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Wildlife Locations

6 recommended locations:

Awash National Park

Located in the Rift Valley, Awash National Park is arguably the country’s best wildlife reserve. Consisting of dry acacia scrub and supporting small numbers of larger mammals that have been hunted out elsewhere, it is the stunning scenery and plentiful birdlife which are the big attraction for wildlife enthusiasts.

  • Where: Southern Afar Region
  • Ideal for viewing: beisa oryx, Hamadryas baboon, ostrich, Salt’s dik-dik, Soemmering’s gazelle
  • Excellent for: Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

Bale Mountains National Park

The Bale Mountains form a high altitude plateau, broken by spectacular volcanic peaks, beautiful alpine lakes and mountain streams descending through deep rocky gorges into the lowlands. The area is home to an incredibly high number of endemics, including the world’s rarest canid, the Ethiopian wolf.

  • Where: Oromia Region
  • Ideal for viewing: Ethiopian wolf, giant mole-rat, Menelik’s bushbuck, mountain nyala, Rougets’s rail
  • Excellent for: Vehicle safaris, Wolf watching

Lake Langano, Lake Abijatta & Lake Shalla

The freshwaters of Lake Langano are naturally red in colour and the area is rich with wildlife, including ibex, monkeys and baboons. Lake Abijatta and Lake Shalla are very different, but equally as rewarding in terms of wildlife; the birdlife is particularly excellent, and the islands are home to several breeding sites.

  • Where: Oromia Region
  • Ideal for viewing: greater flamingo, lesser flamingo, lesser kestrel, pallid harrier, white-backed pelican
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching

Simien Mountains

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Simien Mountains are a place of dramatic scenery. Their rugged landscape was formed over a 3,000 year erosion period of basalt lava, and despite their altitude they sustain a fascinating range of mammals and birdlife, alongside isolated nomadic and rural communities.

  • Where: Amhara Region
  • Ideal for viewing: caracal, Ethiopian wolf, gelada baboon, lammergeier, walia ibex
  • Excellent for: Vehicle safaris


Once the capital of Ethiopia, Gondar is one of the country’s richest historical and cultural areas. The city’s architecture is both Islamic and Christian influenced, especially the Castles of Gondar and palaces of the Royal Enclosure, which were built over 236 years by various rulers.

  • Where: Gondar Province
  • Excellent for: History & culture


Considered by many to be one of the unofficial wonders of the world, Lalibela is one of the holiest sites in Ethiopia and renowned for its 13th century rock hewn churches. Many of the city’s buildings are decorated with well-preserved paintings, creating a unique architectural style.

  • Where: Amhara Region
  • Excellent for: History & culture

View trips to these locations

Wildlife trips

Ethiopia combines spectacular scenery and history, with outstanding wildlife. The breathtaking Simien Mountains provide refuge to huge troops of gelada baboons, whilst the Bale Mountains are a stronghold for the rare Ethiopian wolf. With over 900 species of bird, including many endemics, Ethiopia also offers some of the finest birdwatching in Africa.

3 recommended trips. Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.

Ethiopian Wildlife Extravaganza

This wonderful introduction to Ethiopia takes you to each of the country’s major cultural highlights and provides you with the chance to see superb wildlife, such as gelada baboon, Menelik’s bushbuck, mountain nyala and one of the world’s rarest mammals - the Ethiopian wolf - all in stunning scenery.

  • When to go: Jan-Jul, Sep-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,195 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Wolves & Baboons of Ethiopia’s Highlands

Ethiopia offers a wonderful array of unique wildlife species. This suggested itinerary begins in the picturesque Simien Mountains where you can enjoy huge herds of charismatic gelada baboons and walia ibex, before travelling to the spectacular Bale Mountains, in search of the endangered Ethiopian wolf.

  • When to go: Oct-Mar
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,595 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Ethiopia: A Unique Wonder

Join award winning environmental photojournalist and conservationist Ben Cherry on a trip through three very unique locations in Ethiopia: the Simien Mountains, Lalibela and Bale Mountain National Park, and discover an entirely different take on African wildlife photography.

  • When to go: Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 15 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,295 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

When to go

Best visited during the dry season, October to March. April’s short rains are rarely enough to spoil a trip. May is very humid and avoid the main rains between June and September.


  • Long dry season

    Sep to Feb: Winter months are colder in the highlands, but the general climate is drier
  • Short rains

    Mar to Apr: Much of Ethiopia experiences heavy rainfall, but travel remains possible to most locations
  • Short dry season

    May to May: May is the hottest month
  • Long rains

    Jun to Aug: Rainfall is at its heaviest and thunderstorms often occur

Wildlife events

  • Sep to Oct: Best time to visit as country is green and wild flowers are in bloom
  • Nov to Mar: Resident bird species are supplemented by Palearctic migrants

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