Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Birding in the Awash National Park

The Awash National Park is placed in the Eastern part of Ethiopia, 225 km from Addis Ababa. Most of the landscape is covered by savanna or shrub land, along the Awash River exist small forests. The position at the triangle of Afar makes him to a very important birding area. More than 460 species are recorded in the park and it is home of several endangered species. On a typical trip of two days (the park is not the Serengeti, but I can recommend a longer stay there), it’s possible to spot 30 to 40 different species. A good place is the Awash River and here, from the Awash lodge to the East along the river and the campsites. During my stay there I spotted most species on this side. Further good placed were the old lodge and the way from the old to the new lodge. It is possible to go alone by food around the lodge for few kilometers; it is fantastic in the early morning, also to see other animals like Beisa Oryx antelopes, lesser kudus or baboons. Unfortunately, when you walk by food the antelopes are very shy.  

Recommended literature: Important birding areas in Ethiopia. By Solomon Tilahun, Sue Edwards & Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher (edt.), Ethiopian Wildlife Society, Addis Ababa, 1996. It is available in Addis, on the Airport or in the city.

Some birds from the Awash National Park:

Grey-headed Kingfisher (Halcyon leucocephala)

Rosy-patched Bushshrike (Rhodophoneus cruentus)

Abyssinian Roller (Coracias abyssinicus)

Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea)

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