Ethiopia National Park

Without exaggeration, Ethiopia is a country of a number of National Park, wonders and enchantments. Its contrasting landscapes and extraordinary stunning natural beauties, the most diverse wildlife and bird species, topography and dramatic landscapes as well as the unique cultural and religious heritages that are entirelu extraordinary to the world and cannot be seen anywhere, except in Ethiopia, make the country unique and allow visitors to experience inimitable lifetime moments. Not only that, the country is also the source of the Blue Nile, the longest river in the world.

A tour to Ethiopia is truly a rewarding experience as the country is the center for ancient civilizations, a place where the original Ark of the Covenant is reserved, and the oldest remains of a human ancestor, Lucy, a 3.2 million-year-old member of Australopithecus afarensis and the most complete skeleton of an early human ancestor ever discovered.

The Erta Ale, which is one of the five known volcanoes on earth with lava lakes, is the other magnificent natural beauty that speaks for itself; and creates unforgettable moments on visitors.

As various studies conducted on it indicate,

located in the Danakil Depression in the Afar State of northeastern Ethiopia, Erta Ale is one of the driest, lowest and hottest places on the planet and is home two lava lakes. During the year, the temperature range from 77°F to 118° Fahrenheit.

Known in the Afar language as the “smoking mountain” and “the gateway to hell,” Erta Ale is a 2,011-foot-high constantly active basaltic shield volcano. It is one of only a handful of continuously active volcanoes in the world, and a member of an even more exclusive group: volcanoes with lava lakes.

The volcano has erupted six times- in 1873, 1903, 1940, 1960, 1967 and 2005 caused certain damage. It killed hundreds of livestock and forcing thousands to flee. In 2007 lava flows once again forced thousands of nearby residents to evacuate.

Since the volcano is one of the five known volcanoes on the planet, with lava lakes, and it is region’s most alluring sight, visiting the site offers opportunities to find something truly exceptional, out of the ordinary experience and crafts extraordinary lifetime adventure.

In fact, a visit to the place is not without any challenges. Though it does not involve actual climbing, it demands long walks. On the other hand, the extreme heat is the other challengc. Thus, the volcano can only be climbed in the evening as the sun sets, and descended in the very early hours of the morning.

According to Camille Griffoulieres, a seasoned traveller, going up the Erta Ale volcano is exhausting. But so rewarding! “You go right up to the edge of the crater to see and hear the broiling sea of molten lava, I had the feeling the earth was a living  thing. You never tire of seeing the enormous bubbles of molten lava exploding. Be careful of the toxic Sulphur fumes! Then I slept under the stars at the foot of the crater with my group, before returning to watch the lava at dawn and looking out over the desert.”

Without any embellishment, Erta Ale is one of the main attractions worth visiting. And if you have thought about visiting volcanoes, Erta Ale should be your dream of destination that makes your time definitely perfect and memorable.

The Ethiopian Herald May 20/2020

 BY STAFF REPORTER

Awash National Park: The geological tourism destination

The Awash National Park which is 225km far away from the capital is located between Oromia and Afar States. Covering about 762km2, most of the area of the park touches upon Arsi Zone of the Oromia State and its northern section and extends to Afar State.

According to the information obtained from Oromia Culture and Tourism Bureau, the Fantale Mountain along with the Awash River has made the park not only an eye-catching area but also a home for many wild animals and plant species.

He said that the Park is in one of the most geologically active regions of the world mentioning that the results of eruptions from Fantale Mountain dominate the park landscape. Lava-flows, cinder cones, deep fissures, steam vents and other volcanic features can be seen throughout.

Recent volcanic activity has resulted in the eruption of fresh lava from several fissures, and one such lava-flow crosses the main highway near Lake Beseka. Grassland, savanna and shrub land are also found in the park. Grasslands are found within the crater and on the slopes of Fantale Mountain as well as on the surrounding plains.

Inside and on the crater rim, the dominant grass is the tall tussocks of intermixed with small shrubs.

More than 460 species of birds are found in the park, among them the extremely rare yellow-throated seedeater and somber rock chat, are endemic birds that found only in the park.

The hot springs and Awash River campsites are said to be the special spot that one can get to observe the birds.

In the southern part of the park, the grassy Illala Sala Plains is the one place devoid of the dominant thick acacia scrub that makes wildlife spotting tough. The beautiful beisa oryx and Soemmering’s gazelles are usually seen here.

Apart from the nature of the park, the wild life museum has also been the source of tourist attractions, as to Shiferaw Mengiste, Head of the park.

Regarding infrastructure, he stated that there is a moderate road in and around the park and virtual other infrastructures.

Mentioning that the park had been dented by weed plant, he said the organization has been taking measures to reverse the park to its previous position.

The Ethiopian Herald

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