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14 Days – Bird Watching Tour to Central Ethiopia

14 DAYS - 13 NIGHTS
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Day 1 – Arrival and transfer to the Ghion or Extreme hotel in Addis Ababa.

Day 2 – An early morning start we drive to the Mt. Entoto/Sululta Plain with short grassland habitat searching for unique birds such as White-backed Black Tit, Blue-winged Goose, Wattled Ibis, Ethiopian Siskin, Ethiopian Cisticola, White-collared Pigeon, Abyssinian Longclaw, ErlangerLark, Tawny Eagle, Cattle Egret, and Yellow-billed Duck. Jamma Valley escarpment (upper Nile valley) is adjacent to Debre Libanos natural forest and thickets home to the endemic Banded Barbet, White-cheeked Turaco, Abyssinian Woodpecker, Ethiopian Black-headed Oriole, Lammergeyer, Egyptian Vulture, Vareaux Eagle, Lanner Falcon, and Griffon Vultures. The nearby gorge attracts the endemic White-billed Starling, Ruppell’s Black Chat, White-winged Cliff-chat, and Mocking Cliff-chat. Scrub lures Erckel’s Francolin, Stout Cisticola and Tekeze Sunbird.

Overnight at the Ethio-German Lodge nearby the so-called Portuguese Bridge.

Day 3 – Today we drive to Jamma Valley to locate the rare Harwood’s Francolin and Abyssinian Black-wheatear. The road climbs steeply through highland fields and traditional villages. The cliffs and boulder-strewn slopes of the Jamma Valley may have flocks of White-billed Starlings, the extremely rare Salvador Serin, Singing Cisticola, Isabelline Shrike, and Abyssinian Black Wheatear. In the afternoon, we drive to Debre Birhan town while enjoying another sector of plain grassland birds including Erlanger’s Lark, Pectoral-patch Cisticola, and Ortolan Bunting.
Overnight at Eva Hotel Ankober Lodge.

Day 4 – An early start exploring the road to Tarmaber scenic view outlook. Our main interest is to find the rarest endemic Ankober Serin feeding in the highland grass field. In the lower fields, we can expect Yellow-crowned Canary, Brown-rumped, and Streaky Seed-eater. Overhead we may locate Saker Falcon, Lammergeyer, Augur Buzzard, and Alpine Swifts.

After late breakfast, we drive towards Bishoftu east of Addis towards fascinating Crater Lakes such as Lake Chalalaka, an important shallow lake for migratory waders, and significant numbers of Cranes, Marabou storks, and Cormorants. Hora a freshwater lake holding Little Grebe, Pelican, Malachite Kingfisher, Little Bee-eater, Black-billed Barbet, African Paradise Flycatcher, Masked Weaver, and Starlings. The area is named after the crater lake Bishoftu, meaning tasteless Water supports large numbers of Weavers, Seed-eaters, Thrushes, Doves, Sunbirds, and Finches in the adjoining sedges and thickets. Late afternoon proceeds to.

Overnight at Dreamland Hotel with an excellent view of Bishoftu.

Day 5 – Today we drive to the Bale Mountains found on the other side of the Great Rift Valley looking for Rouget Rail, Thick-billed Raven, Abyssinian Catbird, Abyssinian Slaty-flycatcher, Chestnut-napped Francolin, Moorland Francolin, Abyssinian Ground Thrush to name a few. The remnant of Ruddy Shell-ducks and Wattled Cranes are also found here.

The northern dry forest around Dinsho is known for exceptional wild animals including Mountain Nyala, Menelik Bushbuck, Bohor Reedbuck, Warthog, and Bush Duiker.

Overnight Goba Hotel at the edge of the Senate Plateau.

Day 6 – Beyond Goba we enter typical timberline habitats of Juniper and Hygenia Abyssinica driving up Africa’s highest all-weather roads to 4100 meters above sea level where we enter the 10,000 square kilometers Senate plateau chain of tiny terrains. In this strange and fascinating afro-alpine climate we will find the rare Ethiopian Wolf, Starck Hare, and Giant Mole-rat.

Then the road drops suddenly on the Harenna Leeside with its wet forest and fantastic viewpoints, through a series of dizzying hairpin bends, as it zigzags down to the lowland town of Dolo-Mena. In the afternoon we drive back to Goba looking for birds and animals we missed earlier on.

Overnight Goba Hotel.

