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PARKS

AWASH PARK

It is 215km East of Addis Ababa and cover 756 sq km. Its altitude ranges between 750-2007 m above sea level. The park is known by an interesting range of volcanic landscapes which is the most geologically active regions; this is marked by Fantalle Crater, Filhowa / hot springs and Lake Basaka nearby. Awash River with its waterfall and gorges is scenic features of the park. A range of larger wildlife species particularly a fascinating number of Beisa Oryx and natural beauty of the area as a major tourist attraction.

The wildlife consists mainly of East African plains animals. Oryx, bat-eared fox, caracal, salt dik-dik, colobus monkeys, Anubis and Hamadryads’ baboons, klipspringer, leopard, bushbuck, hippopotamus, Soemmering’s gazelle, cheetah, lion, kudu and others live within the park’s area. About 462 bird species have been recorded recently. Bird species include banded barbet, golden-backed wood pecker, white-winged cliff-chat, thick –billed raven, white –billed starling, secretary bird, bustards and storks.

ABIJATA –SAHLLA LAKES PARK

The park is located 207km south of Addis Ababa. It is famous for and significant ornithological site in the country which is 887 sq. km wide; 482sq km of this is covered by the lakes’ water. The park is created for many species of aquatic birds, particularly great white pelicans and greater and lesser flamingoes. Lake Abijata is used as their feeding sanctuary and Lake Shalla islands are used as breeding sites to the birds.

Most commonly seen birds are Great white pelican, flamingoes, storks white necked cormorant, African fish eagle, Egyptian geese, various plover species and herons; many other types of birds including migratory too.

The park is combination of Lake Abijata and Shalla, and the land between and around them. Geological features include hot springs, lava caves and four islands used as nesting site four different bird species. Some mammals are common to the park like; Grants gazelle, Colobus monkey, and Grivet monkey, Warthog, Klipspringer, Oribi and Jackals. The altitude ranges from 1500 to 2000 meters. The highest peak is Mt fike, situated between the two lakes. The lakes are terminal, but they are very different in nature.

BALE MOUNTAINS PARK

This Mountains National Park is located 400 km southeast of Addis Ababa. It is designated as national park since 1970; this park is the largest Afro-alpine habitat in the whole African continent which covers about 2,200 square kilometers. It stretches the south – eastern part of Arsi- Bale massifs.

The altitude ranges from 1500- 4377 m where a cluster of spectular volcanic plugs, highland lakes, deep rocky gorges and uncovered lowlands picturesque you explore it. That is why this park is home for various flora and fauna species within dense forest, heather moorland and lowland trees.

The park is particular a centre of several endemic species like Mountain Nyala, Semien Fox, Menlik Bushbuck, and from birds like thick- billed raven, Abyssinian cat bird, Watteld ibis, spot- breasted plover etc. (more than 14 endemic bird species) can view here.

The forest is also a home for different pig species, lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, African hunting dogs and many others. The Bale Mountains offer some fine high-altitude horse and foot trekking, and scenic driving which become important opportunities to admire an exhibit of this breathtaking national park.

GAMBELLA PARK

The Gambella National park is situated 800km in western Ethiopian near the town of Gambella. The park is created for protection of larger animals particularly white -eared Kob, Nile lechewe and white headed stork with extensive swamp habitat.  It is the largest national park in Ethiopia which comprises a place of adventure and challenge. Traveling across the endless undulating plains of high Sudanese grass, visitors can enjoy a sense of achievement in just finding their way. This is Ethiopia’s true tropical zone and here is found all the elements of the African safari, enhanced by a distinctly Ethiopian flavor.

The park hosts several wildlife not found elsewhere in Ethiopia including the  white-eared kob along with other riverbank residents that  are the Nile lechwe, buffalo, giraffe, tiang, waterbuck, roan antelope, zebra, bushbuck, Abyssinian reedbuck, warthog, hartebeest, lion,  elephant and hippopotamus. The banks of the baro are rich in birdlife and thus give visitors an extra advantage.

MAGO PARK

Mago National Park is established in 1975. It is located on the eastern bank of the Omo River 30 km of Jinka town and 800km south of Addis Ababa. It is 2162 sq km in area characterized by Savannah type vegetation within dense acacia scrubs, rolling grassland and deserts, birds dart in and out and the game roams freely.  Its altitude ranges between 450 – 2,528m a.s.l adjacent to Omo Park.

It is the best place to visit bigger savanna mammals like Buffalo, Elephant, Lesser kudu, Lelwel hartebeest, Tiang, Oribi, Oryx, Giraffe, Grants gazelle, Gerenuk, Hippotamus, Crocodiles, De brazza’s monkey, Patas monkey, Black- backed Jackal, Warthog, African hunting dog, Guenther’s dikdik, Lion, Leopard, Carcal,  Cheetahs,  Striped hyena, Bat eared fox and Serval cat.

