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Ethiopia

Saddle-billed Stork Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis ©Markus Lilje Website

In recent years, Ethiopia has rightly become one of Africa's leading birding destinations. Its avifauna represents an interesting mixture of eastern and west African, Palearctic and endemic components. In addition to over 800 species of birds, of which a staggering 37 are endemic or near-endemic, Ethiopia has a number of spectacular endemic mammals, and a scenic diversity and cultural uniqueness that are probably unequalled in Africa.

The highlands, which dominate the the centre and north of the country, are bisected by the Rift Valley, and fall away to arid desert and bushlands in the north, south and east, and to moister woodland in the west. Much of the highlands are covered by agriculture, but there still exist considerable tracts of Afro-alpine shrubland and Afromontane forest.

For birders, the most popular access to really high altitude is the Bale Mountains National Park in the south-eastern highlands. Here the highest all-weather road in Africa crosses the Sanetti plateau (4377m); allowing easy access to alpine moorlands, grasslands and lakes. Highland endemics such as Spot-breasted Lapwing, Erlanger's Lark and Rouget's Rail occur alongside giant lobelias and Ethiopian wolves. The Bale Mounatins also curiously hold a number of species not found elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, such as Ruddy Shelduck, Golden Eagle or Red-billed Chough. Other more widespread highland endemics found here and elsewhere include Blue-winged Goose, Black-headed Siskin, Wattled Ibis, and Abyssinian Longclaw.

Ethiopian forest endemics are accessible at such forest patches as those at Wondo Genet and Lake Langano's eastern shore in the Rift Valley, Dinsho and the Harenna Forest in the Bale Mountains, and several sites within easy striking distance of Addis Ababa, including Debre Libanos, Menagesha Forest, and the Entoto Hills. They include Yellow-fronted Parrot, Abyssinian Woodpecker, White-cheeked Turaco, Abyssinian Catbird (actually a babbler), White-backed Tit, Abyssinian Slaty Flycatcher and Abyssinian Oriole. Other forest species particularly worthy of mention include Ayre's Hawk Eagle, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, African Hill Babbler, Abyssinian Crimsonwing and Green-backed Twinspot.

Other highland localities deserving special mention include the Jemma River Valley north of Addis Ababa, which is the easiest place to see the highly localized and endemic Harwood's Francolin, as well as many other exciting more widespread species of the northern highlands including Erckel's Francolin, White-billed Starling, Rueppell's Black Chat, Nyanza Swift and White-winged Cliff Chat. One of Ethiopia's four highly localized endemic serins, Ankober Serin, is also a highland species, occurring along the spectacular Ankober escarpment north of Awash.

The Rift Valley, punctuated by several large lakes, offers few endemics but very diverse and enjoyable savannah and wetland birding. Some of the several excellent birding sites in the Rift Valley are Lake Langano, Awash National Park and Nechisar National Park, offering amongst many others African Swallow-tailed Kite, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Arabian Bustard, Somali Fiscal, and Gillet's, Red-winged, White-winged and Singing Bush Larks, and a host of Afrotropical and Palearctic migrant waterbirds.

In the south of the country, high diversity and high endemism combine to offer absolutely superb birding. Sought-after specials of the wonderful region bounded by Yabelo in the west and Negele in the east include the endemic Rupoli's Turaco, White-tailed Swallow, Ethiopian Bush Crow and Liben Lark. Many of these species are highly threatened by agriculture and rangeland degradation, in particular the Liben Lark, of which only a few hundred individuals now remain in a small patch of grassland near Negele. In addition, this region offers a number of exciting dryland species shared with far northern Kenya and Somalia, such as Short-tailed Lark, Red-naped Bush Shike, African White-winged Dove, Somali Crombec, Pringle's Puffback, Northern Grosbeak-Canary, Juba Weaver, Black-bellied Sunbird, Salvadori's Serin, Yellow-vented Eremomela and Vulturine Guinea-fowl. Farther south still, the far-flung bushlands between Bogol Mayo and the Somali border at Dolo Odo are occasionally visited by birders for such species as Philippa's Crombec and a chance of Heuglin's Bustard.

