National Parks

National Parks (14)

Tuesday, 27 November 2012 14:11

Maze National Park (MzNP)

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Maze National Park (MzNP)

Mazie national park was established in 2005 G.C.It is 210 square kilometers wide & it is 490 kilometers away from Addis Ababa.


MzNP is one of the wildlife conservation areas known for its good population of the critically endangered endemic Swayne’s Hartebeests population and located 460km and 235 south west of Addis Ababa and Hawassa, respectively, in Gamo-Gofa Zone.


The Park is fortunate in possessing a number of rivers and streams which ultimately drains to Omo River. The name of the park derived after the largest river that crosses the park called Maze River.


The Park is covered by savannah grassland with scattered deciduous broad leave trees as well as Riverbasine association along the main watercourses. The Wild  animal of the MzNPsupports a wide range of savannah species. So far 39 larger and medium sized mammals and 196 birds’ species have been recorded. It is one of the three sites in the world where good population of the endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest’s population still survive. Besides, orbi, Bohor red buck, buffalo, warthog, bushbuck, waterbuck, greater kudu, lesser kudu, bush pig, Anubus baboon, vervet monkey, lion, leopard, wild cats, serval cat are among others common species.


The road from Sodo to the park is all-weather gravel road covering a distance of 83km. It is also possible to use the road from Jinka to Betomela form the other sides of the park.

Scenic value

The landscape of MzNP is surrounded by interesting high rugged mountain ranges, escarpment and small hills. The landscape is breathtaking and important for sustainable eco-tourism development. The MzNP and the surrounding area have different natural, cultural and historical attractions such as Bilbo Hot Springs, Wenja Stone Cave, “Kaouwa Wella”(Yeniguse Warka),
Bilbo/Halo Hot Spring: is situated at the upper parts of Maze River in the park It is a form of geyser, which shoot up hot water from deep in side the ground. The smoke released from this hot spring, cover wide area and seen from a distance. People from far areas and local people used it as traditional medicine.
Wenja Stone Cave: Natural rock cave that can hold up to 300 people. According to legends, in the past, the site was used to punish criminal/ unlawful member of the community.
Religious Site in Chosho Market: There are two oldest big trees in Chosho Market. These trees are believed as justice giving (court) by the locals residence for any disagreement that may arise among them. The site is locally called “Kaouwo welloa” meaning the king’s tree.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012 14:09

Kafta Sheraro National Park

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Kafta Sheraro National Park

Kafta-Shiraro is located in western Tigray, 13045’-14015’N/37015’-38045’E     With its 500,000 ha area, it is expected to be one of the largest conservation areas in Ethiopia. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Shiraro in the east, Wolkaite in the south and Humera in the west. Within Tigray it is positioned in the woredas of Kafta-Humera and Tahtay-Adiabo. While the main river is the Tackazee, it is fed by a number of riverst that orginate in the Simen Mountains and highlands of Wolkait. Elevation ranges from 550 masl on the edge of Tackaze River 1800 masl on the highlands of Kafta. The agro-climatic zone is identified as Qolla with an inclination to semi-arid. Vegetation communities within the reserve include Acacia-Commiphora,combretum-Terminalia, dry evergreen montane woodlands and riparian types. The site has a mono-modal pattern of rain with high peaks in May and early September. Preliminary records show that the site conserves 42 mammalian and 95 avian species. Major wildlife conserved includes Ostrich, Aardvark, Elephant, and Greater kudu, Roan Antelope, Red-fronted Gazelle, Caracal, Leopard and Lion.

Unique features

The reserve is important for the conservation of Elephants. It is one of nine sites in Ethiopia that conserve Elephants. The Elephant population in Kafta migrates seasonally between Ethiopia and Eritrea. At present the site is known to hold an estimated 100-150 individual Elephants. Besides Elephants, it conserves 42 mammals 167 birds and 9 reptile species. The site is extremely important and could well be the only site in the country for wintering Demoiselle Crane. A recent discovery shows that the northwestern border of the park holds more than 20,000 Demoiselle Cranes.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012 14:08

Chebera-Churchura National Park (CCNP)

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Chebera-Churchura National Park (CCNP)

CCNP is found within the western side of the central Omo Gibe basin, in between Dawro zone and Konta Special Woreda of the SNNPRS, Ethiopia. The park is located about 330 & 460 km southwest of Hawassa & Addis Ababa, respectively. It covers an area of 1215 km2 that ranges in altitude form 700 to 2450  m.a.s.l.


