Ethiopia Parks & Reserves

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Ethiopia’s Best Birding Locations

Below are a few of Ethiopia’s best birding locations. Here you can learn about each location and some of the bird species found in them. 

Please let us know if you would like to include any of the birding locations below, or if you’re simply unsure, then leave it to us to create you an outstanding birding itinerary based on our expert knowledge 😊 🇪🇹

Awash National Park

Awash National Park forms part of the heritage and cultural background of Ethiopia and is regarded as one of Ethiopia’s most beautiful. Founded in 1966 and situated just east of Addis Ababa, it contains approximately 759 sq. km. of beautiful grassland and savannah. In Awash, you can find almost 460 bird species, with some regional highlights including the Sombre Rock Chat, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Lesser Kestrel and the Ethiopia endemic, Yellow-throated Seedeater. There are also many savannah species such as the Somali Ostrich, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Abyssinian Roller and the iconic Secretarybird. Awash National Park is a must for any birder visiting Ethiopia.

Come and join us on one of our incredible Ethiopia birdwatching tours at Awash National Park 😊

The beautiful colours of the Pangani Longclaw seen on our Kenya Birding Tours
Huge flocks of Great White Pelicans can be seen on our Kenya Birding Tours


Ankober, which was once known as Ankobar, is a charming central Ethiopian town. It is 40 km. east of Debre Birhan and approximately 140 km northwest of the capital, Addis Ababa. Even though it’s not situated within a protected national park, it is regarded as one of the best birding destinations in all of Ethiopia. Situated on the Ethiopian Highlands, the escarpment reaches an elevation of 8,100 feet. At Ankober, one of the main birding attractions is the well sought-after endemic, Ankober Serin, along with Verreaux’s Eagle and the spectacular Lammergeier.

Get in touch to go on our incredible Ethiopia Birdwatching Trips at Ankober 😊

Lake Tana & Blue Nile Falls

The beautiful Lake Tana, aka the ‘Source of the Blue Nile’, is a well-worthy destination for any birder, sustaining a large collection of waterbirds and also terrestrial species found around the lakeside woodlands – a good area to see the well sought-after Yellow-fronted Parrot and Black-winged Lovebird. Another highlight is a visit to the nearby Blue Nile Falls, where you stand a good chance of spotting the Yellow-rumped Seedeater whilst enjoying a jaw-droppingly beautiful waterfall – a bucket list experience!

So, what are you waiting for? Get in contact to go on one of our Ethiopia Birding Trips at the beautiful Lake Tana 😊

Fun on our Kenya Birding Tours

Simien Mountains

A visit the beautiful and endemic-rich Simien Mountains is a must for any birder visiting Ethiopia. Around 200 bird species are found here, 5 of which are endemic to only Ethiopia and 12 ‘near-endemics. Species include the Thick-billed Raven, White-cheeked Turaco, Wattled Ibis, White-collared Pigeon, Spot-breasted Plover, White-billed Starling, White-backed Black Tit, Gabar Goshawk to name a few.

However, one of the main reasons for a birder to visit would be a chance to see the well sought-after Lammergeyer. It’s the only bird in the world to almost exclusively feed on bone marrow, where it carries scavenged bones up to a great height and then drops them in order to break them open to get to the bonemarrow within.

The Simiens is also famous for its endemic mammal species – a dream for any wildlife enthusiast. Here is where you’ll find the rare and endangered Walia Ibex, huge herds of Gelada Baboon (Gelada Monkey) and the rarest canid in the world, the Ethiopian Wolf. Seeing any one of these is an exclusive and bucket-list experience.

Join us on a truly magical Ethiopia Birding Tour at the unique and endemic-rich Simien Mountains 🤠

Lake Langano & Abijatta-Shalla National Park

Due to Lake Langano being only a short three-hour drive south from the capital, Addis Ababa, it makes it an ideal birding destination for anyone who has limited time. Lake Langano, is one of a series of Rift Valley Lakes running south down through the Ethiopian Rift Valley and then eventually on into Kenya. Species to look forward to including Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, White-rumped Babbler, Hemprich’s Hornbill, White-bellied Go-away-bird, Northern White-faced Owl to name a few.

