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Covering an area of 2496 sq km, this wildlife reserve was originally created to protect Ethiopia’s endemic Swayne’s hartebeest. Hartebeests have since been poached out of the preserve, along with most other wildlife (cows are now the only large mammal in abundance, though visitors will also probably see Burchell’s and Grevy’s zebras). These days birdwatchers are pretty much the only visitors, here to add the locally endemic Ethiopian bush crow, Abyssinian hornbill and white-tailed swallow to their life lists.

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Roughly 80 kilometres from the town of Dembi Dolo lies Dhati Walal National Park. Once a controlled hunting area and now turned into a natural conservation site, Dhati Welol National Park is unique in that it is predominantly a wetland with some great grassy plains. Hippo, buffalo and waterbuck are in abundance as well as smaller wildlife species. The birdlife is spectacular, being a wetland habitat.

There is a hillock in the park called Gara Arba, which means ‘Elephants Hill’. This suggests that at one time there would have been elephant roaming through these plains.

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This is a magnificent high altitude plateau with numerous dramatic volcanic plugs,  seasonal tiny alpine lakes and cascading mountain streams. Located at about 400 kilometers from Addis Ababa, it is stretched over an area of 2000 square kilometers with an altitude that ranges between 1500m-4377m above sea level. Being the largest Afro Alpine habitat park in Africa, Bale mountain National Park offers the following major attractions.

Game viewing in the pristine wilderness is fantastic with many endemic species, but most famously, the Ethiopian Wolf.

Wilderness hikes into the alpine plateau and rafu volcanic rock fields.

Horse riding in the high plateaus or down in the Gesey grassland, and area with outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities.

Fishing for trout in the clear mountain streams where waterfalls cascade down from the high country.

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The mountain chain with the peaks of Kaka, Chilalo, Arbagugu and Aluto extend from the heights of Arsi massifs in the south east to the escarpment edge of the Rift Valley depression in the north west.

These mountain peaks, with natural highland vegetation have been made into National Parks to protect the wildlife within. They are fantastic areas to trek in the wilderness.

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Aside from its wildlife heritage, the Awash National Park has some great features which are attractions in themselves.

The Awash River Falls:

The sedate journey of the Awash River comes to a turbulent and tumultuous end at the Awash River Falls in the Awash National Park. This beautiful waterfall is renowned for its thundering cascades and crocodiles basking on the rocks beneath the waterfall.

‘Fantalle mountain,

This extinct volcano rises majestically over the surrounding low land. With ancient fissures and a crater at its surface, this is a great bit of wilderness to explore on foot. There is a Hyaena den on the South side of the mountain and in the evenings, you can watch the nocturnal predators walk into the Park and surrounds.

‘The palm springs in the north of the park, is a beautiful place to camp and with any luck you may hear lions calling across the hot water pools.

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Still in the immediate vicinity of Lake Langano and to the west of the highway, lies Abijata Shalla National Park. The Park is renowned as a birdwatcher’s paradise with some 360 or more species to be found. The bulk of the park is covered by the two lakes, Abijata and Shalla and during July through to September each year, the lakes are covered in thousands of flamingos. Although not in abundance, there are several mammals to be found in the park too. These include Hyaena, Jackals, Baboons, Grants Gazelle, warthogs, and ostrich.

There is a fine strip of land that separates the two lakes in the park. Walking along this at higher elevations give the best views. Lake Shalla is the deepest lake in the country and is surrounded by majestic hills which make for stunning sunsets, while Lake Abijata is a very shallow low-lying lake with vast expansive shorelines filled with birds.

There is a beautiful hot spring bubbling from the ground on the shores of Lake Shalla and with the right vehicle, you can visit nearby Chitu lake which is a small crater lake and has by far the largest concentration of flamingos in the area.                                                                                                                                                                                 

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Consider permission permanently granted to be outlandish: other towns may surprise you, but in San Francisco you will surprise yourself. Good times and social revolutions tend to start here, from manic gold rushes to blissful hippie be-ins.

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Consider permission permanently granted to be outlandish: other towns may surprise you, but in San Francisco you will surprise yourself. Good times and social revolutions tend to start here, from manic gold rushes to blissful hippie be-ins.

Zagreb is made for strolling. Wander through the Upper Town's red-roof and cobblestone glory, peppered with church spires. Crane your neck to see the domes and ornate upper-floor frippery of the Lower Town's mash-up of secessionist, neo-baroque and art deco buildings.

Zagreb is made for strolling. Wander through the Upper Town's red-roof and cobblestone glory, peppered with church spires. Crane your neck to see the domes and ornate upper-floor frippery of the Lower Town's mash-up of secessionist, neo-baroque and art deco buildings.

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