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Good news for those planning trips to Ethiopia - the country with ancient monuments has taken another step into the future. we are talking about Online Visas! https://www.evisa.gov.et/#/home Bale or Guassa, anyone? courtesy of @Sangeeta Editing to add - I rejoiced too early... sadly the online visa is not available for Singapore! Darn.
IamFisheye posted a topic in EthiopiaHere’s a late teaser for my overdue trip report from last October. I had hoped to get on top of this in December but couldn’t find the time. Ethiopia had been on our list for a long long time. Predominantly to see the rock hewn churches but we also had more than a passing interest in the Gelada Baboons and the plight of the Ethiopian Wolf. So we put together a killer of an itinerary that would take us as far north as the Simiens and south as the Bale Mountains. We had planned to travel in March but a last minute booking to get me on a Photo safari to Laikipia meant we had to push the trip back to later in the year. October seemed like a good time to go. In summary the trip went like this; Friday 2nd October flight from London Heathrow to Addis Ababa arrive in Addis the following morning. Saturday was spent recovering from the flight and not doing much at all. Sunday, 4th Oct, we took a morning drive out to the Born Free centre in Ensessakotteh and spent the afternoon taking a few sights in Addis. Monday 5th early flight to Lalibela and spent the next 2 days exploring the rock-hewn churches and monasteries Early morning at Bet Giyorgis (St Georges) Afternoon outside a monastery Wednesday 7th flight to Gondar and drove to the Simien Mountain Lodge for a three night stay where we hoped to, and did, encounter Large groups of Gelada baboons. What a view Also on our list was the Walia Ibex Saturday 9th we drove back down to Gonder and spent the afternoon exploring the cultural sights Fasilides Castle and a couple of churches Saturday 10th long drive from Gondar to Bahir Dar for couple of days R&R by the side of Lake Tana at Kuriftu Resort. We spent a morning on the lake visiting a couple of the monasteries and the late afternoon visiting the local Donkey Sanctuary headquarters and driving out to a neighbouring village to see their good work 1st hand. Sunrise on lake Tana Tuesday 13th flight from Bahir Dar to Addis and then long road journey to the Bale mountains via an overnight stay on Lake Awassa. Sacred Ibis, Lake Ziway Wednesday 14th after a walk along the lakeside and a trip to the local fish market we carried on with our long drive to the Bale Mountains and got to see a few more endemics, including our first Ethiopian wolf. We had 4 nights at the Bale Mountain lodge and got see the following; Mountain Nyla View from our room Bale Monkey Wolf We had 3 days of wolf sightings out of four. Sunday 17th was another day’s long drive to Lake Langano where we stayed at the Bishangari Lodge for 2 nights and visited the Abiata-shala NP Tuesday 20th our final long drive back to Addis, where we had a few hours to rest and prepare for the night flight back to the UK I will try and update with detailed daily encounters over the next month before we head to kenya for this year’s Wild Dog fix. If you can’t wait I do update my flickr album from time to time. https://www.flickr.com/photos/16343559@N04/albums/72157660202134296
Simien Lodge posted a topic in Safari talkI have written a blog about the state of wolves in the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia. As far as I believe the information is accurate but I stand corrected if anything is false. I'm not a biologist or a scientist - I'm a lodge owner. But from what I have seen and heard, I believe this to be accurate and somewhat alarming. https://nickcran.wordpress.com/lone-wolf Secondly I have been talking to Adam Welz, a wildlife media expert from SA. I have not yet met Adam but will do at the Conservation Lab later this month. We have been wondering whether any Tora Hartebeest are still alive or whether this species is extinct? There have been no reports for over ten years in Ethiopia. Can anyone shed any light on what has happened to this beautiful species?
Bale Mountain Lodge posted a topic in Lodge, camp and operator newsGood afternoon from a less than sunny Addis Ababa. Please forgive me if I am posting this in the wrong part of Safaritalk but as a new member I am still learning the ropes and I wanted, nevertheless, to introduce myself to you. I am Guy Levene, a former British Army Colonel and the owner of a brand new lodge in the 2,200 sq km Bale Mountains National Park (BMNP) of South Central Ethiopia. Bale Mountain Lodge is a conservation project in conjunction with the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA) and part funded by the African Wildlife Fund. Our intent is to assist Ethiopia in meeting the goals of the BMNP General Management Plan (GMP) in order to help protect this magnificent and little visited National Park and to assist Ethiopia in obtaining UNESCO World Heritage Status for the park.. The BMNP is an amazing place teeming with endemic mammals (16 species), birds (14 species), insects and other plants and amphibians yet to be discovered. According to Birdlife International it ranks as one of the top 5 birding sites in Africa and it is a highland 'island' in the Horn of Africa; most importantly, it acts a a water tower for 12 - 15M downstream water users in the dry valleys far below the mountains. Many of our initiatives are aimed at providing alternative employment to park inhabitants to reduce negative impacts such as over grazing, deforestation and illegal bamboo harvesting. The park management is gradually getting better and is starting to address these real threats to long term water provision. Coupled to these education and work opportunities we have commissioned a research facility in our service quarters so that we can provide 'life support' to EWCA sponsored research teams. The university and conservation teams on site are currently studying the effects of climate change on bird species and behaviour, the amphibian biodiversity in the Park, whether the endemic Bale Monkey can survive the severing of the Bamboo line through diet alteration and whether there are new species of Lepidoptera in the Park (hot off the press - there are. Munich University and the Witt Foundation have discovered 22 brand new species of moth and butterfly in the forest after their first rotation through the lodge facilities. Truly amazing). Visitors to the park are invited to experience a vast array of different habitats from the Gaysay Graslands in the North, home to magnificent endemic Mountain Nyala, to the high rugged and rocky Sanetti Plateau, most of which is over 3800m and which is home to 2/3 of the remaining 550 Ethiopian Wolves and significant numbers of raptors who also feed on the abundant (and endemic) rodents of the Plateau. From there visitors can venture down into the largest remaining cloud forest in Ethiopia which is home to myriad Colobus monkeys and the rare endemic Bale Monkey. In between are the Erica Forests and throughout the park are stunning views and great walking safaris. We escort all our walkers in the forest as we also have Lions, Leopards, Civets, Servals, Genets, Giant Forest Hogs, Jackals and numerous other predator species. Bale is a truly magical and unique place It would be remiss of me not to mention the lodge. We have built it in the Harenna Forest using local materials sourced from outside the national park. Building methods are traditional but the lodge has a contemporary feel. We are trying to keep prices low in order to encourage a wide range of people to engage in our conservation message and, in spite of being 100% eco, we are exceptionally comfortable - not a pit toilet in sight but power comes from our own hydro plant in the mountain stream and our firewood comes from sustainable plantations outside the park. If anyone wants any more then please check out www.balemountainlodge.com or comment on this post and I will try and respond (once I have worked out how the site works). Also, try emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you want a direct response. Many thanks. Guy