Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Chat
Little Rock Chat Monticola rufocinereus ©Markus Lilje Website

Birding Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the world's 27th-largest country, comparable in size to Bolivia. It lies between the 3rd parallel north and the 15th parallel north and longitudes 33rd meridian east and 48th meridian east. It shares borders with Eritrea to the north and northeast, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, Sudan and South Sudan to the west, and Kenya to the south. With over 102 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world and the second-most populous nation on the African continent. It occupies a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometres (420,000 square miles), and its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa. Within Ethiopia is a vast highland complex of mountains and dissected plateaus divided by the Great Rift Valley, which runs generally southwest to northeast and is surrounded by lowlands, steppes, or semi-desert. The great diversity of terrain determines wide variations in climate, soils and natural vegetation. It is an ecologically diverse country, ranging from desert along the eastern border to tropical forests in the south to extensive Afromontane in the northern and southwestern parts. Lake Tana in the north is the source of the Blue Nile. It also has a large number of endemic species, including 31 endemic species of mammals notably the gelada, the walia ibex and the Ethiopian wolf or Simien fox. The wide range of altitude has given the country a variety of ecologically distinct areas, and this has helped to encourage the evolution of endemic species in ecological isolation. Ethiopia is a global centre of avian diversity. To date more than 900 bird species have been recorded, around twenty of which are endemic and sixteen are endangered or critically endangered.

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, a staggering 37 are endemic or near-endemic. Ethiopia has 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 exploited for 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: 924

Endemics

Number of endemics: 20 (some say as many as 23)

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 Sidamo Lark Heteromirafra sidamoensis Erlanger's Lark Calandrella erlangeri 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

iGoTerra Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web

Useful Reading

A Checklist of the Birds of Ethiopia

By EK Urban and LH Brown | Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society | 1994 | Paperback | 143 pages, maps, illustations |

ISBN: #35908

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birding Ethiopia: A Guide to the Country's Birding Sites

by Ken Behrens, Keith Barnes & Christian Boix | Lynx Edicions | 2010 | Paperback | 189 Pages, Colour photos, maps |

ISBN: 9788496553552

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Ethiopia & Eritrea

by John Ash & John Atkins | Christopher Helm | 2009 Hardback | 463 pages, 16p colour photos and maps |

ISBN: 9781408109793

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of the Horn of Africa

by Nigel Redman, Terry Stevenson & John Fanshawe | Christopher Helm | 2011 | Paperback | 512 pages, 213 colour plates, 1000+ colour distribution maps, colour & b/w maps |

ISBN: 9781408157350

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Important Bird Areas of Ethiopia: a first inventory

By Sue Edwards | Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society | 1996 | Paperback | 300 Pages, Illustrations, tables, maps |

ISBN: #71212

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Where to Watch Birds in Ethiopia

by Claire Spottiswoode, Merid Gabremichael & Julian Francis | Christopher Helm | 2010 | Paperback | 192 Pages, 150 Colour photos, maps |

ISBN: 9781408130759

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Organisations

African Bird Club

Webpage

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…

BirdLife Ethiopia

Webpage

News from Ethiopia on birds and conservation

Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society

Website

The Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society (EWNHS) is an indigenous non-profit organization founded in 1966 in Addis Ababa. It has registered under the Charities and Societies Agency as Ethiopian Resident Charity in 2009. EWNHS is the oldest conservation institute that advocates for the wise use of natural resources, conservation of biodiversity and protection of environment through environmental education, awareness and community outreach and monitoring and research. EWNHS is BirdLife International partner and member in Ethiopia, and shares the mission of saving species, protecting sites, conserving habitats and empowering and improving the livelihoods of people. The organization strives to support the government efforts in conservation through provision of advice, information and hard data, best practice guidelines, disseminating of environmental issues, networking and collaboration, and proactively engaging in conservation projects.

Reserves

Abbreviations Key

NP Abijatta- Shalla Lakes

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…

NP Awash

Information

Satellite View

Wildlife in this park include the East African oryx, Soemmerring's gazelle, dik-dik, the lesser and greater kudus, and warthogs. Anubis baboons and hamadryas baboons are present, as well as over 453 species of native birds like the North African ostriches

NP Mago

Information

Satellite View

Indigenous bird life include the extremely uncommon Turdoides tenebrosus especially at Lake Dipa, Estrilda troglodytes in the rank grass along streams and swamp edges, Phoeniculus damarensis, Porphyrio alleni, Butorides striatus also at Lake Dipa, and in riverine contexts Pluvianus aegypticus, Scotopelia peli and Cossypha niveicapilla. The park's perhaps best known attraction are the Mursi, known for piercing their lips and inserting disks made of clay.

NP Omo

Information

Satellite View

Over 306 species of birds can be seen

NP Semien Mountains

Website

Satellite View

The main attraction of the Simien Moumains National Park is its biosphere: the steep cliffs and the cool climate at the altitude of the Erica tree line (3600 to 4000 m ash) have created conditions that are appropriate for the survival of an ibex species (Capra ibex wee) endemic to the Simien Mountains. Despite the severe restriction of their habitat over the last centuries, several hundred animals have survived up to the present. Apart from the Walya ibex, many other animal species are found in the Park, for example the endemic Simien fox or Ethiopian wolf (Canis .071817,51-3 simony’s), several birds of prey, the endemic Gelada baboon ( Theropithecusgelada), the Klippspringer (Oreotragus omotragus), and the bush buck (liagelphus scriptus). The rareness of these species formed the backbone of the concept for conservation of the area, which led to the establishment of the Simien Mountains National Park in 1969, and its listing as a World Heritage Site in 1918.

