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Ethiopia is a land of natural contrasts, from the tops of the rugged Simien Mountains to the depth of the Danakil Depression, at 116meters below sea level one of the lowest dry land points on earth. The cornucopia of natural beauty that blesses Ethiopia offers an astonishing variety of landscapes: Afro-alpine highlands soaring to around 4300 meters, deserts sprinkled with salt flats and yellow Sulphur, lake lands with rare and beautiful birds, moors and mountains, the splendor of the Great Rift Valley, white-water rivers, savannah teeming with game, giant waterfalls, dense and lush jungle ... the list is endless.
Ethiopia's many national parks enable the visitor to enjoy the countries scenery and its wild life, conserved in natural habitats, and offer opportunities for travel adventure unparalleled in Africa.


The Park can be divided into three main areas. The central region is a high plateau including Tullu Deemto, the highest peak in southern Ethiopia, while the southern area is monotone forest. To the north the reverie plains and woodlands are home to most of the game in the park, as well as to many species of birds.The park entrance, near the HQ at Dinsho, lies just north of the main road about 7km from the village.

Exploring the park requires a 4x4 vehicle, and walking or pony trekking is preferred. The Gaysay area, watered by the Gaysay River provides some of the best game viewing with considerable numbers of Mountain Nyala, Duiker, Warthog and Menelik's Bushbuck. Sometimes Leopard and Simien Fox can be spotted.
Bale National Park is also renowned for its distinctive flora and its superb fishing. The mountain streams teem with brown and rainbow trout for the fly fisherman, and Dinsho is the HQ of the Bale Trout Flshing Club. Amongst the spectacular flora found in the region are the giant St John's Wort, stately red-hot pokers and the Giant Lobelia.

Animal Checklist

Birds you may see

Simien Fox
Wattled Ibis
Abyssinian cat bird
Mountain Nyala
Black-winged Lovebird
Spot breasted plover
Menelik's Bushbuck
Abyssinian  long claw
White backed black tit
Bohor Reddbuck
Wattled Crane
Abyssinian wood pecker
Rouget's Rail
Abyssinian thrush
Serval Cat
Blue-winged Goose
Bale paresoma
Thick-billed Raven
White collared pigeon
Colobus Monkey
Red billed Chough
White checked turaco
Anubis Baboon
Ethiopian siskin
Grey Duiker
Malachite Sunbird
Ethiopian oriole

More on Bale Mountains ....


The Simien Mountains Massif is one of the major highlands of Africa, rising to the highest point in Ethiopia, Ras Dejen (4,620m), which is the fourth highest peak in the continent. Although in Africa, and not too far from the equator, snow and ice appear on the highest points, and night temperatures often fall below zero. The park was created primarily to protect the Walia Ibex, a type of wild goat, and over 1,00 are said to live in the park. Also in the park are families of the Gelada Baboon, and the rare semien fox. Although named after the mountains this is rarely seen by the visitor. Over 50 species of birds have been reported in the Simein Mountains. Access to the park is from Debareq, 101km from Gondar, where riding and pack animals may be hired. This should be arranged in advance through your local tour operator or the office of the Wildlife Conservation Department.

Animal Checklist

  1. Walia Ibex
  2. Gelada Baboon
  3. Simien Fox
  4. Klipspringer
  5. Grimm's Duiker
  6. Bushbuck
  7. Hayena
  8. Golden Jackal

More on Semien Mountains ....


With an out standing Savannah Grass land Nechisar National Park is situated on a strikingly beautiful setting between two of the Rift Valley spectacular lakes of Abaya and Chamo on two sides (this land is called the bridge of God) and high mountain ranges on the other two sides. It is the only national park in the world where the indigenous Swayne's Hartebeest still survives. The park also supports mammals like Burchell's Zebra, Grant's gazelle, Greater Kudu, Klipspringer, Dikdik, Waterbuck and Warthog. The park is also home of birds like Nightjars; White tailed Bush Lark, Kori Bustard, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Crowned Crane and some water birds.

The lakes are one of the best features of the park. Boat trip on Lake Chamo is along the best anywhere in Ethiopia. One can spot many Hippos and the world's most spectacular concentrations of Giant Crocodiles. That is why it is called as Crocodile Market. The water birds are great the scenery is truly unforgettable. Fishing for Nile Perch and many other species by locals on their traditional boat is by far the best in the country.


