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Eastern Route

Awash National Park

Awash Hot Spring

Awash National Park is located 225 kms. east of Addis Ababa with an area of 756 sq. kms. It is the oldest and most developed wildlife reserve in Ethiopia. The park is entirely established on the plain of the Rift Valley. With the exception of 600 meter high Mount Fantale the park area is mainly covered with acacia trees and Savannah grassland. The main attractions of the park include 46 major species of mammals and 453 species of birds of which 6 are endemic to the country.

The mammals are mainly composed of East African plain mammals such as greater and lesser kudu, oryx, bush-buck, dik-dik, cheetah and lion. The birds include secretary birds, Abyssinian ground hornbill and turaco. Another interesting feature of the park is the Awash River Gorge that makes up the parks southern boundry. Its waterfall is a favourite with visitors. There is also a palm-lined, shimmering, aquamarine hot spring pool and the Fantale volcano activity.

Oromo Girls

Dire Dawa

Dire Dawa is situated some 515 km. east of Addis Ababa on a small plain surrounded by hills and mountains. The town was established as a half way point on the Addis ABABA-Djibouti railroad. It has an international airport that makes it strategically important for transportation on the eastern route. Its main attractions are the Taiwan Market called the «chat» market and the enormous market place frequented by the Oromo, Somali, Issa and Afar people.

Woven baskets

HARAR

The ancient city of Harar was established between the 7th and 9th centuries and had remained a center of Islamic religions from the early days of the Islamic expansion until 1887 when authority of the central government was restored by Emperor Menelik II. It is about 525 kms. from Addis Ababa and 55 km. east of Dire Dawa.

Harar has 99 mosques and shrines and is considered to be the fourth most sacred center of the Islamic world. The town of Harar is surrounded by a great defensive wall made of stones and mud. It is thought to have been built by Amir Nur in 1550. He was the nephew of the great Imam Ahmad Ibn Ibrahim Alghazi of Ethiopia. The city of Harar has five large gates. Part of the city which is encircled by the wall is called «Jegol». Places of interest are the «Rimbaud House» named after the famous French poet who chose Harar as his city of exile from the French.

In addition to this, the rich and exciting market places, the house of Ras Mekonnen, the Harari house with unique architectural features. The Harari and Oromo women in Harar have been known for their unique custom and basket works. They still weave intricate creations from colored fibers and grasses. Harar is also known for its «Hyena Man» who feeds his wild friends, the hyenas with meat and bones every evening.

The Rift Vallry

Much of Africas volcanic activity is concentrated along the immense 5000 km. long crack in the earths surface known as The Great Rift Valley. It was formed by the sinking and tearing apart of the earth, it is the largest valley on the planet and is one of its outstanding features. It is not only the subject of geographical maps but in history books as well as it hold the key to our past and the existence of early man on the African continent. It is in the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania and in the Omo Valley, Melka Kunture and Hadar (all in Ethiopia) that the bones of our earliest ancestors were found.

Lake Langano

Lake Langao is situated some 210 kms. south of Addis Ababa. It has sandy beaches and is a popular resort for swimming, aquatic sports, sunbathing, camping and bird watching. The western lakeside is covered with thin acacia while the eastern shoreline is partially covered by dense forest. The forest and lake host a variety of wildlife, birds, amphibians like hippos and reptiles.

Lake Abiyata & Shala

Situated in the heart of the Rift Valley near Lake Langano. Lake Shala is thought to be the deepest lake in Africa north of the equator. Lake Abiyata is circled by a 60 km. white shoreline. As well as there beauty they are known for the abundance of bird life.

Different kinds of water birds such as greater and lesser flamingos, along with white-necked cormorants, many species of heron, storks, spoonbills, African ducks, gulls and sterns can be seen around these lakes. During the northern winter thousands of Asiatic and European ducks and waders migrate to Lake Abiyatas shores. Lake Shala is well known for its large colony of great white pelicans.

Bee-eater bird

Arba Minch

Arba Minch is known for its large number and variety of wildlife, species of endemic birds and the natural landscape. It is a paradise for photographers.

Nechisar National Park

Located some 535 kms. south of Addis Ababa. It was established as a sanctuary for the Swanes Hartebeest an endangered subspecies throughout Ethiopia. The park is located in the rift valley at an altitude of 2000 meters between Lake Abaya and Chamo in south central Ethiopia. Although mainly open grassland it also contains sparse areas of Savannah woodland and highland forest. Eighty four mammal species can be found including Hippo, Zebra, Greater Kudu, Reedbuck, Grants Gazelle, Defarssa Waterbuck and lion. A total of 343 bird species have been recorded in the park.

Bale Girl

Bale Mountains National Park

Bale Mountains National Park is a magnificent high altitude plateau with numerous volcanic plugs, seasonal tiny alpine like lakes and cascading mountain streams. It is about 400 kms. from Addis Ababa.

