• 14 Days from
    $4235 p/p in USD
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    Departures
    Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
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Destinations

Destinations

Ethiopia,

Tour Type

Tour Type

Guided, Large Group, Small Group

Safari Standard

Safari Standard

Mid Range

Tour Overview

A superb place to go for bird watching, Ethiopia is a country with diverse ecosystems and fauna. The avifauna of Ethiopia includes a total of 924 species, of which 23 are endemic and three are rare or accidental. By visiting different parts of the country including Bale Mountains National Park, Awash National Park, Sanetti Plateau,  Harenna Forest and the Great Rift Valley Lakes, see many species with our handpicked guides, as well as local wildlife such as Menelik’s bushbuck, gelada baboon, beisa oryx, Soemmerring’s gazelle and much more. 

Yellow Singed Bishop
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Whatsapp Image 2020 02 06 At 12.05.10
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Spot Breasted Lapwings Ml
Tawny Eagle

General Information

  • Safari types:
    Birding Safari, Guided Safari
  • You will visit:
    Awash National Park, Bale Mountains National Park, Addis Ababa, Dinsho, Sanetti Plateau, Harenna Forest, Hawassa, Lake Langano
  • Wildlife:
    Birds, Mountain Nyala, Menelik's Bushbuck, Ethiopian Wolf, Monkey, Gelada Baboon, Klipspringer, Golden Jackal, Caracal , Spotted Hyena, Beisa Oryx, Soemmerring's Gazelle, Grant’s Gazelle, Grevy's Zebra, Gerenuk, Bohor Reedbuck, Wild Ass
  • Activities:
    Game Viewing, Trekking, Hiking, Nature Walk, Birding
  • Getting around:
    4x4 Vehicle
  • Start/end:
    Start/end in Addis Ababa
  • Minimum age:
    6

Price Per Person – USD

From USD 4,235 per person


Bed & Breakfast Prices

  • USD 4,235 per person (2 pax – 1 vehicle)
  • USD 4,181 per person (3 pax – 2 vehicles)
  • USD 3,507 per person (4 pax – 2 vehicles)
  • USD 3,103 per person (5 pax – 2 vehicles)
  • USD 3,401 per person (6 pax – 3 vehicles)
  • USD 3,127 per person (7 pax – 3 vehicles)


Full Board Prices

  • USD 4627 per person (2 pax – 1 vehicle)
  • USD 4573 per person (3 pax – 2 vehicles)
  • USD 3899 per person (4 pax – 2 vehicles)
  • USD 3495 per person (5 pax – 2 vehicles)
  • USD 3793 per person (6 pax – 3 vehicles)
  • USD 3519 per person (7 pax – 3 vehicles)

What's Included

  • Accommodation for 13 nights on a shared room basis as per itinerary (extra USD 339 per person single room supplement)
  • Private transport in air-conditioned Land Cruiser hard tops & fuel costs
  • Professional birding guide and expert
  • Return airport transfers
  • Porter fees
  • All scout and local guide fees
  • Bottled mineral water in the vehicle (2 ltr per day)
  • Government taxes

What's Excluded

  • International airfares
  • Any accommodation on day 14
  • Meals (if you choose B&B rate)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Personal expenses & tips

Disclaimer

  • This itinerary is owned and delivered by ‘FKLM Tours
  • All prices are ‘From’ and may vary at the time of booking
  • Display price is usually based on two people sharing
  • FKLM Tours‘ reserves the right to change the content and price of the itinerary
  • All itineraries are subject to availability

Day by Day Overview

The tour starts with a pick up from the airport/hotel. Then drive up to the Entoto Mountains, the best location to observe the panoramic view of the capital. It is also a historical place where Menelik II resided and built his palace. It is notable as the location of a number of celebrated churches, including Saint Raguel and Saint Mary (Maryam Church). After a relaxed lunch, you will enjoy birding in the ground of Ghion Hotel and find wide enchanting gardens filled with indigenous flora and a stunning collection of birds including the endemic wattled ibis. 

