Awash National Park

Size: 756 sq. km

Region: Shewa/ Arsi

Geographical Location: Bordering the Awash River, in the upper rift valley, 225 km.
                                       West of Addis Ababa
Attitude: 750 – 2,007 meters.

Physical features: Near by Lake Basaka is home to many water bird species.
oryx The park’s southern boundary is, in part, the Awash River, one of the major rivers of Ethiopia. In the middle of the park is the dormant volcano of Fentale, reaching a height of 2,007 meter on its rim. The park also includes the dramatic Awash Falls and the unbelievably clear blue – but hot – pools of the Filwoha hot springs. Temperatures can reach as high as 42°C. Nights are cooler, with a temperature b/n 10° and 22°C. Rain mainly falls b/n February and April, and June to August, and averages 619 mm. 
Fauna: Forty six species, including Beisa Oryx, Greater and Lesser Kudu,      Soemmering’s Gazelle, Swayne’s Hartebeest, Lion, Hamadryas, and Anubis Baboon and their hybrids, Defassa Waterbuck, Salt’s dik-dik.
Bird Life: There are five endemics among the 392 species to be found in the park. Resident species include Green Wood Hoopoe, Red – and – Yellow Barbet, Emerald – spotted Wood Dove, Carmine Bee – Eater, Several Bustard species, Fish Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Lanner and Pygmy Falcon, Blabk – Shoulderd Kite, Dark Chanting Goshawk, several verities of kingfishers and Rollers, Ostrich, and Lammergeyer.
Visitors Facility: Very basic caravan lodge on the edge of Awash gorge, camp site beside Awash river and museum.   





baleSize: 2,470 Sq. Km.

Region: Bale

Geographical Location: South – East Ethiopia, Southern end of Eastern edge of Rift    valley mountain chain, 400 km from Addis Ababa.

Altitude: 1,500 – 4,377 meter

Physical features: This extensive Afro - Alpine area contains alpine lakes and the highest peak in southern Ethiopia, Tullu Deemtu. The area of the park is divided into two major parts by the Harenna Escarpment that runs from East to West. North of this escarpment is a high – altitude Plateau area, which is dissected by many rivers and streams that have cut deep gorges in to the edges over the centuries. In some places this has resulted in scenic water falls. The northern part of the park is riverine planes, bush land, and wood land, the center is a high plateau of 4000 meters, which is crossed by the highest all weather road in Africa. The Southern part of the park is forest. Temperatures range from 7°C to 26°C, depending on the season. Rain fall is high, averaging 1,150 mm, and usually falls between March and October but also in other months.

Fauna: The Park was originally established to protect two of Ethiopia’s endemic species: The Mountain Nyala and the Semen Fox (Jakal). There are sixty four species of mammal in the park (eleven of them Endemic), including Menelik’s Bush – Buck, Bohor Reed Buck, Grey Duiker, Warthog, Serval Cat, Colombus Monkey, Giant Molerat, African Wild Dog, Bush Pig, Giant Forest Hog, Lion and Anubis Baboon.

Bird Life: The 220 bird species of Bale include 16 endemic species, many of which are easily seen. This includes Wttled Ibis, Black Winged Love Bird, Blue Winged Goose, Rouget’s Rail, and thick – billed raven. Wattled Cranes are often seen on the high plateau in the wet season, when they breed.         

Visitor’s facility: Self – centering lodge and camp site at park head quarters, camping allowed in park while trekking. Hotels nearby Goba and Robe.


Size: 5,060 sq. km.

Region: Ilubabor

Geographical Location: West Ethiopia, 850 km west of Addis Ababa

Altitude: 400 – 768 m

Physical features: Extensive swamps and wetlands of the Akobo River system. Rain fall is 1,500 mm a year, falling between April and October. Temperatures are high.
Fauna: The park contains forty one species, many representative of neighboring Sudan and not found elsewhere in Ethiopia, such as Nile Lechwe and the White Eared Kob, the latter migrating in large numbers. Roan Antelope, Topi, Elephant, Buffalo, Lelwel hartebeest, Lion and Giraffe, are also present.

Bird Life: The most important of the 154 bird species present here is the whale – headed stork, an unusual large – billed, tall bird seen standing in the swamps.



