- Written by Keb
Tour Code: FET-BW01 Tour Program to Central & Southern Ethiopia Day 6: Drive Awash National Park
Attractions: History, Scenery, Birds & Wildlife
Duration: 18 Days & 17Nights
Transportation: Surface drive
Day 1: Arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Air port
Meet and greet you FANOS Ethiopia Tours representative at exit of luggage claim and transfer you to the hotel. Overnight stay in Ghion Hotel, Addis Ababa.
Day 2: Excursion to Menegash Suba Forest
After breakfast, you will drive to Menegash Suba forest (50 Km from Addis, the first known subject of an official conservation policy in Africa, protected by the government since the 16th century). You will visit birds and different endemic species such as White-winged fluff tail (one of the globally threatened species), Yellow-fronted parrot, Abyssinian Woodpecker and Abyssinian catbird; and also some wildlife like: gureza monkey, the endemic Menelik's bushbuck, baboon, common duiker, and serval cat. You will have packed lunch in the bush. Late in afternoon, you will drive back to Addis Ababa then you will have dinner, rest & spend the night at the hotel. Overnight stay in Ghion Hotel, Addis Ababa.
Day 3: Drive to Jemma Valley
You will have an early breakfast and drive to Jemma Valley escarpment (approximately 180 Km from Addis). You will be able to see Harwood’s Francolin (one of the endemic and range restricted species), Egyptian Vulture, White-billed Starling, White-winged cliff chat, Tacazze sunbird, Abyssinian Woodpecker, Banded Barbet and so much. You will have packed lunch in the bush. Late in the afternoon, you will drive to a lodge and check in. In the evening, you will have dinner and stay the night at the lodge. Overnight stay in Ethio-Germany Lodge.
Day 4: Drive to Ankober via Denba-Medida-Debre
You will have breakfast & drive to Ankober via Denba-Medida-Debre Berhan while en route do bird watching, you may spot Pectoral-patch Cisticola, Eralanger’s Lark. You will stop for lunch in Debre Berhan (190 Km from the lodge). Then, you will continue driving to Ankober (30 Km from Debre Berhan), upon arrival in Ankober late in the afternoon, you will check into a lodge. Later, you may have a walk in the surrounding of Ankober, where you can spot different birds such as Yellow-crowned Canary, Alpin Swifts, Lammergeyer and Augur Buzzard. You will have dinner and stay the night in the lodge. Overnight stay Ankober Palace Lodge.
Day 5: Birding around Ankober looking for Ankober serin
You will have breakfast and go out to do sightseeing of the historical town of Ankober and look for endemic Ankober serin. Walk around Ankober escarpment and road to rift valley looking for specially endemic and range restricted to this area are the Ankober Serin and other interesting species of birds of prey. In the evening, you will get back to the lodge and you will have dinner and stay the night in the lodge. Overnight stay Ankober Palace Lodge.
Right after breakfast, an early morning drive will take you to Awash National Park (250 Km from Ankober) through the old coffee caravan route. The park and its surrounding area are very important for birds; the total number of species recorded exceeds 460; there is a population of two globally threatened and restricted range species. You will arrive in Awash National Park late in the afternoon. You will check into a lodge and take a break before dinner is served. Overnight stay in Awash Falls Lodge.
Day 7: Birding in Awash National Park
You will have breakfast and stay one more day in Awash National Park to visit Ilala Sala Plain (Oryx Plain), Awash River Waterfalls and acacia thickets for birds such as Grey Hornbill, Somali Fiscal, Helmeted Guinea fowl, Blue-napped Mouse bird, Kori Bustard, Yellow-necked Francolin, Drongo, Red-winged Lark, Woodland and Striped Kingfishers, Robins and birds of prey such as Tawny Eagle, Long-crested Eagle, Yellow-billed Kite and Dark Chanting Goshawk.
Awash park is also home to mammals such as Oryx, Lesser Kudu, Hammadryas Baboon and Olive Baboon, Vervet Monkey, Salt’s Dick-dick and more. In the evening, you will get back to the lodge and you will have dinner and stay the night in the lodge. Overnight stay in Awash Falls Lodge.
