Our 17-day Ethiopia birding tour comprehensively covers this unique country and every single endemic bird is targeted (Ethiopia has the second highest count of endemics on the continent). Up to five hundred species of birds and many rare mammals can be expected and the ease of the birding is quite remarkable. Ethiopia is also one of Africa’s most rewarding photographic destinations.
In central Ethiopia we explore massive Rift Valley lakes teeming with birds, moss-draped montane forests supporting a wide selection of endemics, the high Bale Mountains home to the critically endangered Ethiopian Wolf, the impressive Jemma Valley and Awash National Park, a Mecca for game and bird watching in Ethiopia (home to an incredible six species of bustard!). Key Ethiopian bird species we will seek include Spot-breasted Lapwing, Blue-winged Goose, Rouget’s Rail, Wattled Ibis, Ankober Serin, Yellow-fronted Parrot, White-backed Black Tit and Abyssinian Woodpecker.
To find some of Ethiopia’s most sought after endemics such as the fabled Ruspoli’s Turaco and enigmatic Stresemann’s Bush Crow, we will venture to remote corners of this ancient land. In these significantly drier habitats of southern Ethiopia, we will be searching for birds unique to this region including White-tailed Swallow, Archer's (Sidamo) Lark, White-winged Collared Dove, Red-naped Bushshrike and Juba Weaver.
Ruspoli's & White-cheeked Turacos; Stresemann's Bush Crow; Spot-breasted Lapwing; Blue-winged Goose; Rouget’s Rail; Wattled Ibis; Ankober Serin; Yellow-throated, Yellow-rumped, Brown-rumped & Salvadori's Seedeaters; Ethiopian Siskin; Yellow-fronted Parrot; Black-winged Lovebird; Erkel's, Clapperton's, Chestnut-fronted & Harwood's Spurfowls; White-backed Black Tit; Abyssinian Woodpecker; Donaldson-Smith's & Star-spotted Nightjars; White-tailed Swallow; Archer's (Sidamo), Gillett's, Blanford's & Somali Short-toed Larks; White-winged Collared Dove; White-collared Pigeon; Nile Valley & Black-bellied Sunbirds; Arabian & Hartlaub's Bustards; Golden-breasted, White-crowned & White-billed Starlings; Red-naped Bushshrike; Juba Weaver; Black-billed Wood Hoopoe; Banded Barbet; Abyssinian Woodpecker; Ethiopian Oriole; Somali Crow; Thick-billed Raven; Somali & Dodson's Bulbuls; Somali Crombec; Boran & Ethiopian Cisticolas; White-rumped Babbler; Abyssinian Catbird; Montane White-eye; Abyssinian Slaty Flycatcher; Rüppell's Robin-Chat; White-winged Cliff Chat; Moorland Chat; Rüppell's Black Chat; Sombre Rock Chat; Swainson's Sparrow; Red-billed Pytilia; Abyssinian Waxbill; Abyssinian Longclaw.
Ethiopian & Golden Wolves; Gelada, Olive & Hamadryas Baboons; Grivet & Bale Monkeys; Guereza; Mountain Nyala; Giant Mole Rat; Serval; Guenther's & Salt's Dikdik; Gerenuk; Lesser Kudu; Beisa Oryx; Soemmering's & Grant's Gazelles; Abyssinian Hare; Gambian Sun Squirrel; Unstriped Ground Squirrel; Somali Dwarf Mongoose; Spotted Hyaena; Common Hippopotamus.
montane forest, Afro-alpine moorland, Acacia savanna, Rift Valley lakes, semi-desert
temperate in highlands, hot and dry in lowlands
Max Group Size
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader
Tour Pace & Walking
moderate pace, mostly undemanding walks
comfortable to basic hotels
Ease of Birding
Number of Species Expected
spectacular montane scenery, interesting ancient farming methods
This tour was our first one with Greg de Klerk. I would certainly go with him again. He is an extremely good birder, quick to locate birds and get all of the tour group on them. He worked hard to get those difficult endemics. His sense of humour added greatly to the group experience. What I most appreciated about Greg was his method of helping us to see the necessary field marks to identify a bird and to explain the difference between a bird and one that looked similar. I was therefore sure of the identity of every bird we had.
Greg de Klerk did a very good job managing the tour, was personable and was highly effective at bird spotting & identification.
Greg de Klerk is an excellent leader. What I admired most about Greg was his willingness and patience to take the time and "teach" the group shorebird and wading bird identification. Throughout the tour, he would take the time and repeat the details to anyone who asked, or seemed to be unclear on the details.
Glen Valentine is an asset to any birding group with his excellent knowledge of birds and his friendly outgoing personality. He is helpful to both experienced and inexperienced birders alike. I would not hesitate to join another birding tour where he was leader or co-leader as I know from experience that it would be a thoroughly enjoyable and informative tour.
Heinz Ortmann did an excellent job of leading a group with diverse interests. He was particularly patient in showing the birds to the non-birders, and I believe he increased the level of interest in all of them with his enthusiasm. (Graham is already talking about a possible trip to Uganda!). He also did his best with my "wish-list" and I don't think we missed much. I have some stunning pictures of Stresemann's Bushcrow and Vulturine Guineafowl as evidence. It was necessary to make a couple of changes to the itinerary and accommodation, and Heinz managed all of this without any stress to the group.