Butterfly
Dragonfly Macrophotography
Hungarian dragonfly-safari
In Quest of the „Flying Flowers" (Hungarian butterfly trip)"
Slovenia-Croatia butterfly special with 4 Large Blues pre-extension
Butterflies of Montenegro
Butterflies of Serbia with False Comma
Sri Lanka: Butterflies, Leopards, Blue Whales
Nepal: Butterflying at the Foothills of the Himalaya
Ethiopian Butterfly & Wildlife adventure with Tribal extension
Ghana butterfly adventure
Butterflies, Chimps, Gorillas (Uganda)
Eastern-European
B
irdwatching
Day-birdwatching trips (Hungary)
Bears, Great Bustards… vampires!
( Hungary+Romania)!
The late summer birding trip (Hungary)
Crane weekend of Hungary
Wallcreepers, Ptarmigans, Rock Partridges (Slovenia-Croatia birding circle)
Birding in Serbia
Egypt/Horn/Africa
Birdwatching
"Birds & Pharaos", birding in Egypt
Southern Red Sea birding & diving adventure
Ethiopian birding adventure
Mammals
Hungarian Bat Safari
Big game photosafaris
Hiking, Trekking, Multicultural - Outdoor
Ecoholidays in Hungary
Multicultural Highlights of Dracula country
Castles, Vampires and Counts of the Carpathians
The hidden face of Transylvania and Bucovina
Mediterranean Odyssey (Slovenia, Croatia)
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Calendar of tours
Travellers' baglist

 
Classic East-African savannah.
Enormous trees next to Bishangari Lodge.
The forest of Wondo Genet.
Termites. 
The highest all-weather road of Africa goes up to the Sanetti Plateau of Bale Mts.
Where we can see incredible Afro-alpine environment and series of palearctic-related endemics and rarities.
Tribes are still the attraction of the deep south. Here karo women are chating.
Karo warriors near the bend of the Omo river.
Mursi woman with lip-plate.
Ethiopia is the home of some of the most beautiful people of the Planet.
Also the home of the earliest orthodox Christianity. Here priests are walking during a religious feast.
We will see hundreds of Colobus monkeys on this tour...
...just like endemic Gelada babouins.
One of our star-lighted camps during an earlier exploratory to the Mursi area.
Picnic.
  

 



Ethiopian Butterfly & Wildlife adventure


Summary and recommendation: "...A 17 days easy and relaxed butterfly circle to see and photograph the finest selection of Ethiopian butterflies available. The tour is run with Szabolcs Safian, the top expert of the younger generation on African butterflies, and Lajos Nemeth-Boka, who operate tours in Ethiopia for 10 years. The tour offers breathtaking scenery, great selection of habitats, great photo-opportunities and many endemic birds and mammals as well..."


 

Destination country: Ethiopia. Start and finish in Addis Ababa.

Guides: Szabolcs Safian, Lajos Nemeth-Boka.

Note: This is the second ever butterfly tour organized to Ethiopia, based on the field experience with the late dr. Torben Larsen. We will visiting some of the least explored corners of the country, incl. Harenna Forests, and easily can happen that we will discover new taxa for the science. On earlier trips we bagged 180+ butterfly species, not to mention the usual fantastic birdlife and many superb mammals, incl. a dozen Simien Wolf, and all the rest of charismatic megafauna. Nechisar NP was especially memorable, as Dr. Larsen said: "-This day was one of the most amazing experience I ever had in african entomology!"

Next schedules: TBA

Duration: 17.

Price: GBP ...+ ...GBP single suplpement. Price includes: accommodations and meals (lunch is typically picnic!), drinking water, vehicle hire with fuel and driver guide, park entrance fees and ranger guides. The price exclude: bank transfer loss, domestic and international flights, visa, tips, drinks, personal travel insurance and any other activities of personal request e.g. laundry, toalet fees, phone calls, etc.

Accommodation: Three-star hotels with all rooms en suite. Some of the best lodges of the country included.

