15 Days Bird Watching Tour in Ethiopia with Bale Mountains Tours.

Program – Bird watching safari tours.
Tour code – BMTE 06
Duration –16Nights / 17days.
Transportation – surface (4WD).
Tour starts – Addis Ababa.
Tour ends – Addis Ababa.

Day 1: Arrival Addis Ababa Ethiopia, Bole international Airport.

Arrive at Bole International airport meet with representative of the BMTE staff transfer to your hotel.

Day 2: Drive to Debra libanos.

In the morning when sunrise in the extensive drive to the north by 4WD first birding stop on the sululta plains where a number of species including the endemic Erlanger’s Lark and Ethiopian siskin, Red throated pipit could be seen. They will be headed up to Debra libanos wich is famous for its monastery. On the way around a large  fig tree is particularly good yielding Banded Barbet, Black winged lovebird and Ruppell’s black chat (all endemics) , African paradise flycatcher (with long tail feather) ,Red checked cordon- blue, Red billed firefinch and yellow bellied waxbill.

In the late afternoon continue driving to the Ethio- Germany park hotel. Here you can relax on the edge of the escarpment and while enjoying chance to see the spectacular views and the many Fan tailed Ravens, Ruppells Hooded and Griffon Vultures and Lanner falcon.

Overnight Ethio – German Lodge.

Day 3: Drive to Debra Birhan – Ankober.

On the way road heding south via maka Turi(muketuri) and then east and north on to the escarpment above the hot and dry Jemma valley, here it’s the targeting bird on the escarpment is the rare Harwood’s Francolin, Erckel’s francoli’s, Fox kestrel, Abyssinian black wheater, Woodchat shrike, Black- billed wood – hoopoe, variable sunbird, woolly- necked stork, Somali and greater bule eared starling, speckle- fronted weaver and Tawny eagle. Will have lunch in Debra birhan and drive to Ankober for endemic Ankober serin.

Overnight Ankober lodge.

Day 4: Ankober – Addis Ababa – Blen lodge.

Early in the morning see able birds from the lodge to the down wards include Fan tailed Raven, Tropical Boubou, Brown woodland warbler, Red rumped swallow, White checked Turaco, and so much more then drive down in to the beautiful rift valley below the Ankober escarpment, stopping to watch possible birds such as African grey headed woodpecker, Hemprich’s horn bill , Eurasian golden oriole, endemic yellow breasted seedeater , chestnut crowned sparrow- weaver, yellow breasted barbet, little rock Trush, Go- away bird, Abyssinian white eye then dribve to back to Addis Ababa continue to drive to Adama east Ethiopia.

Overnight Adama( Nazreth).

Day 5: Nazreth – Afar region.

Breakfast and drive east along the main trucking route that takes traffic ultimately to Djibouti and gulf of Eden.  Stop nearby Fentale for targeting birds – somber rock chat, shining sunbird, Red fronted warbler then walk down to the shoreline of lake Beseka for many water birds such as marabou, yellow bellied and saddle bellied stork, pink –backed pelican, Red – bellied Oxpecker then continue to driving to Blen lodge – sitting in the arid afar country north east of the Awash national park chance to spot around the lodge chestnut bellied sand grouse, African pygmy kingfisher.

Overnight Blen lodge.

Day 6: Around Blen Lodge.

Walk from the lodge to along Awash river and see able birds such as Senegal thick knee, Red – fronted tinker bird, Grey headed Batis, Gaber goshawk, Slender – tailed night jars and Yellow necked spurfowl.

Overnight Blen lodge.

Day 7: Awash national park – Awash falls lodge.

Drive to Awash national park chance to spot white bellied bustard , Buff- crested and kori Bustard, Northern white crowned shrike, Somali fiscal, Tawny Eagle, Abyssinian ground horn bill, Yellow – necked spurfowl and throat finch and wildlife along the filwuha spring and Ilala sala plains.

Overnight Awash falls Lodge – Awash national park.

Day 8: Awash national park – Koka – Wondo genet.

Drive west back  to Adama and south towards the rift valley lakes en route we stop at lake koka. Here from white faced Ducks and numerous other water birds are seen. In lake koka birds are relatively tame, probably because the people do not hunt pintail, northern shoveller, Lesser jacanda, Black tailed God wit and Green pigeon are seen. Overnight Wabeshebelle hotel where the rooms are surrounded by pleasant gardens.

Day 9: Wondo genet forest – Bale mountains national park:

We will wake up at 6am walk to the mountain behind the hotel to see some birds such as Red – shouldered cuckoo shrike, Doubled toothed Barbet, Hooded vulture, Spotted and African dusky fly catcher. After breakfast continue to the southeast of Addis Ababa to Dinsho (Park heaquarter of the Bale mountains national park) chance to spot Rouget’s Rail, Abyssinian ground thrush, Abyssinian long eared Owl, white backed black Tit and so much more.

