Often called “The Roof of Africa”, Ethiopia is one of the continent’s top birding destinations.
Our April 2015 trip recorded 500 bird species including all of Ethiopia's endemics, including Prince Ruspoli's Turaco and Spot-breasted Lapwing, plus spectacular mammals such as Ethiopian Wolf and Gelada Baboon.
Our 2014 and 2013 tours recorded over 500 bird species each, including all of Ethiopia's endemics.
The extensive highlands are the largest mountain block in Africa, with about 30 bird specialties confined to this dramatic region. Ethiopia adds up to a truly bird-filled experience in an unusual country: it offers numerous endemics, a rich assemblage of montane and arid savanna species and an influx of European and Central Asian migrants. Unrivaled scenery, unique mammals and fascinating cultures enhance the feeling of outlandishness. On our tours we visit a wide range of habitats from mountain peaks and forests to desert plains.
Highland grasslands and moorlands hold unusual endemics such as
Blue-winged Goose, Spot-breasted Lapwing
and Rouget’s Rail, whereas rocky
areas are home to Rueppell’s Black Chat and
In forest patches in the central highlands we will search for White-cheeked
Turaco, Ethiopian Oriole, Abyssinian
Catbird, Yellow-fronted Parrot,
Black-winged Lovebird, Abyssinian Woodpecker and
The Rift Valley's arid savannas and numerous lakes teems with birds,
including a good diversity of bustards. In the remote south of the
country we may find three of Ethiopia's most sought after endemics,
fabled Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, Stresemann's
Bush Crow and unusual White-tailed Swallow.
Our trip itinerary is designed to focus on these specials plus all the birds for which Ethiopia is revered as a birding destination. The birding is relatively easy and very diverse, the scenery forms probably Africaís most dramatic backdrops, and a number of special mammals will be looked for, such as Mountain Nyala and the critically endangered Ethiopian Wolf. This makes our Ethiopia trip a top birding tour embedded in a great all-round nature experience.
Featured Leader: Tertius A. Gous
Tertius recommends: This tour
is well suited to world listers and mammal enthusiasts.
Tertius has birded widely across Africa and his sharp eye and gentle nature was key in making our 2014 tours such a success (see client comments on webpage). Tertius grew up in the bushveld in South Africa and now leads tours for Birding Africa in South
Africa, Namibia and the Okavango, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia and Madagascar.
He is our only guide to have seen both African and Green-breasted Pittas while leading Birding Africa tours in one year! Tertius has a broad interest in all wildlife and is trained as a vet and volunteers his special skills for penguin conservation.
He is also an accomplished bird photographer. Some of the photos in the leaflet below were taken by Tertius on a Birding Africa Ethiopia tour
* Cost per person sharing a room
** Single room supplement.
bottled water in the vehicle
full board accommodation
Birding Africa tour leader
Birding Africa printed booklet with species lists
activities as indicated on the itinerary
guide fees, entry fees for the parks, reserves and botanical gardens
transport as indicated on the itinerary
* Not included: soft drinks, laundry, telephone calls, entry visa
The shy Red-billed Pytilia is a recently-recognised endemic only ever seen by a few lucky birders, including those on a Birding Africa tour. Photographed here on a Birding Africa Ethiopia tour by Callan Cohen.
For keen birders and mammal
enthusiasts. Designed to see as many as possible endemic birds,
but while on the walks we spend a lot of time looking for other
aspects of wildlife such as mammals. We can also customise any
itinerary to suit to the keen birder, the wildlife enthusiast
Many participants on our trips are amateur wildlife photographers.
And when we get excellent views of a bird or mammal, some time
is usually spent watching and photographing it. However, this
is not a photographic tour and once the majority of the people
have felt that they have absorbed the animal or bird to their
satisfaction, then we move on in search of the next encounter.
Thus, while the photographic opportunities
are very good, the group will only occasionally wait for somebody
who wants to spend even longer getting better photos.
A moderate degree of fitness is required. Please enquire if
you have any questions.
Warm to hot in the lowlands and cool in the forests and highlands
Basic to moderate comfort in local small hotes and guest houses.
We travel by minibus, bus or four wheel drive vehicle.
Just nine participants can join the February 2016 tour.
Ethiopian endemics including Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, Spot-breasted Lapwing, Rouget's
Rail, Abyssinian Catbird, Stresemann's Bush Crow and Blue-winged
Ethiopia are excluded from the tour cost. For some examples of direct and
economical flights, please click here.
A Yellow fever vaccination is mandatory
if you come from an infected zone. If you are travelling from
a country not infected by the disease, travellers are still
advised to obtain a vaccination as yellow fever is a mosquito-borne
disease that is endemic in the region. So we recommend getting
the Yellow-fever vaccination, irrespective of where you are
coming from. It is useful for travel in most tropical countries
and lasts 10 years. Please consult your local travel clinic
if you have any concerns.
You can buy a visa on arrival in Addis
airport (20 USD in 2012). The office will be open.
Your booking can be secured with a booking form and deposit. You will receive confirmation and our tour information pack with practical information on what to expect and how to prepare for the tour. The balance
is due 150 days before the tour. Contact us to enquire about availability.
About Birding Africa
Birding Africa is a specialist birding tour
company customising tours for both world listers and more relaxed
holiday birders. We combine interests in mammals, butterflies, dragonflies,
botany and other natural history aspects and will guide you to Africa's
and Madagascar's most diverse birding destinations. Our guides'
knowledge of African birds and birding areas is our greatest strength
and together we have rediscovered species, shared exciting observations
with the birding community and had a fun time exploring our home
continent. We've even written two acclaimed guide
books on where to find Southern Africa's and Madagascar's best
birds. Birding is more than our passion, it's our lifestyle, and
we are dedicated to making professional, best value trips filled
with endemic species and unique wildlife experiences. Since 1997,
we've run bird watching tours
in South Africa and further into Africa for individual birders,
small birding groups and top international tour companies. We've
run Conservation Tours
in association with the African Bird Club and work with and consult
for a number of other top international tour companies and the BBC
Natural History Unit.