The Semien Mountains are a must for all those interested in wildlife, scenery and spectacular landscapes, the Park has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Semien Mountains constitute one of the major mountain massifs in Africa. The region includes many summits above 4000 meters and culminates in the highest point in Ethiopia, Ras Dejen, at 4620 meters, the fourth highest mountain in Africa.
An area of high altitude plateau that is broken by numerous spectacular volcanic plugs and peaks, beautiful alpine lakes and rushing mountain streams that descends into deep rocky gorges on their way to the lowlands below. As ascending into the mountains experience changes in the vegetation with altitude, from juniper forests to heather moorlands and alpine meadows, which at various times of year exhibit an abundance of colorful wildflowers. Bale Mountains National Park is the largest area of Afro-Alpine habitat in the whole of the continent. It gives the visitor opportunities for unsurpassed mountain walking, horse trekking, scenic driving and the chances to view many of Ethiopia’s endemic mammals, in particular the Mountain Nyala and Semien Fox, and birds, such as the Thick-billed Raven, Wattled Ibis, Blue-winged Goose, and Rouget’s Rail.
Located in the lowlands 225 km east of Addis Ababa, the south boundary of the park is formed by the Awash River which swings North soon after leaving the park and eventually disappears into the Afar (Danakil) region. The Park covers an area of 827 square kilometers, most of it lies at an altitude of 900 meters. In the middle of the park is the dormant volcano of Fantale, reaching a height of 2007 meters at its top.
200kms south of Addis Ababa, a part of the Great Rift Valley and in the Lake Langano recreational areas, the Abijatta Shalla lakes National Park attracts numerous visitors. Using Lake Langano as your base, it is an easy trip to visit the National Park, which is 887km2 in size, 482 of these being water. The altitude of the park ranges from 1540 to 2075 meters, the highest peak being Mount Fike, situated between the two lakes.
It was created primarily for its aquatic bird life, particularly those that feed and breed on lakes Abijatta and Shalla in Large numbers.
Situated 510km south of Addis near the town of Arba Minch, in between Lakes Abaya and Chamo. A wide variety of plains game roams 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..
A backdrop of hills and mountains combine to make this one of the most attractive national parks in Ethiopia. In the far eastern part of the park hot springs bubble to the surface
Located in the south-west on the west bank of Omo River, 870km south-west of Addis Ababa, covering an area of approx 4,068 sq km. 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. Over 306 species of birds can be seen. This is also a wonderful area for visiting local peoples and experiencing their cultures.
The Omo Valley is virtually free of human habitation but is rich in palaeo-anthro-pological remains. According to scientific research done in 1982 by the University of California at Berkeley, hominid remains from the Omo Valley probably date back more than four million years.
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.
Located about 800kms from Addis Ababa on the river Baro, Gambela has a strange history. The undulating plains of high Sudanese grass offer excellent opportunities for wilderness exploration. It is not particularly easy to access however. Beyond Gambela towards the Sudanese border, the Anuak cultivators give way to the nomadic Nuer. These pastoralists herd their long-horned cattle into huge camps when they stop for the night.
In the river are to be found huge Nile perch, up to 100 kilograms, crocodiles and hippos. Other wildlife includes buffalo, giraffe, waterbuck, Roan antelope, zebra, bushbuck, Abyssinian reedbuck, warthog, hartebeest, hyena, lion and elephant. Unfortunately, there are very few animals to be seen in the park, but the birds are many and varied, the olive baboon and the local race of the vervet, with its white whiskers, are the very common, as is the black and white colobus monkey.