In the far west of the country, along the Sudanese border, low-lying plains are cloaked with moister woodland supporting an avifauna quite unlike that of the rest of the country. This area is strongly influenced by Guinea-Congolean species more characteristic of West Africa, and specials include Egyptian Plover, Gambaga Flycatcher, Levant Sparrowhawk (perhaps a rare summer migrant); Pygmy Sunbird, Black-rumped Waxbill, Black-faced and Bar-breasted Firefinches, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, Little Green & Red-throated Bee-eater, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver and Green-backed Eremomela.

Ideally one needs to rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle to do a visit to Ethiopia justice, although it is possible to fly to many areas, including the historically fascinating north. Most birders visit during the dry northern winter (October-March) when Palearctic migrants are abundant, but it is possible and productive to visit at all times of years. Over 500 species can be recorded on a thorough three-week trip.

Contributor

Claire Spottiswoode & Michael Mills

Birding Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

info@birdingafrica.com

http://www.birding-africa.com

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 816

Endemics

Number of endemics: 18

Harwood's Francolin Pternistis harwoodi Blue-winged Goose Cyanochen cyanopterus Yellow-fronted Parrot Poicephalus flavifrons Ruspoli's Turaco Tauraco ruspolii Nechisar Nightjar Caprimulgus solala Spot-breasted Lapwing Vanellus melanocephalus Stresemann's Bush-Crow Zavattariornis stresemanni White-tailed Swallow Hirundo megaensis Ethiopian Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon sp. Abyssinian Catbird Parophasma galinieri Erard's Lark Heteromirafra sidamoensis Abyssinian Longclaw Macronyx flavicollis Red-billed Pytilia Pytilia lineata Yellow-throated Seedeater Serinus flavigula Salvadori's Seedeater Serinus xantholaemus Black-headed Siskin Serinus nigriceps Ankober Serin Serinus ankoberensis Sombre Rock Chat Cercomela dubia (14 others are shared only with Eritrea)

Checklist

Checklist

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Useful Reading

A Checklist of the Birds of Ethiopia

EK Urban and LH Brown 143 pages, maps, illus. Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society

ISBN: 35908

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Bird Recordings from Ethiopia

Steve Smith Produced by the author ISBN: 54652

Birding Ethiopia - A guide to the country's birding sites

by Ken Behrens, Keith Barnes & Christian Boix - Published by Lynx Edicions

ISBN: 9788496553552

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Ethiopia & Eritrea

by John Ash & John Atkins - A&C Black 2009 Hardback 463p

ISBN: 9781408109793

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of the Horn of Africa

by Nigel Redman, Terry Stevenson & John Fanshawe - A&C Black 2009 - Paperback 496p 2nd Edition

ISBN: 9781408157350

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Important Bird Areas of Ethiopia: a first inventory

Sue Edwards 300 pages, illus, tabs, maps. Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society

ISBN: 71212

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Where to Watch Birds in Ethiopia

by Claire Spottiswoode, Merid Gabremichael and Julian Francis | 192 pages | 150 colour photos | maps | Christopher Helm | Softcover | 2010 | NHBS Price: £19.99
See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 9781408130759

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

13 Suns

Tour Operator

About 860 species of birds (9.5% of the world's and 39 % of Africa's bird population) live in the highlands. lowlands, river banks,wet lands, dams , lakes ,forests, shrubs…

Anytime Tours

Tour Operator

Ethiopia, “the Roof of Africa”, is an absolutely unique and spectacular birding destination. It is one of Africa’s most scenically beautiful countries, boasting some of the continent’s highest mountains and plateaus (but also contains a depression that reaches slightly below sea level), impressive escarpments, Great Rift Valley lakes and volcanoes and very varied vegetation from juniper forests to arid savannah dotted with monstrous red termite mounds. Descending from the highlands to the deep valleys far below can seem like entering a completely different world, all within the same day – it is an amazingly varied country…

Birding Ecotours

Tour Operator

Ethiopia, “the Roof of Africa”, is an absolutely unique and spectacular birding destination with some of Africa’s highest mountains and plateaus, Great Rift Valley lakes and volcanoes, and varied vegetation (juniper forests to arid savannah), and about 30 endemic species. It is not too difficult to end up with an impressive bird list of well over 500 species!

