Bird watching trip report


Introduction

Ethiopia, a birders paradise. Just read about it but it seems like it is regarded as the birders dream destination. Anyway, I will visit serengeti bofore I die and I decided to make it to both Tanzania and Ethiopia. I need to be in Serengeti early September to be able to make it for the “RIVER CROSSING”


Fire in my condominium and I had to atend to this coming home from Rita Mærsk. And I was almost 2 weeks later to get home than planned so I skipped Serengeti but my plans to go to Ethiopia was still on.

They wanted me to go help them in Singapore so this means that I will be back home mid October and I will leave for Ethiopia ASAP where I will spend around 4 weeks.


VISA

Expensive but quickly done online. 100 US Dollars for 30 day tourist VISA. I think it was 120 US for 3 months. But it was very quick to get the VISA via e-mail. Visit www.evisa.gov.et and fill up the application. After an hour or so and I had my tourist VISA. Print and bring it with you. But it was very expensive.



My Guide

I have booked a 20 days private tour with Flamingos Tours Ethiopia. The Flamingos Tours Ethiopia is specialised in birdwatching tours and nature tours and is run by Belgian birdwatcher, who lives since more than 15 years in Ethiopia

Flamingos Tours Ethiopia is part of BINOCULAR PLC.

20 days Classical Endemic Birding Tour Ethiopia


Price: 435 dollar x 20 days makes 8700 dollar.
It can be converted into Euro by XE.COM to pay on my Belgian Euro account.
Payment of 50% before September 10.
Payment of the remaining 50% 1 week before arrival.
Included : Landcruiser, driver, diesel, 1 room , breakfast, lunch ( sometimes pick nick in birding area), dinner, bottles of water, ornithological guide, Park entrances, extra local guides, airport transfers, taxes and VAT.

Not included : visa ( evisa on line available) , other drinks than bottles of water, tip for drivers and guides, international flight, insurance for annulations and repatriation.

The participant guarantees the payment of any cancellation less than 6 weeks before departure date.

www.birdwatchingethiopia.com/


Flights

Ethiopian Airlines is a little cheaper than Turkish Airlines and I got angry and I chose the longer and more expensive route with Turkish Airlines. And I will get some Baclava on the flight, something to look forward to.

Turkish Airlines flight TK59
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Intl   -   Istanbul
18Oct2019 09:25                       18Oct2019 15:50

Turkish Airlines flight TK676
Istanbul   -                                   Addis Ababa
18Oct2019 18:20                       18Oct2019 23:45
  Turkish Airlines flight TK677
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Intl   -   Istanbul
13Nov -2019 01:50                       13Nov -2019 07:30

Turkish Airlines flight TK58
Addis Ababa   -                           Suvarnabhumi Int
13Nov -2019 18:35                       14Nov -2019 07:50



Land transportation

• AOT Limousine between my home and Bangkok International Airport

AOT Limousine

I recommend the AOT or any other taxi service if you are leaving early morning. The price per trip is 1200 Baht comparing to around 220 Baht + about 80 Baht road toll. But the taxi can easily be 1000 baht if you´re getting desperate when not finding a taxi.

Early morning flight and it can be a hassle to find a taxi that want to take you to the airport so I book AOT and the car wait for me outside my apartment.

Leaving Suvarnabhumi and AOT have desks in the luggage claim area, where I use to book my car while waiting for my luggage. There are also desks just outside the custom and you cannot miss them.





Accommodations

Radisson Blu in Addis Ababa: 18 October to 2019

I will stay at different lodges and hotel in Ethiopia during the 20 day birding tour.

