A popular, action-packed 10-day birdwatching tour of Ethiopia
Ethiopia has a diversity of cultures, history, and wealth of dramatic landscapes unmatched in Africa. With 850 bird species, including over 30 endemics, and a fabulous range of habitats, it is also one of the world’s great birdwatching destinations. On this tour we visit the savannahs of Awash National Park, where bustards roam the acacia-dotted plains grazed by Beisa Oryx, Soemmering's Gazelle and several other rare ungulates. We also explore a chain of scenic Rift Valley lakes, crammed with waterbirds, and spend two nights at Wondo Genet where remnant forests add yet more variety to a long bird list, sometimes approaching 400 species!
- Fantastic birdwatching
- Large bird list, including up to half of Ethiopia's endemics
- A good selection of mammals
- Superlative and dramatic landscapes
- Awash National Park – a classic East African reserve
- Rift Valley Lakes & Wondo Guenet Forest
- Expertly guided by a British or Ethiopian ornithologist
All food is included in the price. Restaurant food is basic but adequate. There is usually a mix of western food or traditional Ethiopian food available.
Simple tourist lodges
Red-necked Wryneck (Simon Woolley)
Day 3/4 Awash National Park
Awash National Park (Julia Casson)
Ethiopia is a fascinating and welcoming country. The climate is warm and comfortable all year round and the bird life is exceptional. The scenery is stunning, there are masses of lakes surrounded by mountainous peaks, dusty valleys dotted with acacia trees and pretty little thatched huts surrounding well kept villages. The people of this country are proud and happy and for the most part self sufficient. Ethiopia provides its own power (from the many lakes!), grows its own crops and keeps very many cattle. The traditionally robed ponies and their riders seen along the moorlands, plus donkeys carrying their mixed cargo all round the country, provide an interesting cultural backdrop to a week of sensational birdwatching. There is no shortage of culture and history, and many fascinating sites can be added onto your holiday if you would like to extend your time to explore this fascinating country. It is worth stressing, however, that whilst the tourist infrastructure in Ethiopia is improving, facilities such as hotels, vehicles and many of the roads are of a much lower standard than other more popular African destinations such as Kenya, Tanzania and southern Africa. As such, when travelling in Ethiopia it is necessary to accept that the itinerary may not always run like clockwork, the roads may be poor on occasion, the vehicles a little cramped and some of the hotels may be basic in nature and lacking in some of the comforts found in western hotels. What is needed more than anything, therefore, is a good sense of adventure and if you come equipped with this you are sure to enjoy the fascinating birds, animals, culture and landscapes of this unique beautiful African country.
From the birding point of view the trip was fantastic - over 350 birds (including 194 'lifers'). Abey was a really good guide; although quite young his knowledge is comprehensive, he is courteous and patient, and has obviously done his homework to ascertain where to find the elusive species.
All my guides were excellent. Abiye was terrific at finding and identifying wildlife, and is a truly lovely person. The other two guides (on the Lalibela extension) were knowledgeable, helpful and pleasant. I appreciate your offering tours that aren't exclusively for birders - this is my fourth trip, and all have been a delight.
As a very experienced leader, Cliff saw to it that everything ran smoothly, dealing with hotels etc and, of course, he was top-notch with the birding.
Abbiy Gednee, the tour leader, was excellent in every way. He knew his birds and their calls and was helpful and instructive in the field. I would go on another trip with this guide.
Abiy Gednee was excellent in every way. He knew his birds and their calls and was helpful and instructive in the field. I would definitely go on another trip with this guide.
I would like to say that Cliff Waller, plus a most friendly group, made this trip the best that I’ve been on.
S. & P.H,
Throughout the trip food was varied and plentiful, even for us vegetarians. Cliff Waller was an excellent, well organised and empathetic leader. Omar was an excellent cultural guide and ambassador. He handled tricky situations with sensitivity and good humour. The driver was an amiable, patient and most obliging person who took frequent demands for ‘Stop!’ all in his stride. Finally, we enjoyed the company of the other group members. Their knowledge of birds, and sense of fun, helped to make this a memorable and enjoyable experience for us both.
Our guide was a complete gentleman. A super trip to a super birding destination.
The accommodation was far better than I had expected - there was always running water, the meals were good too with a good choice always available. The staff at the Awash campsite did an excellent job, they were all friendly and helpful. We thought that the itinerary was well thought out ... the information provided before departure was good too.
I saw about 363 species during my stay, of which some 213 were new to me, and included 19 Ethiopian Endemics.
K. & H.R.
Solomon Berhe was well organized and has a lovely sense of humour. We appreciated his knowledge of plants, religion, food and other things.
S. & M.B.
The Ethiopian tour was excellent. We managed 347 species which we thought was stunning, and we only missed one endemic that we had a chance of seeing. We thought it was great!!
Solomon was good and knowledgeable. I learnt a lot because the group was small.
B. & E.P.
The party members worked well as a team and helped each other to see everything possible - we were fortunate to have such a knowledgeable local leader and several of the group widely experienced in Africa. Altogether an excellent trip and we would encourage others to go.
It was a brilliant trip, the birds were fantastic! Merid was brilliant, knew all the birds without the book and seemed a really nice person.