminch via Sodo. En route, visit the Wolayta people; ascend to Chencha highland to visit the Dorze village of intricately woven Bamboo huts. In addition to the village the mildly cool weather and the scenery make Chencha worth visiting. O/N Tourist Hotel, Arbaminch.

Day 4: Drive to Nechisar (white Grass) national park established in 1974,for its significance in wild life resources. This park has 84-recorded species of mammals and 342 species of birds. Kudus, Burchel’s zebra, Dikdiks, Gazelle, Caracal, Serval cat, Colobous monkey are only few of the mammals and birds are in abundance. Enjoy splendor panorama of the surrounding area at the mountain called “Yegizer Dildiy”, bridge of God. After lunch, boat trip on lake Chamo (510 km.square in area, 10m. deep) visit the lakeshore locally known as the crocodile market since many crocodiles can be seen at a time, hippos, and plenty of birds like African fish eagle, storks, Egyptian goose, plovers and others can be seen. Unlike the saline lake Abaya, Chamo is rich in fish as well. O/N Tourist Hotel.

Day 5: After breakfast drive to Wondo-Genet (Wonder of Paradise). As its name connotes, this place is really a proper place to escape the hustle bustle urban life and to enjoy the serenity in the verdant environment. En route, glimpse to the life style of the local people (Wolayta, Hadiya, Alaba). After check in to Wabi-Shebell Hotel and lunch, relax at the thermal swimming pool. O/N Hotel.

Day 6: After breakfast, trek in the lush forest of Wondo-Genet for game viewing. Several birds and mammals can be seen. After lunch, drive to Awassa, the bustling young town established in 1952. After check in to a hotel, walk on the shore of lake Awassa for birding and to see the sunset. 
O/N Hotel.

Day 7: After breakfast drive to Addis Ababa. En route, visit lake Langano, Abyata-Shalla National Park rich in bird life, especially Pelicans, and Flamingos.

Note: It is possible to combine these rift valley programs with the historic route, Harar, Surma and With Bale Mountains National Park. It is also possible to extend or shorten the days.

Monday, 07 July 2014 09:10

Langano, Wondo-Genet and Awassa

Day 1: After breakfast drive to Wondo-Genet, that is 267km. En route, visit Lake Ziway, which is rich in bird life. Marabou storks, Egrets, Hammer kop, Egyptian goose, Plover, African fish eagle, sacred ibis, etc, are among the birds available at the lake. After lunch at Ziway Town, proceed to lake Abyata-Shalla national park. Lake Abyata, is feeding ground of birds. Prolific birds can be seen, most importantly Flamingos and Pelicans. Lake Shalla, the breeding ground of birds is 410 km2. In area and 250m.deep.Then, drive to Wondo-genet (267km.) from Addis Ababa. This place is one of the forests in good condition in the country for which reason the field gene bank is established to conserve genetic resources. This forest is important for birding as well. Relax at the thermal swimming pool. O/N Sabana Resort Hotel.

Day 2: After breakfast drive to Awassa, visit the fish market where prolific birds like; Marabou stork, White pelican, Greater cormorant, storks, egrets etc. can be seen. Then after, proceed to Addis Ababa.

Monday, 07 July 2014 09:09

Langano

Day 1: After breakfast, drive to Langano (215 km.) En route, visit Lake Ziway (on average 434km2 large, 4m.deep). It is rich in bird life, to mention only a few; Marabou stork, Egrets, Hammer kop, Egyptian goose, Plover, African fish eagle, Sacred ibis, etc. After lunch at the namesake Town, proceed to Lake Langano. After checking in to a hotel, visit Abyata-Shalla National Park. Lake Abyata, the feeding ground of birds is 205 km2 in area and 14 m. in depth. This lake is referred, as the bird watchers’ paradise for the abundance of birds, most importantly Flamingos and Pelicans, where as Lake Shalla the breeding ground of birds is 410 km2. In area and 250m.deep (the deepest lake in the country) Then, relax on the shore of lake Langano, some more birds can be watched on the shore. O/N, Saban Resort.

Day 2: After breakfast drive to Addis Ababa. En route, visit one of the crater lakes at Debre Zeit.

Monday, 07 July 2014 09:08

Awash National Park

Awash National Park is situated in the upper part of rift valley region 220km.east of Addis Ababa. Semi-desert type plants, thorny shrubs and savannah grasses dominate the Park.

Awash National Park, was established in 1966 to protect the Beisa Oryx and other animals. It has a total area of 756mk2 and average altitude of 1000m.

Day 1: After breakfast drive to Awash National Park, before entering into the park stop at Lake Beseka for bird watching. Proceed to the park, check into a hotel at the town of awash. After lunch visit the waterfall of River Awash, and game drive to different parts of the park. Beisa Oryx, Dorcas gazelle, Black backed jackal; Golden jackal etc and birds like Bustards, Guinea fowl, Horn bills, etc will be seen. O/n in a hotel

Day 2: After breakfast drive to Addis Ababa. En route visit some of the crater lakes rich in bird life. 

Monday, 07 July 2014 09:06

Ambo

Day 1: Drive to Ambo (125km.) west of Addis Ababa. En route visit Addis Alem (new world) a town that was proposed to be a capital in 1900 for the availability of fuel wood as Addis Ababa area was depleted. Fortunate enough for Addis Ababa, the fast growing Eucalyptus tree was introduced and the transfer of the capital was abandoned. The palace built was changed to a church of st. Marry rich in mural paintings, manuscripts and other relics. After check in to Ethiopia Hotel and lunch, proceed to Guder waterfall (13km.) after which the export quality wine of Ethiopia is named. Enjoy the verdant environment covered by vineyard and coffee. Then, drive back to Ambo for dinner and overnight in Ethiopia hotel.

Day 2: After breakfast drive to Addis Ababa via Wolisso. En route, visit Wonchi Crater Lake (36km.) from Ambo, boat trip on the lake to the church of Cherkos. Enjoy the breathtaking environment and bird watching.

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