Numbers: Min. 6, max. 12 person + 2guide.

Transport: Toyota Coaster and 4WDs when required (eg. in Nechisar NP).

Further information: To see the full list of Ethiopian butterflies, please click here (and click on "species list")!

Recommended literature: "Collins' Field Guide to the Butterflies of East Africa" by Carcasson. Torben Larsen’s "Butterflies of Kenya" (really hard to find and expensive, but the best). Terry Stevenson's "Birds of The Horn of Africa". "The Kingdon Fieldguide to African Mammals" by Jonathan Kingdon. We will carry a series of other butterfly books which will be available throughout the trip. Please note, that identification of butterflies is sometimes really difficult (if not impossible...) in the field and a limited number of specimens will be taken for further ID especially ones with scientific interest under permission by the wildlife authorities of Ethiopia. Please, be sure that collecting a few specimens in a rainforest ecosystem would not damage the population of any species.

Description: "...Culturally, historically and scenically it is one of the most extraordinary land of all Africa, the land of superlatives, extremities, where Simien Wolf roams the mountains and Lammergeier rules the skies. Dominated by the heartbeating highlands and fullfilled with the richest historical heritage of the all continent, Ethiopia always was and still one of the most sought-after and enigmatic destination in Africa. Zillions of Butterflies, Blue Nile, endless swamps, the oldest christian culture, ancient lip-plate tribes, unmolested and tame birds, unique big games, afro-alpine moorlands, dry endless deserts, lakes deep in the Rift Valley, Erta Ale, Danakils... this is all Ethiopia. A welcoming, enjoyable, rewarding and attractive butterfly destination. A country which confounds every expectation! There are 8 families, 93 genera and 324 species to be found in Ethiopia. Please note, this is the first butterfly tour ever organised to Ethiopia, to a country which boasts a completely unique variation of afro-tropical and afro-alpine fauna, with relations to the Palearctic..."


Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival day. Addis Ababa, founded in 1886 by Menelik II, it is located at 2,500 m (8202 ft) above sea level in one of the highest parts of the Entoto Mountain chain (3,000 m/9842 ft above sea level). After our gathering and first butterfly-glimpses in the extensive garden of our Hotel, we enjoy one of the best local restaurant, Yod Abyssinia where we also can see some fiery abissinian dances/dancers as well. Overnight: Addis Ababa.

Day 2: Full day at Menegasha State forest. After breakfast we drive out for the lush vegetation of the Menegasha State Forest. Apart of butterflies the area is famous about the shy and neglectic Giant Forest Hog, discvered only in 1904 by the famous explorer and fraud, Col. Richard Meinertzhagen.
Overnight: Addis Ababa.

Day 3: Fly to Bahir Dar. Exploring the surroundings of Tissisat Fall. Leave early for Bahir Dar with airplane. Check the habitats and wetlands around the Blue Nile’ Bridge and than we visit to the famous Blue Nile Falls. Overnight: Gondar.

Day 4: Full day on Lake Tana and visit the Islands. There are 37 islands on the lake and 30 of them have churches and monasteries of considerable historical and cultural interest. All the monastery compounds are having luxurious vegatation, they are one of the best butterfly habitats of the country. A short drive from our hotel, we visit a Woyito Village, where we will see the production of the papyrus boats known as tankwas. After lunch we do a boat trip to the Zeghie peninsula, which is known for its 14th century, round, grass-roofed churches and magnificent old paintings. Around the compound of Betremariam Monastery, and to Ura Kidanemehret Monastery, it is a one hour walk through a thick forest, with good butterflying en route. Overnight: Gondar.

