National Parks


Awash National Park

The Awash National Park is located in the lowlands at the heart of the rift valley, east of Addis Ababa (approx. 250 km) adjacent to the Awash River. It is one of the finest nature reserves in Ethiopia. The Awash River is one of the major rivers of the Horn of Africa and waters important agricultural lands in the northeastern parts of Ethiopia. The Awash National Park, surrounding the dormant volcano of Fentale, is a reserve of arid and semi-arid woodland and savannah, with riverine forests along the Awash River. Forty-six species of animals have been identified, including Beisa Oryx gazelles, wild pigs, dik-dik, baboons, kudus, giant tortoise, hippos, aardvarks, hyrax, and Colobus monkeys. Bird life is prolific, particularly along the river and in forest area, 392 species have been recorded.


Simien Mountains National Park

The scenery in the Simiens is some of the most spectacular in the world.. The natural beauties of this region have always filled visitors from around the world with awe. Gentle highland ridges at altitudes above 3’600 meters above sea level, covered with grasses, isolated trees and the bizarre Giant Lobelia are found on the high plateau. The wildlife in the Simiens is unique. Three species are not found anywhere else in the world. The favorite is of course the Gelada monkeys which can be gound in groups of up to 500. It takes time to see a Simien wolf but with a little patience they can be found. The Walia Ibex is also unique to this area. Leopard, klipspringer, bushbuck, jackal and hyena are also found. The rich wildlife and incredible landscape were the reasons why the park was given the UNESCO World Heritage label.


Bale Mountains National Park

Located 400km southeast of Addis Ababa, Bale Mountains National Park contains a spectacularly diverse landscape. The high altitude, afro-montane Sanetti Plateau rises to over 4,000m and includes the highest peak in the southern Ethiopia highlands. This undulating plateau is marked by numerous glacial lakes and swamps and surrounded by higher volcanic ridges and peaks. The southern slopes are covered by the lush and largely unexplored Harenna Forest.

Bale Mountains National Park is the ultimate destination for hikers, wildlife watchers, culture and nature enthusiasts, bird watchers and more! Explore one of the highest parks in Africa by horseback, go fishing or experience an authentic community trying local coffee and honey! One of the best sites to spot the rare and endangered Ethiopian Wolf is on the spectacular Sanetti Plateau as the sun rises.


Mago National Park

Mago National Park is a national park in Ethiopia located in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region about 782 kilometers south of Addis Ababa and north of a large 90° bend in the Omo River, the 2162 square kilometers of this park are divided by the Mago River, a tributary of the Omo, into two parts. To the west is the Tama Wildlife Reserve, with the Tama river defining the boundary between the two. To the south is the Murle Controlled Hunting Area, distinguished by Lake Dipa which stretches along the left side of the lower Omo. The park office is 115 kilometers north of Omorate and 26 kilometers southwest of Jinka. All roads to and from the park are unpaved.


Omo National Park

Omo National Park is a national park in Ethiopia founded in 1980. Located in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region on the west bank of the Omo River, the park covers approximately 4,068 square kilometers, about 870 kilometers southwest of Addis Ababa; across the Omo is the Mago National Park and the Tama Wildlife Reserve. Although an airstrip was recently built near the park headquarters on the Mui River, this park is not easily reachable; the Lonely Planet guide Ethiopia and Eritrea describes Omo National Park as “Ethiopia’s most remote park.”

The lower reaches of the Omo river were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980, after the discovery (in the Omo Kibish Formation) of the earliest known fossil fragments of Homo sapiens, which have been dated circa 195,000 years old.


Gambella National Park

Gambella National Park, also spelled Gambela National Park, is a 5,016 km2 (1,937 sq mi) large national park in Ethiopia. It is the nation’s largest national park and is located several hundred kilometers from Addis Ababa. It was established in 1974, but is not fully protected and has not been effectively managed for much of its history.

Gambella was established during 1974–1975 to protect habitat and wildlife, especially the Nile lechwe and white-eared kob, two antelope species thought to be endangered at the time. Animal populations in the park have declined because of agriculture, cotton farming, hunting, poaching, and the creation of refugee camps, especially following the 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia and by displaced Sudanese.


Nechisar National Park

Nechisar National Park (or Nech Sar National Park) is a national park in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia. It is in the Great Rift Valley, within the southwestern Ethiopian Highlands.

The 750-square-kilometre (190,000-acre) park includes the “Bridge of God”, an isthmus between Lake Abaya and Lake Chamo, and the Nechisar (English: white grass) plains east of the lakes. It is east of Arba Minch.

Park elevations range between 1,108 and 1,650 metres (3,635 and 5,413 ft) above sea level. Nechisar National Park was established in 1974. Under the management of African Parks Network (APN since 2005, it was reportedly scheduled to hand over management to the Ethiopian government in June 2008.


Abijatta-Shalla National Park

Abijatta-Shalla National Park is a national park in Ethiopia. It is located in the Oromia Region and the Ethiopian Highlands region, 200 kilometers south of Addis Ababa, and east of the Batu–Shashamane highway.

Although its intent was to protect wildlife, few wild animals currently can be viewed there. During the tumultuous period of the last days of the Derg regime, and for some time afterward, large numbers of nomads took advantage of weakened central authority to move into the Park and set up residence with their livestock. Much of the Acacia woodland surrounding Lake Abijatta has been cut down for charcoal. Currently, not only do small groups continue to fall Acacia trees, but they go as far as to remove the salty soil from the lake shoreline and sell it.