k Ethiopia - Travel and Tours

Trek Ethiopia - Travel and Tours

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Ethiopian Festivals Tour

Explore Ethiopia and Bird Watching - 17 Days Tour

Our bird watching holidays package you may find yourself spoiled for choice with over 830 recorded species and 23 species found nowhere else in the world. Of the ten bird families endemic to the African mainland, eight are represented in Ethiopia. Ethiopia's Bale Mountain region was voted No. 4 on a list of the best birding sites by the African Bird Club. Bale Mountains is also a favorite destination among birders and famous for its large number of Ethiopian endemics. We have guides who have rich experience in accompanying bird watchers to the best sites of Ethiopia.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Addis Abeba
Upon arrival in Addis Ababa, meet our representatives and transferto the given Hotel. During the day, visit historical sites in Addis Ababa including the National Archaeological Museum, where wewill view the 3.2 million year old remains of "Lucy", whose skeletalremains when discovered in 1974. You will also visit the HolyTrinity Cathedrals and Mount Entoto which rises up to an altitudeof 3,200 meters and offers the panoramic view of the metropolis.
Overnight hotel
Day 02 - Addis to Debre Libanos
After an erealy breakfast we drive north through the Sululta Plains, with a chance of Wattled Ibis, Erlanger's Lark, Blue-winged Goose and Black-headed Siskin. Later, we reach JemmuGorge, where well scan for Erckel's Francolin,White-winged Cliff Chat, White-billed Starling,Lammergeier, Rueppell's Vulture and Verreaux'sEagle, plus Gelada Baboons. The forest surroundingDebre Libanos monastery is a good place to seeBlack-winged Lovebird, Banded Barbet, White-cheeked Turaco and Abyssinian Oriole.
Overnight Debre Libanos
Day 3 - Drive to Awassa en route visit Rift Valley Lakes.
Awassa is one of Ethiopia's most beautiful lakesand is rich in bird life. Among those Pygmy Goose,Brown Snake Eagle, Grey Kestral, Spotted Creeper,African Firefinch, Green-backed Honeyguide, Blue-headed Coucal, Red-breasted Wryneck, Malakite King Fisher, Spur-winged Plover, Black Forest wecan expect to see Saddlebill and Maribou Storks,Bruce's Green Pigeon. There are hippos in the lake and Colobus and Cervet monkeys in the gardens of the lake side hotels.
Day 4 - Drive to Wondo Genet
Before breakfast we will explore our wooded hotel grounds. Amongst our targets will be African Mourning Dove, WoodlandKingfisher, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Double-toothed Barbet, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Spotted Creeper, Brown-throatedWattle-eye, Grey-backed Fiscal, Northern Puffback, Broad-ringedWhite-eye, African Paradise-flycatcher, Little Weaver and BronzeMannikin. Reed-beds in the vicinity support Purple Swamphen,Black Crake, Blue-headed Coucal, Lesser Swamp Warbler andCommon and Abyssinian Waxbills. After breakfast we will visitLake Awassa fish market, where the discarded waste attractslarge numbers of Marabou Storks and other birds, givingunrivalled photographic opportunities. We should also see Long-tailed Cormorant, Sacred Ibis and Grey-headed Gull. In the nearbypark we will look for the endemic Banded Barbet and White-browed (Heuglin's) Robin-chat, Buff-bellied Warbler, Grey-backedCamaroptera, Rufous Chatterer, Spectacled Weaver and Grey-headed and Nubian Woodpeckers. In the afternoon we will transferto Wondo Genet for a two-night stay. Close to the hotel areswimming pools filled with water from nearby hot springs.
Overnight Wondo Genet (hotel)
Day 5
We will spend the day exploring our hotel gardens andnearby forests. Species we may find include several endemics:Yellow-fronted Parrot, Abyssinian Woodpecker, Brown Saw-wing(antinorii race of Black Saw-wing), Dark-headed Oriole,Abyssinian Slaty-flycatcher, and White-winged Cliff-chat. Otherbirds may include Scaly Francolin, Little Sparrowhawk, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Double-toothed and Red-fronted Barbets, White-cheeked Turaco, Lesser and Green-backed Honeyguides,Mountain Wagtail, Abyssinian Thrush, Abyssinian Ground-thrush,Brown Woodland-warbler, Brown Warbler lugens, White-rumpedBabbler, Collared, Scarlet-chested and Variable Sunbirds, Half-collared Kingfisher, Red-billed and African Firefinches andSlender-billed and the rare Sharpe's Starlings.
