Tour codeTour categories
Duration12 days / 11 nightsHighlights
Addis Ababa – where the flowers always bloom
Awash NP with more than 450 species of birds
Endemic bird species like such as the Yellow Throated Serien at Bale Mountains NP
The beautiful rift valley city of Hawassa
Aquatic bird spotting at Abiata-Shalla national park
Relaxing and bird watching at Lake Langano
Day 1Locations AddisOvernight Nexus Hotel (4*) or similar
Be met at the air port and after check in to your hotel, start visiting Addis with the Archaeological Museum where, among other archaeological findings, the oldest hominid fossil is exhibited; the Ethnological Museum in the former palace of Emperor Haile Sillassie, and Merkato which is the largest open-air market in Africa. We will be driving through the main streets of Addis to see some of the prominent statues and monuments of the city. In the evening, you will be taken to one of the best traditional restaurants in Addis to be invited for dinner.
Day 2Locations Addis to Awash National parkOvernight Awash falls lodge
Have your breakfast and leave Addis to Awash national park, one of the most important birding areas of the country with more than 450 bird species. The park hosts endemics like the yellow throated Serien, Ethiopian cliff swallow and the near endemic Sombre rock chat among other numerous number of species. The park is a habitat for more than six species of bustards including the Arabian bustard.
We will have birding in the different geographical areas of the park including the Awash gorge (Ethiopian cliff swallow, Carmine bee-eater), Fentale crater (Sombre rock chat) and the plains with sparsed acacias inhabited by different dry country birds such as hornbills, larks, waxbills, Abyssinian roller and many more.
Day 3Locations AwashOvernight
We will have another full day of birding in the park to experience its great birdlife. Overnight Awash falls lodge
Day 4Locations Awash to Bale Mountain NPOvernight Wabishebelle hotel
In the morning after breakfast leave Awash to the Bale Mountains National Park. Bale mountains national park is designated as one of the most important birding areas of Ethiopia with more than 15 endemics both to the nation and particularly to the Bale area. The park largely supports highland forest species and the rare afro-alpine moorland birds of which most are restricted to that area.
Before reaching to the headquarters at Dinsho, we will look at some of the birds on the side road as we pass through the Gaysay extension of the park. We can spot many species of birds including some endemics near the headquarter at Dinsho upon arrival.
Day 5Locations DinshoOvernight Wabishebelle hotel
We will have a full day walking around Dinsho for more birding. We will try to spot many endemics from the abundant species of birds in the surrounding forest. Endemics which can be seen around here include Abyssinian slaty flycatcher, White backed black tit, and Black winged love bird, Abyssinian catbird, and thick billed raven and white collared pigeon.
We will try to spot as many birds as we can on our birding here in Dinsho before driving to Goba.
Day 6Locations Goba - Sanetti - GobaOvernight Wabishebelle hotel
After breakfast we will drive to the Sanetti plateau to witness its amazing birdlife. This plateau is full of various species inhabiting its different parts. At the start of our drive you can simply see some common highland birds and as the altitude gets higher, some unique birds start to appear. A good example is the endemic Bale parisoma. Black headed siskin (endemic) and Alpine chat are some of the birds that can be seen on the alpine moorland. Sanetti is also a habitat for some aquatic birds like Spot-throated plover and Wattled Ibis including the endemic blue winged goose.
We can have a chance to spot different species of ground birds, raptors, buzzards, kestrels, falcons and eagles.
Day 7Locations Goba - Wondo GenetOvernight Wondo Genet Hotel
We will Leave Goba behind as we drive to Wondo Genet to do more birding in its beautiful forest. After checking in to your hotel and lunch walk around the forested hill and double-toothed barbet, mountain buzzard, tree pipit, spotted creeper and black saw wing can be sighted including the endemics Yellow fronted parrot, Ethiopian oriole and Abyssinian woodpecker.
Day 8Locations Wondo genet - HawassaOvernight Haile Resort or similar
You will need no one but the birds to wake you up in the morning with their haunting melodious singing. After breakfast have a visit to the morning singing birds before leaving Wondo Genet to the beautiful rift valley city of Hawassa.
After checking into hotel and lunch, it will be a visit to the birds of Lake Hawassa and its surrounding woodland. The lake shore is a good place to spot both the aquatic and woodland birds as they are attracted to the place by the fish scraps left overs from the fish market.
Yellow fronted parrot, Ethiopian oriole, black –winged lovebird and banded barbet are endemics associated with the lakeside woodlands. We will also be able to see many birds in the lake shore including terns, waders, plovers, herons, storks and the beautiful pygmy goose.
Day 9Locations Abiata shalla NP - LanganoOvernight Sabana Beach Resort or similar
Drive north to the lakes national park of Abiata-Shalla for more aquatic birds. Even though they are not as rich as they were in the past, these lakes still support a good number of birds which are most of the time flamingos. The birds use lake Shalla as their breeding place and Abiata for feeding and entertainment. Go for a boat trip on Lake Abiata which attracts hundreds of thousands of birds (greater and lesser flamingos) during the European winter. Some of the bird species here include plovers, waders, starlings, sparrow-weavers and hornbills. The last three are associated with acacia woodland. After some time in the park we will drive to Lake Langano.
Day 10Locations Langano - Ziway- AddisOvernight Nexus Hotel (4*) or similar
Lake Langano is popular for the recreational value it offers, but at the same time it is a heaven of birds. Walk around the lake to enjoy more bird’s life and also relax and enjoy swimming and the heat of the Ethiopian sun.
We will have our lunch and leave Langano back to Addis. We will have our last birding opportunity on Lake Ziway, the first and the most northerly of the natural rift valley lakes. The lake is very rich with birdlife, more than any of the rift valley lakes and most of the aquatic birds of the lake can be easily seen on the lake shore. The good number of tilapia population of the lake is a reliable source of food not only for these birds but also for the town.
You will be able to see many aquatic bird species and some other water hunting birds including black tailed godwit, yellow billed stork, garganery, lesser moorhen, greater and lesser jacana, white pelican, black crake and many more. This is also a best place in Africa to see black egret (black heron). Continue our drive to Addis for overnight.
Day 11Locations Addis - AnkoberOvernight Ankober lodge
In the morning after breakfast drive northwards from Addis to Ankober. At the Historic town of Debre Birhan we will turn to the right on the 30 km road leading to Ankober. Ankober is mainly known for many Ethiopians as the seat for Emperor Menilik II on the late 18th c. The place is also of special interest relating to not by being the reliable site for the endemic bird which took the name of the place, Ankober serin-Serinus ankobernis. We will look for this endemic bird as we drive to the area where we can see them in number. After checking into hotel, have a walk around the trees near the famous palace for emperor menilik II.
Day 12Locations Ankober - Muger Gorge - AddisOvernight
After breakfast leave Ankober to the muger gorge to look for lammergeyers, black eagle, gymnogene, hemprich’s hornbill and the endemic white- billed starling. Then it will be a drive back to Addis. After some time in your hotel you will be taken to one of the best traditional restaurants in Addis to be invited for dinner and traditional folkloric dances with coffee ceremony. In the evening after dinner, you will be taken to the airport for your departure flight back home.
Optional extension of our standard tours where you get to....
Photos featuring various places and events along this specific tour.