Geographical Location:-Bordering the A wash River in the upper rift valley,225kmeast of Addis Ababa
Physical Features: Nearby Lake Basaka is to many water bird species. The park’s southern boundary is, in part, the Awash River,one of the Major rivres of Ethiopia.
In the middle of the Park is the dominant volcano of Fantale, reaching a height of 2,007m on its rim. The Park also includes the dramatic awash fall and the unbelievablyclear blue-but hot-pools of the Filwoha hot spring.
Temperatures: can reach as high as 420c.Nights are cooler, with temperatures between 100cand 220c.
Rain: mainly falls b/n February and April and June to August &averages 619mm
Vegetation: Arid and semi-arid woodland and savannah, but also riverine forest.The plains are covered by grass species, with scattered small tree covered in dense thickets of acacia species. The rocky valleys to the north of the parkare heavily bushed. Along the river a thin belt of denseriverine forest, including acacia, tamarina and fig species.
Fauna: Forty six (46) species, including Beisa Oryx, greater and lesser Kudu, Soemmering’s Gazelle, Swayne’s hartebeest,lion, Hamadryads and Anubis baboon and their hybrids, Defassa waterbuck, Salt’s dik-dik.
Birdlife:-There are five(5) endemic among the 392 species(1st) to be found in the park. Resident species include green wood hoopoe, red-and-yellow barbet, emerald-spotted wood dove, carmine bee-eater several bustard species, fish eagle, tawny eagle, lanner and pygmy, falcon, black shouldered Kite, dark chanting goshawk, several varieties of Kingfishers and rollers, ostrich and lammergeyer.
Visitor facilities: Very basic caravan lodge on edge of Awash gorge, campsite beside river, museum.
Awash National Park
Awash National Park: stretched over 756 kilometres2 AWNP is situated at 225 kilometers south east of Addis on the plain through which the highway and railway line leading to Dire Dawa and Djibuti passes.
Establish in 1966, Awash National Park is the first officially gazetted wildlife reserve in the country. The park is entirely established on the plain of the Rift Valley. With the exception of 2600m high mountain Fantallé, the park area is predominantly covered with shrub, bush, acacia and open grass lands.
The main tourist attractions of the park include:
The 46 major species of mammals and 453 species of birds among which six species are endemic to the country. All the mammals are East African plain animals origin like greater and lesser Kudus, oryx, bush buck, dik-dik, gazzelle, fox, klipspringer, cheetah, lions and others. The bird species include secretary birds, Abyssinian ground hornbill, carmine bee eater, Abyssinian Roller and birds of riverine forest like coucal, turaco and goaway birds;
The Awash River that at the end of its gentle flowing course in relatively plain surface, suddenly drops into a gorge where the waters hit the bottom basaltic rocks to form a smoky water falls offering delightful sensation; Fantallé mountain, which rises majestically over the surrounding low land with its fascinating feature of volcanic origin, and depression on the top of the mountain that form a rugged surface with clouds of volcanic steam rising here and there;
The palm springs of the northern part of the park, where hot water springs from the wall of hill flows down making a stream and a natural swimming pool amidst palm trees; The museum in the park head quarters where trophies of animals living in the park are displayed; The 22 caravans stationed on the edge of the Awash river gorge and the camp sites along the gently flowing Awash river where visitors could camp under riverine trees give opportunity to see crocodiles in the river and other larger animals that come to drink water.