Ethiopia birdwatching holiday in Bale Mountains

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Departure information

This trip can be tailormade at a time to suit you and can be adapted to suit your interests, budget and requirements as necessary. Minimum 2 people
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Travelling with a local operator

This holiday is operated by a company based in the holiday destination and they will be able to provide expert local knowledge. They will be able to tailor make your holiday to suit your requirements not only concerning the dates of travel but also typically the standard of accommodation, and thus price. It is rare for local operators to be able to help with the booking of your flights.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Ethiopia birdwatching holiday in Bale Mountains

By booking this tour you will support the development and conservation efforts of the park and add income to the families of the small restaurants and shop owners who provide services for the visitors. Families will also have the chance to provide their children with an education. When you visit the park you will stay in lodges run by the park. Accommodations outside the park are run and owned by the locals. Unless are unavailable, they hire their staff and get their needs from the locals sources.

The park has an environmental conservation policy which helps protect the ecosystem, the wildlife, and the local community. Accommodations also have put in place energy usage, waste minimization, and economic policies like employing their staff from the local communities, purchasing their resources from the local market, and giving away plastic materials to recycling agencies.

All our guides are professionals and are very well trained. All of them but one are locals residents. We hire scouts from the park and cooks from the community. Also for your trekking arrangements, we hire mules from the local farmers and purchase most of the items that are necessary for your stay from local shops. For you to have a better knowledge of the places you visit, we will provide you accurate pre-trip information. And in order for you to have a better understanding of the places, the environment, and the local community we will supply you with our Travelers Code of Conduct which is also supplied to our staff and local suppliers.

This trip also helps a project on our list named 'Yezelalem Minch'. It is founded by a woman once in a foster home and who now works with a vision of seeing needy orphans and vulnerable children are cared for. It is highly appreciated if you can bring some little gifts for the children. Your contributions small or large, allow the initiative to address the needs of these marginalized children.

As an environmental impact of the trip, we understand that the bad utilization and mismanagement of natural resources, waste, and the over use of energy are the major causes of land degradation and pollution. Thus we promote waste and energy usage minimizations and environmental friendly initiatives through our website and on our Travellers Code of Conduct. Accommodations have also put in place policies of environmental conservation, water and energy usages. They participate in conserving the environment and support various initiatives like '2 trees for 2000', a nation wide millennium initiative against the deforestation and land degradation in Ethiopia. They also help protect the environment by giving away plastic bags to recycling agencies.

Reviews of Ethiopia birdwatching holiday in Bale Mountains

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 22 Jan 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Ethiopia is a most diverse and interesting place to visit. I would recommend it to anyone. The tour was excellent for anyone wanting to take in the culture, history and natural wildlife of the country. We really enjoyed the different aspects of the holiday - national parks, history, culture. Exciting place!!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


We rushed it too much and tried to fit in too much. Would have liked to stayed in some places for longer - Langano, Awash, Lalibela. Hope to remedy that if we go to Ethiopia again (hopefully).
A comment to very keen birdwatchers like ourselves. This is not a dedicated birdwatching company and the guides only seem to know the more usual birds - pelicans, maribou storks, flamingoes. We worked hard to get our bird list but lost out on a lot of mystery birds.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes definitely!!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I would rate the company highly for people who want to experience Ethiopia.
I would not recommend them however for keen birdwatchers.

Reviewed on 28 May 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Very good organization - excellent choice of National Parks and excellent guides - and a very good careful driver.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take a plug for bathroom wash basins - some hotels fairly basic.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes to a small degree - money into local economy via accommodation and meals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent - would recommend this operator to anyone wishing to go to Ethiopia who is interested in wildlife and the National Parks.

Reviewed on 25 Oct 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Difficult to say because we enjoyed the whole trip so much! The trekking and stay in the Simien mountains was amazing for the stunning geology, wildlife and flora. Our two nights in Awash national park were a hit too but seeing a hippo just a few metres from our boat on Lake Tana after returning from the island monasteries was a real highlight!


