Awash National Park is a protected area located in the East African Rift Valley of Ethiopia. Established in 1966, the park is known for its diverse landscapes, wildlife, and cultural heritage. Here are some key features and reasons to visit Awash National Park:
Awash National Park is characterized by a variety of ecosystems, including acacia woodlands, grasslands, riverine forests, and volcanic landscapes. This diversity supports a wide range of plant and animal species.
The park is home to diverse wildlife, including mammals such as oryx, kudu, Soemmerring’s gazelle, baboons, colobus monkeys, and various bird species. The Awash River, flowing through the park, attracts a variety of water birds, including flamingos, pelicans, and herons.
The Fantale Crater, located within Awash National Park, is an impressive volcanic feature. The area around the crater includes hot springs, and visitors can witness steam rising from the ground, adding to the geothermal allure of the park.
Wilderness and Adventure:
Awash National Park offers a sense of wilderness and adventure. The varied landscapes, from the rugged Fantale Crater to the open savannahs, provide opportunities for hiking, trekking, and exploring nature.
Cultural and Historical Sites:
The park has cultural and historical significance. The Awash River has been home to various ancient civilizations, and archaeological sites within the park have revealed artifacts dating back thousands of years. The park also features the Awash Falls, which were an important landmark for early explorers.
The diverse landscapes and unique geological features, including the Fantale Crater and the Awash Falls, make Awash National Park a great destination for landscape photographers. The play of light and shadow on the savannah and the volcanic formations creates stunning visuals.
Hiking and Trekking:
There are several trails and hiking opportunities within the park, allowing visitors to explore different parts of the landscape. Hiking to the rim of the Fantale Crater or along the Awash River provides panoramic views and a chance to experience the park up close.
Camping and Accommodations:
Awash National Park offers camping facilities, allowing visitors to experience the sounds of the African night and wake up to the sounds of nature. There are also lodges and accommodations within and around the park for those seeking a more comfortable stay.
The park is a haven for birdwatchers, with over 450 bird species recorded. Birdwatching enthusiasts can spot raptors, water birds, and a variety of endemic and migratory species in the park’s diverse habitats.
Awash National Park is relatively accessible from Addis Ababa, making it a convenient destination for both local and international visitors. The park’s proximity to the capital city allows for a relatively short journey to experience the natural and cultural wonders it offers.
Awash National Park provides a combination of wildlife, landscapes, cultural heritage, and outdoor activities, making it a compelling destination for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and those interested in exploring Ethiopia’s diverse ecosystems.
Morning Drive to Awash (214 kms)
Early in the morning, we will depart from Addis Ababa and head to Awash National Park. Upon arrival at our hotel, we will embark on short walks from the lodge, focusing on bird watching.
Exploring Awash National Park and Returning to Addis Ababa
This morning, our exploration continues within the National Park. Game drives and walks are available for encountering wildlife and appreciating the scenic beauty.
Wildlife in the park includes the East African Oryx, Soemmerring’s gazelle, dik-dik, the lesser and greater kudus, and warthogs. Anubis and hamadryas baboons can also be observed. The park is a haven for bird watching enthusiasts.
Our return journey to Addis Ababa commences in the early afternoon.