This area is also the best place for Ethiopian endemic mammals such as endemic Mountain Nyala, Menelik Bushbuck and Bohor Reedbuck. Continue to Bale Robe.

Overnight Robe, Siko Mendo hotel.

Day 10: Sanetti plateau – Harenna forest – Goba.

Full day spend in the Bale Mountains National Park and a long its access route, driving initially through the Junipers forest then steep climb through patches of indigenous forest until we entered the park. The terrain of Sanetti plateau is the largest afro alpine area in Africa chance to spot raptors such as Tawny Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Verraux Eagle and Golden Eagle. Plus to that chance to see Chestnut Naped Francolin, Spot breasted Lapwing, Moorland chat, Augur Buzzard and Moorland Chat.

Up on the plateau also chance to see rare and endangered Ethiopian Wolf. Continue driving to Harenna forest (tropical rain forest) chance to spot some birds species and endemic Bale Monkey. Late afternoon drive back to Goba.

Overnight – Goba Wabeshebelle hotel.

Day 11: Sof omer Cave – Goba.

Very early start drive to east of Bale Goba through vast agricultural lands to the valley containing the remote Sof omer caves, one of the deepest caves in the world formed by the Web river cutting through the Limestone formations on the way to the Genale rivers east of Bale Mountains National Park. The caves are named after Sheikh Sofomer, a 12th century muslim leader who used them as a refuge for pilgrimage Muslim. This area is good for endemic birds such as Salvadori’s Seedeater, Lesser kestrel, Dwarf Ravens, Brown tailed Rock –chat, Rosy- patched Bush Shrike, Slate colored Boubou, African Citril etc. Yellow spotted Hyrax and Vervet monkey also seen in this area. On the return trip we will stop and walk along the road birding in the trees and shrubs.

Overnight – Goba Wabeshebelle Hotel.

Day 12: Goba – Negelle Borena.

We will heading to south through Bale Mountains National Park at dawn, seeing expected birds Chestnut naped Francolin, Harwood Francolin and Rouget’s Rail en Enroute. As we descend from the sanetti plateau the vegetations becomes thicker and taller until the road bisected the Harenna forest. Bird species that can be seen include Silvery checked Hornbill, African dusky Flycatcher, Yellow billed Kite, African pygmy Kingfisher, Grey backed Cameroptera, Northern back Flycatcher, Black billed Barbet, Double – toothed Barbet, Yellow breasted Apalis, African paradise fly catcher, African Thrush and Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco.

Overnight – Negelle hotel.

Day 13:  Negelle – Yabello.

Drive from Negelle to Yabello birding nearby and on the way to Yabello chance to see Sidamo Lark, Somali Shor-toed Lark, African White winged Dove, Broad- billed Roller, Purple Roller, Grey Kestrel, Stremans Bush crow, White crowned Starling.

Overnight – Yabello.

Day 14: Birding nearby Yabello.

Today we go birding nearby Yabello for full day chance to see endemic Stremanse’s Bushcrow, Grey headed silver bill, Red fronted Barbets, Go away bird, Variable Sunbird, Crimson- rumped Waxbill, Long billied Pipit and Eurasian Reed- Warbler.

Overnight – Yabello.

Day 15: Yabello – Dilla:

We will be heading to south Dilla to search of birds such as Pygmy Falcon, Jacobin Cuckoo, Nubian Woodpecker, Golden breasted Starling, Little Sparrow Hawk, Levant sparrow Hawk harassing a Tawny Eagle overhead, Tiny Cisticola, Stresemann’s Bush- Crow, Short tailed Lark.

Overnight – Dilla.

Day 16: Dilla – Awassa.

Our next destination will be lake side town of Awassa enroute we will see Double toothed Barbet, Black and White Mannikin in Awassa through the grounds to the Shoreline of the lake Awassa sightings for western Banded Snake Eagle, Batis ( Black headed) , Pygmy Goose, Ruff pied Kingfisher, Tern yellow wagtail, Red bellied Oxpecker, Silvery checked horn bill and Black – tailed God wit and another great sightings opportunity in Awassa is Coloubus Monkey. Overnight – Awassa.

Day 17: Awassa – Addis Ababa:

Today enroute we will stop to bird a long lake Ziway to see Marabou Stork, Black  tailed Godwit, Greenshank, Wood sand piper and African Fish Eagle and so much more.

Our second stop will be in Debrazeith ( Bishoftu) creater lake wich is 42km from Addis Ababa. Continue to back to Addis to enjoy farewell dinner at one of the traditional Ethiopian restaurant with live songs and dances of different ethnic groups, then transfer toairport for departure back to home.

END OF SERVICE!