2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Eskinder's travel arrangements were faultless and our guides and drivers were kind, helpful and very knowledgeable. I contacted him a few times before finalising the trip and Eskinder usually responded within a few hours and came up with an itinerary that suited us all as a family of 4 with 2 children aged 11 & 12. To allow us to see as much of the country as possible in the limited time we had, we made 4 internal flights with Ethiopian airlines and we found this to be safe and straightforward too.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


It definitely benefited local people because for one it was an Ethiopian tour company and Eskinder booked local guides, drivers and hotels. Environmental impact was unfortunately inevitable because of the distances we were covering.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We all agree that this was truly one of the most stunning countries we have visited (especially after the rainy season when all was lush and green) - we met lovely people and saw some amazing things and felt very safe and comfortable throughout. We are very keen to return and see more of Ethiopia and would be getting Eskinder to arrange this for us.

Reviewed on 21 Nov 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


1. Contact with the Mursi tribe in the Omo Valley
2. Hot springs at Shala/Abijata national park
3. Rock Hewn church in Addis Ababa
4. Giant Lobelia in Afro-alpine terrain on Sanetti Plateau
5. Everything else - it was all memorable

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


1. Book with this company. The first class guide and driver were excellent throughout the tour.
2. Take anti-diarrhoea tablets as a precaution. Antibiotics are available at local Pharmacies in the unlikely event that they be needed.
3. Take a good camera
4. Be prepared for an experience of a lifetime - it is a wonderful country.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Sensitive advice from our guide taught us the value of minimising impact on the local cultures and peoples in each area visited. Bookings in ecologically "green" hotels and eating places were made wherever possible. Conservation of species and cultures were a recurring theme of the tour. Money we put into the local economies went to such as National Parks and cultural villages rather than to individuals or multi-nationals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


In old fashioned terms 10/10; or in other words we received a top class service at a fair and reasonable price. This was the most memorable holiday that I have ever taken and would not hesitate to recommend it. Nothing was too much trouble for our driver and guide, they were both first class.

Reviewed on 24 Feb 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Eskinder and his team ensured that our holiday was packed with exciting and memorable moments throughout. If we had to select one highlight it would be experiencing the beautiful scenery and variety of wildlife in the Bale Mountains, particularly seeing a number of Simien Foxes at close quarters (thanks to the sharp eyes and local knowledge of our guide Girma and driver Yaris). We also have warm memories of Eskinder, who was so friendly, reassuring and took a close personal interest in ensuring we had an enjoyable experience. Also, of our guides and drivers, who quickly became our friends and good travelling companions and gave us many insights into Ethiopian life and culture.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


You can have complete confidence in Eskinder to ensure you have a safe and interesting experience in as much comfort as possible. Roads in some areas were in very poor state, but our vehicles were in good condition and our drivers were excellent. Also to ensure our best possible comfort at Dinsho Lodge in the Bale Mountains, Eskinder arranged for new bedding to be purchased! We found Eskinder and our guides very flexible and sensitive to our needs; so let them know what you want and they will do all that they can to deliver. Also, they are all Ethiopian, so let them help you to experience the country in a way that European guides can never do.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


We were pleased that in our own small way we were able to benefit local people. The tour operator is an Ethiopian business, the staff it employs are Ethiopian and in many instances using the income they get to fund higher education for either themselves or members of their family. All accommodation, meals and other services used on the trip were providing income for local people. Fees paid to the parks and wildlife reserves contributed to their maintenance and as far as possible our holiday was organised to have minimal impact on the environment e.g. walking in wildlife areas, using existing local cafes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


This was an excellent holiday. One of us had previously had a great experience of Ethiopia as part of a UK tour group, but travelling as a couple with an Ethiopian company and Ethiopian companions made for a much richer experience. We have never before had a holiday operator make such effort to ensure our happiness, and we've previously had a lot of good holiday experiences! We still have much to see in Ethiopia and will certainly use Eskinder and this tour operator again.

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