Trip report: Ethiopia Photo Journey (Oct-Nov 2015) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Andrew Spencer. This was a custom tour with an itinerary identical to that of our set-departure.

As a nature photographer it’s pretty hard to deny that Africa reigns supreme. Nowhere else on earth can you find that magical combination of gorgeous light, amazing wildlife, beautiful backdrops, and ease of photography to the extent that you can there. What most people don’t know is that in Africa, Ethiopia reigns supreme when it comes to bird photography. Sure, countries like South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya have more to offer in the terms of charismatic megafauna. And all of those countries are amazing destinations in their own right, and have plenty of wonderful birds on top of that. But Ethiopia beats them all, hands down, when it comes to photographing birds. Only in Ethiopia can you not only see bucketloads of amazing species, you can see them at point-blank range as they go about their business completely unconcerned by your presence while you snap away and fill your card with photo after photo. This is in large part due to the unique relationship Ethiopians have with their wildlife, and taking advantage of that is among the must-have experiences for any nature photographer.

This was Tropical Birding’s first photo tour to Ethiopia (though we have run many birding tours), and I must say it was a complete success. With everything from the renowned Rift Valley lakes, complete with their hordes of birds in beautiful settings, to the wide-open expanses of the Sanetti Plateau, with Ethiopian Wolves and stunning scenes, to the more classically African extensive open savanna of Awash, this trip had a variety hard to equal anywhere else on the planet. We enjoyed good luck with the weather and the wildlife, scoring just about everything we were hoping for and a good deal we had no right to expect. This tour ranked among my favorite I’ve ever guided, and I can’t wait to go back!

Click this link to view the full report in PDF format (file size: 9 MB).