Ethiopia is a Mecca for the ornithologist. Some 924 species of birds live in the great variation of Ethiopian habitats.
Out of these are 24 species endemic, and another 14 near to endemic, shared only with Eritrea.
There are 214 species of pal-arctic migrants. 45 of these have also been spotted in the country during the Summer months.
Furthermore a large number of species have breeding populations.
On every bird watching tour there is opportunity to spot other animals, including a number of the famous endemic mammals.
The high season for bird watching runs from October to January.
A large number of migrants are present from November to March.
Most bird watching sites are accessible all year round, and there are certain advantages to visiting during the rainy season from May to September:
Many birds are nesting or feeding fledged young from April to July. Species like weavers and bishops are in breeding plumage and remain so until September.
Furthermore wildflowers are wonderful from June to July. And temperatures are milder.
During the rains parts of Omo Valley as well as parts of Gambela may be temporarily inaccesible. Most other places are reachable, despite potentially wet and muddy conditions.
There are several hotspots for bird watching in Ethiopia. Some are more known and frequented, others more difficult to access.
Sanetti Plateau and Harenna Forrest in Bale Mountains along with Awash and Abijata National Parks, Jemma Valley, and Guassa Plateau are among the most visited.
The large Borena zone South of Bale Mountains also offers spectacular opportunities for bird watching. As does Lake Tana, large areas of both East and West Omo Valley, the pristine forests of Bonga and Western Oromia and the vast wetlands of Gambela.
In short, Ethiopia has a lot to offer both for the comfortable visitor and for the adventurous traveller.