Guides & Tour Operators

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

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!

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.

Flamingos Tours Ethiopia

Tour Operator

With more than 850 different Birds, of which 22 endemic, we don’t have to explain you why Ethiopia is a top birding country in Africa. The diversity in climate and altitude is unique. Flamingos Tours Ethiopia is run by Belgian birdwatcher, who lives since 15 years in Ethiopia, where he first build 2 lodges in birding areas.

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…

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.

Trip Reports

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

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.

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 [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 [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 [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 [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…

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 [02 February] - Henk Hendricks

Report

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….

2013 [01 January] - Ann Gifford

Report PDF

…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

Report PDF

…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

Report PDF

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…

2014 [01 January] - Mike Hunter

PDF Report

16 days in Ethiopia with the worst guide ever…

2014 [11 November] - Svetlana Ashby

Report PDF

2014 [12 December] - Alex Bevan

Report

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

PDF Report

2015 [01 January] - Remco Hofland

Report PDF

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 [10 October] - Andrew Spencer

PDF Report

2015 [11 November] - Kevin Zimmer

PDF Report

2015 [12 December] - Hans Matheve

Report

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

PDF Report

2016 [01 January] - Tomas Carlberg

PDF Report

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

Report

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.

2017 [01 January] - David Hoddinott - Ethiopian Endemics

PDF Report

The Horn of Africa is one of the prime birding destinations on the continent. Ethiopia is the most accessible country in the region, with a large number of endemics and near-endemics birds, and a few endemic mammals. On this tour, we explored the country from the depths of the Rift Valley to the highs of the Sanetti Plateau, finding over 500 bird species and 38 mammals.

2017 [02 February] - David Hoddinott - Ethiopian Endemics

Report PDF

Our memorable Ethiopian adventure started off with a wonderful drive south through the Great Rift Valley, where we visited a number of impressive and unique lakes each offering a new set of birds. Our first stop was at Lake Cheleleka where upon arriving at dawn, we were greeted by several thousand bugling Common Cranes, what a spectacle! Yellow-billed, White and hundreds of Marabou Storks were seen in surrounding fields, along with Glossy Ibis, African Spoonbill and an assortment of waders, including Black-tailed Godwit, Temminck’s Stint and Little Ringed Plover. Greater Spotted Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier, Isabelline Shrike, Chestnut-backed Sparrowlark, and Erlanger’s Lark were other notable sightings here.

2017 [03 March] - Tomas Carlberg - Ethiopia’s Somali region

PDF Report

We recorded 241 species of birds and 25 species of mammals during this 10 birding days trip, focusing on the special birds and mammals in the Somali region. We managed too see all species on our “want list”, including Little Brown Bustard, Philippa’s Crombec, Somali Crombec, Rufous Elephant Shrew, Harar Dik-dik, Silver Dik-dik, and Dibatag...

2017 [04 April] - David Karr - Bale Mountains National park & Rift Valley Lakes

PDF Report

Day 1. Drive to Bale Mountains National park via rift valley, with birding grounds including Bushoftu Crater lakes, Koka dam, Ziway and in the afternoon, Dinsho/Adelay grassland areas, also with roadside stops for any opportunity. Blue-winged Goose

2017 [04 April] - Vincent Ward

PDF Report

Of the 28 target endemics we saw 26, including the sought-after Ruspoli’s Turaco, Stresemann’s Bushcrow, and White-winged Collared Dove. The smaller and harder-to-find endemic canaries (my personal favorites) were seen, the highlights being White-rumped, Yellow-rumped, Yellow-throated and Salvadori’s Seedeaters.

2017 [06 June] - David Karr - Awash NP

PDF Report

Synopsis: A three-day itinerary to one of Ethiopia’s pre-eminent birding destinations: the plains of the semi-arid Awash Region (alt. approx. 700m asl) – easily accessible from Addis Ababa by the new highway to Adana and then secondary road to Awash Town (total driving time: 2.5 hours). My itinerary was prepared by my Ethiopian guide, Meseret Mesbuki – contacted through birdingpal.com.

2017 [06 June] - Stephen Blaber

Report

Overall, the trip was extremely successful and enjoyable with 100 new species, including almost all the endemics, and 430 species seen in total. We found that most birds and other wildlife were easy to see, perhaps because the people are mainly pastoralists and not hunters. Also the scenery is some of Africa’s most spectacular.

2017 [11 November] - Terry Goble

PDF Report

Ethiopia is a unique country in so many ways and no less for its extraordinary wildlife. There are mammals and birds found nowhere else on the planet and this trip was designed to visit all the unique habitats where this endemic wildlife can be found.

2017 [12 December] - Nik Borrow - Ultimate Ethiopia

PDF Report

Birds of the Horn of Africa by Nigel Redman et al. recognises 15 and lists Blue-winged Goose, Harwood’s Francolin, Spot-breasted Lapwing, Yellow-fronted Parrot, Ruspoli’s Turaco, Archer’s (Sidamo) Lark, Erlanger’s Lark, White-tailed Swallow, Abyssinian Longclaw, Abyssinian Catbird, Stresemann’s Bushcrow, Yellow-throated Seedeater, Salvadori’s Seedeater, Ethiopian Siskin, and Ankober Serin and of these we saw all of them very well.

Places to Stay

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

10,000 Flamingos Lodge

Website

The 10'000 flamingos lodge is inside the Abijata-Shalla National Park, on a beautiful hill, over viewing Lake Chitu and Lake Shalla.

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 - Webpage

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)…

Other Links

Endemic Birds of Ethiopia

Website

List with notes and images…

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…