We will also have a good chance of seeing soaring Crowned Eagle, White-headed Vulture, Black Goshawk, African Harrier-hawk and Ayres' Hawk-eagle as well as Steppe and Tawny Eagles. The hotel grounds alsosupport families of Grivet Monkeys and Guereza Black-and-white Colobus monkeys.
Day 06 - Bale Mountains National Park to Goba
Today we will head for the world-famous Bale Mountains National Park. On the ascent we will start to see flocks of Abyssinian Siskins and Yellow-crowned Canaries feeding on the short grass and many Red-billed Choughs. Just before we reach Dinsho wetlands we will stop for Cape Eagle-owl in a rockyravine. On the plain nearby there will be groups of Black-winged Lapwings together with many Thekla Larks and Red-throated Pipits. At our picnic spot we will watch out for the endemic Spot-breasted Lapwing and Rouget's Rail while nearby we will look for another endemic: Abyssinian Longclaw. We should also see Fan-tailed Widowbird, Winding (Ethiopian) Cisticola, African Stonechatand Buffy Pipit in the same area. At the park headquarters, we will search for Chestnut-naped Francolin together with two more endemics: Abyssinian Catbird and White-backed Black-tit. We will also hope to see a variety of mammals including Mountain Nyala, Menelik's Bushbuck and Desert Warthog. The park wardens may know of roosting sites for Abyssinian Owl, African Wood-owl and Abyssinian Nightjar.
We will stay in Goba for three nights.
Day 7
A 1600m descent will find us enjoying some dry warmth inthe Sof Omar region. The habitat here consists of broad-leavedand Acacia woodlands, which holds many new species for us. Ourmain target bird will be the extremely range-restricted Salvadori's Serin, the most attractive of Ethiopia's endemic canaries. Other birds will include D'Arnaud's Barbet, Somali Crow, Northern Brownbul, Somali Tit, the localised Brown-tailed Chat, Yellow-breasted Apalis (a form likely to be split as Brown-tailed Apalis), Rosy-patched Bushshrike, Black-crowned Tchagra, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Greater Honeyguide, Striped, Grey-headed and Half-collared Kingfishers, Marico Sunbird and the impressive Bristle-crowned Starling. Other likely birds include Crested Francolin, Kori Bustard, Bruce's Green-pigeon, Ring-necked and Namaqua Doves, Emerald-spotted Wood-dove, Orange-bellied Parrot, White-bellied Go-away-bird, Black-billed Woodhoopoe, Von der Decken's and Northern Red-billed Hornbills, Black-throated Barbet, Cardinal Woodpecker, Grey Wren-warbler, Northern Crombec, Rufous Chatterer, Brubru, White Helmetshrike, Superb Starling, White-headed Buffalo-weaver, Speke's Weaver, the local subspecies of Red-headed Weaver, Eastern Paradise-whydah, Straw-tailed Whydah, Village Indigobird, Red-cheeked Cordonbleu, Cut-throat, and Reichenow's Seedeater. Sof Omar boasts Ethiopia's longest cave system and we will have the option to take time out from our busy birding schedule, hire a guide and wander through some of these impressive tunnels with underground waterways and roosting Horseshoe Bats.
Day 8
During our ascent of the Bale Mountain massif onto the Sanetti Plateau, which lies between 3800m and 4377m above sealevel, we will enter a Tid, or Juniper forest zone, where we wil lsearch for African Goshawk, Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk, African Hill Babbler, Cinnamon Bracken-warbler, Yellow-bellied Waxbill and the difficult Abyssinian Crimsonwing. Once we reach the unique plateau we will be driving on Africa's highest road,passing close to the summit of Ethiopia's second-highest mountain. The habitat is named 'Afro-alpine moorland' and is characterised by Jibrra or Giant Lobelias, which tower over the rich tussock grasslands.
