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Posted (edited)

@michael-ibk's favorite moment moved me to make a whole collage of Black Egrets!



Hawassa Fish Market Black Egret



This black egret shared the limelight with a Black-winged Stilt.  Hawassa Fish Market



Nicely reflected Spotted Redshanks, away from the hbubu of the fish market in Hawassa.


Abiy was pleased to see this guy taking such good care of his horse.


Hawassa Fish Market



Kids tossed morsels to the Marabou Storks at the fish market in Hawassa.



Hawassa Fish Market


Our original itinerary had the fish market as the sole activity our last day.  The plan was to leave Halile Resort in the morning, visit the market and head to Addis for our flights around midnight.  That would have allowed a little more leisurely visit.  But we had lingered in Bale the day before meaning the scheduled visit to Senkelle Swayne’s Harebeest Sanctuary would take place not the day we left Bale (per our itinerary), but after the fish market.


So our last day was:  leave Halile Resort in Hawassa at 7 am, arrive fish market at 7:15 am and spend one hour. Depart the fish market at 8:15 am and arrive Sellenky at 9:50 and stay for about 90 minutes.

Here’s one more roadside sight:



The baby camel is under a week old



Edited by Atravelynn
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Posted (edited)

Senkelle Swayne’s Hartebeest Sanctuary


After exiting the vehicle at Senkelle Swayne’s Hartebeest Sanctuary, a Village Weaver and Red-billed Buffalo Weaver greeted us, just 2 of the 194 bird species in the park.

medium.5998e62af2afa_IMG_0653senkellevil    medium.5998e63413256_IMG_0662buffaloweav

 Village Weaver & Red-billed Buffalo Weaver, Senkelle Sanctuary


Initially we walked in the sanctuary to view some of the 950 endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest in the sanctuary, plus 65 calves this year.  The rangers there felt the park could hold 2000 hartebeest. Hyena and leopard are the predators.


There are only two places to see these Ethiopian endemics, Senkelle and Maze National Park in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region of Ethiopia – SNNPR.  Senkelle is by far the more convenient.


One of our first sightings was not hartebeest, but oribi. Park info states there are 36 species of mammals in the sanctuary.


Oribi at Sankelle Sanctuary







A curious hartebeest - Senkelle Sanctuary





Sankelle Sanctuary


To see more of the sanctuary, we got back into our vehicle and drove a ways, accompanied by a ranger.  With the vehicle fully packed, there was no room for the ranger inside, so he hung on outside. We again got out of the vehicle to view the hartebeest on foot.



Ranger hanging on to the back of our vehicle to accompany us to the hartebeest.











Northern Carmine Bee-eater joined the Swayne’s Hartebeest at Senkelle Sanctuary


We saw a nice range of hartebeest activity during our visit, a quite a few of those 65 calves.


The Senkelle Sanctuary’s hours are 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.  Our original itinerary would have had us there later in the afternoon for nicer light, but we chose to linger longer with the wolves.  No offense, hartebeest.


I am certain there will be, among last comments and final pics, some closing credits.  Until then, 2 bird collages--not quite credits, but they're colorful.


Reading left to right:  White-backed Vulture, Firefinch, Village Weaver, Hadada Ibis, Red-billed Buffalo Weaver, Spot-breasted Lapwing/Plover, another Firefinch, Double-toothed Barbet, another Village Weaver, another Spot-breasted Lapwing/Plover, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Red-headed Weaver



Reading left to right, Row 1:  Hammerkop, Great Egret, Marabou Stork   Row 2:  Eastern Grey Woodpecker, Black Crake, Hadada Ibis, Red-knobbed Coot, Malachite Kingfisher.  All except the woodpecker were from the fishing village.


Edited by Atravelynn
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I have certainly learnt a lot about Ethiopia after reading your interesting report.  

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Posted (edited)

I´m very sorry for this delay but for a variety of reasons I just could not find the time to properly end this report. But here I am, ending it - and as usual I´ll cap this off with a list of all the mammals we´ve seen:


1.) Guereza Colobus (Colobus guereza)


Very common at Langano and Bale. Never have seen this beautiful monkey in such numbers.




