Wild life in Awash
In addition the wildlife consists mainly of East African plain animals including; Beisa Oryx, Defassa Waterbuck, Soemmering’s Gazelle, Salt’s Dik Dik, Greater and lesser Kudu, Warthog, Anubis and Hamadrayas Baboon, Colobus and Varvet monkey, Crocodile, Hippopotamus, the endemic Hartebeest, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah and also 450 species of birds all living within the park’s 720 sq. km.
Located at the southern tip of the Afar Region, this park is 225 kilometers east of Addis Ababa. The south boundary of the park is formed by the Awash river which swings north soon after leaving the park and eventually disappears into the Afar (Danakil) region. The Park covers an area of 827 square kilometers, most of it lies at an altitude of 900 meters. In the middle of the park is the dormant volcano of Fantale, reaching a height of 2007 meters at its top.
It is one of Ethiopia’s most popular and interesting national parks. One of the advantage of the Awash National Park is that it is easily reached from Addis Ababa, located on the main Addis-Assab highway, which bisects the park. The main road from the town of Melehara leads to the park headquarters and the campsites, both of which are situated near the dramatic Awash Falls where the river enters its gigantic gorge.
Awash’s wildlife reflects its dry nature
The Beisa oryx inhabits many of the more open areas, and greater and lesser kudu the bushed areas. Soemmerring’s gazelle have distinctive white rumps and are often seen with the oryx. A small population of the endemic sub-species Swaync’s hartebecst was translocated here and occupy the grass plains. The liny Salt’s dik-dik appears frequently under the dry acacia bushes and Defassa waterbuck arc seen in the bushy river area. There are two species of baboon — the Anubis and the hamadryas. Though each has very different social structures, they hybridize near the river. Other monkeys are colobus in the riverine forest, and grivet in drier areas. Fan tale crater provides a different habitat, supporting mountain reedbuck and klipspringer. Croco¬dile and hippopotamus splash in the Awash River and in the cooler parts of the springs and rivers in the north. Lion, leopard, serval, caracal, and wildcat are all seen infrequently.