Wildlife Safari Tours

Senait Ethiopia Tours

TOUR CODE: SET017

TOUR TYPE: WILDLIFE

DURATION: 18 DAYS/ 17 NIGHTS

MEANS OF TRANSPORT: DRIVE

PROGRAM

TRIP OVERVIEW

This is the special wild life safari to Chebera Churchura , Maze National park  and Bale Mountain , Awash national park, Alay Dege protected Plains, Simien mountain National park and the surrounding. This itinerary is designed for those who love nature, wild life, and authentic culture. Most of the major National parks in the country that are famous for their wild life are included. Several of the National parks included are the most untouched ones and rarely visited by tourists, hence offering great wild life experience. 

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    Day 1: Arrival
    Arrive in Addis Ababa Bole International airport and meet your guide in the airport the will be transferred to the hotel. Overnight: Jupiter or Similar Hotel

    Day 2: Drive Addis – Chebera Churchura National park
    After breakfast, drive from Addis Ababa to Chebera Churchura national park via Jimma, the capital of the former Kaffa province after which coffee is named. Late in the afternoon, enjoy game drive in the Park.

    Day 3: Chebera Churchura National park
    Today will be an epic day in Chebra Churchural National Park. This park is one of the recent developments in Ethiopia, and it is the most untouched parks with great wilderness. So far, 37 larger mammals and 237 species of birds have been recorded in the different habitats (Highland & Rverine forest and savanna and bush lands) of the park. White- winged cliff chat, banded-barbet, wattled ibis, black-headed forest Oriole and thick billed Raven are endemic birds for the country. Common mammals include the African elephant, hippopotamus, Cape buffalo, lion, and leopard. The park appears to be the least disturbed and reliable ecosystem for the African elephant and Buffalo in the country.

    Day 4: Chebera Churchura National park
    Drive and game view towards Shoshuma Campsite, especially for elephants.

    Day 5: Drive Chebera Churchura – Maze National Park
    After early morning game drive, leave Chebera Churchura National park and drive to Maze National Park.
    Maze national Park is covered by savannah grassland with scattered deciduous broad leave trees as well as river basin association along the main water courses. So far 39 larger and medium sized mammals and 196 birds’ species have been recorded. The park is one of the three sites in the country where good population of the endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest’s population still survives. In addition, other mammals like Orbi, Bohor red buck, warthog, bushbuck, waterbuck, greater kudu, lesser kudu, bush pig, Anibus baboon, vervet monkey, leopard, and wild cats are among others common species.

    Day 6: Drive Maze – Arbaminch
    After morning game drive, proceed to Arbaminch. In the afternoon, have a remarkable boat ride on the southernmost Rift Valley Lake of Ethiopia – Lake Chamo. Boat trip on Lake Chamo is among the best anywhere in Ethiopia. One can spot many Hippos and the world's most spectacular concentrations of Giant Crocodiles (It is locally called as "Crocodile Market"). The water birds are great the scenery is truly unforgettable. Fishing for Nile Perch and many other species by locals on their traditional boat is by far the best in the country. You will also watch various low land water birds like the African Fish Eagle, Great White Pelicans, egrets, etc.

    Day 7: Drive Arba Minch – Awassa
    After breakfast, drive to Chencha to visit the Dorze people who are known for weaving tradition and for their beautiful huts made of bamboo. Then head to Awassa visiting the Alaba village for their painted houses.

    Day 8: Awassa- Bale Mountains National Park
    In the morning, visit the fish market at lake Awassa. Then drive to the world famous Bale Mountains National Park. At the park headquarters in Dinsho we search the trails for the colorful Chestnut-naped Francolin, Ground scraper Thrush (of the distinctive, endemic race simensis), the secretive Abyssinian GroundThrush, vocal Abyssinian Catbird, and the endemic White-backed Black-Tit. We also hope to see a variety of mammals, including Mountain Nyala- now entirely restricted to the Bale Mountain massif, Menelik’s Bushbuck and Warthog, unusual at this high altitude. Further drive to Goba for overnight.

