17 Days Birding

Program: Birding
Duration: 16 Nights 17 Days
Tour Code:  AET 16
Transport: Surface


Day 01: Addis Ababa

Arrive Addis Ababa 2400 meter above sea level, the third highest capital in the world. Bole International airport and meet with us for transfer to your hotel. Overnight Hotel.

Day 02: Addis Ababa via Sululta Plain–Debre Libanos

Early Morning we will set out the drive to Debre Libanos and get our first taste of the amazing avifauna of Ethiopia. Endemic and Common species along this route include Hooded Vulture, Yellow-billed Kite, Tacazze Sunbird, Thick-billed Raven, Pied Crow and many others. Overnight hotel.

Day 03: Jemma Valley – Addis Ababa

We need to leave early this morning and head to the Jemma Valley to see the extremely localized Endemic and many lowland and highland birds. Overnight hotel

Day 04: Awassa (Lake Awassa)

We will depart early and head south and dropping in to the Great Rift Valley and spending the next few hours birding around Debre Zeit, wet land and water birds. Drive further south, passing some savanna and acacia woodland to see more birds. Overnight hotel.

Day 05: Awassa–Bale Mountain National Park–Goba

We will spend several hours birding in the garden as well as scanning the huge lakes of Awassa. We will head towards the Bale Mountain National Park, stopping along the way to look Endemic and common species. In the Park head Quarter we also hope to see a variety of mammals, including Endemic.  Spend three nights. Overnight hotel.

Day 06-07: Bale Mountain–Sanetti Plateau – Harenna Forest

We have two full days to explore this fascinating area beginning with a thoroughly exciting journey up onto the Sanetti Plateau we shall spend most of this day at an altitude between 3800m and 4337m (Tullu Deemtu), to see highland (moorland) birds and when we descend to Harenna Forest, home for many Endemic birds and mammals.

Our next day in this amazing area will see us descend 1600m to enjoy some dry warmth in the Sof Omar region. The habitat here consists of broad-leafed and Acacia woodlands where our main target bird is the extremely range-restricted Endemic and likely species. Overnight hotel.

Day 08-09: Goba–Negele–Liben Plains

Today we depart early, heading for progressively drier torn savanna in the remote south of Ethiopia. Our route will take us over the Sanetti Plateau again and down through the Harenna forest, giving us another opportunity to search for any species we still need here. We have a long drive today but its birding all the way as the countryside gets more and more arid. We will be on the lookout for a wide variety of new species. Two nights.  Overnight hotel.

Early in the next morning we will set out to the nearby Liben Plains, a vast area of open grassland and home to the extremely localized and skulking Endemic bird, for which we will have to work to locate. We could also find Kori and Black-bellied Bustards and many more. The surrounding dry woodland and torn savanna support Bateleur, Tawny Eagle African Harier-hawk and many Endemic. There is a seasonal lake here which holds Abdim Storck, African Openbill and a good selection of waders.  Overnight  hotel.

Day 10-11: Negele – Yabello

Today is another long drive as we travel further south to Yabello, an area close to the Kenyan border. This is a fantastic drive as there are just so many birds to stop and see and along the way we will look for Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Black chested Snake-Eagle and endemic birds. This area also holds Somali Ostrich, Vulturine Guineafowl, Chustnut-bellied Sandgrouse, White bellied-Bustard and Black-Capped Social and Buffalo Weaver. Two Nights. Overnight hotel.

We can then spend a full day exploring the bird-rich bush-country for a whole host of exciting species such as Coqui Francolin, Buff-crested Bustard, Pigmy Falcon, and so many birds. As dusk settles we can look for Verrueaux’s Eagle-Owl, African Scops-Owl and Freckled & Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjars. Overnight hotel.

Day 12-13: Yabello–Langano

We will enjoy some early morning birding in Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary before making our way back Towards Addis Ababa. We will search for Blue-breasted Bee -eater, Fawn-coloured Lark and many others. In the late afternoon we will arrive at the superb Lodge or Resort for two nights. Overnight Lodge or Resort.

Excellent birding can be found around the lush vegetation of the three neighboring lakes in the central Ethiopian Rift valley and we will spend a full day exploring the shores and surrounding woodland. Overnight Lodge or Resort.

Day 14: Lake Abiata Shalla–Rift Valley Lakes–Nazret

An early morning visit to Lake Abiata is one of the highlights of the tour and provides one of the most memorable sights of the tour with literally thousands of lesser and smaller number of Greater Flamingo’s present, along with thousands of Palearctic waders, African Spoonbill and many others. There are usually flocks of Common Crane present and if we are lucky there are sometimes a few Wattle Cranes here as well. The Acacia woodland is home to Bearded Woodpecker, Black-billed Wood-hoopoe, Black Scimitar bill and others. In the afternoon we will drive to the town of Nazret. Overnight hotel.

Day 15: Nazreth–Fantale Crater–Awash National Park

We need to leave early to reach the lower volcanic lava flows of the extinct Fantale Crater where we can find one of the endemic. Other species here include Chestnut-headed and Chestnut-eared Sparrow-lark and others. The rest of our time will be spent at Awash National Park. This superb Park is home to a huge variety of great birds and will explore a variety of habitats including riverine forests, wetlands, thorn woodlands, savanna grasslands, rocky hills, cliffs and escarpments. The Park boasts a bird list of 460 species. We will also take a night drive to look for more elusive nocturnal species. Two nights.  Overnight hotel.

Day 16: Awash–Alledeghe wildlife Reserve–Awash

Early morning  excursion on the way to Djibouti north east to visit Alledeghe wildlife Reserve (Proposed National Park) 64 kms to see the Egyptian vulture, white-headed vulture, Lesser Kestrel, Kori bustard, endemic birds and Secretary bird if we are lucky and many dry country birds.

Day 17: Awash National Park–Addis Ababa. 

This morning we can search for any species we still need. Afternoon drive back Addis Ababa. Evening transfer to the airport for departure.


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