Awash National Park
The scenic Awash National Park is located less than 200 km east of Addis Ababa and covers 750 square kilometer of acacia and grassland savanna. It has a beautiful gorge carved by the Awash River and a huge waterfall where the river plunges into the gorge. The Filwuha ‘hot springs’ with the surrounding doum palm, offers an oasis-like setting. A quick dip in the hot water is possible. The dormant Fantelle volcano is another distinct feature of the park.
The Awash Falls Lodge is a nice place to stay in the park and also camping is available. The Bilen Lodge is found outside the park on the road leading to the Danakil Depression and offers prime game viewing opportunities in the surrounding area.
The Awash Falls
The beautiful Awash Falls is an impressive site, especially in the rainy season. A short walk leads to the falls and the riverine forest supports good birdlife and (vervet) monkeys.
The park offers a good variety of wildlife but the numbers are small. The beisa oryx, Soemmering’s gazelle and Salt’s dik-dik need to be mentioned but also lesser and greater kudu, defassa waterbuck and warthog are common. Big predators like lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena (spotted and striped) are present but not often seen.
The different habitats in the park support a wide range of bird species. Over 450 species are recorded in the park, among them some endemic or near-endemic species. This makes the park a prime destination for enthusiast birders.