The Park is fortunate in possessing numerous rivers and streams and four small creator lakes (Keriballa, Shasho, Koka) which are reason for the rich wildlife resources of the area. Zigina River is rises from the north east highlands of the area and cross the central part of the park(north to south) and feeds the Omo River ( there are also different perennial rivers feeding Omo River crossing the park). Shoshuma River is rises from the northwestern highlands of the Konta area highlands cross the northeastern part of the park and mixed with Zigina River inside the park, which go down together to Omo River.


The prominent topographic features is unique & highly attractive and characterized by unique and highly heterogeneous and hilly terrain, few flat lands and highly undulating to rolling plains with incised river and perennial streams, valley and gorges.


Access to arrive Chebera-Churchura National park is not a problem. One can reach to the park following either the Addis-Jima-Ameya road or Addis-Shashemene-Sodo-Waka-Tocha. The internal park road is under study however there is some 80 km rough dry weather road crossing the western sides of the park and show the entire park view or it is also possible to trek in side the park following foot paths avilable in the park but with help of local Guide.


So far, 37 larger mammals and 237 species of birds have been recorded in the different habitats (Highland & Rverine forest and savanna and bush lands) of the park. White-cliff chat, banded-barbet, wattled ibis, black-headed forest Oriole and thick billed Raven are endemic birds for the country.
Common mammals include the African elephant, hippopotamus, Cape buffalo, lion, and leopard. Currently, CCNP appears to be the least disturbed and reliable ecosystem for the African elephant and Buffalo in the country.

Scenic value

This park is one of the relatively untouched, recently discovered and rich wilderness areas but the list visited and known park in the country. The park comprises unique and attractive mountain closed forest, closed tall-grassed savannah habitat, thick woodland forest. The landscape very fascinating highly rugged, undulating to rolling plains there a number of hilly & mountainous land which the whole year covered by vegetations. A number of cold & hot springs,historical caves, the Meka Forest (which is always with African Elephants). The park is the best site to see the African Elephants, and Buffalo.

The Park & surrounding area also has different natural and cultural attractions such as different hot and cold springs, lakes and caves.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012 14:04

Alatish National Park

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Alatish National Park

Alatish national Park was established in 2006 G.C.It is 2665 square kilometers wide & 970 kms north of Addis Ababa.

Park Location and Features
Alatish National Park is located between 11047’5.4” to 12031’3.6”N latitude and 35015’48” to 35048’51”E longitude in north western flat plain part of Ethiopia. The general topography of park is flat to undulating plain with general slop inclination from south to north interrupted by valleys, streams, scattered hills and seasonal wetland.


In general the vegetation of the park area is classified into five types. These are:-

  1. Mixed woodland vegetation where Combretum and Terminalia species are abundant
  2. Riverine vegetation which is dominated with Acacia, Ficus, Terminalia species and other herbs
  3. Seasonal wetland vegetation which is dominated with different types of herbs such as  Hygrophila auriculata with scattered trees such as Acacia and Terminlaia and Balalnite aegyptica trees
  4. Open wooded grassland vegetation which is characterized by scattered trees of mainly Annogiossus leocarpa and Combretum species and dense grass ground cover
  5. Hilly area wood land vegetation which are rich with diverse woody species types such as Ficus trees and lower canopy species like Oxythenanthera abyssinica

Based on the characteristics of Ethiopian vegetation classification, vegetation in Alatish National Park is categorized largely under woodland vegetation ecosystem. The overall park area is dominated by Combretum spp., Terminalia spp., Oxythenantera abyssinica, Anogeissus leocarpa, Pterocarpus lucens, Dalbergia melanoxylon, Balanites aegyptica, Acacia seyal, Dacrostachys cinera, Ficus spp, Entada Africana and other woody species.
The woodland vegetation type of Alatish National Park is mainly deciduous tree species. However, partly, the vegetation of the park is also characterized by open grasslands and thorny plant species that could be categorized in the Acacia-Commiphora ecosystem.


