Ethiopia birdwatching holiday in Bale Mountains

“Spend 10 days birdwatching in beautiful Ethiopia, accompanied by local guides, discovering culture, wildlife and history along the way.”

Highlights

Addis Ababa | Awassa | Dinsho | 15km trek to Finca’a Habera | Gaysay Valley trek | Sannete Plateau | Harena Forest | Lake Langano | Shala and Abyata National Parks

Description of Ethiopia birdwatching holiday in Bale Mountains

Travel with a local tour operator on this Ethiopia birdwatching holiday to the Bale Mountain region, recently voted fourth on a list of the best birding sites by the African Bird Club. Our guides will take you to the best sites, visiting a different area each day, from Awassa Lake to Sannete Plateau and the Harena Forest. Each different habitat boats a variety of birds, with Ethiopia itself home to 830 recorded species, 23 of which are found nowhere else in the world.

In addition to birdwatching, this tour reveals the culture, history and wildlife of one of the most beautiful parts of Ethiopia. Included in the 10-day trip is adventure trekking, wildlife watching – look out for hippos and monkeys! – and exploring the markets, museums and monuments of Addis Ababa.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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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

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
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.
Community
Climate

6 Reviews of Ethiopia birdwatching holiday in Bale Mountains

4.5 out of 5 stars
SHOW
3
3
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Reviewed on 12 Dec 2018 by

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


The stunning and very diverse scenery we passed through whilst travelling the countryside, the very interesting birds and wildlife and the friendly cheery people. The street scenes in every village and town and everyone going about their daily lives formed such a kaleidoscope of activity.

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


Talk to Eskinder at the tour company, he will make sure you are looked after, don't hesitate - book it and go, Ethiopia is an amazing place whatever your interests or reasons for travel you are sure to find enrichment in a visit there.

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


We trust that by using a local company employing local people wherever we visited that we were contributing directly to the people there and supporting
their valuable conservation endeavours.

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


Excellent, we could not fault our holiday.

Reviewed on 01 Feb 2018 by

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


Overall seeing 306 bird species. Specifically the drive across the Sanetti Plateau

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


Expect African standards which are way below the norm

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


It benefitted those who provided us with a service, our driver and our guides and hotel staff. We tried to minimise our impact, but a 4 x 4 Toyota is never going to be a reduced impact.

Yes, it supports conservation, as our so called bird guides learnt a lot from us to be able to pass on to others and to recognise the benefits their wildlife can
convey.

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


Good

Reviewed on 28 Nov 2017 by

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


There were so many memorable times that it's difficult to choose, but highlights were birdwatching while eating lunch overlooking Bishoftu Lake far below; walking in Awash National Park guided by Mohamed and eating traditional food overlooking Awash Falls; staying at Sabana Resort and swimming in Lake Lagano; overnight in Paradise Lodge near Arbaminch; getting to know our driver and laughing with him; getting to know Eskinder, our host and tour organiser. Great birding!

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


The roads are often in a poor state and populated with people on foot, carts, donkeys, goats, cattle, even camels, so be prepared for some long periods in the vehicle. There is so much to see this is rarely boring but be prepared.

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


It is essential that the National Parks are supported so as to persuade the government of their value to the economy to ensure they are protected. Wildlife tours do this as well as providing work for the local drivers, guides and other staff. We felt that the owner of the tour operator we used was very caring and thoughtful man, who does all he can, not only for his clients, but for his staff and his country.

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


Very definitely a great experience to remember and cherish.

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.

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