Arrive Addis Ababa. This afternoon we drive to Geferssa Reservoir where a range of bush and wetland species might be seen. The Wattled Ibis, Rouget’s Rail, Abyssinian Longclaw, Black-headed Siskin, and Abyssinian Slaty Flycatchers are the endemics that we expect this afternoon. In addition, we may also encounter birds like the Great-crested Grebe, African Black Duck, Ortolan Bunting, Pintail, Little Ringed Plover, Avocet, Red-breasted Wheatear, Grey-rumped Swallow and different swifts. Drive back to Addis Ababa before dark. O/n Addis Ababa
Leave Addis Ababa for Awash National Park, some 210 km east of Addis Ababa. Today we will have many roadside stops. Our first stop would be at Cheleklaka wetland near Debra Zeit, about 45 km away. It has many water birds and other species. The Ferruginous Duck, Maccoa Duck, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Crowned and Common Cranes, White-backed Duck, Knob-billed Duck, Red-billed Teal, Tufted Duck, Marsh Sandpiper, Ethiopian Cisticola, Wood Sandpiper and Yellow-billed Storks are among the species that have been recorded here. The Red-throated Pipit, Chestnut-backed Sparrow-lark, Laughing and Red-eyed Doves, Masked Weavers, bee-eaters and swifts are seen around the wetland. Then we drive to Nazareth for lunch. After lunch we drive slowly to Awash with some roadside stops. We will reach at Awash National Park about 5:00 pm. O/n Awash Falls Lodge.
A full day birding in the park. The thorny bushes of Awash National Park have many varieties of birds. Over 380 species of birds have been recorded in this superb lowland. The Martial Eagle, Swallow-tailed Kite, Grasshopper Buzzard, Bateluer, Lappet-faced Vulture, White-faced Scops Owl, Secretary Bird, Gabar Goshawk, Spotted Eagle-owl, White-backed and Ruppell’s Griffon Vultures are among the excellent birds of prey we should see. There are also many important species that we expect in Awash, such as the Buff-crested Bustard, Hartlaub’s Bustard, different woodpeckers, Ashy Cisticola, Little Bee-eater, Abyssinian Roller, Orange-bellied Parrot, White-browed Coucal, Eastern Gray Plantain-eater, Bristle-crowned Starling, Three-banded Courser, Blue-naped Mousebird, and Red-fronted Tinker birds. We also expect to see a few animals like the Lesser and Greater Kudu, Olive and Hamadryas Baboons, Besia Oryx, Sommerings Gazelle, Swayne’s Hartebeest (endemic), Black-backed Jackal, Defassa Waterbuck among others. O/n Awash Falls lodge
We will have an early breakfast in order to give enough time for morning birding before we leave the park. It is about 260 km to Langano where we will stay for a night. En route, there will be many roadside stops including one major stop at Koka Dam (Awash River Bridge). The Awash River Bridge (Koka Dam) area offers a variety of water and woodland birds. We spend the afternoon at Lake Ziway, which has an excellent variety of bird species. In the woodland near the lake it is possible to see birds like the Masked Shrike, Carmine Bee-eaters, Wattled and Superb Starlings, Black-headed Batis, African Thrush, Beautiful and Marques Sunbirds, Nubian and Bearded Woodpeckers, African Harrier-hawk, Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Diederik and Klaus’s Cuckoos, Black-billed Wood-hoopoe and other species. The lake itself has many varieties of water birds such as the Lesser Jacana, Lesser Moorhen, African Pygmy-goose, Black Heron, Crowned Crane, Grey-headed and Lesser Black-backed Gull, Common Snipe, Glossy and Hadada Ibis, Little and Temminck’s Stint, Red-throated Pipit, Pink-backed and Great White Pelican. O/n Lake Langano
On the way to Bishangari Lodge, we stop at Abijata-Willa NP. It’s the feeding and nesting site for a great number of flamingos and pelicans. At Abijata, we expect to see many wintering and inter-African migratory birds: Marsh Harriers, African Fish Eagles, Saddle-billed and Yellow-billed Storks, Purple and Goliath Herons, Common and Red-billed Teals, Pacific Golden and Caspian Plovers, Black-headed Gull, White-winged and Whiskered Terns are some of the species inhabiting this lake. The surrounding acacia woodland has other species: Yellow-rumped Serin, Little Bee-eater, Long-tailed Glossy and Wattled Starlings, African Pygmy Falcon, Crested Francolin, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Black-billed and Black Wood-hoopoes, Brubru, Orange-bellied Parrot, Martial and Walberg’s Eagles, White-crowned Shrike, Lilac-breasted and Rufous-crowned Rollers are among the birds we expect to see. Lunch will be at Langano in the late afternoon. We slowly drive to Wenney Eco-lodge some 15 km to the east of Langano from the junction. O/n Bishangari Lodge
A full day birding in the tropical rain forest of Munessa (near Bishangari eco-lodge). It might be the only forest left in the main Ethiopian Rift system. More than 200 bird species are recorded in this excellent forest. The Yellow-fronted Parrot, Banded Barbet, Abyssinian Woodpeckers, Black-winged Lovebird and White-backed Black Tit are some of the endemics we expect to see. The forest also provides a great variety of species like Narina Trogon, Broad-billed Roller, Blue-spotted and Tambourine Doves, Double-toothed Barbet, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Emerald Cuckoo, White-cheeked Turaco, Greater and Scaly Honey guides, Puffback Shrike, Banded Wattle-eye, Giant Kingfisher, Mountain Wagtail, Scaly Francolin and the endemic Black-headed Forest Oriole. The forest also has a few animals like the beautiful Colobus Monkey, Olive Baboon, Common Duiker, and Menelik’s Bushbuck, Dik-dik, Vervet Monkey and others. O/n Bishangari lodge
Today we proceed to Lake Awassa, a beautiful fresh water lake quite unlike the alkaline lakes to the north of the Rift valley. Today we enjoy Awassa’s magnificent spectacle of water and woodland birds. A variety of egrets, Grey-headed and Woodland Kingfishers, White-browed Robin-chat, Purple Swamphen, Lesser Moorhen, White-Backed Duck, Hottentot Teal, Greenshank, Sedge and Lesser Swamp-warblers, Temminck’s Stint, Klaas’ Cuckoo, Giant Kingfisher, Red-breasted Wryneck, Spectacled and Grosbeak Weavers, Banded Snake Eagle, Banded Barbet and Spotted Creeper. The Painted Snipe, Blue-headed Coucal, Violet-backed Starling, Red-headed Weaver, Sulpher-breasted Bush-shrike, Blue-naped and Speckled Mousebirds and many other species are expected. Awassa is also home to a few mammals like the Hippopotamus, Colobus and Vervet monkeys, Common Duiker, Olive Baboon and White-tailed Mongoose. O/n Awassa
We drive back to Addis Ababa. En route, we may have few roadside stops to seek what we have not seen on “day 5”. Lunch would be at Ziway. This afternoon our major stop will be at Hora Crater, some 45 km before Addis Ababa, which is a good site for both aquatic and arboreal species including the Maccoa Duck, Garganey, Reed Warblers, barbets, woodpeckers, White-winged Cliff Chat, Ethiopian Cisticola, Masked Weavers, waxbills and several birds of prey. Arrive at Addis Ababa before dark. .O/n Addis Ababa