This expert-led small group tour concentrates on the unique, unusual and photogenic wildlife and landscapes that set Ethiopia apart from the rest of Africa. Ethiopia is truly a photographer’s dream destination with many of its highlight mammal and bird species, surprisingly tolerant of people. There will be an emphasis in this group tour on photography and tuition in addition to observing Ethiopia’s magnificent and varied wildlife including its mammals, birds, reptiles and other fauna and flora.
The tour is suitable for those interested in observing wildlife at a leisurely pace as well as keen and amateur photographers.
It will be jointly led by award-winning wildlife photographer, ornithologist and naturalist Oliver Smart and local wildlife expert Daniel Million who will both help you make the most of the many photographic opportunities. Most of the pictures in this itinerary were taken by Oliver on his 2019 tour, which will give you some idea of his abilities and the sightings that are possible. His humour, knowledge and experience will help you gain maximum enjoyment and results from this exciting adventure.On the 2019 tour 35 species of mammal and 320 species of bird were recorded.
Highlights on the trip will include sitting among “herds” of gelada baboons (sometimes only a few feet away) as they feed and chatter on the montane grasslands of the Simien Mountains. We should also see the impressive Walia ibex, agile klipspringer and soaring lammergeiers and croaking thick-billed ravens here all against a backdrop of jaw-dropping scenery.
Next comes the Bale Mountains, inhabited by the world’s rarest canid and Africa’s most endangered carnivore; the beautiful Ethiopian wolf. Seeing this elegant predator hunting giant mole rats on the moonlike Sanetti Plateau is an experience to savour. The Afro-alpine moorlands and lush lichen-clad cloud forests of the Bale Mountains are also home to many other endemic species including the mountain nyala, Bale monkey, serval, crowned eagle, blue-winged goose and Bale horned chameleon to name just a few.
In the Great Rift Valley Lakes of Awassa and Langano we can enjoy excellent photography with the confiding water birds including vast flocks of flamingos, plus pelicans, kingfishers and hippos. While our final destination; the Awash Valley will give us a chance to experience a more typical East African savannah and wildlife. Here the highlights include the elegant Beisa oryx, Soemmerring’s gazelle, warthog, Olive baboons, spotted hyenas, five species of bustard, some exquisite bee-eaters, crocodiles and huge leopard tortoises. Ethiopia’s fascinating ancient and more recent history and unique cultures also combine with its wildlife to make for an unforgettable adventure in one of Africa’s most diverse countries.