Just directly west to Lake Langano is the wonderful Abijatta-Shalla National Park. The park is an important ornithological site with a mixture of wetland, scrubland, woodland accounting to over 300 bird species. The incredible Lake Abijatta has vast congregations of Greater and Lesser Flamingos, which can be seen glimmering on the heat-risen horizon. It’s also not uncommon to see Tawny Eagles predating on the flamingo population – a truly thrilling experience for any birder.

Join us on one of our Ethiopia Birding Safaris at both Lake Langano & Abijatta-Shalla National Park 😊🦜

Kenyan endemic the Sokoke Scops Owl seen on our Kenya Birding Tours

Lake Awasa & Wondo Genet

Just south of Abijatta-Shalla National Park, is the stunning freshwater lake of Lake Awasa. The lake is an important habitat for wetland birds, where Great White Pelicans can be found in abundance, along with African Jacana, Marabou Stork, Malachite Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, White-browed Robin-chat, Western-banded Snake-eagle to name a few.

To the east of the Lake, is the lovely resort town of Wondo Genet, which is a well worth a visit to try and find some sought-after species such as the African Spotted Creeper, Scaly Francolin and African Hill Babbler among others.

Join us on an incredible Ethiopia Birding Trip at the wonderful Lake Awasa & Wondo Genet 😊

Lake Abaya & Lake Chamo

Travelling even further south, you will stumble upon two of Ethiopia’s largest and arguably most beautiful lakes, Lake Abaya and Lake Chamo. Home to a huge abundance of birdlife, along with hippos and very large Nile Crocodiles – largest specimen recorded was 18 feet 7 inches long! It’s certainly worth the visit. Bird species to look forward to are the Yellow-billed Stork, Saddle-billed Stork, Malachite Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Grey Crowned Crane, Goliath Heron, White-fronted Black Chat, African Cuckoo-hawk, Bat Hawk, Scissor-tailed Kite to name a few.
The gorgeous Violet-backed Starling seen on our Kenya Birding Tours
Glorious African sunsets on our Kenya Birding Tours

Negele & Arero Forest

South of the Bale Mountains, in the region of the southern Ethiopian town of Negele, is where you stand a very good chance of seeing one of Ethiopia’s prettiest endemic bird species, the Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco – named after an Italian prince who led an expedition to the area in 1892.

Other birds of interest in the area are the Bare-eyed Thrush, Boran Cisticola, Tiny Cisticola, Salvadori’s Seedeater, Banded Parisoma, Liben Lark (very rare), Pygmy Batis, Somali Short-toed Lark, White-crowned Starling, Shelley’s Sparrow, Scaly Chatterer, Acacia Tit, Pringle’s Puffback and Bristle-crowned Starling to name a few! A well-worth visit for any birder visiting Ethiopia.

Join us on one of our Ethiopia birding tours at Negele & Arero Forest 😊

Bale Mountains National Park

A trip to Ethiopia without visiting the superb Bale Mountains would be almost criminal! Part of the Ethiopia Southern Highlands, it is one of the most important ecological areas in the world. The park is famous for its breathtaking scenery and thriving population of the endangered Ethiopian Wolf.

It also holds an incredible amount of birdlife and was recently voted fourth on a list of the best birding sites by the African Bird Club. The park holds almost 300 bird species in total, 6 of which are endemic species. Highlights include: Spot­-breasted Lapwing, Yellow-fronted Parrot, Abyssinian Woodpecker, Abyssinian Longclaw, Abyssinian Catbird, Black-headed Siskin, Ethiopian Siskin, Abyssinian Owl, African Wood Owl, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Abyssinian Oriole and Abyssinian Crimsonwing to name a few!

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