Omo National Park
The park was proposed for its extensive wilderness area and prolific plains wildlife; it is important for the very large herds of Common Enland and for the conservation of Elephant.
Location: the park is situated in South Omo Zone, of Southern Region some 870km south of Addis Ababa. Its altitude ranges between 440-1,183m asl. It is located adjacent to Mago national park close to the Sudan border.
The Danakil Depression, also called Dallol Depression, is a desert with some areas that are more than 100 meters below sea level. This is special because it is one of the lowest points on earth not covered by water. There are hot yellow sulfur fields among the sparkling white salt beds. Heat isn't the only thing people feel in the Dallol Depression. Alarming earth tremors are frequently felt. There are also several active volcanoes. So just how hot is it at the Dallol Depression.
The landscape is dotted with bright yellow sulphur fields, green crystal pools and sparkling salt beds. This is the Danakil Depression, a basin in north-eastern Ethiopia, close to the Red Sea. It is one of the lowest points on earth not covered by water. Danakil is renowned for being the place with the highest average temperature on Earth. It tops 34 °C every day of the year and soars to 55 °C in the summer. Temperatures can reach as high as 63 °C in the sun.
The people who are living in the region are Afar tribes, they are pastoralists and some of them engaged in salt mining as the depression is covered with salt.
The most attraction in the region is Ertale, Active volcano, which is so magnificent attraction due to its different colorful lava flowing from the crust of the earth.
Bird Watching Sites and species
Ethiopia has rightly become one of Africa’s leading birding destinations. Its avifauna represents an interesting mixture of east and West African, Pale arctic migritant and endemic components. In addition to 840 species of birds, of which a staggering 16 are endemic. The best months to visit are October-December, and over 500 species can be recorded on a thorough three-week trip.
Most bird watching sites are in the south of the country and an itinerary in search of all endemic birds would take a minimum of three weeks. The most promising areas are the Awash National Park, the Rift Valley Lakes, the Lake Abijata-Shalla National Park and Bale Mountains National Park. Also the Jemma River Valley as well as the escarpment north-west of Addis Ababa, the area around Debre Berhan, Ankober and Debre Libanos, Wondo Genet and the Harenna forest, the region around Negele, Bogal Manyo and Yabelo as well as the Sanetti Plateau would guarantee seeing many species which can sometimes only be found in a very small area. Also a shorter tour of about 10-15 days would guarantee seeing most of the endemics and several hundred other species. Hereunder some of the popular bird watching sites with corresponding key species:
Zengena Lake is a crater lake located in Awi Zone of Amhara Region in Ethiopia. The lake is situated between the towns Injibara and Kessa only 200 m from the Addis Ababa - Bahir Dar Highway with an elevation of 2500 m. It is the second deepest lake in Ethiopia next to Lake Shalla with a maximum depth of 166m followed by Tirba (maximum depth 153m). And also it a closed lakes. The diameter of the lake is roughly 1 km.
Tiya is a megalithic site located at about 80km south of Addis Ababa in Soddo area on the road to Butajira. The monuments are supposed to be remains of medieval Ethiopia culture apparently dated from the 12th to 14th centuries. However, the local people claimed that they were the grave marker of the soldiers of Ahmed Gragn, dating the site to the 16th century.
The Tiya monuments belong to one of stone 160 megalithic sites in the Soddo region. There are more than 45 standing monuments in Tiya. Few of them were removed from the site and can be seen in the main campus of Addis Ababa University 6kilo, erected near the Institute of Ethiopian Studies (IES). Most of Tiya monuments measure a height between a meter and 3 meter though the largest one is about five meters, including its section underground. The Tiya grave-markers are decorated with carvings of various representations. The meanings of the symbolic decorations are still open to speculation for various scholars.
The major carved designs of the monuments are the swords, a kind of plants or carvings of leaves below the sword, carved circles, a carving like the letter ‘M’ on its side and the carving like the letter ‘X’ with slightly carved lines. Different scholars give different meanings for the carved design of Tiya monument as indicated in the table below.
Blue Nile Gorge
Within 30 km of its source at Lake Tana, the Blue Nile River enters a canyon which it does not leave for 400 km. From all over the highlands, huge rivers pour into the Blue Nile Gorge. For a million years the Blue Nile has been carving this huge gash through the Ethiopian Highlands. Nearly 20km wide and over 600km long, this is Africa's own Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon in Arizona, U.S.A. and the Blue Nile Gorge have their similarities and differences.
Lake Tana, the largest lake, in Ethiopia is the source and from where the famed Blue Nile starts its long journey to Khartoum, and on to the Mediterranean. The 37 islands that are scattered about the surface of the lake shelter fascinating churches and monasteries, some of which have histories dating back to the 13th century. However, it should be noted that most of the religious houses are not open to women. The most interesting islands are: Birgida Mariam, Dega Estephanos , Dek, Narga, Tana Cherkos, Mitsele Fasiledes, Kebran and Deber Maryam.
The Jemma and Jara are permanent rivers that flow through Northern Shewa
Zone down from Were Illu, through Merhabete and then as the Jemma River
into a large gorge beside Debre Libanos and Fiche. The Jemma joins the
Wenchit before reaching the Abbay (Blue Nile) River.
By road and track the area is 180 km north of Addis Ababa. The Jemma and Jara rivers are mainly difficult of access, at the bottom of steep-sided gorges that have been cut through basalt to expose the underlying large blocks of limestone and sandstone.
Wondo Genet (Green Paradise)
Wondo Genet which s like a green paradise, the mountains covered with forest where hot springs bubble up and also intensively cultivated with chat, coffee, sugar cane and all kind of fruit trees such as banana, mango, avocado and papaya. The Sidama farmers who make use of irrigation have several harvests in a year. Also the compound of the Wabe Shebelle hotel is a green paradise with flowers and flowering trees which make it enjoyable to relax on the veranda of your bungalow. The swimming pool which is filled with hot spring water.
You can walk for 2 – 3 hours and climb into the lush mountains that surround Wondo Genet, where you can see birds such as Yellow headed parrot, double toothed Barbet Narina's Trogon, White Checked Turaco, Black winged love bird. The local guide can bring you to a Sidama house for a visit to a Sidama farmer’s family.
Also a longer walking trip of approximately 5 hours to a nearby waterfall is possible. Ask for a local guide at the reception of the hotel. After your walking trip it is refreshing to dive into the warm spring water filled swimming pool.