This site is a bird area of immense significance, supporting seven globally-threatened birdspecies and nearly all of Ethiopia's highland biome species. If we are fortunate we will see a pair of endangered Wattled Cranesstriding through the moist grassland. We will also search for Ruddy Shelduck, Black Stork and Moorland Francolin, while Moorland Chat is hard to miss! The grasslands are estimated to support an amazing biomass of 4000 kg of rodents per hectare.This obviously attracts raptors, and we should see Golden, Steppeand Tawny Eagles together with Pallid Harriers hunting over this green sea. They share the abundant food source with the plateau's most celebrated resident, Ethiopian (Simien) Wolf, the world's rarest canid. Finally, we will reach the escarpment of this elevated plateau and look through the clouds at the vast Harenna Forest. This is the largest intact forest block in Ethiopia and the largest protected Afro-alpine forest on the continent. It still supports Lions and the only surviving forest-dwelling African WildDogs. Here we will search for the uncommon Mountain Buzzard, Rameron Pigeon, African Emerald Cuckoo, Narina Trogon, Brown Warbler (an endemic subspecies to this National Park Bale Parisoma) and the virtually endemic African Citril. In the afternoon we will return to Goba across the Sanetti Plateau.
Day 9 - to Negele
An early start is required to reach the dry thorn savannah in the remote southern part of Ethiopia. We will head up over the Sanetti Plateau again, giving us an opportunity to look for species we may have missed, then drop down to the amazing Harenna Forest, where we will make opportunistic stops and also take a lunch break. We may see mixed flocks of Bronze and Black-and-white Mannikins hanging on the grass by the road. Later, as we reach Acacia forest, we are likely to see Red-and-yellow Barbet, Abyssinian Ground-hornbill, Grey Kestrel, Wahlberg's and Martial Eagles, Spotted Morning-thrush, Stout Cisticola and Shelley's Starling. In the afternoon we will reach a dry wadi on the GenaleRiver, home to Ethiopia's most sought-after endemic, Prince Ruspoli's Turaco. We should enjoy excellent views of this very unusual and beautiful bird. New for us in the area will be Bearded Woodpecker, Grosbeak Weaver and Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike. In the late afternoon we will arrive in Negele, where we will spend two nights.
Day 10
East of Negele lies the Liben Plains, the only place in the world to find Liben Lark. We will walk across the plains in search of this special bird, which we will hope to watch performing its parachute display flight. We should also find Pectoral-patch Cisticola, Long-billed Pipit, Crowned Lapwing and the range-restricted Somali Short-toed Lark. Ethiopian Swallow is common here as are White-crowned Starling and Shelley's Rufous Sparrow. The surrounding dry woodland and thorn savannah support Egyptian Vulture, Bateleur, African Harrier-hawk, Eastern Chanting-goshawk, Diederik Cuckoo, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Red-and-yellow Barbet, the rare and enigmatic Gillett's Lark, Dodson's Bulbul, Boran Cisticola,Golden-breasted Starling, African Grey and Pale Flycatchers, Mouse-coloured Penduline-tit, Slate-coloured Boubou, NorthernWhite-crowned Shrike, White-winged Widowbird, Crimson-rumped Waxbill and Somali Bunting. If we are lucky, we may see Salt's and G√ľnther's Dik Diks, while Anubis Baboons should also be around.
Day 11 - to Yabelo
After passing close to the Kenyan border we will finally reach the Yabello region, home to two of Ethiopia's most sought-after endemic birds, both listed as globally-threatened:Stresemann's Bush-crow and White-tailed Swallow. This area of Acacia savannah is characterised by giant red termite mounds, some towering 5m above the plains, and both of these birds seem to be associated with these marvels of natural architecture. We will also have a good chance of seeing flocks of Vulturine Guineafowl feeding by the road, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Levaillant's and Pied Cuckoos, Steel-blue Whydah and Vitelline Masked-weaver. The late morning will be spent walking along the Dawa River in search of the extremely localised White-winged Collared-dove, Juba Weaver and Black-bellied Sunbird. We may also see Grant's and Thomson's Gazelles and Gerenuk. Two nights will be spent in Yabelo.
Day 12
A walk before breakfast should give us a closer look at Stresemann's Bush-crow and we are also likely to see Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Croaking Cisticola and Rock Hyraxes waiting for the sun on the top of the rocks. We will spend a full day exploring this bird-rich area. In addition to the two special endemics we will look for Ostrich, Gabar Goshawk, Pygmy Falcon, Somali Courser,Mottled Swift, Grey-headed and Pygmy Batis, Blue-napedMousebird, Pale Prinia, Rufous-crowned and Lilac-breasted Rollers, Golden and Bush Pipits, Pringle's Puffback, Red-naped Bush-shrike, Taita Fiscal, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, KenyaViolet-backed, Hunter's and Shining Sunbirds, Somali Crombec, Banded Warbler, Purple Grenadier, Three-streaked Tchagra, Wattled Starling, Yellow-spotted Petronia, Chestnut Sparrow,Northern Grosbeak-canary, Grey-headed and Black-capped Social-weavers, Chestnut Weaver, Black-cheeked Waxbill, Green-winged Pytilia and White-bellied Canary. In the evening we will make a local excursion to look for Donaldson-Smith's Nightjar and Three-banded Courser.