Radisson Blu in Addis Ababa


Radisson Blu in Addis Ababa
My room

Radisson Blu in Addis Ababa
My room

Radisson Blu in Addis Ababa
My room

Radisson Blu in Addis Ababa
My room

Radisson Blu in Addis Ababa
My room

Radisson Blu in Addis Ababa
Bath room

Radisson Blu in Addis Ababa
Bath room

Radisson Blu in Addis Ababa
Breakfast

Radisson Blu in Addis Ababa
Breakfast


Weather

Addis Ababa - Climate & Temperature
Pictures from www.climatemps.com

Addis Ababa - Climate & Temperature - Click picture for full size picture
Pictures from www.climatemps.com


Equipment

Canon 5D Mk. III and Canon 5D Mk. IV
Canon EF 28-300/3,5-5,6 L IS USM
Canon EF 70-200/2,8L IS II USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens
Canon Speedlite 600EXII-RT flash
Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II
Panasonic HC-W585 video camera

Sound recorder
ZOOM H5 Handy Recorder


References/Resources

ebird - Find birding hotspots with bird checklists from all over the world

Avibase - is an extensive database information system about all birds of the world, containing over 25 million records about 10,000 species and 22,000 subspecies of birds, including distribution information for 12,000 regions, taxonomy, synonyms in several languages

Cloudbirders - Read birding trip reports from all over the world

Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND


Fatbirder is a fantastic web page with information from, I think every country in the world. My first stop when I plan for my bird watching trips. There is information about locations and guides, well, pretty much everything you need to know. Sometimes this is the only place I need to visit to plan my trip.

BirdingPal - find a birding Guide around the world

BirdingPal


And the web page you cannot live without. I have been around the world looking for birds. I usually have a Guide, but sometimes it is not possible to find a Guide. So, well, I have lost count on how many times I have had help to ID birds at BirdForum. Joining this forum have been very very good for my bird watching experience.

www.birdforum.net

ClimaTemps.com is the place to learn about the worlds climates with more than 4000 locations documented. Each aspect of the climate is represented using colour enhanced tables and professional graphs so that data can easily be compared by switching between locations in different tabs in your browser.


Places to visit

Itinerary for Ethiopia Birding Trip.

20 Days - Classical Endemic Birding Tour Ethiopia
In recent years, Ethiopia has rightly become one of Africa`s leading birding destinations. Its avifauna represents an interesting mixture of east and west African, Palearctic and some strikingly unusual endemic components. In addition to more than 800 species of birds, of which a staggering 29 are endemic to Ethiopia and its neighbour Eritrea, Ethiopia has a number of peculiar mammals, and a scenic diversity and cultural uniqueness that are hard to equal.

The highlands, which dominate the country, are bisected by the Rift Valley, and fall away to arid desert and bushlands in the north, south and east, and to moister Guinea woodland in the west. Much of the highlands are under subsistence agriculture, but there still exist considerable tracts of Afro-alpine shrubland and pockets of Afromontane forest. For birders, the most popular access to really high altitude is the Bale Mountains National Park in the southern part of the eastern south-eastern highlands.

Here the highest all-weather road in Africa crosses the Sanetti plateau (4377m), allowing easy access to alpine moorlands, grasslands and lakes. 342 birds observed in an 8 days trip, shows the high potential of this country for attracting more and more birdwatchers to Ethiopia. The number of birds observed during this tour will be around 550 birds for keen birdwatchers.

Day 1: 20 October. Birding in the Debre Zeit area at the different Lakes.

Birding/ Bird watching in Ethiopia with Flamingos Tours Ethiopia
Day 1: Radisson Blu in Addis Ababa to Debre Zeit

Pick up at the Radisson Blu at 7 o´clock in the morning. Drive to the lakes at Bebre Zeit to look for birds.

Check in at Babogaya Lake Viewpoint Lodge and have lunch. Bird watching in the garden before taking of for bird watching.

Evening visit of Lake Chelekleka with thousands of commun cranes flying in to stay overnight in the swamps. At the same time, we see dozens of Harriers overflying their resting place, just before dark. ( December-January-February only)

We will admire huge flocks of those magnificent Cranes. Marabou Storks often roost here in incredibly large numbers as well—an intimidating sight! The second part of the lake attracts migratory waterfowl and shorebirds, with Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Garganey, Eurasian Teal, Hottentot Teal, Tufted Duck, Black-tailed Godwit, and Temminck’s Stint being among the more commonly-seen species. We also can expect to find the resident Maccoa Duck floating among the migrants, and will keep a careful eye out for White-backed Duck, which is occasionally found here as well.

Just after dark, we will make a drive in the area, trying to see the spotted Hyena.

Night in the Babogaya Lake Viewpoint Lodge.