Overnight: Swiss Inn Nexus Hotel or similar, Addis Ababa

Head off today on an excursion to Debre Libanos, en route crossing the famed Sululta Plains, a brilliant place to find beautiful spot-breasted lapwing, the taxonomically strange blue-winged goose, and other endemics. We also hope to find our first gelada baboon (nicknamed bleeding-heart baboon) – these ferocious-looking but vegetarian baboons have huge vocabularies and a complex social system. We’ll eventually reach our well-placed accommodation, from where we will look for Egyptian vulture, griffon vulture, bearded vulture and other raptors as they gracefully sail by, as well as little rock thrush and many other mountain birds.

Overnight: Swiss Inn Nexus Hotel or similar, Addis Ababa

In the morning, we will drive to Awash National Park, birding on the amazing Afar Plains where a rich diversity of birds hopefully will make their appearance. We could see Abdim’s stork, yellow-necked francolin, kori bustard, black-headed lapwing (arguably the most spectacular plover species), chestnut-bellied sandgrouse, red-bellied parrot, bare-faced go-away-bird, white-bellied go-away-bird, blue-naped mousebird, olive bee-eater, Abyssinian roller, black-billed wood hoopoe, Abyssinian and black scimitar bill, various hornbill species including Abyssinian ground and Von-der-Decken’s, black-throated and yellow-breasted barbets, greater honeyguide, black-crowned sparrow-lark, grey wren-warbler, grey-headed batis, slate-colored boubou, rosy-patched bush shrike, chestnut weaver and white-crested helmet shrike, among many others. In the late afternoon we will arrive at Doho Lodge.

Overnight: Doho Lodge, Awash National Park

Awash Naitonal Park is one of Ethiopia’s premier national parks with a rich diversity of birds as well as mammals such as golden jackal, caracal, spotted hyena, beisa oryx and Soemmerring’s gazelle.

We’ll look for African wwallow-tailed kite, a host of bustards including Arabian, buff-crested, hartlaub’s, black-bellied and ehite-bellied, Bruce’s green pigeon, and many more. During our time here we also hope to find Somali ostrich, African collared dove, singing bush lark, Gillett’s lark, chestnut-backed and chestnut-headed Ssparrow-larks, boran and ashy cisticolas, eastern olivaceous warbler, pale and African grey flycatchers, mouse-colored penduline tit, four of Africa’s most lovely sunbirds, namely eastern violet-backed, Nile valley, beautiful and shining, southern grey shrike, Somali fiscal, woodchat shrike, northern masked weaver, cut-throat finch, and many others. At this time of year, we might also enjoy migrant common whitethroat and white-throated robin. As always, raptor-watching will be spectacular – we can easily find 40-50 species on our three-week tour, and many of these are in Awash National Park.

Overnight stay: Doho Lodge, Awash National Park

We continue birding in the Doho Lodge area and drive to the Ali Dege Plains. Here we will have a game drive and scan the vast plains for Grevy’s zebra, gerenuk, beisa oryx, Soemmering’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, Somali ostrich and some rare birds.  There is also a small chance of seeing wild ass. Then drive to Doha Lodge for lunch and enjoying the natural hot spring under the vast palm trees.

Overnight: Doho Lodge, Awash National Park

We drive to Dinsho, gateway to the fabled Bale Mountains, which reach an altitude of around 4 500 meters (more than 14 000 feet). Here we spend the next two days birding in varied habitats for such sought-after species as Abyssinian owl, Cape (Mackinder’s) eagle-owl (the largest of three subspecies), African wood owl, wattled ibis, chestnut-naped francolin, moorland francolin, wattled crane, red-billed chough, white-backed black tit, Abyssinian catbird, African emerald cuckoo, Abyssinian crimsonwing and, with luck, golden eagle, as well as a long list of other birds.

