Mayo Ethiopia Tours
13-Days Bird Watching Tour to the Great Rift Valley

13-Days Bird Watching Tour to the Great Rift Valley

Category: Bird Watching Tour

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  • Tour Program

Day 1: Drive to Awash National Park
Leaving Addis early morning we drive east towards the Great Rift Valley via Bishoftu Crate Lakes and Nazaret town to visit Awash Park with its volcano landscapes and savannah grassland habitat for a variety of bird species. On the way we detour to Lake Basaka's saline water which is good habitat for water birds such as Flamingoes, Pelicans, Storks, Herons, Plovers, Lapwings, Sandpipers and Stints.
Overnight stay in Awash Falls Lodge.

Day 2: Full day excursion in the park
Visit Ilala Sala Plain (Oryx Plain), Awash River Waterfalls and acacia thickets for birds such as Grey Hornbill, Somali Fiscal, Helmeted Guinea fowl, Blue-napped Mouse bird, Kori Bustard, Yellow-necked Francolin, Drongo, Red-winged Lark, Woodland and Striped Kingfishers, Robins and birds of prey such as Tawny Eagle, Long-crested Eagle, Yellow-billed Kite and Dark Chanting Goshawk. Awash park is also home to mammals such as Oryx, Lesser Kudu, Hammadryas Baboon and Olive Baboon, Vervet Monkey, Salt’s Dick-dick and more.
Overnight stay in Awash Falls Lodge

Day 3: Today we drive to Lake Langano and Abijata
Spectacular Rift Valley scenery, stunning view of colorful birdlife such as Banded Barbet, Masked Weaver, Spur-winged Plover, Malachite and Pygmy Kingfishers, Little Bee-eater, Ruppell’s and Superb Starlings, Seed-eaters, Sunbirds and many birds of prey.
Overnight stay in Saban Beach Resort

Day 4: Drive to Bishangari & Birding
Dawn birding and after breakfast proceed to ‘Bishangari’ meaning “Blessed water” located on the eastern bank of Lake Langano. Overnight stay in Bishangari Eco-Lodge.

Day 5: Birding around Bishangari
Today we explore the riverine forest and adjacent lake for birds such as Yellow-Fronted Parrot, White Cheeked Turaco, Orange-bellied Parrot, African Paradise Flycatcher, Bare-faced Go-Away Bird, African Fish-eagle, Cuckoo Shrikes, Kingfishers, Weavers and water birds including Egrets, Herons, Cormorants, Gulls, Geese, Ducks and Shanks. Overnight stay in Bishangari Eco-Lodge

Day 6: Today we drive to Lake Awassa
Upon arrival we search the grounds for Spotted Creeper, Senegal Coucal, Dusky Flycatcher, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Ruppell’s Starling and numbers of Marabous Storks and Pelicans.
Overnight stay in Lewi Resort

Day 7: Morning birding around Lake Awassa and drive to Wondo Genet
We walk around Lake Awassa's shoreline looking for African Pygmy Goose, Hottentot Teal, Black Crake, African Fish-eagle, Hadeda Ibis, Purple Heron, Common Sandpiper, White-backed Duck, Reed and Sedge Warblers, African Jacana ending at the traditional fish market, where many birds feed on fish left-over.
Then we drive to Wondo genet with birding en route. On arrival we search the grounds for Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Slender-billed Starling, Abyssinian Woodpecker, Hooded Vulture and more. Overnight stay in Wabe Shebelle hotel.

Day 8: Morning birding and then drive to Arba Minch
Pre-breakfast walk along the hot springs thicket looking for Yellow Fronted Parrot, Half-collared Kingfisher, Mountain Wagtail, Double-toothed Barbet, White-cheeked Turaco, Narina Trogon, Grey Cuckoo Shrike, Red-shouldered Cuckoo Shrike, Hill Babbler, Tambourine Dove, African Harrier hawk, Steppe Buzzard, Great Sparrow hawk and Crowned Eagle.

After breakfast we drive south through savannah terrain towards Arba Minch, meaning ‘Forty Springs’ to Nech Sar National Park which hold a diversity of fauna and flora. Overnight stay in Paradsie/Swayenes Lodge.

Day 9: Excursion to Nech Sar National Park and boat trip on Lake Chamo
Excursion to Nech Sar Park through Lake Chamo and Abaya's land of barrier called the ‘Bridge of God’. Interesting wild animals in the Park are the endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest, Burchell’s Zebra, Lesser and Greater Kudu, Grant’s and Thomson’s Gazelle and number of birds including Secretary bird, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Abyssinian Roller, African Fish-eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Kingfisher, Weavers, Seed-eaters and many more.

After lunch we take a boat trip on Lake Chamo to the "Crocodiles Market", where large numbers of Crocodile (some up to 6 meters long) gathers to sunbath and the Hippos pool. Overnight stay in Paradsie/Swayenes Lodge.

Day 10: Drive to Jinka via Key afar
Today we continue driving south to Jinka via the Konso peoples land, renowned for their traditional terracing farming. En route we visit the Keyafer weekly (If we are on Thursday) market, where the Hamer, Bena, Tsemay and Arri tribes with their interesting ornamental beautified hide dressings and hair buntings. Overnight stay in Jinka resort

Day 11: Excursion to Mago National Park
Driving further south to Mago Park looking for Greater and Lesser Kudu, Diffasa Water buck, Bushbuck, Gerenuk, Hartebeest and Oribi. Of course, Mago Park is also home to many birds such as Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Giant Kingfisher, Northern Brownbul, Hartlaub’s Bustard, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Woodpeckers, Shrikes and more. Overnight stay in Jinka resort

Day 12: Drive back to Arba Minch
Today we drive back to Arba Minch with many road side stops for natural scenery and the remote country side tribe’s lifestyle.
In the late afternoon we check in to Swaynes hotel for the night. From the spectacular view point of the hotel compounds we will enjoy the two lakes, the evergreen tropical forest and at night the blue African night with all its stars.
Overnight stay in Paradise/Swaynes lodge.

Day 13: Drive to Addis Ababa via Sodo-Butajira
Today we drive back to Addis via Sodo, Butajira and Tiya enjoying the beautiful landscape and rural people’s lifestyle with many photo stops, but of course not forgetting the birds along the roadside many habitats.
Arriving in Addis late afternoon we will have a farewell dinner before departing for the airport.


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