Birding Pal

Information

Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Ethio USA Tours

Tour Operator

Ethio USA Tours is a US based company which has recruited the best experienced agents and is run by two experienced directors who have established themselves in the tourism industry. The core of our business is inbound to USA and out bound to Africa , and have staff who divide their time between these countries and our US office, Africa.

Four Winds

Tour Operator

Arrive Addis Ababa, afternoon drive to Geferssa Reservoir. Here, we expect to see some of the endemic birds like the Wattle Ibis, Rouget's Rail, black-headed Sis- kin, Abyssinian Long claw, the white collared pigeon and Blue-winged Goose. The African-black Duck, Ortolan bunting, Red-breasted Wheatear, Three-banded plover; African Marsh Harrier and African Fish Eagle are one of the species that we do see this afternoon…

Green Land Tours

Tour Operator

Although these custom tours provide many options, our itineraries are flexible and open to any possible program combinations. In addition GLT welcomes personal-interest touring requests…

Haimano Tours Ethiopia

Tour Operator

Haimano Tours Ethiopia organizes short & long birding trips leads by Measho professional & experienced bird guide with full bird watching equipments for details contact us at: haime2rs@yahoo.com

Network Travel & Tour

Tour Operator

The Birds of Ethiopia are so numerous, so diverse and so colourful. More than 830 species have been recorded compared to 250 in the UK. Other African countries can claim more species however Ethiopia boasts the special distinction of possessing a number of Endemics birds (birds found only in the country) of these, 16 are found only in Ethiopia and 14 are semi-endemic, shared only with Eritrea…

Nurgi Birding Ethiopia

Tour Operator

Nurgi Birding Ethiopia is a company that exclusively offers and organizes bird watching holidays in Ethiopia; a country with a great diversity of eco-systems and with its diverse habitats it is very rich in birds and mammals. Ethiopia has over 860 species of birds representing about 9.5% and 39 % of the world birds and African birds, respectively.

Rockjumper Birding Tours

Tour Operator

Ethiopia boasts the second highest endemic bird list on the African continent, and this unique avifauna and Ethiopia’s remarkable mammal assemblage form the focus of our tours to this magical birding destination.

Sunbirds

Tour Operator

After arriving in Addis we`ll begin our tour by driving south down the Rift Valley towards Lake Langano. Straight away we`ll notice Yellow-billed Kites and White-backed and Hooded Vultures overhead and before long vivid Superb Starlings and White-headed Buffalo Weavers at the roadside…

Timeless Ethiopia Tours

Tour Operator

850 species of birds (16 of them are endemic) inhabit Ethiopia. Having an extensive highland surrounded by arid lands, has enabled the evolution of many birds in the region into unique forms and species…

Wings

Tour Operator

Millions of years ago eastern Africa was subjected to immense and violent volcanic activity. As unimaginable forces pushed the earth's crust upward in a gigantic dome, great fissures opened up in the center, causing large areas to sink back while the outer edges continued to rise. The resulting slash in the surface of the planet became the Rift Valley, which dominates this corner of Africa and runs right across Ethiopia…

Yumo Tours

Tour Operator

We can arrange trips to some of Ethiopia`s best areas for bird-watching. Among the animals you can find in this country are…

Trip Reports

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CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2006 [10 October] - Nik Borrow

Report

The idea for this tour started life way back in 1998 as a highly successful “Birdquest Expedition”. This had supposedly been a one-off idea, but the seed had been planted, the gauntlet thrown down and the challenge of finding all the endemic Ethiopian birds on a ‘regular’ basis was soon to follow. The exact number of actual endemics varies with the vagaries of modern taxonomy but Birdlife’s Important Bird Areas of Ethiopia lists sixteen for Ethiopia with a further fourteen shared with the recently ‘split’ Eritrea…

2006 [11 November] - Sunbird

Report

…The Grey and Black-crowned Cranes were a bit nearer and the flock of Pacific Golden Plovers a real surprise, while the small group of Temminck’s Coursers seemed to find the overgrazed shores to their liking. We had a brief overnight stop at Awassa where we found the hotel grounds and lake edge alive with birds including Blue-headed Coucal, African Pygmy Geese, Hottentot Teals, Black Crakes, African Jacanas, Pygmy and Woodland Kingfishers, Thick-billed Ravens, and Silvery-cheeked Hornbills of note…

