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Ethiopia's Top Wildlife

Home to some incredible endemic species, Ethiopia has more wildlife than you might realise.

Eliza

Eliza

Marketing Manager
Published on

29 Sep 2020

Updated on

29 Jan 2021

Ethiopian  Wolf  Eto

Unlike the majority of other tourist destinations in Africa, Ethiopia isn’t renowned for its wildlife, however, visitors with time, patience and a keen eye are rewarded with some incredible animal encounters, many of which are endemic species (only found in that place) which make for very special sightings indeed.

So if you're planning a holiday to Ethiopia, take a look at our guide of the wildlife to look out for, To maximise your chances of seeing wildlife in Ethiopia, take a look at our Wildlife on the roof of Africa trip idea from £4,125pp for 11 nights.

Endemic Ethiopian Species

Ethiopian Wolf Pack
Ethiopian Wolf Pack

Ethiopian wolf

The World’s rarest canid, with a population of around 450 in total, with 350 of these found in the Bale Mountains in the South-East of the country. Sightings are incredibly common, thanks to the skills of the guides in Bale, many of whom grew up in the mountains and know where the respective packs den and hunt.

Grivet Monkey In Ethiopia
Bale Monkey

Bale monkey

Endemic to Ethiopia and, more specifically, the belt of bamboo deep in the Bale Mountains’ Harenna Forest, the Bale monkey is a common sight when out with the guides from Bale Mountain Lodge, with a few thousand of these cheeky little creatures living within the forest.

Walia Ibexes
Walia Ibexes

Walia Ibex

The rarest of all Ethiopia’s endemic creatures, Walia ibex are distinctive for their long curved horns, which are up to 1 metre long for males, smaller for females. Their habitat is rocky clifftops within the Simien Mountains and although sightings aren’t overly common, walkers enjoying a 2 or 3 day hike through the mountains have a strong chance of seeing them.

Menelik’S Bushbuck
Menelik’s Bushbuck

Menelik’s Bushbuck

Found in the rarely-visited forests around Addis Ababa and, more conveniently for visitors, the highlands of the Bale Mountains, Menelik’s are endemic to Ethiopia and distinctive from the common bushbuck in that the males are almost completely black in colour, save for white markings on the throat and forelegs.

Other wildlife found in Ethiopia

Yasmins Spotted Hyena
Spotted Hyena

Spotted hyena

Away from centres with a high population density spotted hyena are reasonably common and can often be found scavenging in the fringes of towns and cities, most famously in the Eastern city of Harar, where a nightly display with the “Hyena man of Harar” is put on for visitors.

Leopard
Leopard yawning

Leopard

A paradox in that they are Africa’s most widespread, yet elusive big cat, Leopard can adapt to living almost anywhere, with recorded sightings in all National Parks, although signs in more tourist-friendly spots such as the Simien Mountains tend to be frequent tracks and the occasional story from the National Park Scouts who accompany walks.

Mara  Ngenche Black Mane Lion
Black Maned Lion

Abyssinian lion

Although not common sightings, they are found in reasonable numbers in the National Parks in the South of the country, notably the Bale Mountains. Males are distinctive for their impressive black manes.

Hans Veth 2 Xpe Rabv8K0 Unsplash
Black Backed Jackal

Black-backed jackal

One of Africa’s most common scavengers, these small, fox-like creatures are widespread in the lowlands of the Omo Valley and can often be seen by the side of the road when driving through the bush.

Bat Earred Fox
Bat Eared Fox

Bat-eared fox

Distinctive for their large ears, these charming little creatures are widely found within the Omo Valley. Generally nocturnal, they start to become active around dusk in this region and are often spotted when returning to camp after a day visiting the tribes of the Omo Valley.

Gelada In  Simien  Mountains
Gelada Monkey in the Simien Mountains

Gelada Monkey

Often (and mistakenly) referred to as a baboon, geladas are most commonly found on the high plateau of the Simien Mountains. A very social creature, they live in groups of up to 1,000, although smaller groups of around 100 are more common. Distinctive for their golden manes and red chest, they are virtually a guaranteed sighting when visiting the Simiens.

White Eared Kob
White-eared kob

White-eared kob

Although the permanent population is small and restricted to the remote swamps of the Gambella National Park in the West of Ethiopia, white-eared kob create one of the world’s great mammal migrations when around 1.2 million of these creatures cross the border from Sudan in to Gambella between March and June each year.

Planning a trip? Take a look at our guide of the best time to visit Ethiopia.

For more wildlife inspiration, take a read of our top wildlife experiences.

If you'd like to arrange a holiday or honeymoon to Ethiopia, give our friendly team a call on 01768 603 715 or enquire here.

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  • Ali

    Ali

    Ethiopia Specialist

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