Highlights: National Parks of the Southern Region, Southern Region of Ethiopia

National Parks of the Southern Region


Your Shortlist

Add National Parks of the Southern Region to your shortlist and let us help you plan your visit.


Worth Noting:

Type:

  • National parks
  • Game drives
  • Bird watching
  • Trekking
  • Lake

Difficulty:

  • Moderate level of fitness

Park Fees:

  • Under 50 USD

About National Parks of the Southern Region

There are several national parks in the south of Ethiopia, all of which were gazetted for a specific reason – whether it was to protect a certain species, or to conserve a habitat, or something else.

Bale Mountain National Park is the best known and arguably the most interesting national park in the region. Formed before the formation of the Great Rift Valley from volcanic outpourings of lava, the terrain is unearthly and spectacular. Sanetti Plateau has around six volcanic cones, each over 4,200m high; the peak of Tulu Dimtu, the 2nd highest mountain in Ethiopia, stands at almost 4,400m. A total of 40 rivers originate in the park, flowing into 5 major rivers, and the Bale massif is the source of lots of springs. The multiple habitats include Afro-alpine moorlands, grasslands, woodlands, moorlands and meadows. Five mammals are endemic to the park, and 20 others to the Ethiopian Highlands, including the endangered Ethiopian Wolf. The African Bird Club rates the park as the number 4 birding site in Africa; 320 species of birds have been recorded here.

The Abijiata-Shalla National Park, near Lake Langano, is best known for its two lovely lakes – Abijiata and Shalla – and for the 300 bird species recorded here. Nechisar National Park, east of Arba Minch, is notable for the attractive lakes Abaya and Chamo, and for the enjoyable walk along the isthmus between them; the park is an important habitat for birds, especially migratory species and water birds. Mago National Park is best known for the Mursi tribe, known for wearing lip plates.

Other notable parks include the huge Omo National Park known for the native peoples who inhabit it, Chebera Churchura National Park known for its wooded habitat and birdlife, and Maze National Park known for its population of endangered Swayne’s hartebeest.


Other Highlights In The Southern Region

There are several national parks in the south of Ethiopia, all of which were gazetted for a specific reason – whether it was to protect a certain species, or to conserve a habitat, or something else. Bale Mountain National Park is the best known and arguably the most interesting ...

While the towns of the region are few and far between, each has its own distinctive character and feeling. Shashemene is the home of the Rastafarian movement in Ethiopia, and has a Rasta museum and several Rasta bars. This originated when, in 1948, Emperor Haile Selassie gave some of his land ...

While the tribes who live here are too numerous and too individual to describe here in detail, it would be a serious omission to write about the south without mentioning them. The tribes of the Omo Valley appear to have changed little for eons; the people of each tribe ...


Accommodations Near National Parks of the Southern Region

Aregash Lodge is built in the style of a traditional Sidama village. Set amongst the coffee fields of the Missailidis Family’s coffee plantation, the lodge overlooks lush green slopes. The Missailidis Family, originally from Greece, have been in Ethiopia for three generations and cultivate the tasty coffee for which ...

The rolling hills and craggy peaks of Bale Mountain National Park are filled with 87 mammal species including the rare Abyssinian Wolf and the Mountain Nyala. Bale Mountain is home to 320 species of birds including 170 migratory birds and 14 endemic species. Bale Mountain Lodge has breath-taking views of the park and its ...

Hawassa, on the shores of Lake Hawassa, is the capital of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region. A bustling hub in the south of Ethiopia, the town is home to Hawassa University and several markets including the popular fish market. The 82 en-suite rooms are made up of singles, twins, ...

A friendly homestay owned and managed by the Dorze tribe, Dorze Lodge is high on a mountain above the town of Arba Minch, overlooking the lake and valley below. There are 10 en-suite traditional beehive rooms, and 4 traditional Dorze huts, entirely covered by organic materials, with communal bathrooms. All the furniture ...

Arba Minch, meaning ‘Forty Springs’ after the abundant natural springs in the area, is a town on the lush western side of the Rift Valley. Emerald Resort and Lodge sits high on an escarpment and has lovely views of the mountains and lakes. The 82 en-suite rooms are made up of ...

This simple homestay is designed and managed by the Dorze tribe. High on the mountain, the homestay has lovely views on all sides. The 12 round tukuls have walls and roofs of woven bamboo. They can be furnished with 1 or 2 single beds, and a chair. The bathroom block, adjacent to the ...

Haile Gebrselassie is arguably the best runner Ethiopia has ever produced – and that’s quite a feat! With two Olympic gold medals, four World Championship titles and too many marathon wins to count, Haile has broken national and international records time and time again. Now President of Ethiopian Athletics, the ...

Haile Gebrselassie is arguably the best runner Ethiopia has ever produced – and that’s quite a feat! With two Olympic gold medals, four World Championship titles and too many marathon wins to count, Haile has broken national and international records time and time again. Now President of Ethiopian Athletics, the ...

On the lakefront, the eco-lodge Hara Langano offers a relaxed atmosphere and a wide range of activities on the lake. The 32 en-suite rooms, known locally as gojo, are dotted around the attractive grounds, and most have views of the lake. The restaurant serves Ethiopian cuisine and has a selection of ...

Hawassa, capital of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region, is a bustling hub on Lake Hawassa. Situated near the lake, Hawassa Lake View Hotel has lovely views of the water and the lakeshore. The 22 en-suite rooms are made up of standard, double and delux. All rooms have TV, Wifi, ...

Lewi Hotel and Resort is on the shores of Lake Hawassa. To suit the style of its location, the hotel is traditionally thatched. The 60 en-suite rooms are made up of garden view rooms, lake view rooms, bungalows, connective suites, family suites and a presidential suite. All rooms have TV, safe, ...

As its name suggests, Mora Heights Hotel is high on a hill, 1,285 meters above sea level. The 28 en-suite rooms are made up of singles, doubles and twins. All have balconies, many of which have lovely views. The restaurant serves Ethiopian cuisine and has some international dishes. The bar is stocked ...

Perched on a peak overlooking Lake Chamo and Lake Abaya, Paradise Lodge offers spectacular views across Ethiopia’s southern Rift Valley. The 129 en-suite rooms comprise single, twin, family, king size, VIP suite and presidential suite. All rooms are furnished with beds and tables crafted from local Cordia Africana trees. The ...

On the shores of Lake Langano, Sabana Beach Resort has a beach at the foot of its lovely sloping gardens. There are 25 en-suite bungalows in the gardens, comprising standard and family, and 4 family villas by the beach. All rooms have intercom telephone, minibar and veranda overlooking the lake. The resort ...

Hawassa, capital of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region, is a bustling hub on Lake Hawassa. Centrally located, the South Star International Hotel offers rooms and services designed for both business and leisure travellers. The 114 en-suite rooms are made up of standard, twin, family, executive suites and delux suites. ...

Haile Gebrselassie is arguably the best runner Ethiopia has ever produced – and that’s quite a feat! With two Olympic gold medals, four World Championship titles and too many marathon wins to count, Haile has broken national and international records time and time again. Now President of Ethiopian Athletics, the ...

Haile Gebrselassie is arguably the best runner Ethiopia has ever produced – and that’s quite a feat! With two Olympic gold medals, four World Championship titles and too many marathon wins to count, Haile has broken national and international records time and time again. Now President of Ethiopian Athletics, the ...

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