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gelada-ethiopiaThe list is extensive and the wildlife habitat diverse, ranging from plains, to forests, to mountaintops. Isolated for millennia, the Ethiopian highlands have evolved and sheltered some of the rarest animals in the world including many endemic species: 31 of 277 mammals; 24 of 63 amphibians; 9 of 210 reptile; and 4 of 150 fish. Even so, Ethiopia should not be thought of as a wildlife-viewing destination to be compared with other countries in Africa. Rather, it is totally unique in it’s natural habitat and wildlife population. It is possible to structure programs concentrating on species found only in Ethiopia. Inhabiting the Simien Mountains of the northern highlands are endemic species: Ethiopian wolf, rarest canid in the world, walia ibex and gelada baboon. In the Bale Mountains, endemic fauna include: Ethiopian wolf, mountain nyala, Menelik bushbuck and a number of birds, most relatively easy to spot. Slightly further South lives the Swayne’s hartebeest. Although there are numerous other species to be seen in the South, this is a vast wilderness area without fences so the list of species to be noted on a given day cannot be guaranteed. In our programs we suggest an extra day or two at Murulle Omo Lodge, which is the natural turn-around point on the Southern route. It is then we can dedicate a morning or afternoon to serious wildlife-viewing and bird watching. We can abandon the covered 4WD for this specific event and instead make use of open safari vehicles which provide a much desired feeling “to be one with nature.” A tracker may be arranged to accompany so opportunities for spotting animals are enhanced, but generally a long camera lens is necessary for photography.