National Parks in Ethiopia

Simien Mountain national park

This is one of the finest panoramas on the continent surrounded by jagged summits along the escarpment with the Great Rift Valley tumbling down before you. Established in 1969, Simien Mountain is one of the most important highlands of Africa with Ras Dejen rising to the highest point in Ethiopia at 4620m. There is splendid Red Hot Pokers, Giant Lobelia, mountain grasslands with fescue grasses and heathers in the higher lands. Night temperatures often fall below zero; snow and ice emerge on the highest points though not too far from the equator. Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains is a must do for anyone who simply loves a grand view and nature. The park largely protects over 1000 Walia Ibex, families of the unique Gelada Baboon with its scarlet ‘bleeding heart on its chest and the rare Simien fox. The park is accessed from Debark, 101km from Gonder.

The Awash National Park

Located 225 kilometers east of Addis Ababa with its southern boundary along the Awash River, the park covers at least 756 square kilometers of acacia woodland and grassland. Established in 1966, Awash National Park is one of the finest reserves in Ethiopia lying east of Addis Ababa lowlands with arid, semi-arid woodland; rive rain forests and savannah surrounded by the dormant volcano of Fantale. It is drained by one of the major rivers of the horn of Africa, Awash River that flows eventually into the wilderness of the Danakil Depression. The sight not to be missed in the national park is the striking Awash Falls, as the river tumbles into its gorge. Beisa oryx, Swayne’s heartbeest and other 46 mammal species have been identified, 392 species confirmed and the beautiful clear pools of the Filwoha hot springs. At the edge of the gorge is a caravan lodge called Kereyu Lodge and access to the park is the best from the main Addis Assab highway.

The Omo National Park

The park covers approximately 4,068 square kilometers, about 870 kilometers southwest of Addis Ababa and is one of the most attractive national parks in Ethiopia. After the discovery of the earliest well-known fossil fragments of Homo sapiens which have been dated circa 195,000 years old, the lower reaches of the Omo River were confirmed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. Visit a home to an amazing range of wildlife including 306 species of birds identified here, while viewing large herds of eland, elephants, cheetah, lion, leopard and Burchell’s zebra. A ferry to the north bank of the river is used via Omorate as present access to the park though a new airstrip is available close to the headquarters and a pleasant campsite on the Mui River. All roads to and from the park are unpaved.

The Mago National Park

Established in 1979, The National Park is Located about 782 kilometers south of Addis Ababa. The 2162 square kilometers of this park are separated into two parts by the Mago River a tributary of the Omo. The park is dominated by the wetlands, riverine forest, grasslands, and scrub on the sides of the hills. The park teem with plentiful bird life including extremely uncommon Turdoides tenebrosus, herds elephants and kudu, while sometimes it is possible to find lions, leopards and Burchell’s zebra though it is fairly developed for tourism.

Gambala National Park

The general landscape of the Park is flat dominated by woodland and savanna however the large termite mounds and rocks are in higher areas. The Park was established primarily to protect two species of endangered wetland antelopes of White-eared Kob and the Nile Lechwe. Many exciting species of animals like populations of elephant, lion, roan antelope, tiang, Lelwel Hartebeest, olive baboon, and guereza monkey. It supports extensive areas of wet grassland and swamps where the native grasses grow over 3 meters in height. Birds only found in this area include the shoebill stork, the Long-tailed Paradise Whydah and the Red-throated and Green Bee-eaters. Many more wildlife species can often be seen by the visitors including 813 species of birds, 596 residents and 224 regular seasonal migrants in Ethiopia.

Bale Mountains National Park

The 2,400-square-kilometre park is covered by moorlands, extensive heath land, virgin woodlands, pristine mountain streams and alpine climate that remain an undamaged and attractive world. Sight the largest populations of the endemic and endangered animals thriving in this environment including Ethiopian wolf, Mountain Nyala, Menelik’s bushbuck, endemic Bale monkey, giant mole rat and Simien red fox. This fox is one of the most colorful members of the dog family and more abundant here than anywhere else in Ethiopia. Looking for some fine high-altitude horse and foot trekking then look no further than this park.

Nechisar National Park

The 514 square kilometers National Park was established in 1974 and it is sited 510km south of Addis near the town of Arba Minch, in between Lakes Abaya and Chamo. A wide variety of mammals including Bushbuck, Swayne’s Hartebeest, Burchell’s Zebra, Grant’s Gazelle, Guenther’s Dik-dik, Greater Kudu, Crocodile, Anubis Baboon, Grey Duiker, Birds including Red-billed Hornbill, Grey Hornbil, Fish Eagle, Kori Bustard, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill roam freely in its savannah, dry bush and groundwater forest. A backdrop of hills and mountains combine to make this one of the most attractive national parks in Ethiopia, and its location makes it very accessible. In the far eastern part of the park hot springs bubble to the surface

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