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Nechisar National Park, Ethiopia (Center on Interactive Map)

Map of Nechisar National Park, Ethiopia

Map of Nechisar National Park, Ethiopia

Guenthers dik-dik (Madoqua guentheri) White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) Grants gazelle (Nanger grantii) Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus) - Juvenile Grey-backed Fiscal (Lanius excubitoroides) Red-billed Hornbill (Tockus erythrorhynchus)
Striped Kingfisher (Halcyon chelicuti) Red-fronted Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus pusillus) Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus) Burchells zebra (Equus burchellii) Wattled Lapwing (Vanellus senegallus) Grey-headed Kingfisher (Halcyon leucocephala)
African Grey Hornbill (Lophoceros nasutus) Crested Francolin (Dendroperdix sephaena) White-browed Coucal (Centropus superciliosus) White-browed Sparrow-Weaver (Plocepasser mahali) Rufous Chatterer (Turdoides rubiginosus) Red-tailed Shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides)
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) African Harrier-Hawk (Polyboroides typus) Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove (Turtur chalcospilos) Red-headed Weaver (Anaplectes rubriceps)

Nechisar National Park is a savannah covered park nestled between two lakes and a mountain range. Encroachment into the park by pastoralists has resulted in depopulation of most large mammals.


Africa: Egypt and Ethiopia

1/7/2011: We needed a 4x4 for the next part of our journey, so we called our contact in Addis Ababa to have one sent to pick us up. 4x4 hire in Ethiopia includes a driver, and anyway, you probably need the translation that the driver provides. Our driver spoke a fair amount of English, but more importantly, he was very friendly, and he knew where the good restaurants were.

From our hotel in Hawassa, we were looking at spending most of the day in the car, and I was not looking forward to that. The highlight of traveling on the road to Arba Minch was the steady parade of dancing children who would run to the road to greet the passing cars. Some other interesting bits from the road were a rusty bus stripped of all parts in the middle of the road and of course a drunk guy sleeping in the road.

Arba Minch was the first place in Ethiopia where we saw a level of poor value for hotel. We stayed in a hotel that was easily double the price of a similar hotel almost anywhere. That was the one place that was full of foreign tourists which could explain a few things.

Anyway, the next day, we ditched the tour groups and headed into the national park. Part one of our park trip involved walking out to the water supply for Arba Minch. The forest around there was quite thick, and it was difficult to see all of the monkeys and hornbills flying around. The springs were nice and clear, but it was a bit too chilly to go for a swim.

From the springs, we took the 4X4 over the "Bridge of God" between Lake Chamo and Lake Abaya to get to our campsite on the Nechisar plain. We saw a lot of zebras on the trip, but otherwise, the few antelope that we saw ran fast away from us. It was pretty hot in the plains once it got to be around midday, so most of the game driving involved riding around with the windows rolled up and air conditioning... so not that great. I think that there are probably more cows in that park than all other animals combined which put even more of a damper on the game drive portion of the trip.

We arrived at the campsite which was very well sited next to a mountain and some hot springs. There was finally a big enough group to eat the watermelon, and it was a great novelty as none of the scouts had ever eaten such a fruit. We walked around for awhile waiting for the darkness and our scheduled search for the elusive Nechisar nightjar.

Of course, driving around at night, we did not see any nightjars. Maybe we would have had some more luck if we had brought a spotlight. We were all feeling very tired, and we started heading back to the campsite. Much to our surprise, right on the side of the road, was a caracal. That was an animal that I had never seen in all of my time visiting Africa. Just a few minutes later, I noticed a nightjar flying past the car. Then, in the span of five minutes, there were two civets. The camping weather was perfect as well.

Previous Visit (Lake Awasa: 1/6/2011)
Next Visit (Yabello: 1/9/2011)

Species Recorded (61)

Birds ( 49 )

Hawks, Eagles, and Kites ( Accipitridae )
Montagu's Harrier - Circus pygargus
White-backed Vulture - Gyps africanus

Herons ( Ardeidae )
Black-headed Heron - Ardea melanocephala

Kites, Hawks, Eagles, and Allies ( Acciptridae )
Common Buzzard - Buteo buteo
Dark Chanting-Goshawk - Melierax metabates
Martial Eagle - Polemaetus bellicosus
African Harrier-Hawk - Polyboroides typus
Bateleur - Terathopius ecaudatus

Falcons and Allies ( Falconidae )
Pygmy Falcon - Polihierax semitorquatus

Grouse, Turkeys, and Allies ( Phasianidae )
Crested Francolin - Ortygornis sephaena

Bustards ( Otididae )
Black-bellied Bustard - Lissotis melanogaster

Guineafowl ( Numididae )
Helmeted Guineafowl - Numida meleagris

Plovers ( Charadriidae )
Wattled Lapwing - Vanellus senegallus

Sandpipers and Allies ( Scolopacidae )
Wood Sandpiper - Tringa glareola

Pigeons and Doves ( Columbidae )
Ring-necked Dove - Streptopelia capicola
Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove - Turtur chalcospilos

New World Parrots ( Psittacidae )
Red-bellied Parrot - Poicephalus rufiventris

Turacos ( Musophagidae )
White-bellied Go-away-bird - Corythaixoides leucogaster

Coucals ( Centropodidae )
White-browed Coucal - Centropus superciliosus

Nighthawks and Nightjars ( Caprimulgidae )
Slender-tailed Nightjar - Caprimulgus clarus

Mousebirds ( Coliidae )
Blue-naped Mousebird - Urocolius macrourus

Sunbirds ( Nectariniidae )
Kenya Violet-backed Sunbird - Anthreptes orientalis
Collared Sunbird - Hedydipna collaris

Kingfishers ( Alcedinidae )
Striped Kingfisher - Halcyon chelicuti
Gray-headed Kingfisher - Halcyon leucocephala

Hoopoes ( Upupidae )
Eurasian Hoopoe - Upupa epops

Wood-hoopoes ( Phoeniculidae )
Black-billed Woodhoopoe - Phoeniculus somaliensis

Hornbills ( Bucerotidae )
Silvery-cheeked Hornbill - Bycanistes brevis
African Gray Hornbill - Lophoceros nasutus
Northern Red-billed Hornbill - Tockus erythrorhynchus

Barbets ( Lybiidae )
Red-fronted Tinkerbird - Pogoniulus pusillus

Swallows ( Hirundinidae )
Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica

Bulbuls ( Pycnonotidae )
Northern Brownbul - Phyllastrephus strepitans

Jays and Crows ( Corvidae )
Fan-tailed Raven - Corvus rhipidurus

Gonoleks ( Malaconotidae )
Ethiopian Boubou - Laniarius aethiopicus
Slate-colored Boubou - Laniarius funebris

Old World Warblers and Gnatcatchers ( Sylviidae )
Rufous Chatterer - Argya rubiginosa

Thrushes and Allies ( Turdidae )
Spotted Morning-Thrush - Cichladusa guttata
Northern Black-Flycatcher - Melaenornis edolioides
Isabelline Wheatear - Oenanthe isabellina
Northern Wheatear - Oenanthe oenanthe
Pied Wheatear - Oenanthe pleschanka

Shrikes ( Laniidae )
White-rumped Shrike - Eurocephalus ruppelli
Gray-backed Fiscal - Lanius excubitoroides
Red-tailed Shrike - Lanius phoenicuroides

Old World Sparrows ( Passeridae )
Red-headed Weaver - Anaplectes rubriceps
White-browed Sparrow-Weaver - Plocepasser mahali
Lesser Masked-Weaver - Ploceus intermedius
Vitelline Masked-Weaver - Ploceus vitellinus




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