Ethiopian National Parks
When it comes to national parks, the Horn of Africa offers nine different locations adorned with distinct offerings for its spectators. Whether you are into rich wildlife, grassy savanna, high mountains, calm lakes, or vast deserts, the beautiful landscape of the Ethiopian national parks will provide it all.
If you do not have plans to travel throughout the country to visit all its magnificent parks, check out here as we compile the must-visit Ethiopian National Parks here.
Bale Mountains National Park
Covering an area of over 2,150 km2, the Bale Mountain National Park attracts a large number of visitors every year due to its exceptionally beautiful landscape and the rare Ethiopian red wolves. One can enjoy here some of the most unique geographical varieties in this region – the Harenna Forest, grasslands, woodlands, moorlands, and meadows. Due to such diversity, some of the rarest and most endangered animal species inhabit the areas surrounding the Bale Mountains that include the Bale Monkey, Mountain Nyala, and more than 260 bird species.
In addition to taking a glimpse at its wildlife, tourists can also hike and trek along the mountain, which is suitable even for the first-timers due to the less-challenging trails.
As Bale Mountains National Park is close to the capital city Addis Ababa, one can easily plan a day trip here directly from the hotel or resort at the city center.
Simien Mountains National Park
Located in Northern Ethiopia, Simien Mountain National Park features some of the tallest peaks in the country, including the fourth highest peak in the continent – Ras Dashen. Spread across its foot are rugged terrains, deep valley, and stretched plateaus where Gelada baboons and Walia ibex roam around.
While these rare Ethiopian animals are the most attractive aspects of the Simien Mountains National Park, an enthusiastic traveler will also find solace among its trekking paths. Regardless of the place one stands at, the unique and surreal beauty of the landscape is side to keep one spell-bound throughout the trip.
The Simien Mountains National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where one can also enjoy hiking and camping. However, the area may be a bit challenging for the tourists, so having a tour guide or park scout around is highly recommended.
Mago National Park
Home to over 80 mammals and 250 bird species, the Mago National Park is another popular tourist destination in Ethiopia where visitors can enjoy its rich wildlife along with an introduction to the local cultural tribes.
The majority of the area of this national park is still devoid of modern elements which makes it a great location for the tribal community to maintain their century-old traditions and rituals. Along with a greet and meet session with the local women is headdress and body arts, one can also experience a fantastic view of the birdlife.
The most attractive offering of the Mago National Park is the African Buffalo. There are also elephants, giraffes, lions, bat-eared foxes, Caracal, Warthog, Oribi, greater Kudu, and many other species of animals to be mesmerized at. In the water areas, one may also notice hippopotamus, crocodiles, and other water animals.
Awash National Park
Located at 225 kilometers from the Ethiopian capital city Addis Ababa, it takes about 3-hours drive by car to reach the Awash National Park. For its spectators, the park does not only offer a visually pleasing landscape but also a view of the Awash River at its southern boundary.
Expanding over an area if 756 kilometers, the Awash National Park consists of hot springs, dry savannas, a small waterfall, and more. One can also have a glimpse of its wildlife that includes gazelle zebra, hartebeest, oryx, and more. On a very lucky day, there may also be leopards, cheetahs, lions on hunt roaming around the grassy lands. Most times, the visitors can enjoy herds of baboons, grivet monkeys, and more than four hundred species of birds in this park.
Due to the abundance of dry and wetlands, rare animals like the Kori Bustard, ostrich, and Abyssinian Roller can also be found here.
Abijatta-Shalla Lakes National Park
For fans of exotic birds or enthusiast birdwatchers, the Abijatta-Shalla Lakes is a most-visit place when it comes to Ethiopian national parks. Situated at 207 kilometers south of the capital city Addis Ababa, this beautiful park attracts a large number of visitors every year. It addition to a magnificent landscape view, it is home to an impressive number of aquatic birds. In fact, it is a remarkable ornithological site in Ethiopia.
In the Abijatta-Shalla Lakes National Park, one can take a peek at its most significant offering, white pelicans. There are also hundreds of thousands of Lesser Flamingoes, Storks, Herons, Egrets, Plovers, Cormorants, and more. As for the mammals, one may find jackals, Colobus monkeys, grivet monkeys, Oribi, Klipspringers, etc.
Other attractions in this park include an ostrich farm, Lake Chitu, and multiple look-out points.