Ethiopia’s Endemic Mammals Tour
December 5 - December 19£807 – £3514
Ethiopia’s Endemic Mammals Tour
Ethiopia has one of the highest percentages of endemic wildlife in the world, meaning that a huge amount of flora and fauna is found nowhere else on Earth. Making Ethiopia a treasure trove for any wildlife enthusiasts. Many wildlife watching holidays and safaris to Ethiopia focus on birding, however this is a special tour focused solely on the endemic and rare mammals of this huge and unique country. Much of the endemism is because of its highland terrain and rugged landscape isolating the animals from other parts of Africa. There are not the huge numbers of large mammals to be found here as in other parts of Africa, but the species that do live here are cleverly adapted to their unique surroundings and very special indeed. The highlights of this tour will undoubtedly be the wonderful long-haired Gelada Baboons with their red ‘hearts’, the beautifully coloured Ethiopian Wolf and the strange but endearing Giant Mole Rat, as well as many mammal species.
Top Animals on Tour
Addis Ababa / Debra Libranos Gorge
On your arrival in Addis Ababa (we recommend an early morning arrival) you will meet your guide and (if everyone arrives early enough) then we will leave straight away and head to a Geleda baboon colony at Debre Libanos Gorge. We will spend the majority of the day with these baboons. These baboons are so social and live in huge colonies, watching them pluck the grass to feed and socialise among each other is wonderful to watch and you will enjoy the afternoon in the presence of the engaging and curious primates.
Debra Libanos Gorge
Today you will have a morning with the gelada baboon colonies around the Debre Libanos gorge. Watching their different behaviours and gaining a brand new insight into the world of this highly social, high altitude grazing baboon species. You will then head back to Addis Ababa in the afternoon.
Awash National Park
This morning you will transfer from the city to Awash National Park and on arrival we will have a late afternoon safari around the park. This national park is good for some endemic species such as Hamadryas baboon, grivet monkey, beisa oryx, Soemmering’s gazelle, Harar dik-dik as well as other mammals such as African wild cat, northern lesser kudu, black-backed jackal. After dinner we can enjoy a night safari to try and find some of the nocturnal species that live around here.
Awash National Park
For the next two full days, you will have safari game drives around the national park looking for wildlife and then spotlighting in the evening as you go in search of nocturnal species.
Lake Langano & Ali Dege Plains
This morning you will have an early morning transfer from Awash National Park to Lake Langano. On arrival here you will spend time around the lake and enjoy a game drive around Ali Dege plains en route to the Lake. Ali Dege plains is a rich wildlife watching location with lion, cheetah, Somali wild ass (very rarely seen), Beisa oryx, Soemmerring’s gazelle, spotted hyena, Northern gerenuk and Grevy’s zebra all living here. From here and after spending time looking for wildlife you will arrive at your hotel for the night.
Bale Mountains National Park
This morning you will travel on and towards the Bale Mountains and Dinsho Grasslands, this is arguably the best ecosystem in Africa for endemic species and we will start by driving through Abiata-Shalla National Park before carrying on to Gobe which is a gateway town for the Bale Mountains. Along the way we will look for wildlife in the Gaysay Grasslands. In the grasslands we hope to see mountain nyala and bohor reedbuck among other species here. This is a good introduction to the Bale Mountains ecosystem that you will explore in depth over the next couple of full days.
Bale Mountains National Park
Over the next two days you will explore the two varying ecosystems of the Bale Mountains. The Harrena Forest (home to the endemic Bale monkey, lions, leopards, giant forest hog, bushpig, Guerza colobus and the newly described African golden wolf (not the Ethiopian wolf); Sanetti Plateau (where the Ethiopian wolf is the highlight and major target here although klipspringers, giant mole rats and various other endemic rodents are commonly seen).
This morning you will leave the Bale Mountains and be transferred from here to Senkelle Sanctuary with a short game drive around the sanctuary which is very good for certain species such as oribi and Sawyne’s hartebeest as well as desert warthog and Abyssinian hare. After a game drive here you will continue onward towards lake Awassa and your accommodation.
