Rift Valley Lakes/The Islands of Lake Tana/Bale Mountains
20 Days / 19 Nights
Rift Valley Lakes/The Islands of Lake Tana/Bale Mountains
J/T0051 - 20 Days / 19 Nights


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Full Itinerary

Day 01 Arrive to Addis Ababa, be met at the airport & transfer to your hotel .Overnight stay in a hotel. 

Day 02
Addis offers you a variety of birds; White-backed black tit & Brown tit warbler are expected to be seen at the hotel extensive gardens. After noon, drive to Gefersa wet land or Mt Entoto that overlooks the town will giving the opportunity for diverse bird life. Entoto is especially believed to be home for 200 bird species. Here we expect the Abyssinian wood pecker, Abyssinian catbird, wattled Ibis (endemic), Moorland Francolin, white-collared Pigeon, Black-winged Lovebird, White-cheeked Turaco, mountain Nightjar, banded Barbet, White-winged Cliff Chat, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Brown parisoma, White-backed Black Tit, Abyssinian Black-headed Oriole and White-billed Starling. In addition the area gives a view for 5 species of vultures including Lammer gayer as well as various eagles and hawks. Return to your hotel.
O/N in a hotel 

Day 03 
We take a flight which takes about one hour and find the beautiful city of Bahir Dar. In the afternoon, we make a boat trip to Zegie Island which is one of the biggest islands in the biggest lake of Ethiopia. In the afternoon we bird around Lake Tana and the Bezawit Palace. Lake Tana area is one of the best birding sites of the northwestern, part of the country. Here, we expect to see the open bill stork, Saddle bill stork, Crowned Crane, Eastern Grey Plantain eater, Giant Kingfisher, Osprey, Great Black-headed Gull, Little and Yellow billed Egret, Black-winged Love-bird, Red-eyed Dove, Glossy Ibis, and different birds of prey. Overnight in a hotel at Bahir Dar 

Day 04
In the morning drive to the magnificent "Blue Nile Falls". Here, the White throated Serine, Black-billed Wood Hoopoe, Red winged starling, Black-chaste Snake Eagle, Beautiful and Tacaze Sunbirds, Banded Barbet, Augur Buzzard, Tawny Eagle, Blue-eared Glossy starling, Ruppel's long-tailed starling, Wattle Ibis, Red-billed Oxpecker, White-backed Vulture, Rappel's Griffon Vulture, Carmine Bee-eater, Blue breasted Bee-eater are among the birds that we will see this morning. In the afternoon, we make a boat trip to Zegie Island which is one of the biggest islands in the biggest lake of Ethiopia visit Ura kidane Mehirt Monastery which is a home for several species of birds. Overnight in a hotel at Bahir Dar. 

Day 05
We leave early for Debre-Libanose monastery about 110 km north of the capital via Sululta Plain. Here, we expect to see the Red-rumpled and Lesser-striped Smallows, Pectoral-patched Cisticola, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, common Buzzard and Black winged Lapwing are some of the birds that would be seen along the road. Around the monastery we expect to see some of the endemic birds like the Black-headed Forest Oriole, Banded Barbet, the White-billed Starling, Abyssinian Woodpecker, Rappel's chat, the White-backed Black Tit and Abyssinian slaty Flycatcher. The Lammergeyers, Egyptian Vulture, Lanner Falcon, Verreaux's Eagle and the White-checked Turaco are seen at the escarpment. Late afternoon drive back to Addis. O/n in a hotel.

Day 06
We drive early morning to the rift heading south. En route we will be birding, stopping at Koka Dam and the Awash River and make a lunch stop at Ziway. Ziway lake shore is where huge numbers of water birds are congregated. African Pygmy Geese, Yellow-billed and Marabou Storks, Collared Pratincoles, Lesser and Greater Jacanas, African Jacanas, White Pelicans, Fish Eagles, Crowned and Common Cranes are seen in numbers. Leave to Bishangari for overnight. O/N at Bishangari Lodge.

Day 07
Bishangari, which means 'Sweet water' in Oromo Dialect, is situated adjacent to an ancient forest that remains intact due to inaccessibility and it is blessed with five ecological zones. More than 300 birds retreated for its conducive and undisturbed nature. Here, we expect Cliff chat, Nightingale, Warblers, Flycatcher, Laughing Dove, Wood Owl, Abyssinian Nightjar, Glossy Ibis and Silver Bill. Exceptionally rare "Gologo", previously found in Zanzibar and Senegal has been discovered one early morning of October, 2001, bushy tailed Squirrels, Anubis Baboon, Vervet Monkey can be seen not far from the Lodge. O/N at Bishangari Lodge.