2006 [12 December] - David Hoddinott

Report

Our incredible journey through the awe-inspiring wonderland of Ethiopia began early in the morning at the Ghion Hotel in Addis Ababa. Our first day found us traversing the many Rift Valley Lakes that lie to the south of Addis, and an array of highlights were experienced. Lake Chelekcheka was absolutely teeming with birds and gave us a fantastic introduction to Ethiopian birding. Lifers abound and it was fascinating to see heads turning in every direction at an amazing rate, as new birds were being called within seconds of each other. Black Crowned-Crane was the most memorable bird before we moved on to Lake Hora. Here we bumped into a dark morph Western Reef Heron and our only Barred Warbler of the trip.

2007 [12 December] - Glen Valentine

Report

Our December 2007 tour to the wonderfully scenic country of Ethiopia began with several of the participants heading off with Fraser to the ancient monolithic rock-hewn churches of Lalibela in the north of Ethiopia. This is an impressive site to witness and everyone walked away with fantastic memories of the churches, undoubtedly one the great wonders of the world. Several very good endemics and near endemics such as Yellow-rumped Seed-eater, White-winged Cliff and Rueppell’s Black Chat…

2007 [12 December] - Jan Pienaar

Report

Our incredible journey through the awe-inspiring wonderland of Ethiopia began soon after lunch at the Ghion Hotel, when we headed out to the Gefersa reservoir on the outskirts of the capital, Addis Ababa. Although traffic was heavy getting out, the host of endemics seen later more than made up for it. Our first taste of Ethiopian birding turned up Blue-winged Goose, Abyssinian Siskin and White-collared Pigeon. Of the more widespread species, we recorded Green-winged Teal, African Black Duck and the endemic subspecies of Groundscraper Thrush…

2008 [01 January] - Cuan Rush

Report

Ethiopia is a land of amazing contrasts, incredible scenery, friendly people and delectable birds and wildlife. Our tour covered the main highlights of the country including the Rift Valley Lakes, the highland plateaus and Juniper Forests of the Bale Mountains, the arid southern region and the wild and seemingly uninhabitable east. The combination of these areas, a great group dynamic and a well-oiled ground team produced a truly awesome tour and ended with a combined total of 59 endemic/near-endemic bird species…

2008 [03 March] - Ken Behrens

Report

This trip was tremendously successful, netting 582 species, including nearly every Ethiopian and Abyssinian endemic, a gamut of northeastern Africa arid zone endemics, and a range of other incredible species. One particular highlight was witnessing the first rains of the year in an arid portion of southern Ethiopia…

2008 [03 March] -Meseret Mekuria

Report

The country has a bird list exceeding 863 and also is home to 32 endemics. This tour visited contrasting regions of Ethiopia from the Great Rift Valley and towards the south taking in the remote region around Negele and the endemic-rich habitats around Yabelo. In total we recorded 432 species including 28 endemic Ethiopian birds were observed. Undoubted highlights were Prince Rispoli’s Turaco near Negele and several Spotted Creepers at Awassa. The weather throughout the tour was sunny and dusty, except for short periods of rainfall at Negele and Yabelo…

2008 [11 November] - Gavin Lautenbach

Report

Ethiopia is often a parched, dry and dusty land. What a fantastic feeling is was to arrive there this season to be greeted with a green blanket of foliage, rivers full and crops plentiful, Ethiopia was bursting with life and this made for an incredible and unforgettable birding adventure…

2008 [12 January] - Alf King & Jeannine King

Report

The principal UK company with experience of organising birding trips to Ethiopia is Jenner Expeditions who had gained our interest in the first place. Just a few e-mails and amendments were required before a full-blown two week tour was agreed upon covering the UK school holidays in December 2007 & January 2008. All of the arrangements through this organisation were smooth and painless and I can recommend them wholeheartedly. Their ground arrangements were managed by Adonay Tours of Ethiopia through whom we were to meet our birding and tour guide Negussie Toye and his driver Mesfin. Everything on the ground was taken care of with professional ease, especially when problems inevitably occurred…

