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Visit Major birding sites in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is one of the great birding destinations for both the serious and recreational ornithologists. Over 850 species of birds, many extremely beautiful and exotic, reside in Ethiopia. Of these, 16 are endemic to Ethiopia, 14 other species are shared only with Eritrea. There are 214 species of pal arctic migrants in Ethiopia; 45 of these have been found in the country during the summer months. A large number of species have breeding populations in Ethiopia.

Itineraries

Day 1

Addis Ababa - Awash National Park

Drive to Awash National Park via the Rift Valley Lake of Bishoftu near Debre Zeit. Take an evening game drive in Awash National Park and visit an area frequented by hyenas. Overnight Lodge.

Day 2

Awash National Park

Birding in Awash National Park, located in the Great Rift Valley. Many species of birds are found here: African Orange-bellied Parrots, Bustards, Weavers, Hoopoe, Yellow-throated Serine, Red-fronted Barbet, Pygmy Batis, Lesser-striped Swallow, and the House Martin. The park also boasts a variety of mammals: the Anubis Baboon, Colobus Monkey, Black-backed Jackal, Bat-eared Fox, Egyptian Mongoose, Warthog, Beisa Oryx, Soemmering’s Gazelle, Lesser Kudu, Salt’s Dikdik, etc. ​ Overnight Lodge

Day 3

Awash National Park - Lake Langano

Drive to Lake Langano. En route, birding at Lake Ziway, truly a birder's paradise and at Koka Dam. Spot bird species such as; the African Pygmy Goose, Black-billed Woodhoopoe, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Northern Black Tit, Little Weaver, etc. Overnight Lodge

Day 4

Lake Langano

A full day birding at Lake Langano and Abiyata - Shala National Parks. Over 300 species can be seen around Lake Abiyata, such as: Yellow Wagtails, Ibis, Cormorant, Pelicans, Ducks, Egrets, Herons, Flamingos, Storks, Swallows, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Rollers, Wheatear, African Marsh Harrier, etc. Overnight Lodge

Day 5

Lake Langano -Wondo Genet - Bale Mountains

Drive to the Bale Mountains National Park and meet with park guide. Arrive at the park headquarters in the afternoon, in time for a leisurely afternoon hike, possibly spotting two endemic mammals that frequent the area: Menelik's Bushbuck and the Mountain Nyala. Birds in this area include the Blue-Winged Goose, the Spot-Breasted Lapwing, the Abyssinian Long Claw, the Wattled Ibis, the Black-Headed Siskin, Rouget’s Rail, and numerous other species. Overnight Hotel

Day 6

Bale Mountains National Park

View Simien Red Wolves and other endemic mammals. Spot birds such as Chestnut-naped Francolin, Ground Thrush (of the distinctive, endemic race Simensis), the secretive Abyssinia Ground- thrush, the vocal Abyssinian Catbird, and the endemic White-backed Black-Tit. If we are very fortunate, we will see a pair of the endangered Wattled Crane in the moist grasslands or spot a Cape Eagle- Lapwing, Thekla Lark, Red-breasted Wheatear, and Moorland chats. Overnight Hotel

Day 7

Bale Mountains National Park - Negeli Borena

Drive to Negeli via Harena Forest. En route look for the Turaco and outstanding Golden-breasted Starling. We will also seek the endemic Sidamo Lark and the Somali Short-toed Lark and possibly Heuglin’s Bustard on the Negele Plains. The Sidamo lark is quite secretive and like many Ethiopian endemics inhabits a very small area. Overnight Hotel.

Day 8

Negeli Borena - Yabello Borena

Search for the endemic White-tailed Swallow and Stresemann’s Bushcrow. You should spot the Swallow threading its way through the termite chimneys and groups of Bushcrows in the thorn bushes. For the entire day explore the Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary and Reserve; species to look for include: Somalian Ostrich, Secretary Bird, Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture, Martial Eagle, Grasshopper Buzzard, African Pygmy Falcon, Vulturine Guineafowl, Kori Bustard, Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar, Star- spotted Nightjar, Yellow-billed Hornbill, Lilac-breasted Roller, Rufous- crowned Roller, D’Arnaud’s Barbet, Red and Yellow Barbet, Short- tailed Lark, Northern Grey Tit, Shelley’s and White-crowned Starlings, Abyssinian Grosbeak Canary, Somali Sparrow, Black-capped Social Weaver, Grey-headed Silverbill, Taita Fiscal, and Somali Golden- breasted Bunting. Other possibilities include: Coqui Francolin, Somali Courser, African Bare-eyed Thrush, Little Spotted Woodpecker, Pringle’s Puffback, Little Tawny Pipit, Fawn-coloured Lark. Mammals that inhabit the park include: Burchell’s Zebra, Aardvark, Grant’s Gazelle, Thompson’s Gazelle, and Lesser-spotted Genet. Overnight Hotel

Day 9

Yabello Borena - Hawassa

En route to Hawassa spot numerous species: Silvery-Cheeked Hornbill, Abysinnian Ground Hornbill, Roget's Rail, Marabou Stork, Black and White Egrets, African Pygmy Goose, Spur-winged Goose, Swallows, Ibis, African Fish Egret, Woodland Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, etc. Overnight Hotel

Day 10

Hawassa - Addis Ababa

Drive back to Addis Ababa with stops for Birding on the way at Rift Valley Lakes. Lake Ziway, famous for birding, has impressive numbers of water birds, African Pygmy Geese, Yellow-Billed Storks, Collared Pratincole, Lesser Jacana, Africa Jacana, White Pelicans, Fish Eagles and Crowned and common cranes. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant featuring dancers and musicians representing some of the country's many ethnic groups. Transfer to airport for late night departure if needed. Overnight Hotel

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