These pages record some of the birds, animals and plants seen on a three week expedition around Ethiopia during February-March 2019 organised by Flamingo Tours. The trip started with arrival in Addis Ababa and an immediate transfer by road to Debre Zeit for a one night stay which allowed visits to the local lakes and their margins. On the following day a road transfer took the party to Awassa for 2 days, where a large number of bird species were observed and easily photographed due to the apparent lack of fear of humans shown by the birds. After Awassa a relatively short transfer took us to 10,000 Flamingo Lodge in Abijata-Shalla National Park to see the amazing spectacle of huge numbers of Lesser Flamingo on Chitu Lake.
The next destination was Arba Minch with a short detour to Senkele Hartebeest Sanctuary. The period at Arba Minch continued to add many new species to a rapidly growing list. The trip had been taking us south from Addis Ababa and we completed our southwards travel in Yabelo, quite close to the Kenyan border. Yabelo was an extremely dry habitat with relatively fewer birds and animals than our other destinations.
The next part of our trip involved a loop northwards to Wondo Genet which dictated a long day on the road. Wondo Genet proved to be an interesting location since it was the site of King Haile Selassie’s palace and had a hot spring bathing facility. From Wondo Genet we made our way to the Bale Mountains a stunning high altitude environment (the Sanetti Plateau) with an intriguing flora and exciting animals like the rare Ethiopian Wolf, which proved remarkably easy to photograph.
From the Bale mountains we continued our northwards trek to Awash National Park where a new collection of birds and animals were observed. These included Kori Bustard and Beisa Oryx. Continuing our journey back towards Addis Ababa we spent a few days in Debre Birhan followed by a stay in Fiche which allowed us to visit the Jenna Valley. A largely defunct lodge near Fiche on the edge of the Jenna Valley gave us wonderful views of Rüppell’s Vulture, Hooded Vulture and Lammergeier in flight. A return for one night to Debre Zeit prior to our departure from Addis Ababa gave a final opportunity to add further to our photographic record