2009 [03 March] - Steve Duffield

Report

This was the third organised tour to Ethiopia by Birdwatching Breaks and like the two predecessors it was an excellent trip for birds and mammals. We recorded 429 species during the two weeks including Ruspoli’s Turaco, Stressmann’s Bush Crow, White-tailed Swallow and Spot-breasted Lapwing among the endemic birds…

2009 [11 November] - Christian Boix

Report

…The approach to Gefersa yielded several murders of Fan-tailed Ravens, occasionally dwarfed by the odd and endemic Thick- billed Raven as well as several roosts of Hooded Vultures perched and looking miserable in anticipation of sunrise…

2010 [01 January] - Keith Valentine

Report

Our highly enjoyable 19 day road trip through Ethiopia once again produced a huge array of highlights, from Ethiopian Wolf and Gelada’s in the Bale and Ankober mountains, to many extremely sought after endemics that included Ruspoli’s Turaco and Stresemann’s Bush Crow. Ethiopia therefore remains a destination that certainly captures the essence of a great birding tour!…

2010 [01 January] - Markus Lilje

Report

Our Ethiopian adventure began as we headed south from a still-sleeping Addis Ababa and descended into Africa’s Great Rift Valley. This day is always quite incredible as we make our way down a string of beautiful lakes that line the valley floor, each with its own character and suite of species…

2010 [01 January] - Markus Lilje II

Report

As we headed south from a still-sleeping Addis Ababa to begin our Ethiopian adventure, and descended into Africa’s Great Rift Valley, the sky gradually lightened to reveal our surroundings…

2010 [02 February] - Ken Behrens

Report

Many people imagine Ethiopia as a flat, famine- ridden desert, but this is far from the case. Ethiopia is remarkably diverse, and unexpectedly lush. This is the ʻroof of Africaʼ, holding the continentʼs largest and most contiguous mountain ranges, and some of its tallest peaks…

2010 [02 February] - Rainer Summers

Report

Ethiopia is a fascinating land overrun with bizarre contrasts, both cultural and environmental. It runs on its own calendar and time, harbours some disparate cultural groups, from peaceful to unashamedly aggressive, and although the popular perception of Ethiopia is that of a dry country, it also harbours large areas of forest – this associated with the significant highland areas that are a characteristic of the “Roof of Africa”…

2010 [10 October] - Ralf Jahraus

Report

This report is based on a 5 week trip to Ethiopia on which I was accompanied by my wife Erma. Our interest was mainly birds but we also visited several cultural sites which are well worth visiting and also can hold some interesting birds. We found that a lot of good reports relating to birding in Ethiopia exist already and that there is no real need to add another but as we often find we were unable to locate a report by independent birders using public transport and arranging the whole trip within the country itself like we did. We thought it might be useful to share our experiences…

2011 [01 January] - Gavin Lautenbach

Report

The Horn of Africa is an incredibly exciting destination for birding enthusiasts from across the globe. Ethiopia has in fact become a must do destination with the huge numbers of accessible birds that are not only confiding but highly photogenic as well. We had an incredible journey through the dusty wilderness, vast lakeshores and what seems like enough Teff fields to feed the world!

2011 [02 February] - Gavin Lautenbach

Report

Simply put, Ethiopia is undoubtedly one of Africa’s most productive and rewarding birding destinations. The plethora of endemic species is complimented by a rich assemblage of forest and savanna species, while the influx of Palearctic migrants at the time of this tour all combine to make for a truly bird-filled adventure….

2011 [02 February] - Scott Bowers - Egypt & Ethiopia

Report

This trip report covers a one month journey to Egypt and Ethiopia with a couple of short layovers in London. Some highlights of the trip included the Ethiopian Wolf and escaping the Egyptian Revolution…

2011 [11 November] - Mark Easterbrook

Report

…The birding was fantastic, the experience was fantastic, and the weather was variable airing on the side of unseasonably heavy rains that caused the group some difficulties when transiting bush roads. The accommodation is interesting. I can safely say that "basic" does not truly capture the spirit of adventure required to undertake a trip to Ethiopia…

2011 [12 December] - Rainer Summers

Report

The incredible land of Ethiopia occupies a large portion of the Horn of Africa, and despite it often being perceived as a famine hit semi-desert, the significant Blue Nile River finds its source in the expansive and well watered highlands of “Abyssinia”. Our trip was designed to explore some of the faunal and historical highlights of this wondrous land while utilizing a high standard of accommodation.

