Ethiopia is a country that has different climatic zones, attitude and biodiversity that makes the country paradise for bird watching tour, the country has more 850 different species out of these 16 endemic birds to the country. In this birding trip, you will enjoy a lot of birds from aquatic to mountain and plateau to bush and lowland birds that are found in the great East African rift valley. This trip will offer you the highlight of the country’s birds’ life.
Tour Duration: 8nights and 9days
Transportation: 4x4 car/Minibus/Coaster Bus
Arrival and get assist with your luggage and transfer to your hotel for overnight Ghion hotel Addis Ababa.
Note: Although there are many higher standard hotels in Addis Ababa the reason why we put you in Ghion hotel is paradise for birds. However, if you wish to stay in higher standard hotel, we can arrange that too.
An early morning start we drive to the Mt. Entoto/Sululta Plain with short grassland habitat searching for unique birds such as White-backed Black Tit, Blue-winged Goose, Wattled Ibis, Ethiopian Siskin, Ethiopian Cisticola, White-collared Pigeon, Abyssinian Longclaw, Erlanger fs Lark, Tawny Eagle, Cattle Egret and Yellow-billed Duck. Jamma Valley escarpment (upper Nile valley) is adjacent to Debre Libanos natural forest and thickets home to the endemic Banded Barbet, White-cheeked Turaco, Abyssinian Woodpecker, Ethiopian Black-headed Oriole, Lammergeyer, Egyptian Vulture, Vieaux Eagle, Lanner Falcon and Griffon Vultures. The nearby gorge attracts the endemic White-billed Starling, Ruppell's Black Chat, White-winged Cliff-chat and Mocking Cliff-chat. Scrub lures Erckel's Francolin, Stout Cisticola and Tekeze Sunbird
Overnight at the Ethio-German Lodge nearby the so-called Portuguese Bridge.
Today we drive to Jamma Valley to locate the rare Harwood's Francolin and Abyssinian Black-wheatear. The road climbs steeply through highland fields and traditional villages. The cliffs and boulder-strewn slopes of the Jamma Valley may have flocks of White-billed Starlings, the extremely rare Salvador’s Serin, Singing Cisticola, Isabel line Shrike and Abyssinian Black Wheatear. In the afternoon, we drive to Debre Birhan town while enjoying another sector of plain grassland bird including Erlanger's Lark, Pectoral-patch Cisticola and Ortolan Bunting.
Overnight at Eva Hotel Ankober Lodge.
An early start exploring the road to Tarmaber scenic view outlook. Our main interest is to find the rarest endemic Ankober Serin feeding in the highland grass field. In the lower fields, we can expect Yellow-crowned Canary, Brown-rumped and Streaky Seed-eater. Overhead we may locate Saker Falcon, Lammergeyer, Augur Buzzard and Alpine Swifts.
After late breakfast we drive towards Bishoftu east of Addis towards fascinating Crater Lakes such as Lake Chalalaka, an important shallow lake for migratory waders and significant numbers of Cranes, Marabou storks and Cormorants. Hora a fresh water lake holding Little Grebe, Pelican, Malachite Kingfisher, Little Bee-eater, Black-billed Barbet, African Paradise Flycatcher, Masked weaver and Starlings. The area named after the crater lake Bishoftu, meaning tasteless Water support large numbers of Weavers, Seed-eaters, Thrushes, Doves, Sunbirds and Finches in the adjoining sedges and thickets. Late afternoon proceeds to hotel. Overnight at Dreamland Hotel with an excellent view of Bishoftu.
Today we drive to Bale Mountains found on the other side of the Great Rift Valley looking for Rouget Rail, Thick-billed Raven, Abyssinian Catbird, Abyssinian Slaty-flycatcher, Chestnut-napped Francolin, Moorland Francolin, Abyssinian Ground Thrush to name a few. The remnant of Ruddy Shell-ducks and Wattled Cranes are also found here.
The northern dry forest around Dinsho is known for exceptional wild animals including Mountain Nyala, Menelik Bushbuck, Bohor Reedbuck, Warthog and Bush Duiker.
Overnight Goba Hotel.
Beyond Goba we enter typical timberline habitats of Juniper and Hygenia Abyssinica driving up Africa's highest all-weather roads to 4100 meters above sea level where we enter the 10,000 square kilometers Sanate plateau with its chain of tiny terrains. In this strange and fascinating afro-alpine climate we will find the rare Ethiopian Wolf, Stracke Hare and Giant Mole-rat.
Then the road drops suddenly on the Harenna leeside with its wet forest and fantastic viewpoints, through a series of dizzying hairpin bends, as it zigzags down to the lowland town of Dolomena. In the afternoon we drive back to Goba looking for birds and animals we missed earlier on.
Overnight Goba Hotel.
Today we drive to the Sof Omar Caves on the eastern edge of Bale Mountains maybe the worlds’ most spectacular and extensive underground system carved by the Web River into the limestone that line it. Time has carved out ornate and immense pillars, domes and chambers, and the river flows through the caves year-round. During one of passage through the caves, we have to cross the river seven times in the 1.5km underground caves. It is an interesting shrine and pilgrimage place for Muslims. The roof of the caves is home to thousands of Bats and the floor is covered with droppings accumulating over many years. Web River gorge and cliffs with its bushes support the endemic Salvadores’s Seedeater, Bristle-crowned Starling, Swifts and Swallows and many more. Overnight Goba Hotel.
Day 08 Drive to Hara Langano
After early morning birding and breakfast, we drive to Hara lodge which is located on the eastern bank of Lake Langano adjacent to the Chilalo chain of mountains on the southern edge of the Great Rift Valley. Here we find the remnant of typical tropical rain forest and en route we search for Nubian Woodpecker, Speckled Moosebirds, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, African Mourning Dove and many more colorful forest birds.
Day 09: Drive to Addis Ababa
Driving back to Addis Ababa we bird on the way and detour to Lake Ziway looking for Giant Kingfisher, Black Heron, Spur-winged Goose, White-faced Duck and many water birds. Arriving in Addis Ababa late afternoon we have farewell dinner before transferring to Bole International Airport