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20 Ethiopian Wildlife Facts You Must Know


20 Important Things to Know About the Wildlife in Ethiopia


The following describes several different aspects of wildlife in Ethiopia.

This encompasses the animals, plants, their habitations, and several other elements related to wildlife.

Each of the 20 listed below comes with further details which may be accessed by clicking on the "more on..." tab.

Ethiopia is a large country with several varied types of biodiversity that will be a treasure trove for the avid eco tourist.

From having the hottest place on earth to being the cradle of mankind, Ethiopia awes its visitors and leaves them with an impression not easily forgotten.


1. Birdwatching in Ethiopia

Over 850 bird species in Ethiopia


bird watching in ethiopia

Some of the places considered ideal for birdwatching in Ethiopia include:

Awash National Park, Lake Langano, Lake Ziway, Sabana Lodge/Bishangari, Abiyata/Shalla National Park, Bale Mountains National Park, Negeli Borena, Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary and Reserve, Rift Valley Lakes, Lake Ziway, etc.

Ethiopia has 23 endemic bird species with another 7 reported but yet to be identified:

Abyssinian catbird (Parophasma galinieri), Abyssinian Salty flycatcher, Abyssinian longclaw (Macronyx flavicollis), Abyssinian Woodpecker (Dendropicos abyssinicus)...


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2. Endemic Animals in Ethiopia

Gelada Baboon, Nyala Hartebeest, Menilik's Bushbuck, Walia Ibex, etc.


endemic animals in ethiopia

Ethiopia is among the few countries in the world to possess unique and characteristic fauna with a high level of endemicity, according to the WCMC (World Conservation Monitoring Center).

Ethiopia has extensive and unique environmental conditions ranging from Ras Dejen (4600m) to Dallol (100m).

This huge altitudinal and latitudinal range makes Ethiopia an ecological wonder housing several unique habitats.

There are over 277 mammalian species with 31 of them unique to Ethiopia alone and in dire need of conservationist action.

What Ethiopia lacks in numbers, it makes up in rare and endemic life.

Unlike her counterparts in certain areas of Africa, large herds of animals are a rarity, although they do exist, such as the buffalos in Gambella and the Zebras of Nechisar.

List of the Endemic Wildlife Present in Ethiopia:

African elephant, African Wild Dog, Beira (Antelope)


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3. Zoos in Ethiopia

Known in Ethiopia as Anbessa Bet or the Lion's House


zoo in ethiopia

The zoo was created in 1947, when hunters wanting to show their gratitude to Emperor Haile Selassie, gave him lions as gifts.

Anbessa Bet or the Lion's Home Zoo is located in Addis Ababa around the Amist area.

The zoo derived its name due to having more lions on display than any other animals.

Some of these animals are Geleda baboons, anthelope, ducks, turtles, and different types of apes.


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4. Ecotourism in Ethiopia

Wonchi Lakes, Bale Mountain National Park, etc.


ecotourism in ethiopia

According to the Ethiopian Biodiversity Conservation Authority, Ethiopia is endowed with diverse flora and fauna, as well as with microbial resources.

Major ecosystems found in Ethiopia include:

Afroalpine, Subafroalpine, Montane dry forest, Scrub, Montane moist forest, Acacia-Comiphora woodland, Combretum-Terminalia woodland, Lowland humid forest, Aquatic, Wetland, Montane grassland, Desert and Semideset ecosystems.


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5. Hunting in Ethiopia

Legal Hunting in the controlled areas of Ethiopia


hunting in ethiopia
image credit: pinterest.com

A well known hunting ground for those looking for game is known as Awash West Controlled Hunting Area.

It offers easy accessibility from Addis Ababa and offers a large number of wildlife species in the area, posing a challenge and an adventure for hunters.

Lions and Leopards are available to hunt in Ethiopia and are present in large numbers.

Hunting Lion is only done by tracking. Ethiopia issues more licenses for hunting Leopards than any other country in Africa.

