Tour and Travel

Bird Watching

ETTA 008 - Bird Watching (15 Days)

Day 01 - Addis Ababa City, Sululta Plains and Debre Libanos Monastery (110 km) Early morning drive from Addis Ababa to the north for 110 km, towards Debre Libanos monastery. Along your way, do birding along the Sululta plains expecting to see the endemic Spot-breasted plover, Blue-winged goose, Abyssinian long claw and migratory waders on the seasonal ponds at the Sululta plains. After lunch birding along the cliffs of Jema Valley inside the compounds of Ethio-Germen Hotel expecting to see Lammergeier, roosting Ruppell’s vulture, Verraux’s eagle, White-billed starling, Ruppell’s chat, and Erckel’s francolin among the few. The endemic Gelada Baboon (Papio gelada) is also a very common mammal at this site. Continue to Debre Libanos Monastery indigenous Forest, expecting to see the other endemic bird species to Ethiopia includes, White checked turaco, Banded barbet, Abyssinian forest oriole , White-backed black tit and Abyssinian woodpecker. Other birds of interest include Scaly-throated honeyguide and Brown woodland warbler. Over night at Ethio-German Hotel (clean rooms and hot water shower) or get back to Addis Ababa.

Day 02 - Debre Libanos-Lemi (60 km) Early morning further exploration along the cliffs of Jemma River Valley inside the compounds of Ethio-German until lunchtime. After lunch, drive 60 km to Lemi town. Overnight at Lemi town (Very basic accommodation at Lemi).

Day 03 - Lemi escarpment, Jema Valley and Debre Berhan (160 km) Start journey very early in the morning around 0500 hrs to Alem Ketema, some 55 km from Lemi, to reach in time to the Jema Valley. The site, which lies at the escarpment towards the valley where the range restricted and endemic Harwood’s francolin, is very common. Do birding at this site, targeting Harwood’s francolin and various birds such as Vinaceous dove, Black-billed barbet, African grey and crowned hornbills, Common bulbul, Cinnamon-breasted bunting, Northern crombec and Eastern chanting goshawk. You will also record Black-winged bishop, Singing cisticola, Eurasian hoopoe, Bush petronia and Vitelline masked weaver. Drive back towards Debre Birhan town some 80 km northeastern direction from the junction. Overnight Debre Birhan Town Eva Hotel (the best hotel in town with good facility).

Day 04 - Debrebirhan-Debresina and Melka Jebdu (150 km) After breakfast, drive to Debresina at the rim of the rift valley, the topography of the area is steep and dissected by ravines and gorges through which rivers and streams tumble down the eastern escarpment of the Great Rift Valley. The altitude ranges from 1,650 m ASL to 3,700 m asl near Kundi on the plateau, the vegetation is moist to dry afro-alpine moorland with some stunted Erica arborea and shrubby everlasting flowers Helichrysum. This site holds the only known population of the Ethiopian endemic and restricted-range Ankober serin, a species whose known distribution is limited to a narrow altitudinal range from perhaps as low as 2,800 m up to 3,750 m along the Tarma Ber, a distance of approximately 20 km as the crow flies, Ankober Serin typically lives and breeds along broken hill tops, and on the steeply shelving, near vertical cliffs. Verreaux's eagle, Peregrine, Red-rumpped swallow, Ethiopian siskin, Alpine and Mottled swifts, African pipit, Cinnamon bracken warbler as well as the Ankober serin will be seen. Overnight at Ankober Lodge

Day 05 - Ankober to Awash National Park (120 km) After an early breakfast, you will drive towards Awash town and Melka Jebdu River along the Dulecha road, recently identified as a reliable site for the Yellow-throated serin. The vegetation and altitude changes noticed dramatically from an altitude of around 3,300 m to 700 m. The road is also rough, dusty and far from towns. Overnight at Awash Falls Lodge inside the Park (the only available accommodation inside the park, with very good rooms and restaurant).

Day 06 - Awash National Park ( Illala Sala Plains, Awash River and hot springs), Allideghie Wildlife Reserve and Bilen Lodge Birding the whole morning along the Awash River and waterfalls, a good opportunity to walk inside the Park. Expect to see Senegal thicknee, Woodland kingfisher, Hadada ibis, Blue-napped mouse bird, Tropical boubou, Red and yellow-billed horn bills, African Harrier hawk and others. Exploring the Fentale slopes to the hot spring directions expect key birds like Arabian bustard, Yellow-breasted barbet, Nile valley sunbird, White-throated and Little bee-eaters, Yellow-bellied eremomela, Ruppell's weaver, Pale flycatcher, Chestnut-headed sparrow lark and Black-cheeked waxbill whilst bush petronia, Grey kesterl, Northern white-crowned shrike and African hill babbler can also recorded. In Lake Beseka and also at the Filwuha hot springs you will find Great white and Pink-backed pelicans, Greater and Lesser flamingos, cormorants, egrets, herons, storks, ducks and geese, waders and Osprey in and around Lake Beseka. Nearby this Lake at the lava flows, the very rare and threatened Sobre rock-chat can be spotted.

