Nechisar National Park

Southern Ethiopia

Spanning the narrow yet mountainous ‘Bridge of God’ that separates Lakes Chamo and Abaya, Nechisar National Park ranks among the most scenic national parks in East Africa. Although only 514 sq km, it contains diverse habitats ranging from wide-open savannah and acacia woodland to thick bush and sections of riparian forest. It’s the scenery that makes Nechisar special, but there’s still wildlife left, despite the government’s refusal to tackle the rampant land encroachment and poaching.

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1. Forty Springs

1.31 MILES

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2. Arba Minch Crocodile Ranch

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Walking between the masses of crocs in their concrete tanks at this government-run facility is more humdrum than it sounds, except during feeding, which…

3. Crocodile Market

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Where the Kulfo River empties into Lake Chamo you’ll find oodles of crocodiles sunning themselves. Both the size of the congregation and the size of the…

4. Nechisar Plain

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The main wildlife-watching circuit crosses the Bridge of God to the park’s namesake savannah, but the road is so atrocious that many tour companies prefer…

5. Lake Abaya

9.29 MILES

Divided by the lyrical ‘Bridge of God’ from Lake Chamo, beautiful Abaya is Ethiopia’s second-largest lake. Its peculiar reddish-brown waters are a result…

6. Lake Chamo

10.18 MILES

Lake Chamo supports a very large population of crocodiles and, unlike neighbouring Lake Abaya, the waters are not rusty in colour.

7. Hayzo

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Hayzo is one of the few Southern Nations’ villages that has succeeded in turning the influx of tourists into a positive experience for all concerned. You…

8. Chencha Market

15.75 MILES

The village of Chencha, 8km further up the road from Hayzo, has a vibrant market on Tuesday and Saturday.