2012 [01 January] - Michael Grunwell

Report

Travelling in a bus with a group of a dozen birders is not my idea of fun. I got in touch with Negussie Toyo of Nurgi birding tours and booked an 8 night tour. It transpired that my guide was Merid Gabremichael, the author of the aforementioned book….

2012 [01 January] – Rich Lindie

Report

The Great Rift Valley and its selection of fascinatingly different lakes played host to our first day's birding in fabulous Ethiopia. Following great roads, and fuelling ourselves with potent Ethiopian coffee, we racked up an impressive list of birds by the end of day one, which began with a stop at Lake Cheleleka….

2012 [02 February] - Henk Hendricks

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This report covers the 18-day trip I made to Ethiopia in February 2012 in the company of my brother Frans and Antonio Mendoza. During this trip we tried to see as many of the endemics and near-endemics of this country as possible….

2012 [02 February] - Rich Lindie

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Ethiopia regularly hits the top of the list of favourite African birding destinations. The entire country is dripping with avian species and our tour racked up over 560 of these….

2013 [01 January] - Ann Gifford

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…the following on our walk: Common Fiscal, Northern Wheatear, Isabelline Wheatear, Hooded Vulture, Abyssinian Longclaw, Spot-breasted Lapwing, Black-headed Siskin, Hammerkop, Red-breasted Wheatear, Cattle Egret, Common Kestrel, Yellow Wagtail, Ruff, Yellow-billed Duck, Ethiopian Cisticola, Lanner Falcon, Augur Buzzard, Egyptian Goose, Sacred Ibis, Groundscraper Thrush….

2013 [02 February] - Michael Mills

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…We started off with White-collared Pigeon, Brown-rumped Seedeater, Abyssinian Slaty Flycatcher and Wattled Ibis in our Addis hotel garden, before a short detour to Gefersa reservoir produced the hoped-for Abyssinian Longclaw, plus Blue-winged Goose, Red-breasted Wheatear, Erlanger’s Lark and Ethiopian Siskin. Swinging north of Addis the Sululta plains added Ethiopian Cisticola but we pressed on to Debre Libanos to see White-backed Black Tit, White-cheeked Turaco, Little Rock Thrush, Rueppell’s Black Chat, White-winged Cliff Chat, Erckel’s Francolin, Red-throated Wryneck and Gelada Baboon….

2013 [03 March] - Ken Behrens

Report

…Nonetheless, we still managed to find some fine birds such as Abyssinian Longclaw, Abyssinian Siskin, and Lammergeier, plus more Blue-winged Geese and Wattled Ibises. The afternoon was spent around the Portuguese Bridge, enjoying the view and the abundant soaring raptors. More terrestrial creatures were also in evidence, including a big flock of White-billed Starlings, a couple of Erckel’s Francolins, White-winged and Mocking cliff-chats, and a strangely shy troop of the amazing gelada baboons…

2013 [03 March] - Tommy Pedersen

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Annotated list…

2013 [05 May] - Phil Gregory & Merid Gabremichael

Report

…Birding was excellent, though surprises for me were the relative lack of herons and pelicans despite many freshwater habitats. We did really well with the endemics and near-endemics, with Harwood's, Erckel's, Clapperton's, Chestnut-naped, and Moorland francolins, some wild Somali Ostrich, the rare Arabian Bustard near Bilen, Scissor-tailed Kite at Awash, no fewer than five species of owls seen in daylight, including Cape, Grayish, and Verreaux's eagle-owls and Abyssinian Long-eared, plus four species of nightjars including Star-spotted, Abyssinian, and Donaldson-Smith's. An amazing dust storm one afternoon en route to the Sombre Chat site saw us stopped on the main highway in zero visibility, beeping the horn the while to alert anyone silly or brave enough to be still moving, with no wind at all and then very heavy rain for just a brief period, quite bizarre and a surprise to the locals, too. Otherwise we did really well for weather…