Day 07 - Awash National Park-Ziway town (170 km) On the way to Ziway, you will explore the other side of Mt. Fentale with its vegetated crater and rocky rim, the breeding site at Mt. Fentale for Ruppell’s griffon vulture and Fox kestrel. Here you will see Egyptian vultures and many more raptors. Short stop at Koka Dam (Awash River Bridge) for aquatic birds and waders is also recommended. Then continue to Lake Zeway, one of the most important bird habitats. Visit breeding site of different water birds appropriate time is early in the morning. Hippopotamus in Lake Ziway can also be seen. Overnight at Bekele Mola Hotel.

Day 08 - Ziway and Langano Lakes, Abijata-Shalla Lakes National Park and Bishangari Ecolodge (80 km) The three neighbouring lakes in the central Ethiopian Rift Valley (Lakes Langano, Abijata and Shalla) could not be more different from each other. The medium depth reddish-brown Lake Langano, shallow, brackish Abijatta, and the extremely deep, blue Shalla, once a volcanic crater and now home to several bubbling sulphuric hot springs. So, you will spend some time exploring these lakeshores and their surrounding woodlands and forests. Little Rock thrush, African thrush, Buff-bellied warbler, Red-faced crombec, Beautiful sunbird, Rüppell’s starling, Red-billed oxpecker, Red-billed firefinch, Bare-faced go-away-bird, Hemprich’s hornbill, Black-winged lovebird, Abyssinian wheatear, White-winged black tit, Black-billed wood hoopoe, African pygmy kingfisher, Bearded woodpecker and Masked shrike occur in dry acacia woodland surrounding the lodge, whilst Lemon dove, Silvery-cheeked hornbill, Black-billed, Banded and Double-toothed barbets, African grey woodpecker, White-rumped babbler, Tropical boubou, Scaly francolin and Abyssinian ground thrush are resident in forest areas. You can also search the lake edge for the impressive Saddle-billed stork and the attractive White browed coucal. At Lake Abijata, you will find flocks of Greater and Lesser flamingo, Northern shoveler, Southern pochard, Cape teal, Dark-chanting goshawk, Asian imperial and Long-crested eagles, Grey kestrel, Little ringed, Common ringed and Kittlitz’s plovers, many species of Palaearctic waders, Great black-headed and Lesser black-backed gulls, amongst several other species of gulls and terns, Little bee-eater, family groups of the wonderful Abyssinian ground hornbill, Sand martin, African pipit and Isabelline, Pied and Mourning wheatears. There is also a chance to see mammals including Grant’s gazelle, Oribi and Spotted hyena. Overnight at Bishangari Ecolodge (very attractive location and very good standard services).

Day 09 - Depart Bishangari Ecolodge to Dinsho (Bale Goba) (250 km) Bishangari is located 20 km from the main road at the eastern side of Lake Langano, one of the remaining natural forests of its kind, 401 bird species have been recorded around this area. Expect to see Double-toothed barbet, Banded barbet, Olive dove, Tambourine dove, Green-backed twinspot, Abyssinian ground thrush and many more forest birds as well as water birds. Start birding very early in the morning at the nearby indigenous forest. Leave Bishangari before 0930 hrs upwards towards the world famous Bale Mountains National Park. At the Park Headquarters in Dinsho, you can search the trails for the colourful Chestnut-napped francolin, Ground scraper thrush (of the distinctive, endemic race simensis), the secretive Abyssinian ground thrush, vocal Abyssinian catbird and the endemic White-backed black Tit. You are also expected to see a variety of mammals, including Mountain nyala, now entirely restricted to the Bale Mountain massif, Menelik’s bushbuck and Common warthog, unusual at this high altitude. Overnight Bale Goba (the only best available hotel at the area, clean rooms and restaurant.

Day 10 - Goba, Negele Borana via Dolo Mena (270 km) Goba to Negele via the Bale Mountains. You will depart early, and ascend the Bale Mountain massif onto the Sanetti Plateau, expect to see the endemic Ethiopian wolf, Wattled crane, and Mooreland francolin. After crossing this fascinating area, you are expected to drop into Harenna forest. There you will see a considerable altitudinal differences and will exit the forest zone and enter progressively drier thorn savannah in this remote southern section of Ethiopia. Then you will reach reach a dry wadi on the Genale River, home to Ethiopia’s most sought-after endemic, Prince ruspoli’s turaco. The bird is named after an Italian Prince, its hapless discoverer, who was killed by an elephant soon after collecting the type specimen of the Turaco in the 1890s. It took another 50 years before explorers saw the Turaco again, only in the 1970s was anything revealed about this bird. Then search fruiting fig trees along the wadi, and with the assistance of local farmers, you should enjoy excellent views of this very unusual and beautiful turaco. Then you will arrive in Negele in the early evening and check into our basic hotel. Overnight Negele Borana Nile hotel (one of the two best accommodations with basic facilities).