Day 5: Fly back to Addis, drive to Lake Langano & Bishan-gari Forest. We fly to Addis early in the morning, and than heading south for the main Ethiopian Rift. The rift contains a marvelous series of lakes, which are teeming with fish and provide a habitat for hundreds of species of butterflies and birds. En route to Lake Langano we will stop at Chelekleka Marsh and at the crater lake, Lake Hora. The area is unequivocally African and very reminescents of the central Kenyan lake area. Late arrival to Bishangari Forest and Ecolodge at the remote southeastern shore of Lake Langano, one of the very best places of the country for nature lovers and alike. Combines five unique ecological zones, a secluded setting that is host to over 150 butterfly species, 400 bird species, a diverse range of wildlife, spectacular array of plant life and unspoilt biodiversity. Bishangari's secret has been safe thanks to its inaccessibility. Overnight: Lake Langano/Bishangari Lodge.

Day 6: Full day at Bishangari Forest. Today we will butterflying on the southern shores of Lake Langano, which is a freswater member of the series of the Rift' Lakes. We also going to explore in details the famous Bishangari forest, just right around our beautiful lodge, a combination of three butterfly habitats, wetland and forest - more than 150 species have been along the shore, by the wetland and in the forest. Bishangari is an eco-tourist project run by Farm Africa and the Munessa Shashemene State Forest, with profits going to forest protection and health and educational facilities for the local community. Overnight: Lake Langano/Bishangari Lodge.

Day 7: Drive to Goba, visiting Dinsho Park. After breakfast we drive a short distance to the viewpoint and the shores of the Shalla-Abiyata National Park for the myriad of tame water birds, incl. 200.000 flamingos. Atfer driving upward to the highlands, to the magnificent Bale Mountains National Park (BMNP). The NP covers about 2200 km2, and the main attraction is the wild alpine scenery, and the Sanetti Plateau where Africas's highest all-weather road exist. Apart from butterflies 16 endemic birds of the 31 total have been recorded here, plus plenty of endemic or rare mammals like the huge and sought-after Mountain Nyala, or the very dark, almost blackish Menelik's Bushbuck. The nyala was discovered only in 1908, it was the last great findings among the African big games, even after the famous case of the okapi or the Giant Forest Hog. The latter also occurs here. After seeing the nyala and the bushbuck, or main goal would be today to find the - of course... - endemic and rare Bale monkey. The Bale NP is undoubtely the best part of Ethiopia for palearctic-related endemics and other rarely seen animals. The NP has a very unique vegetation of Juniper- and Hagenia woodlands, high-altitude heathlands and different foothill forests. Overnight: Goba.

Day 8: Full day at Sanetti Plateau. Full day excursion to the amazing Afro-Alpine setting of the Sanetti plateau, considered as a small Tibet in the heart if the wildest Africa, an unforgottable settings! We will go up early morning on the highest road of Africa, our highest point will be a bit over 4300 meter. Here the alpine moorland of the plateau is covered with heath-like vegetation, broken by heather plants, and stands with gorgeous giant lobelia which grove up to six meters. We guarantedly will see Simien Wolf, which is the rarest wolf of the world with a estimated 400 specimen as a total... a very impressive predator in the most unusual environment! We must mention, this is really one of the most rich area of Africa by endemics, and definitely the most unique as well, since it has many zoogeographical connecton with the Eurasian mountain chains. This area is usually cold, wet and windy, while supportive clothes is a must! Overnight: Goba.


Day 9: Full day at Harenna Forest. After our visit on the Plateau, we will have a full day on the southern escarpment of the Sanetti plateau, which is covered with one of the most extensive and least explored intact forest of Eastern Africa, called the Harena Forest. From the Escarpent we will have a astonishing view over the extensive forest area bellow us, covered with a very few pioneering expeditions, and virtually completely unknown by science. The forest has a very vivid life of animals naturally. Giant Forest Hog, discovered only in 1904 lives here, and Wild Dog and Lions reported as well. Overnight: Goba.

Day 10: Drive to Wondo Genet. A long drive take us today to another great area, the Wondo Genet forest again, which always offer a good number of interesting butterflies and possibly the greatest number of Colobus monkeys on the whole trip. The butterfly species recorded in Wondo Genet area equal to one third of the total European fauna! Tonight, we have a special treat, participating in The Coffee Ceremony, a ceremony of hospitality in Ethiopia. Overnight: Wondo Genet.