Babogaya Lake Viewpoint Lodge

Babogaya Lake Viewpoint Lodge
My room

Babogaya Lake Viewpoint Lodge
The room

Babogaya Lake Viewpoint Lodge
I have had much better food

Babogaya Lake Viewpoint Lodge
The lake


Day 2: 21 Oct. - Drive to Awash National Park. Afternoon, birding Awash National Park
                         - Afternoon, birding Awash National Park


Birding/ Bird watching in Ethiopia with Flamingos Tours Ethiopia
Day 2: Debre Zeit to Awash Falls Lodge

Leave for our next destination, Awash National Park after breakfast. The 170-kilometer trip there would take less than three hours if we drove straight through, but we will stop along the way to add roadside birds to our list.

Near the park, a lava field—the remains of a volcanic eruption that occurred sometime in the early 19th century( 1820)—will offer us our best chances for Striolated Bunting, Blackstart, and the rare and little-known Sombre Rock Chat (a near-endemic).

Night in Awash Falls Lodge.

Bird watching/ birding in Ethiopia with Flamingos Tours Ethiopia - Awash Falls Lodge

Bird watching/ birding in Ethiopia with Flamingos Tours Ethiopia - Awash Falls Lodge
Reception at Awash Falls Lodge

Bird watching/ birding in Ethiopia with Flamingos Tours Ethiopia - Awash Falls Lodge
My hut

Bird watching/ birding in Ethiopia with Flamingos Tours Ethiopia - Awash Falls Lodge
My hut

Bird watching/ birding in Ethiopia with Flamingos Tours Ethiopia - Awash Falls Lodge
My hut

Bird watching/ birding in Ethiopia with Flamingos Tours Ethiopia - Awash Falls Lodge
Bathroom

Bird watching/ birding in Ethiopia with Flamingos Tours Ethiopia - Awash Falls Lodge
Bathroom

Bird watching/ birding in Ethiopia with Flamingos Tours Ethiopia - Awash Falls Lodge
My hut


Day 3: 22 Oct. Full Day to Explore Awash National Park

Birding/ Bird watching in Ethiopia with Flamingos Tours Ethiopia
Day 3: Awash Falls Lodge to Genet Hotel Awash Town

An early start today will help us to make the most of our limited time in Awash National Park. Over 450 bird species have been documented from within the park’s borders, a total that few (if any) other places in Ethiopia can match. We will start our morning by birding in riverine forests along the beautiful Awash River, and then will head north to spend most of our day exploring the park’s savannas and Acacia woodlands.

Our primary targets today and tomorrow will be the park’s six species of bustard (Kori, Arabian, Buff-crested, White-bellied, Black-bellied, and Hartlaub’s), the gorgeous Northern Carmine Bee-eater, and the near-endemic Gillett’s Lark. We will, of course, find many other species as well, and the day’s highlights might include Somali Ostrich, Egyptian Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, Scissor-tailed Kite, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Bruce’s Green-pigeon, Abyssinian Roller, Yellow-breasted Barbet, Somali Fiscal, Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Lark, Rosy-patched Bushshrike, Shining Sunbird, and Nile Valley Sunbird.

Awash National Park is also one of a handful of locations in central Ethiopia from whichbirders have reported seeing an as-yet undescribed species of cliff swallow, and we will examine any flocks of swallows we find in hope of glimpsing that mysterious bird.

Awash National Park also protects a diverse assemblage of mammals, including Olive Baboon, Hamadryas Baboon, Spotted Hyena, Black-backed Jackal, African Golden Wolf, Salt’s Dikdik, Soemmering’s Gazelle, Gerenuk, Greater Kudu, Lesser Kudu, Beisa Oryx, Waterbuck, Rock Hyrax, and Bush Hyrax.

Night in Genet Hotel Awash Town.