Day 11 - Negele Borana-Yabello (300 km) Negele to Yabello. Drive along another long and seldom-travelled road, which take you near to the Kenya border and finally to the Yabello region, home to two of Ethiopia’s most sought-after endemic birds, both listed as globally threatened: the enigmatic Stresemann’s bush crow and glistening White-tailed swallow. This area of Acacia savannah is characterised by giant red termite mounds, some towering 5m above the plains, and both these birds seem to be associated in some way with these marvels of natural architecture. The social Bush crow was only discovered in 1938, and its affinities have yet to be established. Although it appears starling-like, it is presumed to be most closely related to choughs. Several birding stops will break the journey, the most notable being a stop at the Dawa River in search of Juba weaver, White-winged collared dove and Black-bellied sunbird. Other noteworthy birds that you may encounter en route to Yabello include somali courser, Magpie starling, Black-capped social weaver, Steel-blue whydah and its host, Black-cheeked waxbill. Overnight at Yabello town, Yabello Motel (very clean rooms and good restaurant).

Day 12 - Yabello area (30 k.m) Have the whole day birding at Yabello area getting better acquainted with the Stresemann’s Bush Crow and White-tailed Swallow. Birds that we will be expected here inculudes Gabar Goshawk, the shrike-sized Pygmy Falcon, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, glamorous flocks of Vulturine guineafowl, Black-faced sand grouse, Mottled swift, Tree pipit, the localised African Bare-eyed Thrush, ventriloqual Spotted Palm Thrush, African Grey Flycatcher, Pale Prinia, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Banded Parisoma, Hunter’s and Shining Sunbirds, Superb and Wattled Starlings, Chestnut Sparrow, Yellow-spotted Petronia, Grey-capped Social Weaver, Chestnut Weaver, Green-winged Pytilia, White-bellied Canary and White-winged Widowbird. A night drive in this exciting area could produce Donaldson-Smith’s and Slender-tailed Nightjars, Greyish Eagle-and Northern White-faced Owls and Three-banded Courser. Nocturnal mammal sightings may include Striped and Spotted Hyaenas, Serval, African Wild Cat and Ethiopian Genet. Overnight Yabello Motel

Day 13 - Yabello to Hawasa (310 k.m) Hawasa town is the capital of the southern peoples region 310 north from Yabello. Lake Hawasa is the smallest of the rift valley lakes; it is fed by a small river called “Tikur wuha “meaning black water. Birds:-Significant numbers of waterbird species occur, particularly White-breasted cormorant, White-faced whistling duck, Spur-winged goose, Red-knobbed coot, Pygmy Goose as well as great number of birds associated with forest such as Barbets, Blue-headed Coucal, etc. One of the most striking natural features of Hawasa is large population of Marabou stork. Overnight at Hawasa East African Group Hotel (very nice location by the lake and forest compound, nice clean rooms and restaurant).

Day 14 - Hawasa and Wondo Genet After breakfast drive to ‘’Amora Gedel”, lake side fish market for some great opportunities to photograph various birds accustomed to human company in a close distance, continue birding along the shores of Lake Hawasa. This lake is particularly rich in fish and the fishermen got their fish and discard the waste around the fish market. This attracts large numbers of Marabou Stork, Great White Pelican, Cormorants and other birds. Then after lunch, start driving towards Wondo Genet, having some stops and window birding all the way to wondo Genet. Overnight at Wondo Genet

Day 15 - Wondo Genet to Addis Ababa (270 km drive) Start birding early in the morning at the forest near your hotel until lunch time. Targeted birds include, African crowned Eagle, Half collared Kingfisher, Yellow-fronted Parrot, Spotted Creeper and Narina,s Trogon. After lunch you will start driving back towards Addis Ababa.

Amazing Birding Walks in Awash National Park

Four Giant Birds Walk - A wonder full walk in the savanna grasslands spend time learning, recording birds behavior and their feeding practice in their habitat such as Kori bustard, Arabian bustard, Abyssinian ground horn bill and Secretary bird.

Owls & Fish Eagles Walk - Enjoy the company of an owl as you spend 15 minutes learning about owls and their ecology. Walk through the woods and see them glide along above you through the trees.You will also appreciate the calls and perching habit of the African fish eagle. On the way, you will also see many riverine birds and skulker. The African harrier hawk with its nest will be your target on your way.