Hunting in Ethiopia follows specific rules. A species can only be hunted in those areas that have been designated for hunting that particular species.

Unfortunately for hunters interested in hunting Elephant or the Neumann's Hartebeest, these species can be hunted in theory only, no land has been designated for their hunting in Ethiopia as of yet.

There is no hunting season in Ethiopia and therefore it is theoretically possible to hunt all year round.

The best time of year for hunting in...


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6. National Parks in Ethiopia

Several National Parks to choose from


natinoal park in ethiopia

Some of the National Parks include:

Bale Mountains, Nechi Sar, Omo, Mago, Abijata/Shalla Lakes, Semien, Sof Omar, Awash, Gambella, Yangudi Rassa, Chebera/Churchura, Alatish, Maze, Kafta Sheraro...


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7. Paleontological Sites in Ethiopia

Home of the famous Lucy, it's no wonder Ethiopia has several paleontological sites


paleontological site in ethiopia

Sites containing hominid fossils are extremely rare and have only been found in a select handful number of locations around the world so it is essential that they be properly excavated for scientific research.

One of these rare locations where many hominid fossils have been found is Hadar, Ethiopia. Many scientists visit this location each year.

Hadar has the right type of geology to preserve hominid fossils because the ground is rich in animal fossils dating about 3 million years.

In fact, one of the most famous fossil discoveries was made here.

The fossil was discovered by Donald Johanson and Tom Gray in late 1974 and was found to be one of the most significant fossil sites in the world.

It was later excavated from the site and found to be an A. afarensis female.

He named it Lucy.

Some other sites include: Aramis, Bouri Formation, Chororapithecus Abyssinicus, Dikka, Dungur, the Awash Basin, Middle Awash, the Omo Kibish, the Old Town, Melka Kunture, etc.


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8. Sanctuary in Ethiopia

Babile Wildlife Sanctuary, Yabelo Wildlife Sanctuary, etc.


sanctuary in ethiopia
image credit: traveloethiopia.com

The Ethiopian government has taken great steps to conserve the wildlife in Ethiopia.

To this effect Ethiopia is home to several unique species that reside in sanctuaries located throughout the country.

There exist about six wildlife sanctuaries in Ethiopia:

Didessa Wildlife Sanctuary, Harar Wildlife Sanctuary or Babile Elephant Sanctuary, Kuni-Muktar Mountain Nyala Sanctuary...

The Didessa Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Illubabor Zone of Oromia, and is a protected area for all wildlife.

The Harar Wildlife Sanctuary also known as the Babile Elephant Sanctuary is located in the Babile area of East Hararghe in the Oromia Region.

This sanctuary was created for the preservation of the native elephant, known as Loxodonta Africana Olensie as well as for the lions.

This sanctuary encompasses the valleys of Erer, Dakaka, and Fafen...


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9. Weather, Seasons, & Climate in Ethiopia

Climatic Zones, Temperatures & The Seasons


climate in ethiopia

Ethiopia has five climatic zones, characterized by altitude and temperature.

The hot, arid zone covers the desert lowlands below 500 meters, where typical annual rainfall is less than 395 millimeters and typical annual temperatures vary between...

Ethiopian Seasons

Kiremt or Meher (summer) - June, July and August are the summer season, which are characterized by heavy rain falls.


Belg (autumn) - September, October and November are the...


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10. Vegetation/Plants in Ethiopia

Unique plants at an altitude range of 120m below sea level to 4,533m ASL


vegetation in ethiopia

Ethiopia is known for having a very diverse range of topography and climatic environments.

Located in the Horn of Africa it has one of the most abundant collections of plants on the African continent.

It is the home of various internationally important crop species, such as Coffea Arabica (coffee).

Ethiopia also has a high diversity of tree species, most of which are restricted to Ethiopia and its bordering countries or endemic to the country.

As a result of this diversity, almost every major type of vegetation can be found in the country.

Conservation in Ethiopia in Urgently Needed...Projects such as the restoration of the arboretum at Wondo Genet College of...


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