Nature & Adventure Tour

Nature and
Adventure Tour

Semien Mountains

The Semien is an area of highland country in the northern part of Ethiopia, encompassing much of the eastern part of Gondar. Here is what Rosita Forbes in 1925 about this area said,’ The most marvelous of all Abyssinian landscapes opened before us, as we looked across a gorge that was clouded amethyst to the peaks of Semien

A thousand years ago, when the old gods reined in Ethiopia, they must have played chess with those stupendous crags, for we saw bishops’ miters cut in lapis lazuli, castles with the ruby of approaching sunset on their turrets, an emerald knight where the forest crept up on to the rock, and far away, a king, crowned with sapphire, and guarded by a raw of pawns. When the gods exchanged their games for shield and buckler to fight the new men clamoring at their gates, they turned the pieces of their chessboard into mountains. In Semien they stand enchanted, till once again the world is pagan and the titans and the earth gods lean down from the monstrous cloud banks to wager a star or two on their sport.”

The Semien highlands constitute one of the major massifs in Africa. The highest point in Ethiopia, Ras Dejen, at 4620 meters is the fourth highest mountain in Africa.

Its dramatic topography is the result of basalt lavas which have been calculated to be 3000 meters thick.

Apart from the spectacular scenery, the region contains a number of unusual botanical phenomena and some of the rarest animals in the world. The Walia Ibex has its citadel among the Peaks of the Semien. One of the major justifications for making this region into a national park is that it is the last stronghold of the Walia Ibex, which is a type of wild goat they have been brought to the verge of extinction by poaching and distraction of their habitat. Fortunately, the establishment of a national park has kept the poaching somewhat under control.

The Walia live on nearly vertical cliff faces and narrow ledges in restricted area within the Semien Mountains. The gelada, a primate, which looks like a cross between a lion and baboon, is another exclusively Ethiopian species, which lives in this habitat. Over fifty species of birds have been positively identified in the Semien Mountains. The Semien region, though it is in the continent of Africa and not far from the Equator, has temperatures which sometimes drop below freezing at night. On the other hand, the sun’s rays beat directly down and the rarefied atmosphere does not act as an effective filter. The visitor should thus be prepared for warm days and the likelihood of sunburn.

Ethiopian Rift Valley

rift valley

The Ethiopian Rift Valley is part of the Afro- Arabian Rift system, bounded by the Arabian plate to the north, African plate to the west, and East African plate to the east. It is a system of down faulted troughs starting from the Jordan- Dead Sea Rift, the Red sea, and the Gulf of Aden, and continues southwards through East Africa Rift up to Mozambique. This feature of the earth’s crust extends approximately 6500 km in a generally north-south direction. The Rift Valley is a geological relic of the critical weakening in the earth’s crust along two roughly parallel faults which opened some 2 million years ago the world’s largest geological divide.

The Ethiopian Rift Valley offers eight spectacular chains of lakes. These lakes formed during the period of high rainfall in the quaternary era when much of the world near the poles was covered in ice. During this time the northern four lakes Ziway, Langano, Abyjata and Shalla were one and the southern two Abaya and Chamo were one. As the earth’s climate warmed in comparatively recent geological times the rift valley lakes receded leaving extensive deposits of sedimentary rocks. The Ethiopian Rift Valley offers eight spectacular chain of lakes. These lakes formed during the period of high rainfall in the quaternary era when much of the world near the poles was covered in ice.

During this time the northern four lakes; Ziway, Langano, Abyjata and Shalla were one and the southern two Abaya and Chamo were one. As the earth’s climate warmed in comparatively recent geological times the rift valley lakes receded leaving extensive deposits of sedimentary rocks

Bale Mountains National Park

Bale mountains is an area of high altitude plateau that is broken by numerous Ethiopian Wolf spectacular volcanic plugs and peaks, beautiful alpine lakes and rushing mountain streams that descend into deep rocky gorges on their way to the lowlands below.

The Bale Mountains rise from the extensive surrounding farm lands at 2,500meter above sea level to the west, north and east. The National Park area is divided into two major parts by the spectacular Harenna escarpment that runs from east to west.

