Awash National Park is located 225 km east of
the Park stretches 30km east to west and a little less from north to
south. The terrain is mainly acacia woodland and grassland.
At all places and all times it is possible to see game: Oryx,
Soemmerring's gazelle and wild pig are common. Slightly less frequent are
the furry waterbuck which tend to appear near the river in the late
afternoon. The tiny dik-dik, not easy to spot in the speckled shade of the
acacia thorn, zebra grazing the plains to the west of Fantale, cheetah,
serval and leopard are also there but it is not easy to spot them;
baboons, both anubis and hamadryas, kudus, lesser and greater, the giant
tortoise, hippo, reedbuck, aardvark and caracal are also represented.
Klipspringer inhabit the higher slopes of the mountain and curious hyrax
peer at you curiously from behind their rocks. In the bottom of the gorge
you can spot the black and white colobus monkey.
Over four hundred species are recorded for the park: (The
check list is available at the museum at park Head quarters). They range
from the great ostrich, frequently and easily observed, and the less
common Secretary Bird and Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, to the flashes of
brilliant pink which are the Carmine Bee-eaters, and the Abyssinian Roller
with turquoise and purple, wings. And between these two extremes, birds of
the riverine forest, Coucal, Turaco, Go-away Birds; birds of prey; and
birds of the savannah.
The park itself is traversed by a series of well-maintained tracks, which
take in the most spectacular of the many scenic attractions. It is
possible, and perhaps advisable, to hire a park guide.
To the north at Filwoha lies the
hot springs oasis in its
groves of palm trees. It is reached by either one of two scenic tracks
which start opposite the main gate on the far side of the road and bearing
right, progress either along the floor of the
lower Valley or along the top of the ridge.
The Awash river gorge in the south of the park has some spectacular
waterfalls near the park headquarters.
Less than three hours' drive from Addis Ababa, or one and a half from
Nazaret is the
Awash National park and Game Reserve. The main entrance is at the 190 km. mark
and you have already passed the park boundary as you crossed the railway
track just before Fantalle Crater, which rises 600 m. from the valley
floor on the left. At this point there is a track to the left and it is
possible to drive either up to the crater rim or right round the park to
the hot springs
although the road is such that the prospect will not tempt everyone. It is
probably wiser to enter the main gate first and travel comfortably down
towards the Awash River which constitutes the southern boundary of the
park. Here is park Headquarters, sited near the dramatic Awash falls where
the river enters its gigantic gorge.
A small bar and museum are conveniently near the camping site. The main
lodge is several kilometres away across the IIala Sala plains: perched on
the very rim of the gorge are several luxurious air-conditioned caravans
and just on the edge, a restaurant and small swimming pool.
Ethiopia Tourism commission