2013 [11 November] - Rich Lindie

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Ethiopia regularly hits the top of the list of favourite African birding destinations. The entire country is dripping with birds and one cannot fail to enjoy the myriad of bright species, special mammals, spectacular scenery, superb coffee and wonderfully friendly people – not to mention that the birding is relatively very easy and that there are so many endemics and specials on offer. Our tour of the “roof of Africa” racked up over 550 bird species, countless great mammals and more enjoyable experiences than an Afar herdsman can wave his gun at! Read on for a taste of the highlights of this thoroughly enjoyable trip…

2014 [01 January] - Mike Hunter

PDF Report

16 days in Ethiopia with the worst guide ever…

2014 [02 February] - Andrew Stainthorpe - Ethiopian Endemics III

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Ethiopia regularly hits the top of the list of favourite African birding destinations. Despite the fast- expanding population, the entire country is packed with avian species and one cannot fail to enjoy the myriad of bright birds, special mammals, spectacular scenery, and superb coffee and wonderfully friendly people! Due to the dry conditions in many parts of the country the birding is also often relatively easy and there are so many endemics and specials on offer. On this journey through the “roof of Africa” we racked up over 500 bird species…

2014 [11 November] - Svetlana Ashby

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2014 [12 December] - Alex Bevan

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We had talked about an Ethiopian trip for a number of years and following a great slide show from David Fisher at our annual Christmas get together, we reached a provisional agreement to sort out a trip.

2014 [12 December] - Zoothera Birding

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2015 [01 January] - Remco Hofland

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Visiting Ethiopia had long been a dream, and in the winter of 2014-2015 I finally managed to go. I actually meant to go the previous winter, so when we finally went I had been emailing with designated, recommended guide Merid Gabremichael for almost two years. This meant the tour was specifically targeting birds I wanted to see: besides all possible endemics, my targets included (African) Spotted Creeper and Abyssinian Catbird (new birdfamilies); Wattled & Black Crowned Crane; Arabian, Hartlaub’s & Black-bellied Bustard (who doesn’t love cranes and bustards?); Serval & Ethiopian Wolf; Abdim’s Stork and Lesser Jacana (to complete birdfamilies); African bogey-bird White-headed Vulture, WP-bird Egyptian Nightjar and all-time favorites Scissor-tailed Kite and Spot-breasted Lapwing.

2015 [02 February] - David Hoddinott - Ethiopian Endemics

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Ethiopia regularly hits the top of the list of favourite African birding destinations. Despite the fastexpanding population, the entire country is packed with avian species and one cannot fail to enjoy the myriad of bright birds, special mammals, spectacular scenery, superb coffee and wonderfully friendly people! Due to the dry conditions in many parts of the country the birding is also often relatively easy and there are so many endemics and specials on offer. On this journey through the “roof of Africa” we racked up over 500 bird species, many great mammals and numerous enjoyable experiences. Read on for a taste of the highlights of this thoroughly enjoyable trip

2015 [10 October] - Andrew Spencer

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2015 [11 November] - Kevin Zimmer

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2015 [12 December] - Hans Matheve

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Erckel's Francolin (while enjoying a fresh beer we had nice scope views of a family from the terrace of the Ethio-German Hotel), White-winged Cliff Chat (surprisingly it took us some time before we found 3 of these birds at the first viewpoint), Rüppell's Black Chat (easily found up to 20), Ankober Serin (a pair of these endemics was a great surprise on our first day, we had them next to the first viewpoint at the escarpment along the trail to the bridge, 9.7339263697, 38.815371505), White-billed Starling (a noisy flock of 25+ birds was seen down from the escarpment).

2015 [12 December] - Janos Olah

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2016 [01 January] - Tomas Carlberg

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We recorded 518 species of birds and 48 species of mammals during this successful three-week trip. We experienced a drought that was the worst in the country in 30 years. We saw lots of birds and mammals, the main focus of this trip, including all possible endemics and many rare species. Because of the drought, we surely missed many species and saw fewer individuals of many species than we would have normally seen.

2016 [03 March] - Richard Webb

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This was the second Wildwings’ tour to Ethiopia following on from Nigel Goodgame’s highly successful tour in 2014. This year’s group was less bird-oriented than the 2014 group and consequently we spent less time looking for LBJs and more time looking for mammals and photogenic birds. The trip was run a month earlier than the 2014 tour and there were some interesting differences in the species seen, particularly the birds.