The climate of the Bale Mountains is characterized by a high rainfall and periods of damp cloudy weather interspersed with brilliant blue skies. The dry season is usually from November to February. The temperature may rise to as high as 30 centigrade. Nights are star-filled, clear and cold, usually with heavy ground frosts.

Temperatures may fall between -6 and -15 degrees centigrade in the main peak area of the park. The dry season is the best time to visit the national park, especially for walking and horse trekking in the high mountain area.

The meadows, stream banks, forest floor and grasslands of the Bale Mountains contain much different vegetation, and are a further fascinating facet of this area.

This region contributes visually to your enjoyment and understanding of this wonderful wild place .The Mountains are also famous as home and refuge of the endemic Mountain Nyala and the Ethiopian Wolf. Both these mammals occur in reasonable numbers, and visits to the Gasay area and the Senate plateau will ensure you see both.

The Ethiopian Wolf is found only in Bale and Simien Mountains and no where else in the world. It feeds on rodents and as a result is mainly found at the higher altitudes where rodents abound. The wolf hunts its prey by standing still over the rodent holes, patiently listening, turning its head and ears from side to side,and suddenly pouncing when a rat emerges. There are more than twenty other small to large-sized mammals like Menelik’s Bushbuck, Reedbuck, monkeys and many others.

Wherever you go in Bale there are always birds to watch and some of them are endemic. At least sixteen species of birds are known to be endemic to Ethiopia. About fourteen of these species are known to occur in the Bale Mountains National Park area. Dinsho-400 kms from Addis and the park’s headquarter-, Robe and Goba can all be reached in a day’s drive from Addis Ababa. Fifty kms from the parks headquarter- Ras Hotel provides a good accommodation or camping at the park can be arranged. Warm clothing is a must at any time of the year. Visitors who are intending to do some walking will need sturdy shoes and boots.

Nechsar National Park

Nechsar National Park, which is one the nine national parks in Ethiopia has an area of 514 kilo meter square. Nechsar (White grass) refers to the central grassy plains which are always associated with Burchell’s zebra and the parks most striking features.

It is the only national park in the world where the critically endangered Swayne’s hartebeest still survives, the only known locality of the Nechsar nightjar, with large populations of hippo and crocodile. The altitude in the park ranges from 1100 to 1650 meters above sea level. The rainfall in the park averages about 800mm a year. The driest season is December to February with daily temperatures from 36 to 39 degree centigrade.

A network of 185-km tracks gives access to all parts of the park. The early mornings and the late afternoon are good times for viewing wild animals. There is also a hot spring at the southeast corner of the park, which is used much by people who believe that the water is holy and heals northern white-tailed bush lark are only found on the Netchsar plains in Ethiopia.

The park is 500 Km from Addis Ababa by road. It is located near Arbaminch town. The town is served twice weekly by Ethiopian Airlines from Addis.

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Although the larger mammals are locally extinct there are some 73 medium and smaller mammals. The park supports the countries largest concentration of Burchell’s zebra. It is also one of the best places to see greater numbers of kudu, klipspringer Dik dik, Water buck, Bushbuck, Hippos Crocodile and many smaller mammals. 342 species of birds are also recorded from the park. The Netchsar nightjar and the northern white-tailed bush lark are only found on the Netchsar plains in Ethiopia.

The park is 500 Km from Addis Ababa by road. It is located near Arbaminch town. The town is served twice weekly by Ethiopian Airlines from Addis.

Network of 185-km tracks gives access to all parts of the park. The early mornings and the late afternoon are good times for viewing wild animals. There is also a hot spring at the southeast corner of the park, which is used much by people who believe that the water is holy and heals from ailments.

There are reasonable hotels in Arba Minch town and there are also sights along the lake shore . Visitors may arrange to camp at the park. Tours on Abaya and Chamo lakes are along the best anywhere in the country. There are many Hippos and some of the beaches are used by what many be the world’s most spectacular concentrations of giant crocodiles. Fishing for Nile perch and many other species is also by far the best sport. Near the airport on the shore of lake Abaya is the Arba Minch Crocodile Ranch with thousands of crocodiles in a pleasant setting.

About Us

Ghion Travel and Tours (GTT) is a highly organized tour company in Ethiopia established in 1998.Its major goal is to develop different forms of tourism with a new and improved quality of service provisions.

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Ethiopia