2-6 January 2020
Before ending our journey in Awash, a savannah paradise about 200km East of Addis, we needed a few days to discover two gorges crossed by huge rivers, the Gibe and Jemma gorges, Debre Lebanos, an orthodox monastery where several groups of Geladas reside, and the Ankober Plateau, home to many special mountain species such as the Ankober Serin.
We spent most of the time in the two river valleys looking for the Egyptian Plover, which stood us up... and the same in the Jemma Gorge. Nevertheless, these two places are of a beauty and a quietness that were worth the hours of driving...
Where there are rivers, there are crocodiles and hippos, but from a distance! Surprisingly, the banks of these two rivers are very quiet and we spent many hours birdswatching there.
Debre Lebanos, located in the Jemma valley, not far from the cliffs where the Geladas live, is a must for those who want to see them up close. This calm primate is endemic to the Ethiopian highlands. The population is still quite large, but is threatened by agriculture and the loss of their territory.
In the fog of the Ankober mountains at an altitude of about 3000m, we could observe hundreds of Geladas. Some of them were in the middle of the mating season even if these primates don't really have a favourite season for that...
A great moment with these peaceful and endearing baboons.
The other visited regions :
-Rift Valley 1 (lakes and lots of birds)
- Harenna forest (tropical-style atmosphere)
- The south: Negele, Yabello (endemics and savannahs)
- Rift Valley 2 (back to big lakes)
- Awash (beautiful savannah and heat)