2.) Hamadryas Baboon (Papio hamadryas)


Some troops seen on the road between Awash and Ali Deghe




3.) Olive Baboon (Papio anubis)


Common in the Awash area, Lake Langano and Bale (Dinsho and Harenna Forest)




4.) Gelada (Theropithecus gelada)


One of our two main targets for this trip, and Guassa was a fantastic - and private - place to see this stunning animal.




5.) Grivet Monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops)




One in Awash, three more at Lake Awasa.


6.) Bale Monkey (Cercopithecus djamdjamensis)


Only occurring in Bale. Saw a good troop of maybe 30 after a few scattered sightings and searching long and hard for them.




7.) Abyssinian Hare (Lepus habessinicus)


Common in the drier lowlands.




8.) Starck´s Hare (Lepus starcki)


Common (but very shy) in Bale.




9.) Unstriped Ground Squirrel (Xerus rutilus)


Only one sighting in Ali Deghe.




10.) Gambian Sun Squirrel (Heliosciurus gambianus)


A few sightings at Langano.




11.) Giant Mole Rat (Spalax giganteus)


A Bale specialty. Surprisingly hard to find, only when specifically searching for them did we see them.




12.) A bunch of other mice stuff - sorry, I gave up trying to ID them. Probably some Blick´s Grass Rats, maybe some Grey-Tailed Narrow Head Rats but really not sure.





Edited by michael-ibk
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Posted (edited)

12.) Golden Wolf (Canis anthus)


A few sightings in Ali Deghe and Langano.




13.) Ethiopian Wolf (Canis simensis)


The major reason for doing this trip, and fortunately we were rewarded with splendid sightings.


Subspecies simensis (Guassa)




Subspecies citernii (Bale)




14.) Bat-Eared Fox (Otocyon megalotis)


Only one sighting in Awash.




15.) White-Tailed Mongoose (Ichneumia albicauda)


One sighting at Langano.




16.) Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crucuta)


One big clan at a den close to Awash, one single animal close to Bale Mountain Lodge




17.) Serval Cat (Felis serval)


One surprise sighting at Guassa, thank to our dedicated guide Abiy.




Also seen: A Civet on a nightwalk in Langano. And I´m still pretty sure I heard a lion in Bale.


18.) (Abyssinian) Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis habessinica)


Seen at Guassa, and heard some in Bale.




19.) Yellow-Spotted Bush Hyrax (Heterohyrax brucei)


Seen at Lake Ziway.




20.) Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius)


Seen at Lake Langano.




21.) Common Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus)


Common to abundant in places like Dinsho.



Edited by michael-ibk
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Posted (edited)

22.) Menelik´s Bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus)


Numerous in Bale but quite shy.




23.) Lesser Kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis)


Few sightings in Awash.




24.) Mountain Nyala (Tragelaphus buxtoni)


A stunning antelope which was surprisingly approachable in Dinsho, even on foot.




25.) Common Duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia)


Four animals in Guassa, one in Dinsho.




26.) Oribi (Ourebia ourebi)


Common in Senkelle.




27.) Abyssinian Klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus saltatrixoides)


Two sightings (two and four animals) in Guassa, none in Bale where they also occur.




28.) Salt´s Dikdik (Madoqua saltiana)


Reasonably common in Awash.




29.) Bohor Reedbuck (Redunca redunca)


Common at Abiata Shalla and Dinsho.




30.) Defassa Waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus defassa)


A rare animal in Ethiopia. One sighting near Doho Lodge.




31.) Grant´s Gazelle (Gazella granti)


Common (but seen nowhere else) in Abiata Shalla.




32.) Soemmering´s Gazelle (Gazella soemmerringi)


One animal in Awash, a few small herds in Ali Deghe.




33.) Northern Gerenuk (Litocranis walleri sclateri)


A few animals seen from afar in Ali Deghe.




