Awash National Park
Yellow fronted parrotAwash National Park is the oldest wildlife reserve in Ethiopia situated at 210km east of Addis.

On your way from Addis you will pass by Debrezeit, an attractive town just 50km from Addis surrounded by 5 crater lakes and beautified by bougainvillea and palm trees.

Enjoy the fresh fruit juices of papaya, orange strawberry etc and watching various species of birds like cormorants, grebes, and shoveler at the lakes; late afternoon arrive at Addis.

At Awash, you will drive through shrub zones and the river banks to see the greater Kudus, dikdiks, warthogs, anubis and hamadryads baboons, and various birds such as the golden-backed woodpecker, the thick-billed raven and the wattled ibis.

The park boasts some 300 species of birds a list of these is available in the park museum. The Abyssinian horn bill, secretary birds, carmine bee eaters, ostriches and some of the birds which are endemic to Ethiopia can be spotted.

Lake Langano and Rift valley lakes
The Road to the south- from Mojo a turn to the west leads to the southern rift valley lakes. The first major feature on the road is the bridge over the Awash River. Besides the Koka dam birds wade in the shallows of the lake the sparse acacia trees add to the enchanting views.

Some 160 km from the capital is the lake shore town of Zeway, the largest of the four northern rift valley lakes. It is oval in shape covering 447sq.km and is up to 15m deep. Birds such as storks, pelicans, geese and the African fishing eagle frequent the lake shore. The best way to see the blue water and the swampy reed edges of the lake is by boat.

Langano is admired by many nature lovers, best known for its beaches camping, sailing, skiing and swimming facilities. The chained mountains of Arsi give a beautiful background to the irregular basin of Lake Langano. The lake has a perimeter of 82 km and a depth of up to 30m and the water is light brown because of its mineral content. The multi colored sands make the sloping beach perfect spot to bask in the blazing sun.

Bale; Sannete Plateau & Harena Forest
Drive to Dinsho where the head quarter of the Bale Mountains National Park is situated. You will start admiring the park from the surroundings of the park office It has a spectacular Harenna escarpment, wild flowers, and many endemic birds and wild life.

The 4000 asl Sannete Plateau, with its striking Afro-Alpine flora, such as the Giant Lobelia; is the best place in Ethiopia to see the Simien Wolf, endemic to Ethiopia the beautiful Spot breasted Plover is found in large numbers and large flocks of the white collard pigeon feed on the ground.

Awasa en route Wondogenet, Shala and Abyata
A right turn to the far side of the bridge leads to lakes Shala and Abyata. On the way to the lakes there is a small hill which serves as a view point. A little further down the escarpment different species of birds with varied colors flit through the branches of the acacia trees, creating the scene of unique beauty.

Lake Shala a mysterious place full of dramatic beauty, lies in a deep, 118sq.km basin serves as a mating ground while Abyata is favored as a feeding sanctuary. It is the deepest of all the rift valley lakes with a maximum depth of 266m.

Road from Awasa to Yabelo wildlife sanctuary
Awassa is one of Ethiopia’s beautiful and growing cities situated at the side of Lake Awassa. The lake is rich in bird life like Pygmy Goose, Brown Snake Eagle, Grey Kestrel, Spotted Creeper, African Marabou Storks, and the endemic Yellow-fronted Parrot. There are also hippos in the lake and Colobus monkeys in the gardens of the lake side hotels.

Enjoy a morning visit of Awassa fish market where you can watch various water birds and marabou storks at the shores of the lake. Then drive to Yabelo where there is a wild life sanctuary that supports the country’s largest concentration of Burchell’s Zebra and Grant’s Gazelle.

It is also one of the best places to see oryx, dik dik, greater and lesser kudu, warthog and many small mammals. There are some 280 species of birds recorded from the sanctuary such as the Ethiopian bush crow, white tailed swallow, and Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco.

Drive to Bahirdar via Debre Libanos & Blue Nile gorge
Drive towards the north and visit one of Ethiopia’s most holy sites, the monastery of Debre Libanos which was founded in the 13th century. The site is beautifully set beneath a cliff on the edge of gorge and is a peaceful place to wonder.

There is a good chance of seeing gelada baboon and lammergeyer along the way. Continue to a truly magnificent Blue Nile gorge where you will admire the expansive views of terraced slops and euphorbia studded cliffs on the opposite wall. It is the most dramatic stretches of road in Ethiopia dropping over 1000m.

Ankober surroundings
This village is located, off-the-road about 40 km from Debre Birhan (and 172 km from Addis Ababa) through the hilly area and dusty roads. Ankober today is typical of the villages of the southern Ethiopian highlands where several cottages scattered in the Shewan Mountains bordering the Afar region.

Not only it is the beautiful landscapes and rural culture that makes this place worth visiting, a quite remarkable feature of birds where even from the lodge’s balcony as well as other parts of the surrounding mountains one can enjoy there.

Eskinder Hailu - Manager, Highway Tours

Eskinder Hailu
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