    Day 9: Full day Sanetti Plateau Wildlife Excursion
    Today will be a day of great contrasts with amazing scenery and birding. We will depart early, and ascend the Bale massif onto the Sanetti Plateau, which is between 3800m and 4377m above sea level. Once we reach this unique plateau, we will be driving on Africa’s highest road, passing close to the summit of Ethiopia’s second highest mountain. This habitat is termed “Afro-alpine moorland”, and is characterized by Jibrra or Giant Lobelias, which tower like monolithic giants over the rich tussock grasslands and extensive cushions of yellow Everlasting flowers. This site is an Important Bird Area of immense importance, supporting seven globally threatened species and nearly all of Ethiopia’s Highland biome species. The grasslands are estimated to support an incredible biomass of 4,000kg of rodents per hectare. This obviously attracts an array of raptors and we should see Steppe and Golden Eagle, Augur Buzzard and elegant Pallid Harriers courting over this green sea. They share this abundant food source with the plateau’s most celebrated resident, the Ethiopian Wolf, crowned with the unenviable title of “the world’s rarest canid.” We should enjoy excellent photographic opportunities in this unique mountain wonderland. Finally, we will reach the escarpment of this elevated plateau and stare down, through the clouds, at the vast Harenna Forest below. This remarkable forest is the largest intact forest block in Ethiopia and the largest protected Afro-alpine forest on the continent. It still supports populations of lion and the only surviving forest-dwelling African Wild Dogs. Although unlikely that we will see either of these species, the descent through this breathtakingly beautiful moss-draped forest is inspirational. Late afternoon return to Goba.

    Day 10: Drive to Langano
    After breakfast, we drive to Lake Langano. Here we can enjoy watching several water bird species in and around the lake, and the ever spectacular sunset. Lake Langano is bilharzias free and suitable for swimming.

    Day 11: Drive to Awash National ark 
    After breakfast, drive back to Addis visiting the Rift Valley Lakes of Langano, Abiyatta, Shalla, and Ziway. Then drive to Awash Lunch in Nazreth and We pass Lake Beseka (which has grown over the last decade, causing the Djibouti – Addis Ababa railway line to be raised on several occasions), and enter the Awash National Park for game view. The dramatic Awash Falls, as the river tumbles into its gorge, is the sight not to be missed in the national park. Awash national park, surrounding the dormant volcano of Fentale, is a reserve of arid and semi-arid woodland and savannah, with riverine forests along the Awash River. Forty six species of animals have been identified here, including Beisa Oryx and Swayne’s hartebeest. The bird life is prolific especially along the river and in the nearby Lake Beseka and there are fine endemic amongst the 392 species recorded birds. A special attraction is the beautiful clear pools of the Filwoha hot springs.

    Day 12: Filwoha Hot Springs
    Take an early morning game drive towards the Filwoha Hot Springs for hot springs, possible wildlife; Waterbuck, leopard, cheetah, Lion, Kudu. Hamadryas and Anubis baboon, crocs, etc

    Day 13: Alay Dege protected Plains / Wildlife Reserve
    Drive from Awash National park to Alay Dege (also spelt as Ali Dege) wildlife reserve (protected) area. Alay Dege protected wildlife area, found in arid Afar Region (277km asphalt road). Head office of Alay Dege Park is at Andido, a small village on Addis Ababa – Djibouti High road.
    In Alay Dege wildlife reserve, the following wildlife are most possibly visible at near distance (binocular or best zoomed photo camera makes it so much perfect): Northern Gerenuk (common in roadside scrub and on open field), Harar Dik-dik, Scub Hare, more than 40 Grevy’s Zebra at a time could be seen, Many wild ostriches, Golden Jackal, Beisa Oryx, Common Warthog, spotted hyena, flock of birds like three banded sand grouse, many Soemeering’s Gazelle. This wildlife Reserve is worthy for birdwatcher. If luck fortunate, the following wildlife are also seeable: Caracal and wild cat, Aardwolf, Cheetah, Somali Wild Ass (Somali Wild Ass is supposed to be seeable in the rocky hills with time and local guides).
    In Animalia Lodge, during nighttime, lions come often. Lions could be seeable if one is organized for night time visit (powerful torch is required).