One of the most beautiful national parks in Ethiopia, its 4,068 square km of wilderness bordered by the Omo River, is the home to an amazing range of wildlife. 306 species of birds have been identified here, while large herds of Eland, Buffalo and Elephant are not uncommon.
The park is not easily accessible, as the current means of access is via Omo Rate and the ferry to the north bank of the river. The park HQ is 75km from Kibish settlement. However, a new airstrip is available close to the HQ and to a pleasant campsite on the Mui River. Plans are in hand for further major improvements

Animal Checklist

  1. Eland
  2. Buffalo
  3. Elephant
  4. Giraffe
  5. Cheetah
  6. Lion


2612 square km on the Banks of the Omo River, the Mago National Park is relatively undeveloped for tourists. The broad grassland teem with herds of Buffalo, Giraffe, Elephant and kudu, while sometimes it is possible to find Lion, Leopard and Burchell's Zebra. The abundant birdlife here is typical of dry grasslands, and river banks.
The park lise in the north to mount Mago (2,528m) and is home to 56 speciaes of mammals.

Animal Checklist

  1. Buffalo
  2. Elephant
  3. Giraffe
  4. Lion
  5. Leopard
  6. Burchell's Zebra
  7. Lelwel Hartebeest
  8. Gerenuk
  9. Greater Kudu

Birds to look out for

  1. Kori Bustard
  2. Abyssinian Ground Hornbill
  3. Sparrow Weavers
  4. Wattled Starling
  5. Kingfishers
  6. Goliath Heron


Although little developed and receiving few visitors, the Gambella National Park in the West of the region, is unique with its large area of swamps and wetlands. Most of the terrain comprises grassland, and wooded savanah, and contains many species who are more typical of the Sudan rather than other areas of Ethiopia. The Wetlands, and the Baro River attract large quantities of birdlife, many of them migratory visitors.
Access is best from the town of Gambella, and there are no tourist facilities in the park.

Animal Checklist

  1. Sable Antelope
  2. Elephant
  3. Giraffe
  4. Topi
  5. Nile Lechwe
  6. White-eared kob
  7. Roan Antelope

Birds to look out for

  1. Egyptian Goose
  2. Sacred Ibis
  3. Egrets
  4. Kingfishers
  5. Pelican


Lying in the lowlands east of Addis Ababa, and astride the Awash river, is one of the finest reserves in Ethiopia. The Awash River, one of the major rivers of the Horn of Africa, waters important agricultural lands in the north of Ethiopia and eventually flows into the wilderness of the Danakil Depression. The dramatic Awash Falls, as the river tumbles into its gorge, is a sight not to be missed in the national park.
Awash National Park, surrounding the dormant volcano of Fantale, is a reserve of arid and semi-arid woodland and savannah, with riverine forests along the Awash River. Forty six species of animals have been identified here, including Beisa Oryx and Swayne's Hartebeest. The birdlife is prolific, especially along the river and in the nearby Lake Basaka, and there are 5 endemic amongst the 392 species recorded. A special attraction is the beautiful clear pools of the Filwoha hot springs.
Access to the park is best from the main Addis/Assab highway, and there is a caravan lodge at Kereyu Lodge at the edge of the gorge.

Animal Checklist

Birds you may see

Swayne's HartebeestGreen Wood hoopoe
LionEmerald-spotted Dove
Grivet MonkeytdCarmine Bee-eater
Hamadryas BaboonFish Eagle
Beisa OryxTawny Eagle
Creater KuduLanner Falcon
Lesser KuduDark Chanting Coshawk
Anubis BaboonLesser Flamingo
Defaffa WaterbuckHarlequin Quail
Salt's Dik-dik 


Although this park has little development and no tourist facilities, its dry grasslands are home to herds of the endangered Somali Wild Ass, as well as Grevy's Zebra, Hamadryras Baboon and Beisa Oryx. The park lies astride the Addis Assab road, and consists of 4,730 square km of semi desert and dry scrub.
Access to the park is from the town of Gewane, where the park administration is based.

Animal Checklist

  1. Wild Ass
  2. Gerenuk
  3. Soemmering's Gazlle
  4. Beisa Oryx
  5. Grevy's Zebra
  6. Hamadryas Baboon
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