Ethiopia's Great Rift Valley boasts stunning national parks, serene rift valley lakes, and breath-taking highlands, making it a premier destination for birding enthusiasts.
Arguably the most diverse country in Africa, Ethiopia stands as a dream for birding enthusiasts.
Boasting over 860 species, including a formidable array of endemic and regional specialties, Ethiopia’s avian treasures are truly exceptional. Whether you are a devoted birder or have a more general interest, Ethiopia promises an unforgettable experience. The country’s avifauna presents an awe-inspiring blend of migrants from East and West Africa, Palearctic migrants from the Northern Hemisphere, and an impressive array of resident species at 821 individuals counted. With a remarkable 18 endemic species, Ethiopia is as a true paradise for birdwatchers.
Moreover, Ethiopia is home to unique wildlife sightings, including the captivating Gelada Baboon, the endangered Walia Ibex, and the Ethiopian Wolf—this canid stands as the rarest and most endangered globally. Ethiopia’s wildlife extends far beyond birds, encompassing over 22,000 species of butterflies and moths, as well as approximately 320 mammal species.
Embark on a birding tour of a lifetime in Ethiopia, the ‘Bleeding Heart’ of Africa.
At Sustainable Birding, we do not offer ready-made, off-the-shelf birding tours. Our approach is deeply personalised—we meticulously craft each of our tours in Ethiopia from scratch, ensuring every detail aligns with your unique preferences. Ethiopia stands among the finest birding destinations globally – from the stunning highlands of the Bale Mountains National Park to the captivating birding scrublands of Awash National Park
All our birding tours in Ethiopia are expertly guided by our passionate, knowledgeable, and experienced Ethiopian tour leaders. They are some of the best guides on the planet! So, give us a call or drop us an email and let‘s talk Ethiopia!
Reasons to go on a Tailor-made Birding Tour
• Select the exact dates that suit your schedule.
• Choose the ideal time of year for your birding adventure.
• Travel alongside your preferred companions—be it family, friends, or fellow birders.
• Set your pace—whether fast or brisk.
• Customise within your personal budget, from luxurious to budget accommodations or a mix.
• Craft a tour that matches your specific interests—whether intense birding, leisurely exploration, photography, culture, music, wine, botany, butterflies, herpetology, geology, diving, hiking, and beyond.
• Our team is here to cater to your interests and ensure a fulfilling birding holiday.
Explore our selection of Scheduled Group Birding Tours in Ethiopia. These groups tours have been designed to fit different birding preference and time restraints. Typically, our group tours are more affordable, and allow people to meet up and make lifelong memories with fellow birders. All our group tours are small and come with an expert Tour Leader, having groups no bigger than 6 individuals, so you still get that intimate feeling and the full attention of the Tour Leader.
Please refer to our Birding Calendar for tour schedules, dates, and fixed prices.
The best time for birding in Ethiopia is from November to March, coinciding with the presence of Palearctic migrant birds during the dry season—making it an excellent period. Additionally, from April to September, birding remains favourable. During this period, resident birds transition into breeding plumage, becoming more vocal, easier to spot and visually beautiful. However, heavy rainfall in July and August might affect sightings.
Ethiopia’s climate varies widely due to its diverse topography, ranging from high mountains to low-lying deserts. The country experiences three climatic zones: the cool temperate zone in the highlands, the hot zone in the lowlands, and an arid zone in the deserts. The highlands, including places like Addis Ababa and Lalibela, enjoy a mild climate year-round, with temperatures averaging between 16°C to 20°C (60°F to 68°F). The rainy season typically spans from June to September, bringing heavier downpours, especially in the highland regions. Conversely, the lowland areas, such as the Danakil Depression, endure scorching temperatures that can exceed 45°C (113°F) during the day, with minimal rainfall and extremely arid conditions.
Ethiopia’s climate shows significant variation due to its diverse landscapes. The country experiences a dry season and a rainy season, impacting different regions in varying ways. The dry season, running from October to May, characterises most of the country, offering ideal conditions for birding. However, the rainy season, prevalent from June to September, sees heavier precipitation, particularly in the highlands, and may affect travel plans due to impassable roads and limited access to certain areas. This season, while essential for agriculture, can pose challenges due to muddy roads and potential disruptions in outdoor activities.
In Ethiopia’s warm climate, packing appropriate clothing is essential. Opt for light-coloured shorts, trousers, and shirts for comfort. Additionally, prepare for colder temperatures, especially in parts of the Rift Valley where nights can drop to as low as 5 degrees Celsius – bringing a jacket is advisable.
Mosquito repellent is crucial to ward off insect bites, and taking anti-malarial tablets is highly recommended.
Equipment such as high-quality binoculars tailored for birdwatching is essential and if you have a good working camera and lens, then please bring it with you! A comprehensive field guide specific to the country’s birds, such as Birds of the Horn of Africa by Nigel Redman, Terry Stevenson & John Fanshawe would be recommended.
The Sustainable Birding Company is a subsidiary of Far and Wild Travel, a tailor-made tour company based in Cumbria, UK. Far and Wild Travel offer sustainable, luxury, tailor-made tour itineraries throughout Africa and around the world.