    Day 14: Alay Dege protected Plains and afternoon back to Addis
    Early Explore Alay Dege wildlife reserve (protected) area for full day, for Grevy’s Zebra, antelopes and significant varieties of birds. The vegetation surrounding the area is dominantly acacia woodland, but sadly this has been extensively degraded through human encroachment.

    Days 15 &16: Simien Mountain National Park.
    The next two days will be spent exploring and photographing the legendary Simien Mountains and its unique inhabitants. At Simien Mountains National Park we will be presented with some of the most dramatic scenery in Africa—great volcanic plugs formed 40 million years ago and eroded over the eons into fantastic crags, pinnacles and flat-topped mountains—“the chess pieces of the Gods”, as one writer aptly described them. This dramatic topography is a result of the erosion of basalt lavas over 3000m (almost 10,000 feet) thick. Fissures in the dense basalt were carved by countless floods that poured into them, creating “bottomless” gorges and incising an incredible array of jagged rock formations reminiscent of America’s Grand Canyon and Namibia’s Fish River Canyon. Amidst beautiful alpine meadows punctuated with Giant Lobelias and flowering “red hot pokers” (Kniphofias), we will find ourselves surrounded by massive troops of extremely photogenic and docile Gelada Baboons. At the same time we should be thrilled by the head-butting battles of Walia Ibex rams preparing for the forthcoming breeding season, whilst spectacular Lammergeyers cruise the sky above against a breathtaking backdrop of high wilderness peaks.

    The Ibex is a large goat-like creature that sports a monstrous set of horns and inhabits the rugged rocky and grassy slopes of this seldom-visited region. Gradually the numbers of these animals are recovering since the area has been protected and greater awareness has been created around them.
    Troops of Geladas up to four hundred strong thrive here, and we will spend quality time observing and photographing these unique and fascinating primates. With long woolly capes, tasseled tails, bare red chests and an arrogant swagger, these remaining relics of once widespread grass-eating baboons are now restricted to the highlands of Ethiopia. Geladas roost on the massive cliffs that dominate this park but spend their days hunched over the grasses that form the bulk of their diet. Despite sporting massive canines (the largest in proportion to body size of any mammal!), Geladas are non-aggressive and, with patience, we may find ourselves amongst a troop of these gentle animals as they concentrate on their foraging. Here we may be treated to a formidable lip-flip – the imposing grimace put on by Geladas to reveal their impressive upper jaw and canines, but will more likely be completely ignored as they go about their daily business. Geladas are extremely vocal, being able to pronounce all nouns and five of our seven vowels!
    Other attractions in the area include several species of birds also found in the Bale Mountains further south, including the large and confiding Rouget’s Rail, Chestnut-naped Francolin, Spot-breasted Lapwing, Abyssinian Longclaw and Ethiopian Siskin. Ethiopian Wolf may also be found parading around this beautiful landscape, although they have suffered due to various diseases passed on from domestic dogs.

    Day 17: Simien Mountains to Gondar
    After a short photographic excursion or a relaxed morning simply enjoying the views, we will return to Gondar. This, the “Camelot of Ethiopia”, is a city noted for its many medieval castles and the design and decoration of its churches. Between 1632 and 1855 Gondar served as Ethiopia’s capital city and it remains one of the country’s richest areas in terms of culture, history and natural beauty, with plenty of both Islamic and Christian influence in the cities’ architecture. Built at around 2,500 metres above sea level, Gondar commands spectacular views over farmlands to the gleaming waters of Lake Tana 35 kilometers to the south.
    We will spend the afternoon exploring the Royal Enclosure and its buildings, and the nearby bath of King Fasiledes (where modern-day Timkat ceremonies are performed). Surrounded by a 100m (300 foot) long wall, the fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The oldest and most impressive structure is the two-story palace of Emperor Fasilidas, built of solid basalt stones. Other royal buildings we visit include the library of Emperor Yohannes I, the House of Song where royal ceremonies took place, the elegant reception and banquet hall of Emperor Bakaffa, and the palace of this king’s wife. Finally, we will take some time to view the Church of Debre Birhan Selassie, an imposing structure with its harmony of brightly colored ceilings completely covered with intricately painted angels.