Day 13 - to Lake Langano
Following some early-morning birding around the hotel we will head north towards Addis Ababa. After lunch in Awassa we will travel along Awassa Lake shore, where we may see the endemic Fawn-breasted Waxbill and have a reasonable chance of seeing Basra Reed-warbler. In the late afternoon we will arrive at Lake Langano for two-night stay on the shores of the lake with views of the 4000m Arsi Mountains in the background. In the evening we will look for Greyish and Verreaux's Eagle-owls, African Scops-owl, Northern White-faced Owl and Freckled, Slender-tailed and Sombre Nightjars around our hotel.
Day 14
The three neighbouring lakes in the central Ethiopian Rift Valley are totally different from each other but all are superb birding sites. The morning will be spent around the vast hotelgrounds, where we will look for Clapperton's Francolin, White-winged Black-tit, Hemprich's Hornbill, Little Bee-eater, LittleRock-thrush, Abyssinian (Schalow's) Wheatear and many other special birds of the area. The afternoon's destination will be the magnificent Bishangary area, where we will look for NarinaTrogon, Lemon and Tambourine Doves, African Emerald Cuckoo,Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Ethiopian Boubou, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Black Scimitarbill, Cape Teal, Southern Pochard, Intermediate Egret, Dark Chanting-goshawk, Imperial and Long-crested Eagles,Black-chested and Banded Snake-eagles, Kittlitz's Plover, AfricanSnipe, Pallas's Gull, African Pipit, African Thrush, Red-facedCrombec, Rppell's Long-tailed Starling and Red-billed Oxpecker. Mammals may include Oribi and Spotted Hyena.
Day 15 - to Awash
After further early-morning birding around Lake Langanowe we will head to Awash National Park. The route will take us through savannah habitat and close to numerous Rift Valley Lakeswith great birding. As we skirt around the lava fields at the base ofthe Fantale Crater, we will look for Sombre Rock-chat, Blackstartand Chestnut-headed Sparrow-lark. In the late afternoon we wil larrive at the park entrance where we are likely to see Abyssinian Roller, Ashy Cisticola and Green-winged Pytilia. We will stay in Awash for two nights.
Day 16
Today will be spent in the superb Awash National Park,specifically around the Bilen and Fulhowa Hotsprings, the Awash River and the Kirayawa Gorge, exploring riverine forests, wetlands ,thorn woodlands, savannah grasslands, rocky hills, cliffs and escarpments. The park boasts a bird list of 460 species and we will look for Greater Spotted Eagle, Scissor-tailed Kite, Shikra, Arabian, Buff-crested, Hartlaub's and White-bellied Bustards, Three-banded Courser, Helmeted Guineafowl, Small Buttonquail, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Chestnut-bellied and Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse, Black-billed Barbet, White-browed Coucal, AfricanPalm-swift, Plain Nightjar, Northern Carmine and Madagascar Bee-eaters, Wire-tailed Swallow, Red-winged and Flappet Larks, Singing Bushlark, Red-backed Scrub-robin, Eastern OlivaceousWarbler, Southern Grey, Isabelline, Red-backed, White-rumped and Woodchat Shrikes, Somali Fiscal, Nile Valley, Shining and Marico Sunbirds, Grey-headed and Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrikes, Fan-tailed Raven, African Pied Wagtail, Red-billed Quelea and Crimson-rumped Waxbill. Mammals may include Lion, Leopard, Beisa Oryx, Aardvark, Soemmering's Gazelle, Impala, Hamadryas Baboon, Abyssinian Hare, African Wild Cat, Black-backed Jackal, Striped Hyena and Greater and Lesser Kudu.
Day 17 - to Addis Ababa
Some early morning birding around the lodge will be followed by the return journey to Addis Ababa. You will have another opportunity to look for Sombre Rock-chat in the lava fields of the Fantale Crater before stopping for lunch en-route. Upon reaching Addis Ababa we will have time to shower and change before dinner, following which you will return to the airport for your late evening/early morning flight back home.



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