Day 8: Drive to Langano, Bishangari
After breakfast, you will be driven to Bishangari, Langano (311Km from Awash NP), where on your way make a stop on Awash River and Lake Ziway to visit aquatic birds. Lake Ziway, the shallowest lake in the Rift Valley chain of lakes which depth 7m. Its extensive aquatic vegetation attracts a variety of water birds. Commonly seen and easily identified are; Saddle-billed stork, greater jacana, African fish eagle, darter, herons, darters and Wood hoope. You will stop for lunch at Ziway. Your arrival in Langano will be late afternoon where you will check into a hotel. Later, you can explore the riverine forest and adjacent lake for birds such as Yellow-Fronted Parrot, White Cheeked Turaco, Orange-bellied Parrot, African Paradise Flycatcher, Bare-faced Go-Away Bird, African Fish-eagle, Cuckoo Shrikes, Kingfishers, Weavers and water birds including Egrets, Herons, Cormorants, Gulls, Geese, Ducks and Shanks. In the evening, you will get back to the lodge and you will have dinner and stay the night in the lodge. Overnight stay in Bishangari Lodge.
Day 9: Drive to Wondo Genet
After breakfast, you will be driven to Wondo Genet (85Km from Bishangari) your arrival in Wondo Genet will be in the afternoon and check into a hotel. Later, you can walk in the surrounding forest near Wondo Genet. The forests at Wondo Genet can assure to make a spot some great birds including the endemic Yellow-fronted Parrot, White-cheeked Turaco, Bruce’s Green-Pigeon, flocks of Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Narina Trogon, a pair of Half-collared Kingfisher, Dark-headed Oriole, Green-backed Honey guide, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush and a large flock of the seldom-seen Sharpe’s Starling. In the evening, you will get back to the hotel and you will have dinner and stay the night in the hotel.
Day 10: Drive to Dinsho, Bale Mountains National Park
An early morning drive after breakfast will take you to Dinsho, the Bale Mountains National Park Head Quarter (176 Km from Wondo Genet). Your arrival in Dinsho will be in the afternoon and check into a lodge. Later, you can walk in the surrounding forest near Dinsho. Here you can spot birds such as; Cape Eagle-Owl and Rouget’s Rail, Chestnut-naped and Moorland Francolins, Spot breasted Lapwing, Blue-winged Goose and Abyssinian Long claw. In the evening, you will get back to the lodge and you will have dinner and stay the night in the lodge. Overnight stay in Dinsho Lodge.
Day 11: Drive to Goba and Sanetti Plateau
An early morning drive after breakfast will take you to Goba (25 Km from Dinsho) and then to Sanetti Plateau (15 Km from Goba). With an early start you can make a walk of several hours on the highest plateau of Africa (between 3500 and 4300 m.) with the world’s largest expanse of Afro-Alpine moorland. Because of the isolation of the place, different endemic animals exist here such as the Ethiopian wolf, Abyssinian hare and giant molerat. The desolate plane has its own beauty with its special plants such as grey heather and giant lobelia which can grow up to 3 m. high. Here you spot endemic birds of Ethiopia such as; Black-headed siskin, Roget Rail, Blue-winged goose, and other crowned crane. In the evening, you will get back to the hotel and you will have dinner and stay the night in the hotel. Overnight stay in Wabe Shebelle Hotel.
Day 12: Day trip to Sof Omar cave looking for the endemic Salvador’s Seedeater
Right after breakfast, an early morning drive will take you to Sof Omar cave (100 Km from Goba) to visit the endemic Salvador’s Seedeater, Bristle-crowned starling, Pygmy Falcon, Red-bellied Parrot, Brown-tailed Chat, Grey-headed Batis, Rufous Chatterer, Rosy-patched Bush shrike, Shining Sunbird and Bristle-crowned and Golden-breasted Starlings, Swifts and Swallows and many more. Late in the afternoon drive back to Goba and you will have dinner and stay the night in the hotel. Overnight stay in Wabe Shebelle Hotel
Day 13: Drive to Negele Borena
You will have an early breakfast and drive to Negele Borena (282 Km from Goba) the route take you over the Sanetti Plateau through the beautiful Harenna Forest boasting Ayre’s Hawk-Eagle, Cinnamon Bracken-Warbler, Slender-billed Starling, scores of Yellow bellied Waxbill and Guereza Colobus monkeys, and also across some stark and wilderness country. You will have packed lunch in the bush.
