We have been working for many years now to pull together a trip to the stunning and truly unique highlands of Ethiopia and are delighted to be able to offer it in 2019 with special thanks to our good friend and client Dave Cox who will be helping run the trip. This is a corner of Africa like no other and home to a number of endemic and dramatic species two of which will form the main focus of the trip – the magnificent Gelada Baboon and the worlds rarest canid, the Ethiopian Wolf. With our time split between their two strongholds, the Simien Mountains and Bale Mountains respectively, we will put in several days in each location in order work on securing extensive portfolios; portraits and environmental opportunities among other styles. With an exclusive luxury tented camp at our disposal actually on the Webb Plateau in the Bale Mountains (putting us right on the spot as far as wolf activity is concerned) and our own charter plane to transfer us between the 2 locations we have focussed on making sure our time is spent fully focussed on maximising photography rather than days of transfers on the slow Ethiopian roads. As a result, this trip promises both fantastic photography and an amazing experience in a rarely visited corner of Africa.
Itinerary Open +Close -
Day 1: We will look to leave the UK for overnight flights to Addis Ababa for which precise schedules will be advised.
Day 2: On arrival we will be met by our local guide and transferred to the domestic terminal for a short internal flight to Gondar from where we will transfer by road up to the Simien Mountains, the stronghold for the iconic gelada baboon and our base for the next 3 nights. We should have time to begin our photographic encounters with them this afternoon and evening.
Days 3 – 4: We have two full days here to concentrate on photographing the wildlife of the area of which the Geladas are our main target species. Their routines are consistent every day; on waking they make their way up from the cliffs where they have spent the night to bask in early morning warmth before spending the day working their territories in search of food. The family groups here are large and they are very relaxed around people and so we will be able to work on an array of different styles of images throughout the changing light conditions each day has to offer. In addition to the Gelada’s we will also look to spend some time looking for the Walia Ibex – another endemic species also found only in the Simien Mountains.
Day 5: After a final full morning of photography in the Simiens and with the Geladas we will return to Gondat for our private charter flight which will take us north to the Bale Mountains. Checking in at the Parks headquarters in Dinsho town we will get our first glimpse of the endemics on offer in this mountainous region as Mountain Nyala and Meneliks Bushbuck thrive around this check in location. We will then have an hour’s drive up onto the 4000 metre high Webb Plateau where our exclusive luxury tented camp is situated next to a waterfall on the Webb River. We will settle in this evening and be briefed on the surrounding environment and the main focus for our time here, the Ethiopian Wolf.
Days 6 – 9: The Webb Plateau is arguably the best place to see the beautiful and endemic Ethiopian Wolf: it is home to the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Project. Our camp is situated in the heartland of these magnificent canids and indeed they are regularly seen passing by the camp to drink at the nearby river. Exploring through a combination of vehicle and on foot (with horseback also an option) we will spend the 4 full days we have here working with local guides to work on photographing them in an array of locations and settings. The area offers much more besides with the already mentioned Nyala, Reedbuck, Bushbuck, Olive Baboon, Warthogs, Hyena and Jackals and an array of endemic birdlife too. The Ethiopian Wolf will be our main priority but we will certainly build a portfolio that represents what this truly dramatic region has to offer too.
Day 10: Leaving our mountain base after breakfast we will return to Addis by vehicle giving us a chance to see some different and typical Ethiopian countryside as we head back to the airport in time to rest up at a local hotel for the end of the afternoon before transferring to the hotel for our overnight return flights.
Day 11: Arrive home in the morning 22nd January after our overnight flights.