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Private Tours and Group Trips to Ethiopia

ethiopia travel tours vacation grouptrips rondreizen



Ethiopia's proximity to the equator and the great habitat diversity mean its avifauna is one of the richest in Africa, with around 850 species recorded, including a high proportion of species endemic to Ethiopia.

Ethiopia benefits from the incredible variety and abundance of African bird life as well as the presence of species which have migrated from Europe.

Broadly speaking, Ethiopia can be divided into a number of habitats with respect to bird life: the Rift Valley lakes, the highland massifs, the lowlands and the arid semi-deserts. Each of these is in turn a complex mosaic of terrain, soils, vegetation and human use, all of which govern the avifauna found there.

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Endemic birds

Many fo the endemic species present on the western and south-eastern highland plateau are common and surprisingly easy to see, even in the environments of a city. The Bale highland, also called the land of endemism, harbors over 60 percent of the species of birds found in the country. Among these is the Blue Winged Goose, whose closest relative is in the Andes Mountains of South America. The Spot-Breasted Plover can also be seen in large numbers. The comical Rougets Rail is often seen in grass clumps near water, while the Yellow-Fronted Parrot can usually be noted by their calls and typical fast speed flies.

Als to been seen around the park are the Banded Barbet, Golden-Backed Woodpecker, Abyssinian Long Claw, White-Winged Cliff Chat, Ruppells Chat, Black-Headed Siskins and more.

It is the extensive high-altitude plateau that forms the quintessential Ethiopian habitat for birds in particular, but also for other forms of wild life. Most of the endemics are to be found herer, as well as a considerable number of other species. Some of the richest areas are the small patches of natural forest on gorge edges, in valley bottoms, and the often sacred groves on hilltops and around churches.

Songs of the forests

The highland forests are home to birds less easily seen. Their song is usually the first sign of their presence. The Abyssinian Catbird has one of the most beautiful calls, the male and female performing a duet in the seclusion of thick bushes. The Black-Headed Forest Oriale ahs a distinctive call and its yellow color shows clearly in the upper storey of the tall trees it favors.

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Bird life at the lakes

Ethiopia's lakes are famous for the sheer numbers of birds they harbor. The Rift Valley lakes region covers lakes Ziway, Langano, Abijata, Shalla, Awassa, Abaya and Chamo. Over 50 percent of all bird species have been recorded in the Rift Valley because of the proximity to numerous aquatic and terrestrial habitats.

Lake Abijata is a feeding ground for numerous great white Pelicans and various sorts of Flamingos, as well as flocks of Little Grebes. The Pelicans nest in very large numbers on an island in neighboring Lake Shalla. This island is a regular breeding ground for great white Pelicans and a nesting sport for the greater Flamingo.

The mouth of the Horcallo River, which flows from Lake Langano to Lake Abijata, is an excellent site for bird watching, as it provides fresh water for the birds to bathe.

Lowland birds

It is among the lowland birds that bird-watchers find more birds with which they may be familiar from neighboring eastern African countries. These areas are especially rich in seed-eating and insectivorous birds, as there are various Weavers, Cut Throat Finches, Wattled Starlings and the Namaqua Dove.

Migrant birds

Pala arctic migrants are also widely seen at certain periods of the year. Some of the most popular of these migrant birds also include the Yellow and Green White-Eyes, Fire-Finchers, Indigo Birds, Waxbills, Cordon Blue, Dusky and Spotted Flycatchers and Paradise Flycatchers. White-Collared, Red-Wing Starling, Slender-Bill Chestnut Wing Starlings are also seen in abundance.

Season for bird-watching

The best season for bird-watching is from the beginning of September up to February. Between November and February, migrant birds also raise the bird population and widen species diversity as well. Ethiopia is a bird-watcher's heaven.

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