Size: 2,162 sq. km.

Region: Gamo Gofa

Geographical Location: 770 km. south west of Addis Ababa, touching East bank of Omo River

Altitude: 450 – 2,528 m

Physical Features: The highest point is Mount Mago situated in the north of the park. Temperatures here swing between 14° and 41° C and rain fall – which falls from March to May an d October to December is low, being 480 mm on average.

Fauna: The park was set up to conserve the large number of plain animals in the area, particularly Buffalo, Giraffe and Elephant. And also among the fifty six species of mammal seen here are Topi and Lelwel Hartebeest, as well as Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Burchell’s Zebra, Gernuk, Oryx, and Greater and Lesser Kudu.

Bird Life: The birds are typical of the dry grass land habitat, featuring bustards, hornbills, weavers, and starlings. Kingfishers and herons can be seen around the Neri River, which provides an alternative habitat. There are 153 species three of them are endemic.

Visitors Facility: Camp site by the Neri River.


 Size: 514 sq. km.
Region: Gamo Gofa

Geographical Location: 514 km. south west of Addis Ababa, near Arba Minch.

Altitude: 1,108 – 1,650 m.

Physical Features: The Park is an impressive swathe of white grass plains set against the back drop of clearly defined, deeply cut hills and mountains. Seventy eight square kilometers of the park is water – parts of Lake Chamo and Abaya. There is hot springs at the far eastern sector of the park. Temperatures range between 11° and 26° C. rainfall averages 880 mm and mainly falls from March to May and September to November.

Fauna: Thirty seven species, including Bushbuck, Bush pig, Anibus Baboon, Vervet Monkey, Colobus Monkey, Swayne’s Hartebeest, Burchell’s Zebra, African Wild Dog, Greater Kudu, Genet Cat, Grant’s Gazelle, Guenther’s Dik – dik, Black Backed Jackal, Crocodile and Hippopotamus.

              Bird Life: The 188 bird species – including the two endemics – the area are quite varied, reflecting the different habitats within the park. Both the red billed and the grey hornbills are common here, and the Abyssinian ground hornbill is also seen. Also common are fish eagle, Kingfishes, and rollers. Various bustard species are found in the park, including the large and impressive Kori.

Visitors Facility: Campsite in the forest near Kulfo River. Hotels in nearby town of Arba Minch.



Size: 4,068 sq. km.

Region: Goffa

Geographical Location: 870 km south west of Addis Ababa, on west bank of the Omo River.

Altitude: 440 – 1,183 m.

Physical Features: Belts of forest along the Omo River and Mui River, hot springs, extensive wilderness. The grass plains are relieved by bands of hills to the north and south of the centrally located park headquarters. Temperatures are high ranging from 14° and 41° C, and the rainfall averages 550 mm a year, falling between March and April, and September and October.

Fauna: The park’s wild life includes large herds of Eland and Buffalo, Elephant, Giraffe, Cheetah, Lion, Leopard, and Burchell’s Zebra, Lesser Kudu, Lelwel Hartebeest, Topi and Oryx are all found here, in addition to deBrazza’s and colobus monkey and Anybus Baboon. A total of fifty seven species of mammal can be found in the park.

Bird Life: 306 bird species are recorded one is endemic.

Visitors Facility: Campsite on Mui River and Musium.



Size: 179 sq. km.

Region: Gonder

Geographical Location: 760 km north of Addis Ababa, via Baher Dar, Gondar.

Altitude: 1,900 - 4,430 m.
Physical Features: Spectacular scenery; gorges and escarpments. Just outside the park is Ras Dashen, Ethiopian’s highest peak at 4543 meters. Temperatures can fall below freezing at night, the daytime temperatures are in the region of 11° to 18° C. the rainfall averages 1,550 mm a year.

Fauna: Walia Ibex, Semen Fox, Gelada Baboon, Grey Duiker, and klipspringer are among the twenty one species three of them are endemic, to be found in the park.

Bird Life: Lammergeyers and choughs are present among the sixty three species of birds here, which include seven endemics: Thick billed Raven, Black headed Siskin, White Collared Pigeon, Wttled Ibis, White – billed Starling, Spot – breasted Plover, and White Backed Black Tit.

Visitors Facility: campsite at various sites.