Awash National Park

Located in the lowlands 225 km east of Addis Ababa, the southern boundary of the park is formed by the Awash river which swings north soon after leaving the park and eventually disappears into the Afar (Danakil) region. It is within easy reach from Addis and the road is good.

This is a hot part of the country and temperatures can get as high as 42C cooling down considerably during the night.

Rain falls between February and August with an average of 619 mm.
 
The Awash is mainly acacia woodland and grassland. 
Wildlife is not abundant, but you could spot beisa oryx, Soemmerrings gazelle and warthogs are common.  Look out for the tiny salts dik-dik, not easy to spot but they like the shade of the acacia trees. Both Anubis and Hamadryas baboons inhabit this region and, both the lesser and greater kudu. Klipspringers live in the higher slopes of the mountain and curious hyrax peer at you from behind their rocks.

In the bottom of the gorge you can spot the black and white colobus monkey. Crocodiles and hippos are seen both in the Awash river and in the cooler parts of the hot springs and rivers in the north. 

The birds of Awash are considered Ethiopia’s premier destination with over 450 species (The check list is available at the museum at park headquarters). There are many endemics, raptors, water birds, larks, Abyssinian ground hornbill, brilliant crimson carmine bee-eaters and the turquoise and purple Abyssinian roller.

In the north, in a grove of doum palm trees is Filwoha, a hot springs oasis which feeds into a series of stunning translucent blue pools. Towering above is Mount Fantelle, a 2007 meter dormant volcano, the crater is 350 meters deep.

The Awash river gorge in the south of the park has some spectacular waterfalls near the park headquarters. Rafting is also a possibility, one or two days rafting trips can be organized on the Awash river, with its spirited rapids, wildlife, and impressive rugged cliffs and side canyons.

Ethiopia-1.jpg View slideshow

 

 

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