    Day 18: Gonder to Addis Ababa and Depart for Final Destination
    After breakfast we will transfer to the airport and fly back to Addis Ababa, attend the farewell dinner in the best traditional restaurant and then depart to your final destination.

  • DAY 1: Arrival

    Arrive in Addis Ababa Bole International airport and meet your guide in the airport the will be transferred to the hotel.

  • DAY 2: Drive Addis – Chebera Churchura National park

    After breakfast, drive from Addis Ababa to Chebera Churchura national park via Jimma, the capital of the former Kaffa province after which coffee is named. Late in the afternoon, enjoy game drive in the Park. Overnight camping

  • DAY 3: Chebera Churchura National park

    Today will be an epic day in Chebra Churchural National Park. This park is one of the recent developments in Ethiopia, and it is the most untouched parks with great wilderness. So far, 37 larger mammals and 237 species of birds have been recorded in the different habitats (Highland & Rverine forest and savanna and bush lands) of the park. White- winged cliff chat, banded-barbet, wattled ibis, black-headed forest Oriole and thick billed Raven are endemic birds for the country. Common mammals include the African elephant, hippopotamus, Cape buffalo, lion, and leopard. The park appears to be the least disturbed and reliable ecosystem for the African elephant and Buffalo in the country. Overnight camping

  • DAY 4: Chebera Churchura National park

    Drive and game view towards Shoshuma Campsite, especially for elephants. Overnight camping.

  • DAY 5: Drive Chebera Churchura – Maze National Park

    After early morning game drive, leave Chebera Churchura National park and drive to Maze National Park.

    Maze national Park is covered by savannah grassland with scattered deciduous broad leave trees as well as river basin association along the main water courses.

    So far 39 larger and medium sized mammals and 196 birds’ species have been recorded. The park is one of the three sites in the country where good population of the endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest’s population still survives. In addition, other mammals like Orbi, Bohor red buck, warthog, bushbuck, waterbuck, greater kudu, lesser kudu, bush pig, Anibus baboon, vervet monkey, leopard, and wild cats are among others common species. Overnight camping  

  • DAY 6: Drive Maze – Arbaminch

    After morning game drive, proceed to Arbaminch. In the afternoon, have a remarkable boat ride on the southernmost Rift Valley Lake of Ethiopia – Lake Chamo. Boat trip on Lake Chamo is among the best anywhere in Ethiopia. One can spot many Hippos and the world's most spectacular concentrations of Giant Crocodiles (It is locally called as "Crocodile Market"). The water birds are great the scenery is truly unforgettable. Fishing for Nile Perch and many other species by locals on their traditional boat is by far the best in the country. You will also watch various low land water birds like the African Fish Eagle, Great White Pelicans, egrets, etc.

  • DAY 7: Drive Arba Minch – Awassa

    After breakfast, drive to Chencha to visit the Dorze people who are known for weaving tradition and for their beautiful huts made of bamboo. Then head to Awassa visiting the Alaba village for their painted houses. 

  • DAY 8: Awassa- Bale Mountains National Park

    In the morning, visit the fish market at lake Awassa. Then drive to the world famous Bale Mountains National Park. At the park headquarters in Dinsho we search the trails for the colorful Chestnut-naped Francolin, Ground scraper Thrush (of the distinctive, endemic race simensis), the secretive Abyssinian GroundThrush, vocal Abyssinian Catbird, and the endemic White-backed Black-Tit. We also hope to see a variety of mammals, including Mountain Nyala- now entirely restricted to the Bale Mountain massif, Menelik’s Bushbuck and Warthog, unusual at this high altitude. Further drive to Goba for overnight.

