Awash National Park is located in the Great Rift Valley and it covers over 756 kilometers. It has a variety of wildlife that can be seen when you visit the area and not forgetting the high vegetation that is found in the area. There are several things within the Awash National Park that act as tourist attractions and these range from animals that include leopards, lions, bush bucks, warthogs, baboons, monkeys, monkeys, gazelles and many more others. Birds are the other tourist attractions in the park and it has over 400 bird species, there is a waterfall that you do not want to miss and also the different flora found in the park is a tour that you do not want to miss.
Birding in Awash National Park
Birding is one of the activities that can be carried out in the Awash Park due to the several bird species that habitate in the area. The Park has a recorded number of bird species that amounts to 400 and some of these are endemic to the Park. There are different bird habitants that you can use when you visit Awash National Park and all these have different bird species.
- The wooden vegetation that is found in the Park is one of the birding spots as it has a variety of birds that you can see lounging in the woods. Some of the bird species that you can see here include the Go away bird, the red Barbet, the green wood hoopoes, the Emerald spotted wood dove, the yellow barbet, the silver cheeked hornbill and the coucal Turaco.
- There are also almost six endemic bird species that can be seen in the park and these include the thick billed raven, the Banded Barbet, the white winged cliff chat, the white tailed starling, golden backed woodpecker and the Wattled Ibis.
- The other place where you can easily see birds is the Gaysay grasslands which cover a part of the National Park. Some of the bird species that can be seen include the carmine bee-eaters, secretary birds, ostriches, the Abyssinian ground hornbill, the Abyssinian roller and the hawks.
There are several things that you need to know about birding before you go to Awash Park like you will not be allowed to go for birding unless when you have a trained tour guide and a permit allowing you to carry out the birding activity.
The best time to visit the Awash National Park for birding is during the rainy season because during this time, you get to see the different birds that always lounge on the banks of the river and birding is best done in the morning.
Wildlife viewing in Awash National Park
The Awash National Park has a variety of wild life that habitates in the park and it is a top destination for all tourists who love game viewing. The different animals that can be viewed include the wild cats, monkeys, the lesser Kudus, the Anubis monkeys, the gazelles, the Ethiopian’s Swayne Hartebeest, leopards, golden jackals, the caracals, lions, black backed jackal, the Dikdik, the Beisa Oryx, the servals, the greater Kudus and the Defarsa waterbuck. There are several ways in which you can view the animals and that is by either driving through the park or by walking in order to get a closer look at the animals. You can come with your camera to capture these great moments.
Wild life viewing is best done during the dry season as this is the time that most animals come out from hiding in search of water and food because during this time the food and water become scarce forcing them to out but if you can brave the rain, then you can also come and go wild life viewing during the rainy season.
A visit to the Aga Edu cave
The Ada Edu cave is located in the Awash Park and it is a home to numerous hyenas that live within and around the cave. The hyenas that you will spot when you visit the caves live in herds and they amount to twenty recorded species. Hyenas live in dens and you will get to see the dens around the cave as you hike through the park but you need to be careful in order not to get too close to the hyena dens and the caves are best visited very early in the morning.
Visit the Filwoha hot springs
The Filwoha hot springs create a good diversion for all the tourists that visit the park because then they get to rest at the hot springs and get to know how they formed. The beautiful scenery created by the hot springs and smoke coming from them is quite enough to guarantee that you will have fun when you visit and there will be a tour guide who will tell you more about the hot springs.
The flora in the area
Ethiopia as a country is known to be one of the few countries that has a variety of flora and Awash National park is not any different. The Park is mostly filled with grasslands and woodlands as these over up its largest part. These have different tree species that are worth studying especially for those who love botany and a tour guide will also try to explain as much as possible the different tree species and those that are used for medicinal purposes.
Hike up the Fentale volcano
The Fentale volcano last erupted in 1820 and when you visit the area you will notice the dark shadows that were left by the flowing lava. It can be spotted as you enter into the park, there are several routes that you can use as you climb up the Mountain and all these will be used with the help of a tour guide. A visit and hike to the Fentale Volcano should be done during the dry season as the hike trails during this period will not be as slippery as they get during the rainy season.
Visit the Gallery forest
The gallery forest is located along the Awash River and it is one of the tourist attractions in the Park. There are different exhibitions that you can see when you visit the Gallery forest and you also get to see the various animals and enjoy a wonderful boat ride along the Awash River where the gallery is located.
Explore the Awash Falls
The Awash Falls are located within the National park and attract many people. They provide a good back drop and the cascading water is also one of the few things that can calm you down after a long day trekking through the Park. The Falls are partially hidden behind a canyon and they provide a good resting place, water for those who want to refresh and a visit to the Awash Falls will be worth your time.
Accommodation facilities in Awash National Park
There are several accommodation facilities where you can rest after a long day in the Park but the commonly used is the Awash Falls lodge where many of the tourists sleep. Although if you cannot afford it, there are several other hotels and camps that can be found in the nearby towns.
- The Awash Falls lodge
The Awash falls dam is located in the south Western part of the park and it is commonly referred to as paradise by all those who use it. They have good quality food that is provided from breakfast to supper, they provide their guests with services like trekking through the Park, birding and many more. They also have good self-contained rooms and a private balcony which offer you all the privacy you need.
When to visit the Awash National Park
Although the park can be visited throughout the year, the climate greatly determines when you can visit the Park and the activities that you can carry out throughout the year.
- The Awash National park experiences the dry season in the months of December and January.
- The rainy season is experienced in the months of July and August and this is the best time for one to go for birding in the park.
- The warm months in Awash National park are February, August, September, June and May.
The best months of when to visit the park are highly determined by what you actually want to do that is if you are a fun of hiking and game viewing the best time to visit is during the dry season and if you are interested in birding, then the best time to visit is during the rainy season.
How to get to Awash National Park
Awash National Park is not far away from the capital city of Ethiopia Addis Ababa which is only 220 kilometers. The drive takes only three hours and you can either hire a private car, use a tour bus or contact us on our website to get the best travel deals to the Park.