Genet hotel in Awash Town

Genet hotel in Awash Town
Genet hotel in Awash Town

Genet hotel in Awash Town
Genet hotel in Awash Town

Genet hotel in Awash Town
Genet hotel in Awash Town


Day 4: 23 Oct. Full Day to Explore Hallaydeghe Asebot National Park, former Aledeghi Wildlife Reserve

Birding/ Bird watching in Ethiopia with Flamingos Tours Ethiopia
Day 4: Hallaydeghe Asebot National Park, former Aledeghi Wildlife Reserve

We drive to the Aledeghi Wildlife Reserve, now turned in to Hallaydeghe Asebot National Park, in the southern part of the Afar Region, which we will explore for the rest of day. The plains and Acacia woodlands here offer us our best chance of finding the Arabian Bustard, and are also home to the endangered Grevy’s Zebra, the largest of Africa’s three zebra species.

We will also search for Dark Chanting-Goshawk, Black-headed Lapwing, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse,Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse, and Menetries’s Warbler, Secretairy Bird, and again will have the opportunity to see many of the bird and mammal species that we sought in Awash National Park.

Night at the Genet hotel in Awash Town.

Day 5: 24 Oct - Morning, dust road between Awash and Ankober.
                         - Afternoon, birding Along the Ankober–Debre Sina Escarpment at Melka Ghebdu and Gemessa Gedel

We start our day by driving behind Fentale Crater in the direction of Kesem river where we will have several stops for birding. By mid-morning, we will begin to make our way west toward a high escarpment (the wall of the Great Rift Valley), which we will ascend to reach the highlands around the towns of Ankober and Debre Birhan.

This small area of Ethiopia is famous among birders as the best place to find two rare, endemic finches, the Ankober Serin and Yellow-throated Serin. We will search for the extremely range-restricted Yellow-throated Serin around Melka Ghebdu, about halfway through our climb out of the valley.

The Ankober Serin inhabits the highest parts of the escarpment, and we might find it as we finish our climb near Ankober. However, that species is most reliably seen at a place called Gemessa Gedel about 45 minutes from the hotel in Debre Birhan, and we will also look for it there after having checked-in at the hotel.

Other interesting birds we will search for along the Ankober-Debre Sina escarpment include Lammergeier, Verreaux’s Eagle, Wattled Ibis, White-collared Pigeon, Banded Barbet, Groundscraper Thrush, Moorland Chat, Shining Sunbird, Ethiopian (or Black-headed) Siskin, and Brown-rumped Serin.

We can expect to encounter our first Geladas (an endemic,baboon-like, grass-eating monkey that forms complex social structures) in the highlands around Gemessa Gedel this afternoon.

Night at Getva Hotel in Debre Birhan

Day 6: 25 Oct - Morning, drive to Lemi. Jemma Valley.
                         - Afternoon, birding in Jemma Valley and then drive to the hotel in Fiche

Our target this morning will be Harwood’s Francolin, an Ethiopian endemic restricted to highland gorges cut by tributaries of the Blue Nile. The best place to look for Harwood’s Francolin is the Jemma Valley, northwest of Debre Birhan, and the birds are most easily found early in the morning, when they are at their most vocal. For that reason, we will make another early start this morning in order to arrive in the Jemma Valley shortly after dawn.

We will spend our entire morning driving to and birding in the Jemma Valley, and in addition to Harwood’s Francolin will seek out the near-endemic Erckel’s Francolin, Rüppell’s Black Chat, White-winged Cliff Chat, White-billed Starling, Swainson’s Sparrow, Red-billed Pytilia, and Yellow-rumped (or White-throated) Seedeater.

We can also expect to see many other more common and widespread species, the highlights among which might includea variety of raptors, Half-collared Kingfisher, Abyssinian Wheatear, Foxy Cisticola, Ethiopian Boubou, Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, Black-winged Red Bishop, Yellow Bishop, and Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu.

In the afternoon, we explore the nearby town of Debre Libanos and its surroundings. There, we can search for Geladas, admire the view into the steep-sided gorges to the north of the town, and

Night in Fiche at C-Lale Hotel.

Day 7: 26 Oct - Morning, looking for Lammergeier and Rüppell’s Griffon at Debre Libanos. Drive south to Bethelem Hotel in Ziway.
We start by visiting Ethio-German Park Hotel, one of the best places to look for the impressive Lammergeier and Rüppell’s Griffon, as well as the endemic White-collared Pigeon and Abyssinian Slaty Flycatcher, and we again are likely to find Rüppell’s Black Chat, White-winged Cliff Chat, Ethiopian Boubou, and White-billed Starling.