Places to Stay

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Babogaya Lake Viewpoint Lodge

Accommodation

The Lodge is situated near Debre Zeit, a town at 47 km south of Addis Abeba. We are on the border of Babogaya lake, which is an ancient volcano 1 km wide, filled with clear water in which it is possible to swim or to go around with a kayak…

Bishangari Eco Lodge

Accommodation

Bishangari is many things. It is an eco-site, a natural wilderness, a wildlife sanctuary, a secluded beach resort and a luxury Lodge. But most of all it is a quiet and relaxing escape from the noise and bustle of everyday life. Addis Ababa may be only three and a half hours away by car, but to visit Bishangari is to escape to another world…

Evangadi Lodge - Turmi

Accommodation - Facebook Page

Encompassing an area of about 30,000 square meters, Evangadi Lodge and Campsite is located 850km south of the Ethiopian capital city (Addis Ababa). It derives its name from its rich cultural surroundings…

Swaynes Hotel - Arba Minch

Accommodation

Swaynes Hotel is located in beautiful Arba Minch (in Amharic Forty Springs). It boasts of a spectacular hilltop setting overlooking the forest of Nechisar National Park and two lakes of the RIft Valley (Chamo and Abaya)…

Organisations

African Bird Club

Website

In recent years, Ethiopia has rightly become one of Africa`s leading birding destinations. Its avifauna represents an interesting mixture of east and west African, Palearctic and some strikingly unusual endemic components. In addition to more than 800 species of birds, of which a staggering 29 are endemic to Ethiopia and its neighbour Eritrea, Ethiopia has a number of peculiar mammals, and a scenic diversity and cultural uniqueness that are hard to equal…

Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society

Website

The Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society was legally established in September 1966 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Society`s Objectives are to disseminate information and create awareness of the need for the conservation and wise us of Ethiopia`s natural resources and the environment; and conduct and support research concerning Ethiopia`s fauna and flora.
P0 Box 13303, Addis Ababa. +251 1 183520 ewnhs@telecom.net.et

Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society

Website

The Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society is an independent membership based Society, legally established in Ethiopia in September 1966. EWNHS is a not-for-profit grassroots indigenous national-level conservation NGO, one of the most prominent in Ethiopia advocating for wise use and conservation of biodiversity, natural resources and environment….

Reserves

Abijatta- Shalla Lakes National park

Information

Satellite View

Situated in the Great Rift Valley, only 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of Addis Ababa, and in the Lake Langano recreational areas, the Abijatta Shalla lakes National Park attracts numerous visitors…

Awash National Park

Information

Satellite View

Located in the lowlands 225 km east of Addis Ababa, the south boundary of the park is formed by the Awash river which swings North soon after leaving the park and eventually disappears into the Afar (Danakil) region…

Mago National Park

Information

Satellite View

Mainly grass savannah, some forested areas around rivers…

Omo National park

Information

Satellite View

Over 306 species of birds can be seen

Semien Mountains National park

Website

Satellite View

The Semien mountains are a must for all those interested in wildlife, scenery and spectacular landscapes, the Park has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO…

Other Links

Birds of the Rift Valley, Southern Ethiopia, Negele and Bale Mountains

Website

Trek with notes on difficulty, interests etc…

Birds of Tigray

Website

This site will inform you about the rich bird life in Tigray. Although the rural areas are densely populated, birds are not really threatened. Fertilizers are hardly used and also the use of insecticides is low. Last but not least there is no hunting.

Endemic Birds of Ethiopia

Website

List with notes and images…

Records from Gambela, western Ethiopia

Website

The lowlands of Illubador Province in extreme western Ethiopia have a fauna and flora, landscape and culture quite distinct from the rest of the country. Despite easy access to the region, with daily buses and thrice-weekly flights covering the 500km between Addis Ababa and Gambela (the second town of Illubador); it has received surprisingly little ornithological attention…

Photographers & Artists

Photographer - Phil Misseldine - Ethiopian Endemics

Gallery

The following are photographs from a trip to Ethiopia, which concentrated mainly on seeing Ethiopian Endemics. The trip was made in February - March 2003 with Naturetrek. All the photos are digiscoped shots and were taken with a Nikon CoolPix 995 and a Kowa TSN-664 with a 30x wide angle lens…