Alatish National Park is rich in zoological resources and it is home to various types of wild animals. 37 mammalian species of which 8 are not recently (last 15 years) seen, 204 birds species, 23 rodent species, 6 species of insectivores and 7 types of reptiles and amphibians are found in the park.
Alatish National Park has a variety of fauna which require conservation. It is specially rich in reptile diversity such as African rock python, monitor lizard, Egyptian cobra, black mamba and blandings tree snake. It also harbours endangered and rare species like Elephant (Loxodonata Africana), Leopard (Panthera pardus), Lion (Panthera leo) and also low risk but conservation dependent Lesser kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis) and Greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsicero). Permanent but intermittent rivers bordering the park like Aayima and Gelegu provide huge amount of fish resources to the local communities besides being the main water sources of people and animals.
The Lesser Kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis) is a forest antelope found in East Africa and (possibly) the southern Arabian Peninsula. The Southern Lesser Kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis australis) is a subspecies found in Kenya and Tanzania.
Lesser Kudu stand about a metre at the shoulder and weigh 155 to 205 kilograms, males are larger than females. Lesser Kudu males are grey-brown while females are chestnut the coat is lighter on their underside. Both have about ten white stripes on their backs and two white tufts on the underside of their necks. Males have a small mane and horns of about 70 centimetres with one twist.
Lesser Kudu live in dry thorn bush and forest and eat mainly leaves. Lesser Kudu are nocturnal and matinine crepuscular. They live in groups of two to five ranging up to twenty-four on rare occasions these have about equal numbers of males and females.

In terms of tourism potential, the park has a capacity to tourism development with the numerous tourist attractions. As a natural attraction Alatish National Park has various plants, and animals such as mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. In its spectacular landscape, the park is more or less flat train with very few scattered beautiful conical peaks. The landscape is dominated by dry woodland savanna and the riverine forest can also be potential tourist attractions.

As a historical attraction, one big Baobab tree (Adansonia digitata) housed the former Emperor Haileselassie for seven days inside its stem on his return to Ethiopia after victory over the colonialist Fascist Italia in 1941. Moreover, Emperor Tewodros, which was one of the most magnificent Ethiopian leaders, was born in Quara about 25 km from Gelegu, headquarters of Alatish National Park in 1818.

Alatish National Park has also cultural attractions which can be expressed in music, dance and drams performing groups, cultural festivals, sale of visual arts and crafts (basketry & pottery) and life styles practiced by many diverse ethnic groups (Gumuz, Agew, Amhara) living around the park.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012 14:03

Omo Park

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Omo National Park

Less accessible but offering exciting opportunities for the adventurous traveler is the Omo National Park in the south-west bank of the Omo River and was established as a national park in 1966. The park has approximately 2,527 square miles of vegetation and wildlife where elands, cheetahs, giraffes, elephants, rhinos and many other animals and over 306 species of birds can be seen. This is also a wonderful area for exploring the native tribes of Ethiopia which are the Dizi, Me'en, Mursi, Nyangatom and Suri can be found there.  

The lower reaches of the Omo river were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980, after the discovery (in the Omo Kibish Formation) of the earliest known fossil fragments of Homo sapiens, which have been dated circa 195,000 years old.

The Omo remains are a collection of hominid bones discovered between 1967 and 1974 at the Omo Kibish sites near the Omo River, in Omo National Park.The bones were recovered by a scientific team from the Kenya National Museums directed by Richard Leakey and others. The remains from Kamoya's Hominid Site (KHS) were called Omo 1 and those from Paul's Hominid Site (PHS) Omo

Parts of the fossils are the earliest to have been classified by Richard Leakey as Homo sapiens. In 2004, the geologic layers around the fossils were dated, and the authors of the dating study concluded that the "preferred estimate of the age of the Kibish hominids is 195 ± 5 ka [thousand years ago]", which would make the fossils the oldest known Homo sapiens remains. In a 2005 article on the Omo remains, Nature magazine said that, because of the fossils' age, Ethiopia is the current choice for the "cradle of Homo sapiens".


Tuesday, 27 November 2012 13:54

Yangudi Rassa National Park

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Yangudi Rassa National Park

Is located in the Afar Region, its 4730 square kilometers of territory include Mount Yangudi near the southern border and the surrounding Rassa Plains, with altitudes from 400 to 1459 meters above sea level. Sandy semi-desert and wooded grassland cover the majority of the park's area. This Park lies between the territory of the Afars and the Issas, and while violence has been frequent between them, most of the park happens to be in an area where they avoid each other. As a result, most of the active protection of the Park is focused on managing their conflict.