You can make several stops en route to spot acacias birds namely Black-billed Wood-hoopoe, Bearded Woodpecker, Scaly-throated Honey guide, White Helmet shrike, Red-shouldered Cuckoo shrike and Grey-headed bush shrike. You will be arriving in Negle Borena early in the evening and check into a hotel. You will have dinner and spend the night at the hotel. Overnight stay local hotel.
Day 14: Day trip to Liben Plain looking for the endmic Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco
An early morning drive will take you to Liben Plain (approx. 30km from Negele Borena) to visit the dry acacia birds, some of which are endemic and range restricted to this area, where you will spot birds likes; Gillet’s Lark, Pringle’s Puff back, Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco, Pygmy Batis, Taita Fiscal, Red-naped Bush shrike, Shelley’s Starling, Somali Crombec and Salvadori’s Serin. In the evening, you will get back to the hotel and you will have dinner and stay the night in the hotel. Overnight stay in local hotel.
Day 15: Drive to Yabelo
You will have breakfast & drive to Yabelo (275 Km from Negele Borena) through Arero forest on the way you will spot birds like; Stressman’s Bush-Crow, White-tailed Swallo, White-crowned, Yellow-naked sput fowl, White-winged Collared-Dove, Black-bellied Sunbird and Salvadori’s (Juba) Weaver and White-tailed Swallow. You will have packed lunch in the bush. You will be arriving in Yabelo late afternoon and check into a motel. You will have dinner and spend the night at the motel. Overnight stay in Yabelo Motel.
Day 16: Birding in Yableo Sanctuary looking for Stresemann’s Bush Crow
You will have breakfast and will stay one more day in Yabelo Sanctuary looking for Tawny wagtail, Bare-faced Go-Away-Bird, White-cheeked Turaco, Buff-crested Bustard, Red-and-Yellow Barbet, Donaldson- Smith’s Nightjar, Spotted Morning-Thrush, Stresemann’s Bush Crow, African Bare-eyed Thrush, Grey-headed Silver bill, White-crowned Starling and Shelley’s Rufous Sparrow. In the evening, you will get back to the motel and you will have dinner and stay the night in the motel. Overnight stay in Yabelo Motel.
Day 17: Drive to Awassa
You will have breakfast & drive to Awassa (290Km from Yabelo). You will stop for lunch at Dila. You will be arriving in Awassa late afternoon and check into a hotel. Later, you can walk along the lake shore for nice evening sunset and aquatic birds. Lake Awassa with the mudflats, mixed Acacia woodland and grassland and open expanses of the lakes afforded you some good birding. Highlights were large numbers of waterfowl including Tufted and White-backed Ducks and African Pygmy-Goose, a gorgeous male Pallid Harrier, Black-crowned Crane, the stunning Blue-breasted Bee-eater, the endemic Banded Barbet, the highly sought-after Spotted Creeper, Ethiopian Swallow, Thick-billed Raven Pygmy Goose, Malachite and Pied kingfisher, Hottentot Teal, Egyptian goose, Hammer Kob Black Crake, African Fish-eagle, Hadda Ibis, Purple Heron, Common Sandpiper, Rueppell’s Weaver, and numbers of Storks. Overnight stay in Lewi Resort & Spa or Haile Resort.
Day 18: Drive back to Addis Ababa
After breakfast, you will be driving to Addis Ababa (275Km from Awassa). You will also visit Abiatta-Shala National Park. Lake Shala is a very deep crater lake (over 260 meters deep!) and Lake Abiatta is a soda lake, which attracts thousands of flamingos. You will arrive in Addis Ababa late afternoon and you will do some shopping for souvenirs.
Finally you will be taken to a farewell dinner depending on your scheduled flight; you will be transferred out to Bole International Airport for return flight back home.
Tour Code: FET-BW01 Tour Program to Central & Southern Ethiopia
Day 6: Drive Awash National Park