Cancel birding at Sululta Plain Wetlands on the way south. (just north of Addis Ababa) The wetlands here should yield an enjoyable mix of species, including the endemic Blue-winged Goose, Wattled Ibis, Spot-breasted Lapwing, White-collared Pigeon, Erlanger’s Lark, Abyssinian Longclaw, Ethiopian Cisticola, and Ethiopian Siskin; a variety of raptors; and many others.

We finish our day at the borders of Ziway lake, where we stay at a hotel, only 100 m from the lakeshore. The number of waterbirds and others are too overwhelming in this area to make a list.

Night in Bethelem Hotel in Ziway.

Day 8: 27 Oct - Morning, birding on Lake Ziway.
                         - Afternoon, birding at Abiata-Shalla National Park.

We will start our day birding nearby the hotel at the lakeshore and drive to other lakeshores of Lake Ziway. Black-Crowned Crane, Saddle billed Stork and Lesser Jacana are our targets.

In the afternoon, we explore the thin forest near the Headquarters of Abiata-Shalla National Park. If we are lucky, we see the Barn Owl. Woodpeckers, Horn bills, White Bellied Go Away bird, Ostrich and many others.

Night at the 10000 Flamingo Lodge inside Abiata-Shalla National Park where we see the lesser Flamingos flying over the lodge in the evening.

Day 9: 28 Oct - Full Day to Explore the Area Around Lake Chitu and Lake Shalla
Lake Shalla is the deepest lake in the Rift, and has a steep shoreline (it is a crater lake), so it is largely devoid of waterbirds and waders, though some species breed on the lake’s several islands. All lakes are surrounded primarily by Acacia woodland, where we might find Western Banded Snake Eagle, Greyish Eagle-Owl, Black-billed Woodhoopoe, Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill, Hemprich’s Hornbill, Von der Decken’s Hornbills, Clapperton’s Francolin, Rufous-necked Wryneck, Bearded Woodpecker, Cardinal Woodpecker, Black-winged Lovebird, Buff-bellied Warbler, Red-faced Crombec, Western Black-headed Batis, White-rumped Babbler, White-winged Black Tit, Mocking Cliff-Chat, Beautiful Sunbird, White-headed Buffalo-Weaver, and many other species

Night at the 10000 Flamingos Lodge

CANCELLED
One more night at 10000 Flamingos Lodge and I would have threw myself out from a cliff. A terrible place and I called Sabana Beach Resort at Langane. We had have lunch there yesterday and it was a nice place. So, no birding today, just relax.

Night at Sabana Beach Resort

Political trouble in Bale Mountain Area

We will have to change the schedule. We will continue the tour with what we have planned for theend and we will do the Bale Mountains the last days instead.


Day 10: 29 Oct - Morning, drive to Dinsho; Afternoon birding Around Dinsho
If we wish to do so, we can go birding early this morning in the area around our lodge.

After breakfast, we will begin the roughly 225-km drive to the famous Bale Mountains National Park. Before long, we will climb back into the highlands, where we will find Blue-winged Goose, Wattled Ibis, Rouget’s Rail, and Spot-breasted Lapwing in wet places. Careful searching in forests along the way might also yield us a roosting Cape (Mackinder’s) Eagle-Owl.

The road will begin to wind along steep mountainsides as we enter the park, and before long, we will arrive at the park headquarters in Dinsho. We will spend our afternoon birding along the trails here. Our primary targets here are Chestnut-naped Francolin and, with some luck, roosting African Wood Owl and African Long-eared (Abyssinian) Owl.

We will also keep our eyes out for endemics such as Abyssinian Slaty Flycatcher, Thick-billed Raven, and Ethiopian Siskin. Dinsho is also one of the best places to find the rare Mountain Nyala, which is found only in a handful of high-elevation areas of Ethiopia east of the Great Rift Valley, and Menelik’s Bushbuck, an endemic, dark-colored, long-haired subspecies of the widespread Bushbuck.