This national park was proposed in 1977 in specific to protect the African Wild Ass.  Recently, the Wild Ass went extinct in Yagundi Rassa. However, there is a small population in the adjacent Mile-Serdo Wild Ass Reserve (8,766 km²). The park headquarters are in Gewane. Large animals native to the park include Beisa Oryx, Soemmering's gazelle, gerenuk and Grevy's zebra. Bird species of interest include Phoenicopterus minor, Petronia brachydactyla and Ardeotis arabs. The Awash - Asseb highway crosses the Yangudi Rassa National Park, as does the Awash River.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012 13:53

Gambella National Park

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Gambella National Park

baro riverGambella National park is located about 600 kilometres from Addis Ababa on the river Baro, Gambela has a strange history. From 1902 until it was captured by the Italians in the Second World War, it was administered by the British, the only part of Ethiopia to be so governed, The reason for this is that the British opened a port there on the wide and navigable Baro River, which during four months of the rainy season is navigable and provides direct access to the sea via the Nile through Khartoum. Ethiopian coffee was exported via this route, up to 1940. Now the port has fallen into disrepair, though remains of the warehouses and jetty can be seen. At its peak, up to 40 ships would be in dock at any one time. Gambela (sometimes spelt Gambella} gives access to the GambeIa National Park. The undulating plains of high S udanese grass offer excellent opportunities for wilderness exploration. It is not particularly easy to access however. Beyond Gambela towards the Sudanese border, the Anuak cultivators give way to the nomadic Nuer. These pastoralists herd their long-horned cattle into huge camps when they stop for the night.


Monday, 30 November -0001 00:00

Awash National Park

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Awash National Park

Awash National park ,lying in the lowlands east of Addis Ababa, and striding the Awash River, the Awash National Park is one of the finest reserves in Ethiopia. The Awash River, one of the major rivers of the Horn of Africa, waters important agricultural lands in the north- eastern part of Ethiopia and eventually flows into the wilderness of Danakil Depression. The dramatic Awash Falls as the river tumbles into its gorge is the site not to be missed in the national park. A special attraction is the beautiful clear pools of the hot springs (Filwoha).

Awash  National Park, surrounding the dormant volcano of Fantale, reaching a height of 2007 meters at its top.  Is a reserve of arid and semi-arid woodland and Savannah, with riverside forests along the Awash River.

The wildlife of Awash reflects its dry nature, at all places and all times it is possible to see its population of mammals such as the Beisa Oryx, Soemmerrings Gazelle and Wild Pigs are common. Slightly less frequent are the furry waterbuck which tend to appear near the river in the late afternoon. The tiny Salts Dik-Dik, not easy to spot in the speckled shade of the acacia thorn, Zebra grazing the plains to the west of Fantale, Cheetah, Serval and Leopard are also there but it is not easy to spot them; Baboons, both Anubis and Hamadryas, Kudus, lesser and greater, the Giant Tortoise, Reedbuck, Aardvark and Caracal are also represented. Klipspringers inhabit the higher slopes of the mountain and curious Hyrax peer at you curiously from behind their rocks. In the bottom of the gorge you can spot the black and white Colobus Monkey. Crocodile and Hippopotamus are seen both in the Awash  River and in the cooler parts of the hot springs and rivers in the north.

The birds of Awash are numerous, over 350 species are recorded for the park: (The check list is available at the museum at park Head quarters). They range from the great ostrich, frequently and easily observed, and the less common Secretary Bird and Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, to the flashes of brilliant pink which are the Carmine Bee-eaters, and the Abyssinian Roller with turquoise and purple, wings. And between these two extremes, birds of the riverside  forest, Coucal, Turaco, Go-away Birds; birds of prey; and birds of the savannah.

 The park itself is traversed by a series of well-maintained tracks, which take in the most spectacular of the many scenic attractions. It is possible, and perhaps advisable, to hire a park guide. To the north at Filwoha lies the hot springs oasis in its groves of palm trees. It is reached by either one of two scenic tracks which start opposite the main gate on the far side of the road and bearing right, progress either along the floor of the Awash Falls lower Valley or along the top of the ridge. The Awash River gorge in the south of the park has some spectacular waterfalls near the park headquarters. Rafting is also a possibility, one or two days rafting trips can be organized on the Awash River, with its spirited rapids, wildlife, and impressive rugged cliffs and side canyon.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012 13:46

Abijata - Shalla Lakes National Parks

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Abijatta-Shalla National Park is one of the National Parks of Ethiopia. Located in the Oromia Region 200 kilometers south of Addis Ababa to the east of the Ziway  - Shashamane  high way, it contains 887 square kilometers including the Rift Valley lakes of Abijatta and Shalla. The two lakes are separated by three kilometers of hilly land. The altitude of the park ranges from 1540 to 2075 meters, the highest peak being Mount Fike, which is situated between the two lakes.