Bat & Harrier Hawks & Snake Eagles Walk - Walking towards the Air strips of Awash Park Spend a day and, handles several different species, learn about feeding and how to work with a bird of prey.

Night jar Walk - An evening exercise, starting from 6:30 pm for active Night jars 20 minutes planned walk. Walks can also be made during the day at their nesting/resting site.

Minimum age is 6, for groups larger than 4, please book to ensure availability.


Walk Type

What to See?


Time Taken

Tour Price (USD)


Hyena Walks

Gotu Hyena Dens Walk

Hyenas with their dens & some other animals

0.5 km

10 min.


Fentale Hyena Park Walk

Hyenas with their dens, owls, bats, hyraxes, warthogs, lizards, recent volcano fissures & different bird species

27 km

40 min. Drive & 10 min. walk



Crocodile & Monitor Lizard Walk

Nile crocodile,  Nile monitor lizard, Awash Falls, indigenous trees & a variety of birds

2 km   

40 min. walk



Baboon & Monkeys Walk

Anubis baboon, Vervet monkey, Colobus monkey & a variety of birds   

2 km       

40 min. walk



Savannah Drive & Awash Gorge View

Beisa oryx, Soemmering’s gazelle, warthog, Awash gorge & others   

16 km    

30 min drive



Hawk Walk

Bat hawk, chanting goshawks, kestrels & falcons

16 km      

30 min drive



An Owl & Fish Eagle Walk

African fish eagle, African wood owl, king fishers, monkeys & a variety of birds

3 km   

50 min.



Four Giant Birds Walk

Kori bustard, Arabian bustard, African ground hornbill, Secretary bird & a variety of other birds

16-43 km   

30 min. to 1:30 hrs drive   



Kudu & Dik Diks Walk

Lesser kudu, Salt’s dik dik, warthog,  & a variety of birds

2 km    

40 min.



Tortoise Walk   

Leopard tortoise, warthog, Lesser kudu, Salt’s dik dik, monkeys & a variety of birds       

3 km

50 min.



Community Village Walks

Kereyu Village Walk

Kereyu Village Walk    Cultural hut with colourful dress & unique hair style         

7 km

20 min. drive


Afar Village Walk

Cultural hut with colourful dress & unique hair style      

40 km

1:00 hrs



Nature Trail Walks

Riverine Walk

Riverine plants & animals    

2 km 

35 min.


Gorge Walk

Riverine plants & animals, Rock hyrax, crocodile &  shiny volcano rocks   

4 km 

50 min.


Mountain Climbing

Climb to Mt Fentale, crater rim, Egyptian & Lappet faced vultures &  kestrels       

61 km drive & 6 km walk

1:20 hrs drive & 2:30 hrs walk



Hippo Walk & Community Visit

Hippos, Lesser kudu, Afar villages & aquatic birds    

50 km

1:30 hrs drive & 10 min. walk 



Hot Springs Walk

Hot springs, Waterbuck, Hamadryas baboon, Rock hyrax, Crocodile, warthog, aquatic birds & palm forest   

41 km

1:30 hrs drive & 15 min. walk 



Boat Sailing

Enjoy under the Awash Falls    

200 m

5 min

3.00/person for 30 min.


Camel Trekking

Will start soon.


News & Events

 Doho Lodge and Hot Springs is actively serving local and international tourists.

This new Lodge is a sister company of the Awash Falls Lodge. This new site has already been opened for visitors. The site is located at the northern edge of Awash National Park along the expanse of the Awash Hot Springs, 48 km from Awash Falls Lodge. The area accommodates immense attractions.

The Awash Hot Springs:  Located at the northern border of the Park (41 km from Awash Falls Lodge) at the base of the Fentale cliffs are the fascinating Fil wuha Hot Springs. It is one of the wonders of the area and affords the visitor the opportunity to swim in about 40 - 50oC water. Aside from the hot springs and their picturesque pools, Doum Palms surround the hot springs and attract a wide range of aquatic birds and fish-eating Nile crocodiles. At dawn and dusk it is also possible to observe Defassa waterbuck in the hot spring marsh. While driving through the thick acacia bush to get to the hot springs one can also see a number of large mammal species including Lesser kudu, Salt's dik-dik, warthogs, and bird species such as Helmeted guinea fowl. The area is also home to the Hamadryas baboon. These special animals are regularly seen by visitors’ area as they regularly forage here during daylight hours, returning to the cliffs at night, where they are protected from predators. 

Suttle Bus AFLWe are very pleased to announce you that the Awash Falls Lodge has started a shuttle bus service from Addis Ababa Bolie International Airport to Awash National Park.

It is now a good option for a group of tourists that can rent for enjoyable and comfortable trip to Awash National Park. We serve you with reasonable price.


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