Day 11 and 12: 30 AND 31 Oct - Full Day to Explore the Sanetti Plateau and Balé Mountains National Park.
An early start this morning will help us to make the most of our limited time in Bale Mountains National Park. We will spend most of the day today birding the Sanetti Plateau, which in addition of offering excellent birding is the best place to find the beautiful, rare, and endemic Ethiopian Wolf.

On our way there, we will pass through forests dominated by juniper and Hagenia, which offer us an excellent opportunity to find Abyssinian Woodpecker, White-backed Black Tit, Abyssinian Catbird, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, and a variety of other bird species. The Sanetti Plateau is covered by Afro-alpine moorland, a moist habitat characterized by low shrubs and grasses and by Ethiopia’s strange-looking endemic species of Giant Lobelia. This habitat supports large rodent populations (including that of the Big-headed African Mole-Rat, or Giant Mole-Rat, found only here), which support the aforementioned Ethiopian Wolf and also attract a myriad of raptors and the endemic Balé Monkey.

It also is the best place to see the endemic Blue-winged Goose, Rouget’s Rail (which is especially confiding here), and Spot-breasted Lapwing; although we likely will have seen those species already, we can expect to get our best look at them here. Other specialties we will search for here include Chestnut-naped Francolin, Moorland Francolin, Wattled Crane, and Moorland Chat. Interestingly, the Plateau supports breeding populations of three species not usually associated with tropical Africa: Ruddy Shelduck, Red-billed Chough, and Golden Eagle.

Second night in GOBA, Wabe Shebelle Hotel

Day 13: NOVEMBER 1. Drive to Negele with several stops on the road.
Today, we depart the Bale Mountains for southern Ethiopia’s dry savannas, where we will spend the next four full days. Before we leave the highlands behind, we will devote some time to birding in the Harenna Forest As we follow the road south, we will lose altitude, and the moist forest will give way to a dry thorn savanna.

We will make several birding stops along the way, most notably at the spot where the road crosses the Genale River, where we will search the fruiting fig trees along its banks for the legendary and much sought-after Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco. That spectacular bird is, naturally, named in honor of Prince Ruspoli of Italy, who collected the first known specimen of the species sometime in 1892 or 1893.

Shortly thereafter, he was killed by an elephant, and the knowledge of the date and location where he collected his specimen were lost with him (apparently, he did not keep good field notes). The specimen, however, eventually made its way back to Europe along with the rest of the prince’s collection, where it was described by T. Salvadori in 1896. Explorers did not find Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco again until the early 1940s, and the species remains little-known to this day.

Night in Negele, Turaco hotel.

Day 14: 2 Nov - Full Day Birding Around Negele, Liben Plain, and Filtu
Our primary goal today will be to find the critically endangered Sidamo Lark (also called the Liben Lark, and now believed to be conspecific with the even rarer Archer’s Lark of Somali), which survives only in a small patch of marginal habitat on the Liben Plain, just outside of Negele. The lark is most easily found in the early through mid-morning, when males can be heard and seen singingloudly while hovering above the plain; we will make a very early start in order to give ourselves the best possible chance of watching that display.

In addition to the Sidamo Lark, we can expect to see Kori Bustard, Black-winged Lapwing, Somali Short-toed Lark, Pectoral-patch Cisticola, and White-crowned Starling on the Liben Plain. Somali and Temminck’s Coursers are possible as well.

After the Liben Plain, we will explore the rest of the area around Negele, likely including the road between Negele and Filtu. We will do our best to find the endemic Salvadori’s Serin, and also are likely to find Lilac-breasted Roller, Red-and-yellow Barbet, Somali Crombec, Three-streaked Tchagra, Golden-breasted Starling, Shelley’s Starling, Somali Crow (also known as Dwarf Raven), Somali Bunting, and many other species.

Night in Negele, Turaco hotel.

Day 15: 3 Nov - Drive to Yabelo
We will leave Negele on the road that heads south from the Liben Plain very early this morning in order to reach a spot where the road crosses the Dawa River shortly after dawn. This spot is an excellent place to find White-winged Collared Dove (or African White-winged Dove), Juba (or Salvadori’s) Weaver, and Black-bellied Sunbird, and we will relax and enjoy birding here.

