SEMIEN MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK (SMNP)
The Semien Mountains National Park was created with the intention of conserving the Walia Ibex and other endemic species. Its scenic value, the most rugged in Africa, also formed the backbone of the concept for conservation of the area. These unique wildlife and breath-taking views on a landscape has further led the park to the recognition as a World Natural Heritage Site in 1978 by UNESCO. The Park is situated on the Northwestern side of the Simien Mountains Massif in Northern Ethiopia. It lies in the center of a triangle formed by Gondar, Lalibela and Axum- three major Historical Northern Routes. It is roughly about 900km from Addis Ababa. The park experiences a single rainy season between June and mid-September with an annual rainfall of about 1550 mm. The temperatures range between -2.5 to 180c, with the mornings being the coldest.
BALE MOUNTAINS & SOF OMAR CAVES
The Bale Mountains is one of the best places in Ethiopia to see wildlife. The most popular residents here are the endemic Ethiopian wolf and mountain Nyala. For bird lovers, the Bale Mountains are a paradise, with over 250 recorded species living in the park boundaries, at least 16 of which are endemic to Ethiopia. The most popular areas for wildlife viewing are the Sanetti Plateau, where the Ethiopian wolf is most commonly seen, as well as the Harenna Forest, a dense, moist forest with an abundance of plant-and wildlife.
AWASH NATIONAL PARK
Lying in the lowlands east of Addis Ababa, and striding the Awash River, the Awash National Park is one of the finest reserves in Ethiopia. The Awash River, one of the major rivers of the Horn of Africa, waters important agricultural lands in the north- eastern part of Ethiopia and eventually flows into the wilderness of Danakil Depression. The dramatic Awash Falls as the river tumbles into its gorge is the site not to be missed in the national park. A special attraction is the beautiful clear pools of the hot springs (Filwoha).
MAGO NATIONAL PARK
2,162 sq km, 770km southwest of Addis Ababa, on east bank of Omo river. 450-2,528m. Highest point is Mount Mago. Mainly grass savannah, some forested areas around rivers. Conservation area for plains animals, 56 species of mammals: buffalo, giraffe, elephant, lelwel hartebeest, lion, cheetah, leopard, zebra, gerenuk, oryx.
OMO NATIONAL PARK
Far to the south-west lies Omo National Park, the largest in the country, with an area of 4,068 square kilometers. It is a vast expanse of true wilderness, adjacent to the Omo River, which flows southwards into Lake Turkana and is one of the richest and least-visited wildlife sanctuaries in eastern Africa. Eland, oryx, Burchell’s zebra, Lelwel hartebeest, buffalo, giraffe, elephant, waterbuck, kudu, lion, leopard and cheetah roam within the park’s boundaries.
KEFTA-SHERARO NATIONAL PARK
Kafta-Sheraro National Park (KSNP), which was recognized as a Park in 2007, is situated in the northwest of Ethiopia. It is bordered by Eritrea in the North and it is presumed to have an estimated total area of 6000 square km. In addition to estimated area coverage of the park, an estimated area coverage in Gash-Setit, Eritrea is 5,275km2. The park is located 600 km northwest of Mekelle the capital city of Tigray and is one of a few areas in the region which is relatively not densely populated and with relatively better natural vegetation cover compare to another part of the region. It stretches from Ruwassa River in the south to Tekeze River in the north from Welkait wereda in the east. The Park is home to many ungulates, predators and other wild animal species.
NECH SAR NATIONAL PARK
Situated 510km south of Addis near the town of Arba Minch, in between Lakes Abaya and Chamo. A wide variety of plains game roam freely amongst 514m2 of savannah, dry bush and groundwater forest, which are also the habitat of 188 recorded species of birds. Animals to be seen are Bushbuck, Swayne’s Hartebeest, Burchell’s Zebra, Grant’s Gazelle, Guenther’s Dik-dik, Greater Kudu, Crocodile, Anubis Baboon, Grey Duiker. Birds seen include Red-billed Hornbill, Grey Hornbil,l Fish Eagle, Kori Bustard, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill.
GAMBELA NATIONAL PARK
The Baro River area, accessible by land or air through the western Ethiopian town of Gambela, remains a place of adventure and challenge. Traveling across the endless undulating plains of high Sudanese grass, visitors can enjoy a sense of achievement in just finding their way. This is Ethiopia’s true tropical zone and here are found all the elements of the African safari, enhanced by a distinctly Ethiopian flavor.
Two different lakes in one park, the two lakes are both terminal lakes and their beaches are unstable and saline, but they are very different in character. Abijatta is shallow at about 14 meters with a mysterious fluctuating water level. Fresh water flows into it trough the small Horakello stream. The steam mouth is a source of relatively fresh water, much frequented by water birds for drinking and bathing. The Lake is surrounded by gentle, grass covered slopes and acacia woodlands.
CHEBERA CHURCHURA NATIONAL PARK
(CCNP) is located on the western side of the central Omo-Gibe basin, in between Dawro zone and Konta Special Woreda of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State of Ethiopia. The Omo River provides the boundary between the south and the West. The natural vegetation of the park is diverse. There are montane forests in the eastern and northwestern highlands, riparian forests along the rivers, and woodland vegetation is found in the southern part of the Park. Grass- and scrubland cover the largest part of the Park. The altitude of the park ranges from 550-1700 m.a.s.l. and the highest peak is the Mecha hill on the western boundary The climate of the park is relatively hot, but mostly quite pleasant, also due to the shade the forest provides. The rainy season is from April and August. The average annual rainfall is relatively high: it varies from 1000 to 3500 mm. This gives the park a green and lush appearance all year around.
by contrast , surrounded as it is by steep, black cliffs and peaks that reflect in its waters, is the deepest lake of the Rift Valley (260 meters (853 feet). , It is exceptionally beautiful, with shores that give a scent of mystery with their hot sulphurous springs that bubble up and flow into the lake. There are over 400 bird species recorded here, almost half the number recorded for the whole country. Although the islands in Lake Shalla are a real birds paradise, the birds fly to Lake Abijatta to feed.
The Guassa plateau is the highest plateau in Ethiopia’s central highlands, and it forms an important catchment area, feeding more than 25 streams that eventually flow in to the Blue Nile and Awash rivers.
The Guassa Community conservation area is a 300 years old community reserve protecting the country’s third largest population of Ethiopian wolfs, as well as most of the endemic highland birds.
The conservation area is home to seven of Ethiopian’s endemic mammals.
Ethiopia is one of Africa’s key bird watching destinations with more than 800 bird species including 16 endemics. The best time for bird- watchers to visit is from September to March. Important birding areas, include: Debre libanos, Awash national park, Bahir dar island monasteries, Bale mountains, Yebelo, Nech Sar national park, Lalibela and the rift valley lakes.
Abune Yosef (Amharic: አቡና ዮሴፍ) is a prominent mountain in the Lasta massif of the Ethiopian Highlands. At 4,284 meters it is the 3rd tallest mountain in Ethiopia. It is located in the Semien Wollo Zone of the Amhara Region.
This absolutely stunning spot on earth is a highly endangered ecosystem with a complex mosaic of bush-/woodland, montane dry forests, afro-alpine grasslands and evergreen forests, which can be described as a savannah landscape. It gives at least 43 mammal species a home, more than 221 bird species are found there (from which are 9 marked as threatened species) and the landscape is just truly breath-taking.