  • DAY 9: Full day Sanetti Plateau Wildlife Excursion

    Today will be a day of great contrasts with amazing scenery and birding. We will depart early, and ascend the Bale massif onto the Sanetti Plateau, which is between 3800m and 4377m above sea level. Once we reach this unique plateau, we will be driving on Africa’s highest road, passing close to the summit of Ethiopia’s second highest mountain. This habitat is termed “Afro-alpine moorland”, and is characterized by Jibrra or Giant Lobelias, which tower like monolithic giants over the rich tussock grasslands and extensive cushions of yellow Everlasting flowers. This site is an Important Bird Area of immense importance, supporting seven globally threatened species and nearly all of Ethiopia’s Highland biome species. The grasslands are estimated to support an incredible biomass of 4,000kg of rodents per hectare. This obviously attracts an array of raptors and we should see Steppe and Golden Eagle, Augur Buzzard and elegant Pallid Harriers courting over this green sea. They share this abundant food source with the plateau’s most celebrated resident, the Ethiopian Wolf, crowned with the unenviable title of “the world’s rarest canid.” We should enjoy excellent photographic opportunities in this unique mountain wonderland. Finally, we will reach the escarpment of this elevated plateau and stare down, through the clouds, at the vast Harenna Forest below. This remarkable forest is the largest intact forest block in Ethiopia and the largest protected Afro-alpine forest on the continent. It still supports populations of lion and the only surviving forest-dwelling African Wild Dogs. Although unlikely that we will see either of these species, the descent through this breathtakingly beautiful moss-draped forest is inspirational. Late afternoon return to Goba.

  • DAY 10: Drive to Langano

    After breakfast, we drive to Lake Langano. Here we can enjoy watching several water bird species in and around the lake, and the ever spectacular sunset. Lake Langano is bilharzias free and suitable for swimming.

  • DAY 11: Drive to Awash National ark.

    After breakfast, drive back to Addis visiting the Rift Valley Lakes of Langano,

    Abiyatta, Shalla, and Ziway. Then drive to Awash Lunch in Nazreth and   We pass Lake Beseka (which has grown over the last decade, causing the Djibouti – Addis

    Ababa railway line to be raised on several occasions), and enter the Awash National Park for game view.  The dramatic Awash Falls, as the river tumbles into its gorge, is the sight not to be missed in the national park. Awash national park, surrounding the dormant volcano of Fentale, is a reserve of arid and semi-arid woodland and savannah, with riverine forests along the Awash River. Forty six species of animals have been identified here, including Beisa Oryx and Swayne’s hartebeest. The bird life is prolific especially along the river and in the nearby Lake Beseka and there are fine endemic amongst the 392 species recorded birds. A special attraction is the beautiful clear pools of the Filwoha hot springs. Pass an overnight either in the Park or hotel in Awash Sebat.

  • DAY 12: Filwoha Hot Springs

    Take an early morning game drive towards  the Filwoha Hot Springs for  hot springs, possible wildlife;  Waterbuck,  leopard, cheetah, Lion, Kudu. Hamadryas and

    Anubis baboon, crocs, etc. Overnight – tented camp or Doho Lodge in the other side of the Park or hotel in Awash Sebat.

  • DAY 13: Alay Dege protected Plains / Wildlife Reserve

    Drive from Awash National park to Alay Dege (also spelt as Ali Dege) wildlife reserve (protected) area.  Alay Dege protected wildlife area, found in arid Afar 

    Region (277km asphalt road). Head office of Alay Dege Park is at Andido, a small village on Addis Ababa – Djibouti High road. 

    In Alay Dege wildlife reserve, the following wildlife are most possibly visible at near distance (binocular or best zoomed photo camera makes it so much perfect): Northern Gerenuk (common in roadside scrub and on open field), Harar Dik-dik, Scub Hare, more than 40 Grevy’s Zebra at a time could be seen, Many wild ostriches, Golden Jackal, Beisa Oryx, Common Warthog, spotted hyena, flock of birds like three banded sand grouse, many Soemeering’s Gazelle. This wildlife Reserve is worthy for birdwatcher. If luck fortunate, the following wildlife are also seeable: Caracal and wild cat, Aardwolf, Cheetah, Somali Wild Ass (Somali Wild Ass is supposed to be seeable in the rocky hills with time and local guides).

    In Animalia Lodge, during nighttime, lions come often. Lions could be seeable if one is organized for night time visit (powerful torch is required).Overnight – at Animalia Lodge.

  • DAY 14: Alay Dege protected Plains and afternoon back to Addis

    Early Explore Alay Dege wildlife reserve (protected) area for full day, for Grevy’s Zebra, antelopes and significant varieties of birds. The vegetation surrounding the area is dominantly acacia woodland, but sadly this has been extensively degraded through human encroachment.