After our early stop at the Dawa River, we will continue driving toward Yabelo, where we will spend the night. On the way, we are likely to find Somali Courser, Vulturine Guineafowl, Red-and-yellow Barbet, Magpie Starling, and other species characteristic of the dry savannas that cover the region.

During the last portion of our drive, we will get our first views of the region’s star birds, the charismatic Stresemann’s Bushcrow and White-tailed Swallow. Both species are curiously range-restricted, occurring only in the savannas around Yabelo and Mega. However, they both are quite common within that limited range, and we can expect to have many opportunities to watch them during the next couple of days.

Night in Yabelo, Park Hotel or similar.

Day 16: 4 Nov - Full Day Birding around Yabelo.
Today, we have a full day to bird in the arid savannas around Yabelo. We will certainly enjoy watching the social Stresemann’s Bushcrow and pretty White-tailed Swallow. We will also find Bateleur, Eastern Chanting-Goshawk, Somali Courser, Three-banded Courser, Black-faced Sandgrouse, Red-bellied Parrot, Red-fronted Barbet, D’Arnaud’s Barbet, Red-naped Bushshrike, Pringle’s Puffback, Foxy Lark, Pale Prinia, Scaly Chatterer, African Bare-eyed Thrush, Spotted Palm Thrush, Kenya Violet-backed Sunbird, Hunter’s Sunbird, Golden-breasted Starling,Magpie Starling, Yellow-spotted Petronia, Chestnut Weaver, Purple Grenadier, Black-capped Social Weaver, Grey-capped Social Weaver, White-bellied Canary, and many more species characteristic of the dry savannas that cover the region.

Night in Yabelo, Park Hotel.

Day 17: 5 Nov - Full day birding around Mega.
Today, we drive down to Mega, 100 km south of Yabelo, on a new asphalt road. We will try to find the Mega Francolin, new endemic to Ethiopia, in the hills surrounding this village. Many other dry savanna birds will be found.

Also Grevy Zebra and Gerenuk are in the area.
Night in Yabelo, Park Hotel or similar.

Day 18: 6 Nov - Morning, continue Birding Yabelo Area and drive to Awassa.
Another early start this morning will afford us the time to begin our journey back north. We will spend 7 hours of the day driving north toward Lake Awassa (a distance of approximately 320 km on a bad gravel road), another Rift Valley Lake just south of Lakes Abijata, Shala, and Langano, breaking up the drive with some stops for birding as appropriate. We will arrive at our hotel late in the afternoon, and can take time to bird around our hotel and in nearby areas we can expect to see Grivet Monkey and the handsome Guereza (a species of Black-and-white Colobus) as well.

Night in Awassa, Africa United Group Hotel near the lakeshore.

Day 19: 7 Nov - Awassa and Wondo Genet.
There are so many interesting birding areas around Lake Awassa, that we gonna spend most of the day here. Black Heron, Senegal Thick-knee, Pygmee Goose, Lesser Jacana, African Jacana, Squacco Heron, Goliath Heron, Saddle billed Stork. In the late afternoon, we drive 45 km to the forest edge in Wondo Genet. Those who like can jump in the hot water swimming pool in the forest of the hotel. Others can look around for the White cheeked Turaco and several other birds.

Night in hotel of Wondo Genet.

Day 20: 8 Nov - Morning, birding in Primairy Forest of Wondo Genet
Although we might feel tempted to rest on our last morning, an early start will help us to make the most of our last day in Ethiopia. We will begin the day by birding in the primary forest of Wondo Genet with our local birding guide.

Scaly Francolin, Lemon Dove, the endemic Yellow-fronted Parrot, the near-endemic White-cheeked Turaco, Narina Trogon, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Double-toothed Barbet, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, the near-endemic Abyssinian Woodpecker, Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike, and Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Half Collored Kingfisher.

We will make some stops for birding and sightseeing along the way, especially on the Langano Lake.
Transfer to the Addis Ababa.


Bird checklist

I never use any bird lists, but since I try to make it in to Cloudbirders. A very helpful site when planning your birding trips. And if I use their service, of course I want to contribute as well.

Well, my bird watching trip reports was rejected. I posted 2 that was rejected. So I started to take ideas from the reports I found on Cloudbirders. They have Bird checklists so I will put them here but they will not be used as bird checklists. I will post my birds on eBird and on my different “BIRDS THAT I HAVE OBSERVED” pages.