34.) Swayne´s Hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus swaynei)


Senkelle is their remaining sanctuary, and luckily they seem to be doing quite well there again.




35.) Beisa Oryx (Oryx beisa)


Seen in Awash and Ali Deghe, not as numerous as in other places where they occur.




Not too many cold-blooded critters this time:


Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus)


Some big ones at Awash Falls.




And this Jackson´s (?) Chameleon from Bale Mountain Lodge




I photographed 254 different bird species in Ethiopia, all of them can be found here:


Edited by michael-ibk
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Posted (edited)

Ethiopia was a "different" trip. Somehow it did not feel like safari but more like an exploration endeavour. No open game drive vehicles, some very shy animals in certain areas, a bit rustic accomodation here and there, few to none other tourists. But if, like me, one loves seeing new animals Ethiopia is heaven. Yes, no elephants, giraffes, zebras or lions this time, many of the classic safari animals are not there. But it was unbelievably cool to see so much new stuff.


Sitting (or in Lynn´s case grazing) with the Geladas was one of the most perfect, most peaceful wildlife experiences I´ve ever had. I almost got a heart attack of excitement when we found or first Ethiopian Wolves in Guassa, on our very first day, in a place where we had not expected them. Could not stop thinking "This is so cool" when I "hunted" my Serval. And just wow to the birding paradise that is Langano, where you cannot walk five steps without discovering a new species. Loved Bale, especially the plateau, with its harsh, otherworldly beauty.


And so I could not stop running, running around, looking for something new, and always did find new things. I loved that you can do pretty much anything you want in the parks - see something interesting, get out of the car, try to approach it - fantastic! I was so happy when the Oryx mother nursing her calf did not run. Or when we found out how amazingly trusting the Mountain Nyala are. Some animals - like the Bale Monkeys - really played hard to get, but in the end, when we did succeed with them (and others), it felt so much more satisfying, like we had really earned it. And yes, it was such a privilege to see the Wolves, Africa´s rarest carnivores. I so hope that they will survive their battle against extinction, it would be so sad to lose them. From what we saw much more could - and should - be done for the wildlife areas, it´s clear the government is not really aware of the potential of their natural heritage and its focus is totally on other things, so there´s not too much space for optimism, for things getting better. But I´m an eternal optimist.


I was more than glad that we had Abiy -  a top guide who knows all the parks inside out, and was just fun to be with. Really highly recommended, and I do hope that people thinking about Ethiopia consider him, just like I did after reading Coke Smith´s report.


So thank you Abiy! (And Bege of course, who was a fantastic driver.)




And thank you Lynn, again you´ve been a splendid travel companion, and I look forward to our next joint adventure - which, fortunately, is imminent. :)


And that´s it from me, Cheers Ethiopia, hope to see you again. (Without Injera though. :P)





Edited by michael-ibk
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Excellent closing credits and photos.  That photographer who took our pics at the Roadrunner deserves credit to for really capturing the moment as well!  It was not only that moment, but the vibe of the trip.  Great friends, great guiding, great driving!  What a winning combo.


"And so I could not stop running, running around, looking for something new"  Not just a figure of speech.  He actually was running around.


We are off again! 


"And that´s it from me, Cheers Ethiopia, hope to see you again. (Without Injera though. :P)"


Oh dear, I made a special dietary request with Doug Macdonald for lots of injera!  :P:P

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Thanks @Atravelynn and @michael-ibk for your fantastic trip report. Ok, I'm sorry that I got stark in the middle of it. No time to continue jet. It will continue reading later. I had to make my one experience with Ethiopia in general but mostly in the other direction of the country and with Injera in our special way. Time is running and after 32 days in Ethiopia we are just back at home.  

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Welcome home, @Botswanadreams , I´m looking forward to hearing all about your Ethiopia experience.

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Thank you @michael-ibk and @Atravelynn for an excellent report - and a wonderful round up at the end. That last photo certainly shows a good spirit. I amsure you will enjoy your next trip together!

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Thanks for a great report!

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