Ethiopia Birding Tours
Ethiopia (formerly Abyssinia), along with Djibouti, Eritrea, the Yemeni island of Socotra, and Somalia make up the north-eastern corner of Africa, often referred to as the ‘Horn of Africa’. Ethiopia has had a long, rich, and at times difficult history which has shaped it into the unique and culturally rich country it is today. Despite many tough years for Ethiopians over the last century the people are incredibly friendly and welcoming and are always willing to help you explore the beauty of this vast and incredibly varied country.
Ethiopia, ‘the Roof of Africa’, is an absolutely unique and spectacular birding destination. It is one of Africa’s most scenically beautiful countries, boasting some of the continent’s highest mountains and plateaus (but also contains a depression that reaches below sea level), impressive escarpments, Great Rift Valley lakes, and volcanos. It also hosts highly varied vegetation types from juniper forests to arid savanna dotted with monstrous red termite mounds and the unforgiving Danakil Desert. Descending from the highlands to deep valleys far below can seem like entering a completely different world, all within the same day!
Ethiopia has 19 endemic and many near-endemic bird species, which make it a particularly important destination for world birders. Many of these species occur in the unique Afro-alpine moorlands, where one can expect to find Spot-breasted Lapwing, Blue-winged Goose, Rouget’s Rail, and Ankober Serin, as well as the only known sub-Saharan breeding populations of Golden Eagle, Red-billed Chough, and Ruddy Shelduck. Forest and forest patches support further key bird species such as Abyssinian Woodpecker, Abyssinian Catbird, White-backed Black Tit, and, best of all, Ruspoli’s Turaco. The Acacia savanna in the south of the country hosts desirable species such as White-tailed Swallow, Stresemann’s Bushcrow, and Salvadori’s Seedeater. Birding in the escarpment to the north of Addis Ababa can produce more top birds, such as Rüppell’s Black Chat, Erlanger’s Lark, White-billed Starling, and Wattled Ibis.