Day 7. Mizan – sodo
Drive sodo on the way visit Gurga and sodo village and landscape overnight sodo. Haile Resort – Today we drive to the Sof Omar Caves on the eastern edge of the Bale Mountains maybe the world’s most spectacular and extensive underground system carved by the Web River into the limestone that lines it. Time has carved out ornate and immense pillars, domes, and chambers, and the river flows through the caves year-round. During one passage through the caves, we have to cross the river seven times in the 1.5km underground caves. It is an interesting shrine and pilgrimage place for Muslims. The roof of the caves is home to thousands of Bats and the floor is covered with droppings accumulating over many years. Web River gorge and cliffs with its bushes support the endemic Salvador Seedeater, Bristle-crowned Starling, Swifts and Swallows, and many more.

Overnight Goba Hotel.

Day 8 – Today we continue through Senate Plateau, undisturbed natural forest of Harenna, Genale River basin towards the Borena diverse ecosystem looking for African White-winged Dove, Juba Weaver, Ruspoli Turaco, Sidamo Lark, Stresemann Bush-crow, White-tailed Swallow, Golden Breasted Starling, Vulturine Guineafowl, Red-napped Shrike, Rosy-patched Bush-shrike and Striped Swallows to name a few.
Overnight the Green Hotel at Negele town.

Day 9 – Dawn excursion to Hara-Kalo and Wadera dry river valleys to search for a remarkable bird called Prince Ruspoli Turaco. On the way expect different birds of prey including Pygmy Falcon, Ovambo Sparrow hawk, Eastern Chanting Goshawk, White-headed Vulture, and the like.

In the afternoon we visit the large grassland of the Liben Plain looking for the birds of dry-open countries such as Sidamo Lark, Tiny Cisticola, Rufous Short-toed Lark, and Kori Bustard, Sooty Falcon, Crowned Lapwing, and many more. After lunch, we continue exploring for birds like Golden-breasted Starling, Shelley Starling, Magpie Starling, Chatterers, and many more arid land birds.

Overnight at Green Hotel.

Day 10 – Today we proceed to bird en route to the town of Yabello an important junction town in the middle of the red sandstone landscape with many large termite mounds. This mosaic arid land is home to several spectacular birds notably the charismatic Stresemann’s Bush-crow, White-tailed Swallow, Vulturine Guineafowl, Yellow-naked Spurfowl, White-crowned Starling, and many more.

Overnight Yabello Motel.

Day 11 – Today we explore the road to Mega and Dubluk where mixed thicket attracts Pygmy Falcon, Slate-colored Boubou, Bare-eyed Thrush, Purple Grenadier, Black-capped Social, and Grey-capped Social Weaver. Birds of prey are numerous including Gabar Goshawk, Amur Falcon, Lappet-faced Vulture on wings, and many more.
In the afternoon we will bird Yabello Forest Sanctuary for Northern Black Flycatcher, White-cheeked Turaco, Tawny Wagtail, Bare-faced Go-Away-Bird, and many Seed-eaters.

Overnight Yabello Motel.

Day 12 – Today we drive back to the Yirgalem area through the typical southern highland forest. Arriving at the Aregash Lodge compound we search the grounds for Great Sparrow hawk, African Hawk-eagle, Tambourine Dove, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Mountain Thrush, Battis, Shrikes, and more.
Overnight Aregash Eco-lodge.

Day 13 – After early morning birding and breakfast we drive to Bishangari meaning Blessed water located on the eastern bank of Lake Langano adjacent to the Chilalo chain of mountains on the southern edge of the Great Rift Valley. Here we find the remnant of a typical tropical rain forest and en route we search for Nubian Woodpecker, Speckled Mousebird, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, African Mourning Dove, and many more colorful forest birds.

Overnight Bishangari Eco-Lodge.

Day 14 – Early morning we explore the tropical rain forest and adjacent bank of Lake Langano for birds including the Yellow-fronted Parrot, Orange-bellied Parrot, African Paradise Flycatcher, Bare-faced Go-Away Bird, African Fish-eagle, Cuckoo Shrikes and water birds including Greater Egrets, Squacco Herons, Greater, and Long-tailed Cormorants, Gulls, Geese, Ducks, Shanks, Kingfishers, and Weavers.

Leaving after a late breakfast we arrive in Addis late afternoon and we will have a farewell dinner before departing for the airport.

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