Our 14-day relaxed Ethiopia birding tour covers the central birding circuit of this unique country. We explore the 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.


Top Birds

White-cheeked Turaco; Spot-breasted Lapwing; Blue-winged Goose; Rouget’s Rail; Wattled Ibis; Ankober Serin; Yellow-fronted Parrot; Black-winged Lovebird; Erkel's & Harwood's Francolins; White-backed Black Tit; Abyssinian Woodpecker; Gillett's & Blanford's Larks; Tacazze & Beautiful Sunbirds; Arabian & Hartlaub's Bustards; White-billed Starling; White-collared Pigeon; Black Crowned Crane; Moorland Chat; Abyssinian Ground Thrush; Abyssinian Catbird; Abyssinian Crimsonwing; African Citril; Thick-billed Raven; Little Rock Thrush; Sombre Rock Chat; Blackstart; Black-headed Lapwing; Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse; Yellow-breasted Barbet; Ethiopian Siskin; Hemprich’s Hornbill; Rüppell’s Black Chat; White-winged Cliff Chat; Red-billed Pytilia.

Top Mammals

Ethiopian Wolf; Gelada, Olive & Hamadryas Baboons; Mountain Nyala; Giant Mole Rat; Serval; Salt's Dik-dik; Gerenuk; Lesser Kudu; Beisa Oryx; Soemmering's Gazelle

Habitats Covered

montane forest, Afro-alpine moorland, Acacia savanna, Rift Valley lakes

Expected Climate

temperate in highlands, hot and dry in lowlands

Max Group Size

8 with 1 Rockjumper leader

Tour Pace & Walking

our Relaxed series of tours are designed to focus on having an enjoyable holiday with a bird and wildlife focus. Where possible; we have reduced or removed long drives, single night stays and poor/rustic accommodation. We have also sought to reduce or remove difficult hikes, narrow/muddy trails and otherwise oppressive environmental conditions. Early starts and night birding are mostly optional, and we will not spend much time searching for difficult and/or skulking species. These tours are not suitable for hardcore birders and listers, or dedicated photographers.

Accommodation

comfortable to basic hotels

Ease of Birding

not challenging

Other Attractions

spectacular montane scenery, interesting ancient farming methods

Photographic Opportunities

excellent

What our clients say about us

Gregory de Klerk
AW, Ethiopia 2018

The guide, Greg de Klerk, did a good job. He was well informed regarding the participants and tried hard to accommodate everyone's needs. He made a good effort to inform us daily as to what birds we might see, which was very helpful.

Heinz Ortmann
RG, Ethiopia 2018 - Tailormade

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.

David Hoddinott
DB, Ethiopia 2023

This tour far exceeded our expectations. The pace was mostly fast, and many days were long with early starts, but we fully expected this for an endemic search tour; but we still managed lots of comradery, jokes, and cocktail time. We fulfilled our tour goal of finding all the endemic island species plus most of the endemic subspecies, including those that are most likely to be split in the future. We also got to sample the local culture and food of every island. Our tour was extremely productive and a very fun trip. We had a very experienced group of participants, and everyone was pleased with the tour. Our leaders were exceptional. Forrest Rowland and Ryan Chenery made an excellent team. Both are very knowledgeable, personable, and funny, as well as expert birders. Their knowledge of the species was profound. They worked hard to find each target and to make sure that everyone got on the birds. On several islands, we also had local leaders/drivers who were top-notch birders. They thoroughly knew their local species habits and vocalizations. The Lesser Antilles are Ryans domain; he expertly planned and conducted the tour. When you lead a group of people to ten different islands in 14 days via airplanes, ferries, and speedboats, you know that various matters will require attention and Ryan adeptly dealt with all issues that cropped up, most of which were not even apparent to us. Thanks, also, to Ryans wife Alexandria, who we got meet on their home island of Barbados, who ran the back-office logistics dealing with confirmations and handling real-time changes, as needed. The team of Forrest, Ryan, and Alex kept everything running smoothly and seamlessly. The Rockjumper home office also did a great job of handling the registration and payment processes and all associated travel paperwork and communications. This was our first Rockjumper tour, but it certainly wont be our last.

Gregory de Klerk
PT, Ethiopia 2019

Greg de Klerk did a very good job managing the tour, was personable and was highly effective at bird spotting & identification.

Julian Parsons
RL - Ethiopia 2024

Julian was a wonderful leader, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and attentive to our needs. The local guide, Bereket, was also excellent and worked particularly hard when we had to find accommodation at short notice. The cultural guide Frui was very knowledgeable and shared both his knowledge and his experience of Orthodox Christianity with us in a very helpful manner. We saw a lot of birds and a good variety of mammals. In addition the food was very interesting and the coffee outstanding.

Ethiopia - Central Birds & Wildlife (Relaxed) 2025

30 Jan 2025 - 12 Feb 2025 (14 days)

USD6,595 - Spaces Available

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Tour Leader: Julian Parsons

Tour price (Per person): USD6,595 * GBP5,294 * EUR6,188 * AUD10,165

Single Supplement: USD430 * GBP345 * EUR403 * AUD663

Can be linked with: Ethiopia - Lalibela Historical Extension I 2025

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Route Map

Tour Route Map

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