Gibe Sheleko National Park

Western Ethiopia

Gazetted in 2011, the Gibe Sheleko National Park covers 360 sq km of upland plateau, parts of the Gibe River gorge area and patches of endemic forest. The diverse, but rather elusive, wildlife includes 17 mammal species, such as greater kudu and a few hippos in the river valley. The birdwatching is also good, with over 200 species recorded – including red-winged pytilia and white-winged cliff chat. The park headquarters is signed 178km west of Addis just beyond the town of Welkite.

Although the wildlife might be shy, the views off the plateau and down to the Wabe Plains are anything but. To make the most of the scenery get out there on foot; guides are available from the park office and they can take you on day long or multiday hikes. There are two basic campsites, or a range of accommodation is available in the nearby town of Welkite.

The park is brand new and hasn’t yet received many visitors. Infrastructure is still limited but it's certainly open for business and well worth a visit.