Day 11: Wondo Genet Forests. After breakfast we will climb through juniper plantations to the Wondo Genet forest, which has a naturally heated swimming pool in a mountain setting - the waters are supposed to have curative properties. The site itself is an ancient and inactive crater, surrounded by a forest populated by baboons and lots of butterflies. You may choose to have a dip or follow the springs upstream to their source, where the water is so hot, local people often cook their lunch! Apart from the butterflies the area has many bird goodies, Colobus monkeys are common and with some luck we might see the elusive and local Powell's bushbuck as well. Overnight: Wondo Genet.

Day 12: To Arba Minch, visit Senkele Game Sanctuary. Drive to Arba Minch, en route we visit the Shankele Game Sanctuary, which protect the largest concentration of the endemic and critically endengared Swayne's hartebeest, considered as the most attractive and rarest among the antelopes of the Horn of Africa. The setting of the reserve is superb with some rolling hills, great lookout points and classic african savannah, a kind of a last place in Ethiopia of its kind. We pass by the Rift Valley lakes before arriving to town, situated beautifully between the Rift Valley, Lake Abaya and Lake Chamo. Tonight we have dinner in the Soma Restaurant, famous for its fresh fish dishes. Overnight in Arba Minch.

Day 13: Visit Dorze village and boat trip over Lake Chamo. After breakfast we drive up to the village of Cheencha, high in the mountains, where we will visit the Dorze people and the surrounding forests for butterflies. The dorze are famous for their spontaneous dancing, beautiful textiles and uniquely beehive-shaped huts, made of leaves. They can be 15 meters high and used for generations. The drive up to the area interesting itself, since dramatically raising from the lowlands up to 1600 meters in the Gugu mountains. The afternoon is for visiting the famoues hot springs and the crocodiles of Lake Abaya. Around the lake there is a excellent patch of dense forest, offers superb butterflies, and also monkeys and baboons are abundant. Overnight in Arba Minch.

Day 14: Nechisar National Park. Full day visit Nechisar NP, which covers about 750km2, and mentioned among the most beautiful game reserves of the all continent. The name "Nechisar" means white grass, which covers the big central plane, and even recogniseable from satellite images too. There is a big variety of different habitats, including savannah with knotted acacia shrub, wide-open grasslands, and dense riparian forests. About 200 butterflies (15 endemic), many dragonflies (8 endemic), 70 mammals and 350 bird species recorded here. Wild scenery, splendid view and great big game-watching makes our life interesting today. Overnight in Arba Minch.

Day 15: Drive backward to Addis. En route butterflying. Overnight at Lake Awassa.

Day 16: Arrive to Addis. Arrival around 3PM to Addis. Late departures from Addis are possible. For those who are staying: overnight in Ghion Hotel.

Day 17: Departure day .


Southern Tribal Extension –

NOTE: In order to fully experience and explore this incredibly diverse, yet sometimes isolated area, we really get “off-the-beaten-track”. Sometimes the road is in rough condition (if there is a road at all), and you should be prepared for some bumpy drives. Accommodation in small towns is modest. We have 3 nights of camping in a row, 1 in Mago National Park, 1 in Murile and 1 in Turmi. The tents are from Europe, designed to sleep three people (used for two) and sleeping mats are provided. It will not always be easy to wash, even though there are always sources of water near the campsites. We will have a mobile shower and toilets and in Murile, there will be a bungalow with a toilet and shower available to use. A certain spirit of adventure is required for this journey and any travel hardship will certainly be made up for in experience!

Day 15: Begin Omo Valley Adventure. An early start for our travel today, as we head off in 4 x 4 vehicles. We pass by the Rift Valley lakes before arriving into Arba Minch. This town is the largest in southern Ethiopia; it is situated between the Rift Valley, Lake Abaya and Lake Chamo. Tonight we have dinner in the Soma Restaurant, famous for its fresh fish dishes. Overnight in Arba Minch.


