Ethiopia: Birding the Roof of Africa Intro

TOUR OVERVIEW

Ethiopia’s geographical position, where Africa meets Arabia, means that an already rich avifauna is augmented by a wide variety of wintering birds from the western Palearctic and other points further north. This is ‘the roof of Africa’ and this corner of the continent has an amazing diversity of habitats from the highland plateau and Afro-alpine zone of the Bale Mountains, down to mid-elevation woodland, and the more expected and familiar savanna with its numerous lakes set in the Great Rift Valley. Amidst all of this an outstanding variety of birds can be found and they are extremely numerous, approachable and offer outstanding photographic opportunities in this beautiful country. In fact over 850 species have been recorded here, and with 30 or so endemics and other species extremely restricted in range to this corner of Africa we are sure of an extremely bird-filled holiday. We will travel to Debre Libanos, Debre Birhan and Jemma Valley north of Addis Ababa in search of such highly-prized endemics as Harwoods Francolin, White-winged Cliff Chat, Red-billed Pytilia, Ankober Serin and Yellow-throated Seedeater before dropping down through the Rift Valley to Awash National Park. It is here we hope to find the impressive Arabian Bustard amongst a vast range of other possibilities and highlights from our previous visits here include Hartlaub's Bustard, Star-spotted Nightjar, Yellow-breasted Barbet and others. And then we drop into the Rift Valley and its numerous lakes thronging with pelicans, herons, egrets, ducks & waders, and African Spotted Creeper. From here the dramatic Bale Mountains and Sanetti Plateau will see us looking for Wattled Crane, Rouget’s Rail, Spot-breasted Plovers, and the rare Simien Wolf amongst a rather unique landscape. Further south, we visit areas close to the Kenyan border for Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco, Sidamo Lark, Stresemann’s Bushcrow and White-tailed Swallow. We also visit the fabulous Bishangari Lodge along the shores of Lake Langano for the endemic Yellow-fronted Parrot, before finishing at Gibe Gorge where Red-billed Pytlilia resides. And we'll visit everywhere in between these sites during our comprehensive tour to this fascinating country that will provide you with one of the greatest African birding adventures!

Dates tba   

KEY SPECIES

Here are just a few of the key species we will be targetting on this tour:

  • Abdim's Stork
  • Wattled Ibis
  • African Pygmy-goose
  • Lammergeier
  • Bateleur
  • Pygmy Falcon
  • Arabian Bustard
  • Harwood's Francolin
  • Moorland Francolin
  • Rouget's Rail
  • Spot-breasted Lapwing
  • Yellow-fronted Parrot
  • Prince Ruspoli's Turaco
  • Abyssinian Owl
  • Half-collared Kingfisher
  • Northern Carmine Bee-eater
  • Banded Barbet
  • Abyssinian Woodpecker
  • Erlanger's Lark
  • Sidamo Lark
  • White-tailed Swallow
  • Scaly-throated Honeyguide
  • Abyssinian Oriole
  • Abyssinian Longclaw
  • Ruppell's Black Chat
  • Abyssinian Wheatear
  • Abyssinian Ground Thrush
  • Abyssinian Catbird
  • White-backed Black Tit
  • African Spotted Creeper
  • Nile Valley Sunbird
  • Thick-billed Raven
  • Stresemann's Bushcrow
  • Abyssinian Crimsonwing
  • Red-billed Pytilia
  • Ethiopian Siskin
  • Ankober Serin
  • Golden-breasted Starling
  • Somali Golden-breasted Bunting
  • Simien Wolf

Leaders: Matt Eade and local guides.

Ground Price: £tba – Addis Ababa/Addis Ababa

Airfare: £600 - £750 (approx) - UK/UK

Single Supplement (Main): £tba

Deposit: £500.00

Group size: Minimum for tour to go ahead 5 and maximum 11 with 2 leaders.

Included in cost: Accommodation in twin rooms en-suite, all meals including picnic lunches, bottled water, transport throughout in 4x 4’s, all park entrance fees, and services of local guides and leaders.

Not included: International airfare, insurance, visa fee (approx £20), departure tax, camera fees, drinks, tips and items of a personal nature.

Accommodation:Ranges from simple to good – please remember we are visiting areas way off the regular tourist circuit, but most rooms have private bathrooms, although some may not be up to or 'usual' western standards. We endeavour to stay in the best available accommodation close to the birding sites.

Tour Code: This is a standard birding tour for anyone with a modest level of fitness. Long days in the field with early starts are expected, but walking is easy. But please bear in mind we will be at a fairly high altitude in the Bale Mountains for a couple of days, so we need to take our time whilst birding. The weather will be predominantly hot and dry throughout the tour, but higher areas could see some precipitation. A fleece and raincoat will be needed for the mountains. Please note there are some long drives on this tour.