Besides the two lakes, the primary attraction of this national park are a number of hot springs on the northeast corner of Lake  Abijatta, and large numbers of flamingoes on the lake. Care must be exercised in driving vehicles out to the edge of this lake, as the thin crust of dried mud on the surface can give way without warning.

Situated in the Great Rift Valley, only 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of Addis Ababa, and in the Lake Langano recreational areas, the Abijatta Shalla lakes National Park attracts numerous visitors. Using Lake Langano as your base, it is an easy trip to visit the National Park, which is 887 square kilometers in size, 482 of these bei  ng water.

The altitude of the park ranges from 1540 to 2075 meters, the highest peak being mount Fike, situated between the two lakes. The network of tracks in this park is always developing. At present you can enter at four different points, three of which are inter connected. Approaching from Addis you first reach the Horakello entrance, where the small Horakello stream flows between lakes Langano and Abijatta. 

It was created primarily for its aquatic bird life, particularly those that feed and breed on lakes Abijatta and Shalla in Large numbers. The park compresses the two lakes, the isthmus between them and a thin strip of land along the shorelines of each. Developments have been limited to a number of tracks on land, and the construction of seven outposts. While attention is focused on the water birds, the land area does contain a reasonable amount of other wildlife.

Lake Abijatta

Two different lakes in one park, the two lakes are both terminal lakes and their beaches are unstable and saline, but they are very different in character. Abijatta is shallow at about 14 meters with a mysterious fluctuating water level. Fresh water flows into it trough the small Horakello stream. The steam mouth is a source of relatively fresh water, much frequented by water birds for drinking and bathing. The Lake is surrounded by gentle, grass covered slopes and acacia woodlands. 

Lake Shalla

by contrast , surrounded as it is by steep, black cliffs and peaks that reflect in its waters, is the deepest lake of t  he Rift Valley (260 meters (853 feet). , It is exceptionally beautiful, with shores that give a scent of mystery with their hot sulphurous springs that bubble up and flow into the lake. 

There are over 400 bird species recorded here, almost half the number recorded for the whole country. Although the islands in Lake Shalla are a real bird’s paradise, the birds fly to Lake Abijatta to feed. Abijatta itself is very alkaline but shallow, so flamingoes can be seen scattered over most of its surface, and especially along the windward edge where their algal food source concentrates. You can approach quite closely, but beware of treacherous deep and mud if the lake is low. Large numbers of flamingos gather here, together with great white pelicans and a wide variety of other water birds.

Besides of the rich Bird life, some mammals can be spotted at the Lake Abijatta-Shalla National Park, especially Grant’s gazelle, Oribi warthog and the Golden Jackal.

 Hot springs: The headquarters houses a small museum, which gives an excellent idea of the wealth of bird life in the park. A further track leads on from Dole to the shores of Lake Shalla where hot steam, mud and water bubble to the earth’s surface. Revered locally for their medicinal properties, the hot springs have a sense of primeval mystery about hem, especially in the cooler early mornings. They are relics of the massive volcanic activity that has formed this amazing country and landscape.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012 13:45

Mago National Park

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Mago National Park

Mago National Park is found on the east bank of the Omo River.  It is approximately 1,343 square miles and its highest point is Mount Mago.  The park was established in 1979 and is Ethiopia's newest National Park.  Located in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region about 782 kilometers south of Addis Ababa and north of a large 90° bend in the Omo River, the 2162 square kilometers of this park are divided by the Mago River, a tributary of the Omo, into two parts. To the west is the Tama Wildlife Reserve, with the Tama River defining the boundary between the two. To the south is the Murle Controlled Hunting Area, distinguished by Lake Dipa which stretches along the left side of the lower Omo. The park office is 115 kilometers north of Omorate and 26 kilometers southwest of Jinka. All roads to and from the park are unpaved.

The major environments in and around the Park are the rivers and riverine forest, the wetlands along the lower Mago and around Lake Dipa, the various grasslands on the more level areas, and scrub on the sides of the hills. Open grassland comprises about 9% of the park's area. The largest trees are found in the riverine forest beside the Omo, Mago and Neri. Areas along the lower Omo (within the park) are populated with a rich diversity of ethnic groups, including the Aari, Banna, Bongoso, Hamer, Karo, Kwegu, Male and Mursi peoples.