Day 01. Addis Ababa – Langano.
Drive to Langano with birding stops at Koka Dam, the Awash River, and Lake Ziway. Water birds: African Pygmy geese, Yellow-billed storks, Collared Pratincole, Lesser Jacana, African Jacana, White Pelicans, Fish Eagles, and crowned and common cranes are seen here in impressive numbers. Overnight Hotel.
Day 02. Langano – Bale Mountains.
Drive to the Bale Mountains National Park to spot some of the endemics such as Blue-winged Goose, Spot-breasted Lapwing, Abyssinian Longclaw, Wattled Ibis, Black-headed Siskin, Rouget’s Rail, Banded Barbet and other species. Overnight Hotel.
Day 03. Bale Mountains.
While hiking into the Park spotting birds such as Chestnut-naped Francolin, Ground Thrush (of the distinctive, endemic race Simensis), the secretive Abyssinian Ground-thrush, vocal Abyssinian Catbird, and the endemic White-backed Black-Tit in the high moorlands. If we are very fortunate, we will see a pair of the endangered Wattled Crane in the moist grasslands or spot a Cape Eagle-Owl sunning on a rocky perch. We will also search for Moorland Francolin, the endemic Spot-breasted Lapwing, Thekla Lark, Red-breasted Wheatear and dumpy Moorland Chats. Overnight Hotel
Day 04. Bale Mountains – Negele.
Drive to Negelle via Harena Forest. En route look for the Turaco and outstanding Golden-breasted Starling. We will also seek the endemic Sidamo Lark and the Somali Short-toed Lark and possibly Heuglin’s Bustard on the Negele Plains. The Sidamo lark is quite secretive and like many Ethiopian endemics inhabits a very small area. Overnight Hotel.
Day 05. Negele – Bogol Myno.
Take a long drive to a little known area of great importance because of the wealth of endemic plants. We will be searching for the Degodi Lark, Pygmy Batis, Short-billed Crombec, and Somali Crombec. Overnight Hotel.
Day 06. Bogol Myno – Negele.
Spend the morning seeking the Degodi Lark if not yet sighted. We’ll also search for the White-winged Dove and Juba Weaver, two prized sightings in the area, plus Black-faced Sandgrouse, Chestnut-headed Sparrow-lark, and the Scaly Chatterer. Return to Negele, birding along the way. Overnight Hotel.
Day 07. Negele – Yabelo.
Search for the endemic White-tailed Swallow and Stresemann’s Bushcrow. You should spot the Swallow threading its way through the termite chimneys and groups of Bushcrows in the thorn bushes. For the entire day explore the Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary and Reserve; species to look for include: Somalian Ostrich, Secretary Bird, Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture, Martial Eagle, Grasshopper Buzzard, African Pygmy Falcon, Vulturine Guineafowl, Kori Bustard, Donaldson Smith’s Nightjar, Star-spotted Nightjar, Yellow-billed Hornbill, Lilac-breasted Roller, Rufous-crowned Roller, D’Arnaud’s Barbet, Red and Yellow Barbet, Short-tailed Lark, Northern Grey Tit, Shelley’s and White-crowned Starlings, Abyssinian Grosbeak Canary, Somali Sparrow, Black-capped Social Weaver, Grey-headed Silverbill, Taita Fiscal, and Somali Golden-breasted Bunting. Other possibilities include: Coqui Francolin, Somali Courser, African Bare-eyed Thrush, Little Spotted Woodpecker, Pringle’s Puffback, Little Tawny Pipit, Fawn-coloured Lark. Mammals that inhabit the park include: Burchell’s Zebra, Aardvark, Grant’s Gazelle, Thompson’s Gazelle, and Lesser-spotted Genet. Overnight Motel.
Day 08. Yabelo.
Continue birding and spend the day in the Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary and Reserve. Overnight Motel.
Day 09. Yabelo – Awassa.
Morning Depart for Awassa, driving through the Yirga Alem coffee plantations and on the way making stops for birding. Overnight Hotel.
Day 10. Awassa – Addis Ababa.
Return to Addis, birding along the Great Rift Valley looking for additional species. Farewell dinner at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant featuring dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s many ethnic groups. Then transfer to Airport.