Awash National Park
Owing to its proximity to Addis Ababa (half-day drive), the Awash National Park is one of the most visited parks in Ethiopia. The park spans 765 square kilometers of acacia woodlands, grassland and volcanic landscapes.
Its location on a major north-southern migratory route has resulted in an abundant birdlife. More than 460 species are known to have been recorded, among them the extremely rare yellow-throated seedeater and somber rock chat, both found only in and near Awash.
The plains to the south are excellent for viewing larger fauna. Soemmering’s gazelles and oryx frequent the grassy plains while waterbucks and baboons can be seen in the bushy river areas. Lions, leopards, caracals, servals and wildcats are known to reside in the park but tend to be elusive to the visitors’ eyes.
Further south, the Awash River gorge displays dramatic waterfalls. In the far north of the park, nestled amid groves of palm trees, lie the Filwoha Hot Springs. Visitors can take a dip in the turquois pools with temperatures reaching as high as 45 °C. Toward the west, the main feature of the park, the dormant volcano Fantale (2007 meters), makes for an amazing trek.