Lake Awassa & Lake Ziway
This morning you will have a short stakeout for common hippopotamuses at Lake Awassa (which can been seen in the early morning around the lake) and Gambian suns squirrels which can be found here. Then you will continued onto Lake Ziway and hopefully finding the yellow-spotted rock hyrax which lives here before carrying on to Addis Ababa for the night.
This morning after breakfast you will be transferred to the airport in time to catch your flight from Addis Ababa to Gondar. On arrival in Gondar you will then be transported to the Simien Mountains. On arrival here you will settle into the camp and then spend the rest of the day wildlife watching, looking particularly for the gelada baboon and Walia ibex as well as other mammals here such as rodents and possibly Ethiopian wolves, although they are seen here far less than in the Bale Mountains.
Today is a full day spent looking for wildlife around the Simien Mountains.
Today will be your last morning in the stunning Simien Mountains, depending on the time of your flight back to the capital you may have time to look for some more wildlife here, but you will have to be transferred back to Gondar in time to catch your return flight to Addis Ababa and then onto your hotel for your farewell evening in Ethiopia.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport in time to catch your return flight home.
Please note that the itinerary stated above is correct as our planned intentions for the tour. However adverse weather conditions and other local considerations can necessitate some modifications of the itinerary during the course of the tour; any changes will be made to make the best of the time and weather conditions available to us.
This tour is available on different date (subject to availability) please contact us for more details about running this tour on a date which suits you more.
During the dry season (November – March) the temperatures are around 25C on averages with highs of around 30C. There is very little rain during this period and many hours of sunlight every day.
Everything mentioned in the itinerary is included. Including three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) – where mentioned. There will be an amount of bottled water (approx 1ltr) available for each guest each day. We have our own private vehicles to be driven by a local guide for transfers when needed. Any internal flights needed and described in the itinerary are also included.
All our excursions including guided walks, safari drives and park entrance fees are included; we also include all fees for our drivers and guides throughout the itinerary.
We recommend you bring along your own binoculars in addition to your camera as well as appropriate clothing; which should be both light and durable walking clothes as well as very warm weather clothes, such as light-weight material shirts, shorts and trousers. A scarf that can be used to cover your face to prevent dust is also handy as are sun glasses and a wide brimmed hat. Any medication, books or other items of a personal nature is of course up to you to bring along. Oh and please bring plenty of memory cards or film for your camera.
We provide a comprehensive species list of all the vertebrates present in the areas we are visiting as well as some of the best field guides and reference books for the areas we are visiting. On some trips were we have a zoologist available we will also provide thermal imaging scope for helping to find nocturnal species and we can bring camera traps and set them up when possible to see what we find when we are not there to observe.
Nearly everything is included in this tour. The only things not included are international flights, travel insurance (contact us for more information one what is required from your insurance policy), any food bought outside of the main meals provided (not all meals on all trips are included), drinks outside of any offered with the meals and the bottled water provided each day and any items of a personal nature such as souvenirs and tips. Any applicable departure taxes and not included (but maybe included in the cost of your flights). Please check before departure.
As we are based in Manchester we recommend flights from Manchester International Airport
We recommend Ethiopian Airlines as they provide the only direct flights from Manchester. One of the best websites to search for the best fares for these flights is www.skyscanner.net; who are IATA accredited this is a link direct to their site. Please check our terms and conditions regarding booking flights.
Please contact us for more information about flights and we can provide you with a link direct to the flights from another supplier; in which case you only have to enter the passenger information and payment details. By using the above link you will leave our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for the content on the site.
Visas and Health Information
All UK passport holders and most other nationalities are required to have a visa for Ethiopia. E-visas can be purchased in advance from the Ethiopian E-Visa website. Visas on arrival are also available for tourists at Addis Ababa (Bole) International airport, at a cost of approximately $US50 for 1 month and $US75 for 3 months. It’s recommended that you bring US$ cash to pay for this.
There are no mandatory vaccinations needed to visit Ethiopia, but it is recommended to be protected against Yellow Fever, polio, typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis A & B, MMR, rabies and meningococcus; as well as taking a form of malaria medication. Please consult your GP about your individual requirements for visiting Ethiopia as soon as you have decided on this trip.
Reviews of this Holiday
Mr. Sorkin - London, UK
Michelle & Kent Aaron - Portland, Oregon
Mr. Wandanowicz - Krakow
Dr. Brinkman - Canberra