Ethiopia is undoubtedly one of the finest birding nations in Africa, boasting the second highest endemic bird list on the continent – an impressive 29 endemic and near-endemic species! What’s more, Ethiopia is probably the best place on earth to view one of the strangest phenomena in the avian world – a bird perched on another bird! One of the very few species that regularly performs this trick is the Northern Carmine Bee-eater, which in this particular instance happens to have chosen the world’s largest flying bird as a perch; the Kori Bustard. The reason for this interesting behavior has nothing to do with inter-species bonding, but is simply the bee-eater’s way of ensuring an easy meal, since the large birds that they perch upon (which include the Arabian Bustard and Abyssinian Ground Hornbill) tend to flush insects while patrolling through the open savanna grasslands. Rockjumper tour leader Rich Lindie photographed these two in Ethiopia’s Awash National Park.
Other great birds that we target on our Ethiopia tours include the mythical Ruspoli’s Turaco, Stresemann’s Bush Crow, Spot-breasted Lapwing, Blue-winged Goose, Rouget’s Rail, Wattled Ibis, Arabian Bustard, Black-winged Lovebird, Erkel’s and Harwood’s Francolin, Red-naped Bushshrike, White-tailed Swallow, Sidamo Lark and Ankober Serin. Furthermore, our Ethiopian Endemics tours typically rack up an incredible bird list of up to 500 species, many of which are bright, beautiful and exceptionally confiding, making this a dream destination for photographers in particular.
Birds aside, we seek out some fabulous mammals as well, including such stellar species as Ethiopian Wolf, the unique Gelada, Hamadryas Baboon, Mountain Nyala, Giant Mole Rat, Serval, Gerenuk and the regal Beisa Oryx.
To round off our Ethiopian adventures, we also offer two very worthwhile cultural extensions. Our Lalibela extension takes us to northern Ethiopia where we explore the unique series of 12th century monolithic churches, hewn out of solid rock, and our Omo Valley Extension features the remote South Omo Valley where we interact with several traditional tribal communities who still live lives little changed by the modern world, with unique languages, clothing, hairstyles and bodily ornamentation.
Finally, for anyone with less time to spare in the field but still wishing for a fantastic overview of this remarkable country, we now offer a shorter Ethiopia Budget Birding tour, which still targets a wide array of spectacular species, including nearly all of the country’s endemics in a convenient 13-day package
For further information on any of these departures, all of which have limited spaces available, click on the links below or contact Crystal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ethiopian Endemics Birding I (09 – 27 Jan 2016 (19 days), US$6,200 per person sharing);
Ethiopia – Lalibela Historical Extension I (27 – 30 Jan 2016 (4 days), US$1,375 per person sharing);
Ethiopia – Omo Valley Extension – Birding & Tribal Cultures I (31 Jan – 07 Feb 2016 (8 days), US$2,850 per person sharing);
Ethiopia Budget Birding (23 Feb – 06 Mar 2016 (13 days), US$3,700 per person sharing).