Ethiopia’s troubles over the last four decades, including population displacement and wars, and the burgeoning population increase, have taken their toll of wild life. There is also the issue of resource allocation and management, in terms of making money and personnel available for developing and staffing the parks.
For a full description of Ethiopia’s 15 national parks, 3 animal sanctuaries and protected wildlife areas visit the very informative website of the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority at http://www.ewca.gov.et/
For big game, it is necessary to go to the following parks:
Chebera Churchura National Park, some 460 km south west of Addis Ababa. Common mammals include the African elephant, hippopotamus, Cape buffalo, lion, and leopard. Currently, CCNP appears to be the least disturbed and reliable ecosystem for the African elephant and Buffalo in the country. Access relatively easy, but poor internal roads, camping necessary
Omo National Park: elephants, buffalo, but poor internal roads, camping necessary
Gambella National Park: Buffalo, Giraffe,Taing (Topi), Waterbuck, Roan Antelope, White-eared Kob, Nile Lechwe, Burchell’s Zebra, Bushbuck, Reedbuck, Warthog and Elephant. The rivers host healthy populations of Hippopotamus and Nile Crocodiles. Poor internal roads, camping necessary
For more accessible parks, on the tourist circuits, and with accommodation available, in Awash Park different plains animals may be seen, including greater and lesser Kudu, Beisa Oryx, Gerenuk and Dikdik, and if you are lucky, leopards and lions. The nearby Alledeghi Reserve is well worth a visit, for herds of plains animals and rarely, the Abyssinian Wild Ass. In the Bale National Park various endemic animals can easily be seen, such as Mountain Nyala, Simien Wolf and Menelik’s Bush buck, while the adjacent Harenna Forest has wild dogs, lions, and the Bale Monkey. In the Simien Mountains National Park, the Walia population has witnessed a remarkable increase, and now sightings are more or less guaranteed.
Swaynes Hartebeest can easily be seen along with other plains animals in the Senkele sanctuary near Hawassa, and further to the South West, Nech Sar Park, straddling two lakes, combines wonderful scenery with a variety of bird life and wildlife.
In Babile Elephant Sanctuary, some 40 east of Harer, it is possible to see elephants and other game, and up in the north, in Tigray Region, in the new protected area Kafta Sheraro Park, elephants and other wild animals are making a comeback.