Day 16: Lake Chamo, Konso Village, Jinka. In the morning we take a boat trip on Lake Chamo, which is populated by crocodiles and hippos, before heading off to Jinka. The scenery is beautiful; soft rolling hills with dark red soil and plentiful crops and forests. We visit a Konso village to meet the locals who are excellent farmers. The Konso are a pagan society, who erect totem poles on the tombs of their dead. To the southeast of the Konso village are the Borena, who are semi-nomadic shepherds; we may see some of the Borena as we drive. Overnight stay and dinner in Jinka, a large town on the edge of the southern Savannah.

Day 17: Mago National Park. Mago National Park is located on the east bank of the Omo River and ranges in altitude from 450 m (1467 flt) to 2,528 m (8294 ft) above sea level. After about 2 hours of rough road, we arrive at our camp. In the park, we may see buffalo, waterbuck, greater and lesser kudu and zebra. In the past, lions, elephants, leopards and giraffes have also been spotted. We visit a Mursi village, whose women have the custom of expanding their lower lips using disks that gradually get larger and larger. These are people who farm the land and breed livestock; they live in almost complete isolation from the rest of the world. Our campsite tonight is in a beautiful clearing among towering trees, which provide shade and is near the Neri River. Overnight camping.

Day 18: Off The Beaten Track to Murile. We head off on our day of “off-roading”, as there is no real track! We travel through the savannah in a typically African landscape, frequently meeting herds of Oryx and gazelle. We arrive at Murile located right on the River Omo and surrounded by huge trees. This is the land of the Caro tribe and it is possible to meet them along the river. We camp overnight.

Day 19: Murile — Omorate, Turmi. We continue through the savannah, along tracks that are barely visible, passing through a vast meadowland with shrubs and umbellifers (“umbrella”acacia trees). We pass through the Omo River. We encounter the Galeb people in the countryside, in the river people bath and wash their clothes. When we arrive to Omorate, we take a walk along the Omo River to observe local life. Overnight and dinner will be in a camp, in a square under mango trees in Turmi. The Hamer people gather water from a well nearby our campsite and carry it off to their villages; our campsite is an excellent location to observe these colorful people. We camp overnight.

Day 20: Hamer Market, Konso. Every monday morning there is a spectacular Hamer market in Turmi. The Hamers are one of the most beautiful and dignified people of the Omo Basin. The women color their hair with red earth and butter and wear elegant leather skirts festooned with tiny pearls. After the market, we continue on to Konso. The road continues into the savannah, running alongside the mountains of Men, then raises up the Karkerte Mountains — providing splendid panoramic views — until it reaches the soft, terraced hills of Konso. Should the Chief of Konso be in residence, we may be granted an audience with him. Overnight in Konso.

Day 21: Nechisar Park — Arba Minch. Today we start returning northwards, towards the lakes of the Rift Valley. The Rift Valley is a deep fission that extends for over 6,000 km from the Middle East to Mozambique — testimony to the (most recent) violent and massive shifting of the earth’s tectonic plates. The rift contains a marvelous series of lakes, which are teeming with fish and provide a habitat for hundreds of species of birds. We travel along the side of Lake Chamo and arrive to Arba Minch towards lunchtime. In the afternoon, we visit the park of Nechisar, located between lakes Chamo and Abaya, where we may see gazelles and zebras. Tonight, we have a special treat, participating in The Coffee Ceremony, a ceremony of hospitality in Ethiopia. Overnight in Arba Minch.

Day 22 : Dorze Village — Awasa. This morning we return to Nechisar National Park before returning to the road that leads back up the Rift Valley. We cross fertile land planted with bananas, cereals and tobacco — inhabited first by the Oromo people and then by the Sidamo. All kinds of fruit are sold along the roadside. On the way, we will visit a Dorze village. The Dorze people are famous for their textiles. We arrive into Awasa, located on the edge of Lake Awasa. The lake surrounded by mountains and populated by countless species of birds. There is a beautiful track running along the lakeside, perfect for a walk. We overnight in Awasa.