NECHSAR PARK

This park is found near Arbaminch town over an area of 514 sq km south of Addis Ababa; of which 78 sq km is covered by water. It is gifted land between the two rift valley lakes Abaya and Chamo, which are separated by uphill land that is known as “the bridge of God”. The park is the home of undoubtedly the most spectacular scenery in the whole rift valley region of Ethiopia.

The vegetation is savanna characteristics such as grassland, ground water forest, wetlands and bush land. The park is within an altitude of 1,108-1,650m a.s.l. It has features of rift valley escarpments, kulfo ground water forest and hot spring.

Prolific wildlife of the Nechisar plains allows roaming it especially Burchell’s Zebra, Swayne’s hartebeest, great kudu, guenther’s dik dik, red bushbuck, bush pig, Anubis baboons and vervet monkeys, warthog, African hunting dog, hippopotamus, crocodile and others are the treasures of the park.

It is also the best place for Ornithologist’s for discovering different types of birds over hundreds including the Endemic Nechisar nightjar, red-billed and grey hornbill, Abyssinian grand hornbill, fish-eagle, kingfishers and various bustard species and more… The two lakes are of course habitats for the aquatic lives like crocodiles and hippos. Lake Abaya, the largest of the Ethiopian rift valley lakes, is recently known for its crocodile farm; and the adjacent Chamo Lake is famous for its crocodile market.

OMO PARK

Far to the south-west lies 870 km south of Addis Ababa with an area of 4,068 square kilometers.  Its altitude ranges between 400- 1183m asl. It is a vast expanse of true wilderness, blessed by Omo River, which flows southwards into Lake Turkana and is one of the richest and Least-visited wildlife sanctuaries in eastern Africa.

The Omo River is the life blood of park and another wilderness for who loves white-water rafting.  As the river passes varied scenery, it gives chance along the riverbanks many colorful birds and animals like Goliath herons, blue-breasted kingfishers, white-cheeked turacos, emerald-spotted wood doves and red-fronted bee-eaters are all rewarding sights, while monitor lizards may be glimpsed scuttling into the undergrowth. Beyond the forest, hippos graze on the savannah slopes against the mountain walls, and waterbuck, bushbuck and Abyssinian ground hornbills are sometimes to be seen.

The spectacular number of Eland, Oryx, Burch ell’s zebra, Lelwel hartebeest, buffalo, giraffe, elephant, waterbuck, kudus, lion, leopard and cheetah roam within the park’s boundaries. Abundant wildlife, spirited rapids, innumerable side creeks and waterfalls, sheer inner canyons and  hot springs all combine to make the Omo one of the world’s classic river  adventures.

SEIMEN MOUNTAINS PARK

This is the park where registered the as a World Natural Heritage Site by UNSECO in 1978 because of its scenic value and centre for endemic mammals of Ethiopia. It is found in the north western part Simien Mountain massifs.  It is the most rugged mountains part in Africa. The park was created primarily to protect the Walia Ibex and other endemic species.

It covers 179 square km within the breath- taking views and spectacular meeting with the Walia (Abyssinian) ibex, Simien red fox and Gelada baboon – all endemic mammals to Ethiopia – as well as the Hamadryads baboon, klipspringer and bushbuck. Birds such as the lammergeyer, augur buzzard, Verreaux’s eagle, kestrel, falcon and more than 50 species also soar above this mountain retreat.

The park lies within an average elevation of 3,300 meters. Ras Dashen, at 4,620 meters the highest peak in Ethiopia. The vegetation types are mountain grasslands with fescue grasses as well as heathers, splendid Red Hot Pokers and Giant Lobelia.

Geological features of the park are spectacular mountain secenary and escarpments consist of dark Trapp basalts and bright, soft tuff, landscape, cool climate and endemic wildlife. The attractions can be largely discovered through trekking. That is why trekking is one of the main reasons to visit the park.  

YANGUNDI RASSA PARK

Yangudi-Rassa National Park is situated 365 km from Addis Ababa in the centre of the Afar Region between the towns of Gewani and Mille. The park is characterized by desert eco system with reverie forests along the Awash River, marshes and small lakes, dry riverbeds, rocky hills, sandy semi-desert and wooded grasslands.

The park ranges between 400-1460 m asl; and specifically designated to protect wild Ass. More than 230 bird species have been recorded in this area with many migratory species too. Besides the wildlife, the park is also important for safeguarding a 50-km strip of rich archaeological remains along the eroded hills near the Awash River.

The major wildlife species of the park are Wild Ass, Soemmerring’s Gazelle, Hamadryads’ Baboon, Gerenuk, Cheetah, Leopard, Lion, Greater Kudu, Lesser Kudu, Salt’s dikdik and Warthogs. Active volcanoes, archeological sites, extensive arid desert ecosystem and Awash River are additional attractions.

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