But the list can come in handy to find out the local name of the bird etc. And Avibase have a list with pictures and sounds, excellent!

So I will post bird checklists here and if my Guides provide me with checklists I will also post them here.

Cloudbirders


Avibase - Bird Checklists of the World

Ethiopian bird checklist from Avibase, click HERE

Avibase is providing you with bird checklists from all over the world. And I´m impressed by their web page. Select country and area and you get the bird checklist. Like the PDF files I got from Avibase on the links above. You also get the checklist with pictures and sounds.

The best part is that you get the local names of the birds and the online checklist gives the names in English plus the language you have selected. But it seems like the PDF cannot handle some alphabet.

For example the Japanese language so it is blank in the PDF checklist. But it worked excellent with Ethiopian. But you get them in the local language on the online version.


Bird list

See My eBird checklists and the DAY TO DAY report in the itinerary below.

And you can visit my list of “Birds I have seen in Africa

My eBird checklists can be found HERE

Hot tips


1) Bring head light/ torch
2) Bring alcohol gel for cleaning your hands
3) Bring something to read or do. Dark from 18:00 to 06:00 and it is very long and tedious hours.

DAY BY DAY reports

Click on the below links for daily bird watching reports:

Classical Endemic Birding Tour Ethiopia
Day 1: 20 Oct - Birding in the Debre Zeit area at the different Lakes.

Day 2: 21 Oct - Morning birding Around Bishoftu; Drive to Awash National Park.
                       - Afternoon, birding Awash National Park

Day 3: 22 Oct - Full Day to Explore Awash National Park

Day 4: 23 Oct - Full Day to Explore Awash National Park and Aledeghi Wildlife Reserve

Day 5: 24 Oct - Morning, new road behind Fentale Volcano.
                       - Afternoon, birding Along the Ankober–Debre Sina Escarpment at Melka Ghebdu and Gemessa Gedel

Day 6: 25 Oct - Morning birding the Jemma Valley.
                       - Afternoon, birding Around Debre Libanos

Day 7: 26 Oct - Morning birding Sululta Plain. Drive to the Rift Vally Lakes with stops on Lake Koka and Lake Ziway.

Day 8: 27 Oct - Morning Birding on Lake Ziway.
                       - Afternoon, birding at Abiata-Shalla National Park.

Day 9: 28 Oct - Full Day to Explore the Area Around Lake Chitu and Lake Shalla CANCLLED - Leave 10000 Flamingo Lodge one day early and drive to Sabana Beach Resort for a day of relaxing

Political trouble in the Bale Mountains area and they have closed the area. So we have to change our schedule. we will go the other way and we will go to Bale Mountains area on the way back to Addis Ababa. Drive to the forest in Wondo Genet

Day 10: 29 Oct - Morning, drive to Dinsho.
                         - Afternoon, Afternoon birding Around Dinsho
Drive to the forest in Wondo Genet

Day 11: 30 Oct - Full Day to Explore the Sanetti Plateau and Balé Mountains National Park.
Drive to Yabelo

Day 12: 31 Oct - Full Day to Explore the Sanetti Plateau and Balé Mountains National Park.
Full Day Birding around Yabelo

Day 13: 1 Nov - Drive to Negele with several stops on the road.
Full Day Birding around Yabelo

Day 14: 2 Nov - Full Day Birding Around Negele, Liben Plain, and Filtu
Drive to Negele

Day 15: 3 Nov - Drive to Yabelo
Full Day Birding Around Negele, Liben Plain, and Filtu

Day 16: 4 Nov - Full Day Birding around Yabelo.
Drive to Balé Mountains

Day 17: 5 Nov - Full day birding around Mega.
Full Day on the Sanetti Plateau and Balé Mountains National Park

Day 18: 6 Nov - Morning, continue Birding Yabelo Area and drive to Awassa.
Birding Around Dinsho

Day 19: 7 Nov - Drive to Awassa.

Day 20: 8 Nov - Morning, birding Awassa - Transfer to the Addis Ababa.


Bird watching trip report


       
                  


                                       

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