Interesting mammals here are mountain nyala, klipspringer, Menelik’s bushbuck, Bohor reedbuck and others. The days in this area are also a botanical treat, with vegetation ranging from Hagenia-dominated forest to giant Erica woods to high-altitude moorlands, sometimes with fabulous giant lobelias. In the adjacent Harenna Forest, it might be possible to spot some star birds like brown parisoma, Ayers’s hawk-eagle, African emerald cuckoo, Abyssinian ground thrush, cinnamon bracken warbler, Rüppell’s robin-chat, white-browed robin-chat, Abyssinian crimsonwing and slender-billed starling, or even a flock of migrating European bee-eaters.

Overnight stay: Wabe Shebelle Hotel, Goba
Extra USD 300.00 per person per night to upgrade to the luxury Bale Mountain Lodge

As we leave, we soon reach nice stands of Juniper-Hagenia forest that is home to the endemic Abyssinian woodpecker, white-backed black tit, Abyssinian catbird and Abyssinian slaty flycatcher, plus Abyssinian ground thrush. Driving further, stands of Hypericum trees host the endemic griseiventris subspecies of brown parisoma. Moorland and chestnut-naped francolins and cinnamon bracken warbler frequent dense shrubbery while Ethiopian cisticola prefer the more open areas.

Then we will be driving on Africa’s highest road, passing close to the summit of Ethiopia’s second-highest mountain. Here on the Sanetti Plateau, an island of tundra in the tropics, the habitat is classified as ‘Afro-alpine moorland’, characterized by a fascinating range of unique plants, including giant lobelias, which tower like monolithic giants over the rich tussock grasslands, and extensive cushions of yellow everlasting flowers. The grasslands are estimated to support incredible biomass of 8,800 pounds of rodents per hectare. Amazing! This obviously attracts a rich array of raptors, and we should see steppe and golden eagles, augur buzzard and the elegant pallid harrier circling over this verdant floral sea.

They share this abundant food source with the plateau’s most celebrated resident, the Ethiopian wolf, crowned with the unenviable title of ‘the world’s rarest canid.’ Watching these vibrantly colored animals, most closely related to the European timber wolf, exhibiting their hunting prowess while bouncing on giant mole-rats (another endemic to the Sanetti Plateau) is surely among Africa’s greatest wildlife experiences. The plateau also holds the only Afrotropical breeding populations of ruddy shelduck, golden eagle and red-billed chough. We will also search for black stork, wattled ibis, Rouget’s rail (particularly common and confiding here), the endemic blue-winged goose, spot-breasted lapwing, wattled crane, thekla lark, migratory flocks of red-throated pipit, Abyssinian longclaw, red-breasted wheatear, the dumpy Moorland Chat, and flocks of the endemic Black-headed Siskins.

Overnight stay: Wabe Shebelle Hotel, Goba
Extra USD 300.00 per person per night to upgrade to the luxury Bale Mountain Lodge

To the south of Bale Mountains Natioanl Park lies a 1200m (3700 ft) escarpment, below which is one of the largest and most extensive forests remaining in Ethiopia, the Harenna Forest. The slope of the southern escarpment falls rapidly from the tree line at 3200m to around 2000m within a distance of only 8 km, producing a rapid and spectacular change in landscape, habitat, and species composition. The Bale Mountain Lodge is located beside a clear mountain stream, within a natural forest clearing beneath the escarpment and enjoys breathtaking views of the mountains and the surrounding forest. Here rare Bale monkeys inhabit the trees and the birdlife is spectacular. Wild coffee is harvested to the south of the lodge and delicious Bale honey is obtained by the local people from hives placed high within the canopy. Here is also found 3% of Africa’s remaining bamboo forest. Harenna is truly a magical place in which to relax or to explore.

Overnight stay: Wabe Shebelle Hotel, Goba
Extra USD 300.00 per person per night to upgrade to the luxury Bale Mountain Lodge

We drive to Hawassa on the beautiful lake of the same name, where we visit the absolutely fascinating Awassa Fish Market – here an incredible plethora of hamerkop, marabou stork and great white pelican, as well as various larids and a multitude of others which feed on the scraps within meters of people. On the lake, we may find the second pelican species, pink-backed pelican, and lesser black-backed gull. We also look for woodland birds here such as both Eurasian and red-throated wryneck, western banded snake eagle, blue-headed coucal, red-faced cisticola, red-headed weaver, the beautiful white form of African paradise flycatcher, northern white-faced owl and others.