Day 08
After an early break fast we drive to Shalla and Abijata National Park. Shalla 270 mts in depth, the deepest in Ethiopian rift, is an important breeding sites for birds on its four of the nine islands. We have to drive through the Ostrich Farms on the west of the main road. We then proceed to Abijata lake, where thousands of both lesser and greater Flamingo's congregate along the shores. African Pochard, Avocet, Gull-billed Tern and Pintail, little Stint, Ruff and a variety of ducks are among other species to be seen. Drive to Wondo Genet (There is naturally heated open air pool) set among forested hills. In the gardens of the hotel and juniper Forests behind the hotel, we will see the silvery-cheeked Hornbill, White -cheeked Turaco, Yellow-fronted Parrot, Black-headed Forest Oriole, golden-backed Woodpecker, Red wing Starling, Grosbeak Weaver, Mountain Wagtail and Black-roughing Swallow. We can also see Columbus monkey ,Anubis baboon and Bushbuck. O/N Wondo Genet Lodge 

Day 09 
Leave to Awassa, which is a half hour drive from Wondo Genet. Along the shores of the lake and in the adjoining forest we can expect Saddle bill and Marabou Storks ,Malakite king Fisher, Spur-winged plover, pygmy goose, Brown snake eagle, grey Kestral, Green-backed Honey guide, Blue-headed Coucal, Spotted Creeper, African Firefinch, Bruce's Green pigeon, Red-breasted Wryneck, Bare-faced Go away bird and the endemic Yellow-fronted Parrot, Black-winged Lovebird and Black-headed Forest oriole O/N at Wabe Shebelle# 1 

Day 10
Leave to Yabello where one finds the forest reserve with over 200 species like; Abyssinian Bush crow, White- tailed Smallwo, Abyssinian Grosbeak Canary, Black- capped social weaver, short- tailed lark, Pringle’s puff- back, Northern Grey Tit, Somli Sparrow and many others. Overnight in a hotel 

Day 11
Full day birding at Yabello Sanctuary. Overnight in a hotel. 

Day 12
Drive to the town of Mega birding on the way; Golden Breasted Starling Helmeted & Vulturine Guinea Fowl Superb Starling Lilac Breasted Starling and others. Overnight in a hotel 

Day 13 
On the way to Negele we explore the forest around the town of Arero. In this forest, about 168 species have been recorded including 2 endemics that are among most sought-after birds in Africa: Prince Ruspoli's Turaco Salvadori's Seedeater. Overnight in a hotel. 

Days 14 & 15
These two days are dedicated to explore the diversified environment around Negele, expecting to see: Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, Salvadori's Seedeater, Sidamo long-clawed Lark, Somali short-toed Lark Red-napped Bush Shriek, White crowned Starling, Tiny Cisticola, Heuglin's Bustard, Hunter's Sunbird, Golden Pipit, Pygmy Batis, Rufus Sparrow, Coqui Francolin. Overnight in a hotel.

Day 16 
Continue to Goba and the Sanetti Plateau, driving on the highest road and moorland in Africa. On the way we look at; Golden backed woodpecker, White backed Tit. Overnight in a hotel. 

Day 17
Full day birding in Bale National Park and return to Goba with a chance to see; Lemmergeyer and Abyssinian Catbird. Overnight in a hotel. 

Day 18
Drive to Wondo Genet which is the site for some of the endemic birds like the Yellow-fronted Parrot, Thick-billed Raven, the Abyssinian Wood pecker and Banded Barbet. In addition, We expect to see the Red -shouldered and Black Cuckoo shrikes, Grey Cuckoo shrike, Narin's Trogon, White-checked Turaco, Double Toothed Barbet, Scally and Lesser Honey guide, Crowned Eagle, Arye's Hawk Eagle, Silvery checked Horn bill, Hadada Ibis, Banded Wattle eye, Sharpes starling, Broad billed Roller, Black billed. Barbet, Lemon Dove, Mountain Buzzard and Half-collared Kingfisher. O/n Wondo Genet Wabe Shebelle Hotel. 

Day 19 
Full day birding around Wondo Genet. Overnight in a hotel 

Day 20 
Drive back to Addis and depart in the evening. 

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