It stretches over an area of 2400 sq. kms. and ranges in altitude from 1500 meters to nearly 4400 meters. Here are the greatest Afro-Alpine moorlands in the world. The dynamics of this eco-system extend far beyond Ethiopia and are responsible for environmental change and climatic conditions in Somalia and East Africa. Among its endemic mammals are the Mountain Nyala, Red Fox and Meneliks Bush Buck. Seven of Ethiopias 28 endemic bird species are to be found here. The Weyb River flowing partly underground has formed the Sof Omar Caves considered to be one of the most spectacular in the world.

Programmes

Harar & Dire Dawa (3 Days / 2 Nights)

Day 1
Fly to Dire Dawa and visit the commercial town of Dire Dawa. Afternoon drive to Harar and in the evening visit the “Hyena Man”
Day 2
Full day tour of the walled city of Harar
Day 3
Drive back to Dire Dawa for flight to Addis Ababa

Awash-Harar & Dire Dawa (4 Days / 3 Nights)

Day 1
Drive from Addis Ababa to Awash National Park
Day 2
Drive from Awash National Park to Harar. In the evening visit the “Hyena Man”.
Day 3
Full day sightseeing tour of the walled city of Harar
Day 4
Drive to Dire Dawa and fly back to Addis Ababa

Rift Valley Lakes & Wendo Genet (3 Days / 2 Nights)

Day 1
Drive from Addis Ababa to Lake Langano
Day 2
Drive from Lake Langano to Wendo Genet and enjoy The hot spring swimming pool.
Day 3
In the morning drive to Awassa and visit the fish market of Lake Awassa. In the afternoon drive back to Addis Ababa.

Bale Mountain National Park & Wendo Genet (5 Days / 4 Nights)

Day 1
Drive from Addis Ababa via Lake Langano to Wendo Genet
Day 2
Drive from Wendo Genet to Dinshom the headquarters of the Bale National Park for a game drive in the park.
Day 3
Drive from Dinsho to Goba and proceed onto Senati Plateau (Part of the Bale Park before returning to Goba for overnight.
Day 4
Drive from Goba via the Assela Road to Sodere.
Day 5
Enjoy swimming and relaxing at Sodere before driving back to Addis Ababa via the town of Nazreth.

Bale Mountain National Park & Sofe Omar Cave (6 Days / 5 Nights)

Day 1
Drive from Addis Ababa via Lake Langano to Wendo Genet
Day 2
Drive from Wendo Genet to Dinsho, the headquarters of the Bale National Park for a game drive in the park.
Day 3
Drive from Dinsho to Goba and proceed to the Senati Plateau (part of the Bale Park) returning to Goba for an overnight.
Day 4
Full day excursion to Sofe Omer Cave.
Day 5
Drive from Goba via Assela Road to Sodere
Day 6
Relaxing and swimming at Sodere before driving back to Addis Ababa via the town of Nazreth

Omo Valley

The Omo valley is situated in the southwest of Addis Ababa, it passes through the Great Rift Valley and offers the most attractive and beautiful landscape scenery in the region.

The Omo region is home for most nomadic and semi-nomadic people with different fascinating ethnic groups and cultures like the Hamer, Mursi, Karo, Geleb, Surma Bena, Ari, Tsemay, Bodi and others.

Omo Ethnological Tour

Day 1
Drive from Addis Ababa to Lake Langano which overlooks most of The Great Rift Valley Lakes such as Ziway, Abyatta and Shalla. Overnight at Bekele Molla Hotel
Day 2
Drive from Lake Langano via Shahmene to Arba Minch, en route visit the Dorze Village. Overnight at Bekele Molla Hotel
Day 3
Drive from Arba Minch to Jinka. En route short stops will be made between Weyto-River and Jinka to visit other tribes like the Tsemay, Bena and Ari. Overnight at Goh or Orit Hotel.
Day 4
Drive from Jinka to Mago National Park over a difficult road and cross the Neri River to reach one of the villages of Mursi near the Omo River. Overnight camping.
Day 5
Proceed in a southerly direction to Murule, en route visit some of Karo villages of Dus and Korcho. The Karo mainly known for their special hairstyles and body painting. Overnight camping in in tents in Murule.
Day 6
Drive through the Savannah land from Murule to Turmi visiting on the way some of the villages of Hammer tribes to discover their lifestyle and culture. Overnight camping in tents in Turmi on the Keske River.
Day 7
Full day exploring and visiting the Hammer villages near Turmi
Day 8
Drive from Turmi via Erbore to Konso and visit the interesting tribe of Konsos village with their terraced fields. Overnight at St. Mary Hotel.
Day 9
Drive to Arba Minch and make short boat trip on Lake Chamo to see the Hippos, Crocodiles and many birds including pelicans. in the afternoon visit the Nech Sar National Park. Overnight at Bekele Molla Hotel.
Day 10
Drive from Arba Minch to Lake Awassa. In the afternoon visit the town. Overnight at Eabishebelle Hotel.
Day 11
In the morning visit the fish market of Lake Awassa and drive back to Addis Ababa passing on the way the chain of lakes Shalla, Abiyata, Ziway and Langano
 
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