This birding tours takes birders a superb destination for a bird watching tour, as you explore the Rift Valley Lakes , Bale National Park & the surrounding area , and Negele Borena, each teeming with its own microcosm of bird life which support a wholly different selection of endemic birds..
Day 1: Arrival Addis Ababa
Our representative welcomes you on your arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport and transfer to Ghion Hotel, that has very extensive garden rich for bird species. Among the species spotted here are the White-backed Black Tit and the brown Tit Warbler. Pm, we leave for Geferssa Reservoir, some 20 kms west of Addis Ababa, where one can see the Blue-winged Goose, black-headed Siskin, Abyssinian Long Claw and Wattled Ibis. O/n Ghion Hotel.
Day 2: Addis Ababa -Langano
Drive south to the main Ethiopian Rift. We will be birding along the main road, stopping off at Koka Dam and the Awash River and at Lake Ziway, we head down to the lakeshore where huge numbers of water birds are congregated. African pygmy Geese, Yellow billed storks, Collared Pratincoles, Lesser and greater Jacanas, African Jacanas, White Pelicans, Fish Eagles, crowned and common cranes are some of the species to be seen here in impressive numbers. We leave Ziway mid-afternoon, continuing to Lake Langano for an overnight in the Hotel, situated on the
shores of the lake.
Day 3: Langano –Bale Mountain
After early breakfast leave the valley and start to ascent the Bale Mountains. you continue drive to Bale mountains National Park and it is here you will visit many of the endemics like Blue-winged goose, Spot-breasted lapwing, Abyssinian long claw, Wattled ibis, Black-headed siskin, Rouget’s rail, Banded barbet and of course other species, too. Overnight Wabishebele hotel.
Day 4: Sanete Plateau
Leave Goba towards Sanete Plateau. While crossing a lush green forest, you will enjoy the Ethiopian Wolves, endemic mammals. Then you will take another hike to the right hand side of the road to reach the 2nd highest peak of the country, 4377 meters above sea level. It is here where you will highly experience the chilly wind. Then you will walk slightly down and down across a moorland landscape dotted with white and yellow cushions of flowers, colorful lichen-covered rocks and sparse Giant Lobelias. You will visit many water birds in the small ponds. In particular search the trails of Bale Mountains for Chestnut-napped Francolin, Ground scarper Thrush (of the distinctive, endemic race Simensis), the secretive Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, vocal Abyssinian Catbird, and the endemic White-backed Black-Tit on the high moorlands, if we are very fortunate, we will see a pair of the endangered Wattled Crane striding through the moist grassland or spot a Cape Eagle-Owl sunning on a rocky perch. We will also search for Moorland Francolin, the endemic Spot-breasted Lapwing, others like Thekla Lark, Red-breasted Wheatear and dumpy Moorland Chats; Ethiopian Wolf is also highly prized here. Overnight
Camping at Katcha Camp near Harena Forest.
Day 5: Bale Mountains National Park-Negele
After Early breakfast drive to Negelle via Harena Forest. En route we will be looking for the Turaco and outstanding Golden-breasted Starling, later we will also seek the endemic Sidamo Lark together with Somali Short-toed Lark and possibly Heuglin’s Bustard on the Negele Plains. The Sidamo lark is quite secretive and like many Ethiopian endemics inhabits a very small area.
Overnight Local Hotel in Negele.
Day 6: BogolMyno
A long drive takes us to a little known area of great importance because of the wealth of endemic plants in the region; however, it is the Degodi Lark we shall be seeking here after a night spent in the village near to the areas the bird inhabits. Birding en-route we will look for:
Pygmy Batis,Short-billed Crombec, Somali crombec. Overnight: Camp.
Day 7: Negele
We shall spend the morning in the area seeking the Degodi Lark, if not seen the day before, together with the White-winged Dove and Juba Weaver two specialties of the area plus Black-faced Sandgrouse, Chestnut-headed Sparrow-lark, Scaly Chatterer, we then we return to Negele, birding along the way. We will stay overnight at Negele before pushing on to Yabello the following day. Overnight: Local Hotel in Negele.
Day 8: Negele –Yabello
Today we will enter the region of the endemic White-tailed Swallow and Streseman’sBushcrow, after some searching we should find the Swallow threading its way through the termite chimneys and some groups of Bushcrows in the thorn bush. All day will be used to explore the Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary & Reserve, species we could see include: Somalian Ostrich, Secretary Bird, Rueppell’s Griffon Vulture, Martial Eagle, Grasshopper Buzzard, African Pygmy Falcon, Vulturine Guineafowl, Kori Bustard, Donaldson Smith’s Nightjar, Star-spotted Nightjar, Yellow-billed Hornbill, Lilac-breasted Roller, Rufous-crowned Roller, d’Arnoud’s Barbet, Red & Yellow Barbet, Short-tailed Lark, Northern Grey Tit, Shelley’s and White-crowned Starlings, Abyssinian Grosbeak Canary, Somali Sparrow, Black-capped Social Weaver, Grey-headed Silverbill, Taita Fiscal, Somali Golden-breasted Bunting with possibilities of: Coqui Francolin, Somali Courser, African Bare-eyed Thrush, Little-spotted Woodpecker, Pringle’s Puffback, Little Tawny Pipit, Fawn-coloured Lark. Mammals that inhabit the park include: Burchell’s Zebra, Aardvark, Grant’s gazelle, Thompson’s Gazelle, and Lesser-spotted Genet. Overnight Yabello Motel.
Day 9: Yabello –Awassa
On leaving the area we head back up the Rift valley to Awassa, birding the acacia bush and areas of highlands as we go. Overnight: Hotel in Awassa Wabi Shebelle Hotel.