  • DAY 15 & 16: Simien Mountain National Park

    The next two days will be spent exploring and photographing the legendary Simien Mountains and its unique inhabitants. At Simien Mountains National Park we will be presented with some of the most dramatic scenery in Africa—great volcanic plugs formed 40 million years ago and eroded over the eons into fantastic crags, pinnacles and flat-topped mountains—“the chess pieces of the Gods”, as one writer aptly described them. This dramatic topography is a result of the erosion of basalt lavas over 3000m (almost 10,000 feet) thick. Fissures in the dense basalt were carved by countless floods that poured into them, creating “bottomless” gorges and incising an incredible array of jagged rock formations reminiscent of America’s Grand Canyon and Namibia’s Fish River Canyon.

    Amidst beautiful alpine meadows punctuated with Giant Lobelias and flowering “red hot pokers” (Kniphofias), we will find ourselves surrounded by massive troops of extremely photogenic and docile Gelada Baboons. At the same time we should be thrilled by the head-butting battles of Walia Ibex rams preparing for the forthcoming breeding season, whilst spectacular Lammergeyers cruise the sky above against a breathtaking backdrop of high wilderness peaks.

    The Ibex is a large goat-like creature that sports a monstrous set of horns and inhabits the rugged rocky and grassy slopes of this seldom-visited region. Gradually the numbers of these animals are recovering since the area has been protected and greater awareness has been created around them.

    Troops of Geladas up to four hundred strong thrive here, and we will spend quality time observing and photographing these unique and fascinating primates. With long woolly capes, tasseled tails, bare red chests and an arrogant swagger, these remaining relics of once widespread grass-eating baboons are now restricted to the highlands of Ethiopia. Geladas roost on the massive cliffs that dominate this park but spend their days hunched over the grasses that form the bulk of their diet. Despite sporting massive canines (the largest in proportion to body size of any mammal!), Geladas are non-aggressive and, with patience, we may find ourselves amongst a troop of these gentle animals as they concentrate on their foraging. Here we may be treated to a formidable lip-flip – the imposing grimace put on by Geladas to reveal their impressive upper jaw and canines, but will more likely be completely ignored as they go about their daily business. Geladas are extremely vocal, being able to pronounce all nouns and five of our seven vowels!

    Other attractions in the area include several species of birds also found in the Bale Mountains further south, including the large and confiding Rouget’s Rail,

    Chestnut-naped Francolin, Spot-breasted Lapwing, Abyssinian Longclaw and Ethiopian Siskin. Ethiopian Wolf may also be found parading around this beautiful landscape, although they have suffered due to various diseases passed on from domestic dogs.

  • DAY 17: Simien Mountains to Gondar

    After a short photographic excursion or a relaxed morning simply enjoying the views, we will return to Gondar. This, the “Camelot of Ethiopia”, is a city noted for its many medieval castles and the design and decoration of its churches.

    Between 1632 and 1855 Gondar served as Ethiopia’s capital city and it remains one of the country’s richest areas in terms of culture, history and natural beauty, with plenty of both Islamic and Christian influence in the cities’ architecture. Built at around 2,500 metres above sea level, Gondar commands spectacular views over farmlands to the gleaming waters of Lake Tana 35 kilometers to the south.

    We will spend the afternoon exploring the Royal Enclosure and its buildings, and the nearby bath of King Fasiledes (where modern-day Timkat ceremonies are performed). Surrounded by a 100m (300 foot) long wall, the fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The oldest and most impressive structure is the two-story palace of Emperor Fasilidas, built of solid basalt stones. Other royal buildings we visit include the library of Emperor Yohannes I, the House of Song where royal ceremonies took place, the elegant reception and banquet hall of Emperor Bakaffa, and the palace of this king’s wife.

  • DAY 18: Gonder to Addis Ababa

    After breakfast we will transfer to the airport and fly back to Addis Ababa, attend the farewell dinner in the best traditional restaurant and then depart to your final destination.

simply send us an email and we’ll plan it for you !

CONTACT WITH US

+251 116 294039

info@senaitethiopia.com