EQST 011 Dhera Dilifekar Park and Sodere hot springs
Today we will visit two very interesting locations, rich in wildlife and birdlife, and with the opportunity for a relaxing hot soak.
Getting up and leaving Addis Ababa early will save us at least an hour of sitting in traffic on the way out of town, so pick up from the hotel will be at 0630.
Once we are on the Express Way to Adama, progress will be swift. From Adama we turn south on the Asela Road and should reach our first destination, the Dhera-Dilifekar Block of Arsi Mountains National Park, before 0900.
Located 125km from Addis Ababa on the Adama-Asela road right on the outskirt of Dhera town, this park is one of the highly recommended day outings for wildlife enthusiasts. The vegetation cover of the park is mainly acacia wooded grassland. The most commonly seen mammals include Olive Baboons, Spotted hyenas, Greater Kudus, Lesser Kudus, Egyptian mongooses, White-tailed mongooses, Black-backed jackals, Common warthogs, Porcupines and Olive baboons. Among the 99 bird species recorded in the park, the species we may encounter on this trip include Northern Red-billed, Hemprich’s and African Gray Hornbills; Laughing, Ring-necked , Red-eyed , and Namaqua Doves; Little Bee-eater , Black-crowned Tchagra, Brubru, Fork-tailed Drongo , Greater Blue-eared Glossy-Starling , Rueppell’s Glossy-Starling , Superb Starling , Village Weaver , Black Bishop , Common Waxbill , Red-cheeked Cordon blue, Eastern Chanting-Goshawk , Helmeted Guinea fowl and Common Redstart.
After mammal and bird watching in the park, we retrace our steps back toward Adama, and shortly arrive at the hot spring resort of Sodere, which lies along the Awash River. There is a large, naturally heated swimming pool, and a number of smaller pools throughout the grounds of the resort. Vervet monkeys and baboons are common in the resort, and visitors can see crocodiles basking along the banks of the Awash River. The forests which fringe the river are also good for birds – there are about 9 or 10 endemics to be seen, including Black Winged Love Bird, White Collared Pigeon, Abyssinian Woodpecker, Abyssinian Cat Bird, Yellow Fronted Parrot, Abyssinian Wax Bill.
Lunch will be taken at the resort, and we will set off back to Addis Ababa around 4.00 PM, arriving early evening.