Overnight stay: Haile Resort Hawassa or similar, Hawassa

Today we drive to Lake Langano, where we will spend the night. We will bird around this and other lakes, among them beautiful Lake Ziway, and wetland sites of the Great Rift Valley, looking for black crowned crane, collared pratincole, African snipe and several other shorebird species, various tern species including gull-billed, lesser and African jacanas, fulvous whistling-duck, African pygmy goose, western marsh harrier, and many others. Other highlights today might be greater spotted eagle, Egyptian vulture, white-headedvulture, Clapperton’s francolin, blue-spotted wood dove, Lichtenstein’s xandgrouse, buff-bellied warbler, northern black flycatcher, blackstar, black-headed and pygmy batises, the striking masked shrike, green-winged pytilia, red-fronted warbler, and many others.

Overnight stay: Hara Langano or similar, Langano

Some of the species we might find today are black-winged lovebird, banded and red-fronted barbets, little weaver and little rock thrush. The rocky escarpment above the hotel holds blue-breasted bee-eater, mocking cliff chat, Abyssinian wheatear, fan-tailed raven, and rock hyrax. Alternatively, a walk in the adjacent dry acacia woodland might yield black-billed wood hoopoe, bearded woodpecker, Von der Decken’s hornbill, boran cisticola, buff-bellied warbler, mouse-colored penduline tit, white-winged black tit,white-rumped babbler, grey-headed batis and Rüppell’s weaver. Later on, we may visit the grounds of another hotel for roosting slender-tailed nightjar and Verreaux’s and greyish eagle-owls, as well as Clapperton’s francolin. During the afternoon, we plan to visit the Abijatta Shalla Lakes for lesser and greater flamingos

Overnight stay: Hara Langano or similar, Langano

We will explore the forest around the lodge and the lake shores – here will find again good numbers of species. The endemic yellow-fronted parrot and the black-winged lovebird are found around the lodge as well as broad-billed Roller, narina trogon, red-shouldered and emerald cuckoos, lemon, blue-spotted and tambourine doves, various woodpeckers, Sharpe’s starling, double-toothed barbet, yellow-fronted tinkerbird, red-breasted wryneck, masked weavers, beautiful sunbird and many more. It is home to a few mammals including the bushbuck, vervet and black colobus monkeys, olive baboon and golden-backed jackal. In the afternoon, after a relaxed lunch, enjoy touring around Langano, visit the villages of the Oromo people, interact with locals and learn their way of life.                          

Overnight stay: Hara Langano or similar, Langano

Morning drive to Woliso, on the way Lake Zeway, Koka Dam Green Lake and Deberezait Creator lakes. Some of the species these sights are holding are great white pelican, marabou stork, fuyluvous whistling duck, white-faced headed gull, black-headed gull,, grey-headed gull, whiskered tern,  white-winged black tern, white-breasted cormorant and reed cormorant. Important birds globally, threatened species and near-threatened species such as ferruginous duck, pallid harrier, lesser flamingo and imperial eagle can be seen at Green Lake, Lake Zeway and Lake Mangano. 

Overnight stay: Negash Lodge or similar, Woliso

Today we enter a truly different world. We descend from the dizzying heights to the Jemma River far below us. We enter an arid land where we look for a very different suite of birds compared to those of Debre Libanos. We look for species such as speckle-fronted weaver, fox kestrel, foxy cisticola, sniffling cisticola, Abyssinian wheatear, Senegal thick-knee, black-billed barbet, and many others characteristic of East Africa’s arid areas. In this area, we’ll also continue to look for some of Ethiopia’s localized endemics such as Harwood’s francolin, Erkel’s francolin, white-throated seedeater and others. Afterwards, continue the drive to Addis Ababa, arriving in the late afternoon in time to do some shopping for souvenirs. Finally, enjoy a farewell dinner depending on your scheduled flight. 

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