Our main 17-day Ethiopia Endemics birding tour comprehensively covers this unique country and every single endemic bird is targeted (Ethiopia has the second highest numner 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 (close to the Somali frontier at Bogol Manyo and the Kenyan border at Yabello). 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.
Our Spring Endemics tour shows Ethiopia is a very different light. Spring brings earth parching rain, flushing the spectacular landscapes in green. Spring means the Palearctic migrants have already returned home, but the important endemic and near endemic species are just beginning their breeding cycle. Outside of the regular tourist season, you’ll feel that Ethiopia is all yours! Fascinating history, decent road infrastructure, diverse cultures and astonishing wildlife make Ethiopia an essential expedition for both hard-core and casual birders alike, and for many of our guides this remains one of their top destinations on the African continent!
To do full justice to the cultural aspects of this fascinating country, we offer an incredible historical extension to the northern town of Lalibela where we explore the unique 12th century monolithic churches, hewn out of solid rock and which took an estimated 25 years to construct, now appropriately considered one of the wonders of the world!
Whilst our main focus during the Ethiopia historical tour will naturally be these amazing monuments, we can also expect some excellent birding. Possible species include White-collared Pigeon, White-winged Cliff Chat, Erckel’s Francolin, Egyptian Vulture, White-fronted Black Chat, Abyssinian Catbird, Little Rock Thrush, Thick-billed Raven, White-backed Black Tit, Hemprich’s Hornbill, the scarce endemic Banded Barbet, Black-billed Woodhoopoe and large flocks of White-billed Starlings.
Our Omo Valley extension takes us to one of the wildest and most ethnically diverse places on Earth – the Omo Valley. This is primarily a cultural experience during which we will interact with several tribal communities who still live almost exactly as they did hundreds of years ago. This harsh and inhospitable place has over 10 distinctly different tribes existing within a 60 km radius; each with its own unique language, clothing, hairstyles and bodily ornamentation. Our tour will take us through the very heart of this vast and varied cultural melting pot, and promises to make an exciting and memorable addition to our Ethiopia birding experience!
Ethiopia is one of Africa’s most productive and rewarding birdwatching destinations, and our Budget birding tour offers a wide array of species and nearly all of this ancient country’s endemics in a convenient 12-day package. To boot, you’ll be exposed to the kaleidoscope of cultures that grace this ancient land, and all of these factors combine to ensure a fascinating experience of not just the country’s birds, but also its amazing mammals, including Ethiopian Wolf and troops of the incredible Gelada. The spectacular landscapes and scenery, fascinating history, good road infrastructure, diverse cultures and astonishing wildlife make Ethiopia an essential expedition, and for many of our guides this remains one of their top destinations on the African continent!
Our brief northern extension to Simiens & Gondar will commence at the ancient city of Gondar, famed for its spectacular and unique medieval castles. We will then continue to the lofty heights of the awe-inspiring Simien Mountains National Park, which holds the only population of the rare and magnificent Walia Ibex. Here we can also expect a bounty of birds as well as a wonderful selection of very scarce and range-restricted mammals, including huge troops of gentle and ridiculously confiding Geladas and, with a bit of luck, Ethiopian Wolf – the world’s rarest canid – to name just some of the many potential highlights!
The spectacular scenery, fascinating history, diverse cultures and astonishing wildlife make this a really superb finale to one of the most thoroughly enjoyable destinations in Africa!
Blog - The Geladas of Ethiopia