Day 23: Wondo Genet Hot Springs to Langano. A short drive across very fertile areas cultivated with all kinds of tropical fruits, takes us to the hot springs of Wondo Genet, where there is also a charming swimming pool. The site is an ancient and inactive crater, surrounded by a forest populated by baboons and lots of birdlife. You may choose to have a dip or follow the springs upstream to their source, where the water is so hot, local people often cook their lunch! After a long stay in Wondo Genet we continue our drive to Lake Langano. We arrive at Lake Langano early evening. We spend the next two nights in bungalows on Lake Langano.

Day 24: Abiata-Shala National Park. This morning we take a boat ride on the scenic Lake Lanago. This afternoon, we visit Abiyata-Shalla National Park. The park provides beautiful vistas over the two lakes (Lake Abiyata and Lake Shalla) and the valley covered in acacia trees. Numerous birds live on the shores, including the pink flamingo. Lake Abiyata also provides food for a nearby colony of Great White Pelicans. There is also time to enjoy the resort, the waters of Lake Lanago are almost pinkish in color and the beach is a good place to relax. At the afternoon we walk in the beautiful forests of Bushangeri, searching for rare birds, and monkeys.

Day 25: Addis Ababa. We return to the capital of Addis Ababa this morning, to arrive around lunchtime. The afternoon is free for last minute shopping or resting before meeting with the group again for our farewell dinner. Overnight in Addis Ababa.

Day 26: Depart Addis Ababa. We say farewell to this remarkably varied country with a transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

   



Upcoming trips & Expeditions

Slovenia butterflying (21 - 28 July, 2022)

Bears and Butterflies o Transylvania. With Danube Clouded Yellow and High Carpathian extension; 30 July - 06, Aug. , 2022)

Crane weekends of Hungary (October, 2022)

2023' dates are coming in late August

Full tour calendar


Mud-puddling assemblages of Amauris spp.
Mud-puddling assemblages of Amauris spp.
Mud-puddling assemblages of Amauris spp.
Colotis vesta is one of the dozen Ethiopian whites we might encounter during the tour.
Charaxes brutus male likes to come to hilltops with other Charaxes-species.
Belenois aurota is a regular migrant in the dryer parts of Africa. Sometimes they come to mud-pudlle in lerga numbers.
There are more over a 100 species in Ciliate Blues (Anthene spp.) in Africa.
Eurytela dryope angulata is the subspecies occurs in the Easten and Southern of Africa including Ethiopia.

Amauris albimaculata basking for sun.

A. albimaculata gathering in big groups in Harrena Forest.
The aposematic Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus) is a model for several African mimicking butterflies.
The Citrus Swallowtail is one of the most widespread African butterfly, it could be seen practically everywhere from deserts to rainforest wherever orange or citrus trees are planted.
Unidentified Charaxes spp.
Moth trapping is also possible at some accommodations which are located in the middle of nice habitats. Although Ethiopia's moth fauna is extremely rich, it is also very little known, so we do not promise an expert identification on them.
This unidentified Saturnidae visited our room during our last recce tour.
Secretarybirds in Nechisar NP.
Batteleur.
The lakes of the Rift Valley hosting mirriads of waterfowls...
...and flamingoes.
Blue-winged Goose is a typical endemic of the high plateaus, related to some Geese of the Andes.
The sought-after Rouget's Rail
An incredible Lammergeier.
Kori Bustards.
Somali Ostrich near Bilen lodge.  
The famous Simien Wolf.
Mountain Nyala is the lastly discoved antelope of the continent.
The endemic Menelik's Bushbuck.
Burchell' Zebras in Nechisar NP.
Swayne's Hartebeest is another nerly extinct endemic, from Shenkelle Game Reserve.
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