Wolf Conservation Expedition, Ethiopia
Join this exclusive wolf watching conservation safari that financially supports the on-going work of EWCP – Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme
- Guided by wolf expert Prof Claudio Sillero DPhil (Oxon)
- See rare Ethiopian wolves in the wild
- Observe wolves up close on foot, on horseback and in 4×4’s
- Explore the breathtakingly beautiful Bale Mountains
- Intimate group of 4-7 wolf watchers
- Financial donation to help support the long term survival of the Ethiopian wolves
Wolf Conservation Expedition
Ethiopian wolves are the rarest African carnivore, and the only wolf in Africa. Fewer than 400 wolves remain in a handful of mountain enclaves, and more than half are found in the Bale Mountains. The Bale Mountains are the ‘Roof of Africa’ – with a 1,000km2 of Afroalpine meadows and Erica moorlands this is indeed the largest mountain plateau in the continent. The wolves are the guardians of these magic lands, visited only by a handful of hard-core lupine enthusiasts and African travellers every year.
7th November – Addis Ababa, Lake Langano
Morning departure from Addis Ababa 2400m (Ethiopian flight from London arrives 0630 hours). Travel in 4×4’s to Lake Langano in the Rift Valley (250km from Addis Ababa). Lunch and dinner in the lodge. Introductory welcome from Professor Claudio Sillero followed by a walk through the lush riverine forest around the lodge. Over 300 bird species have been recorded here including great white pelicans, cormorants, darters, storks, kingfishers, Egyptian geese, fish eagles, starlings, hornbills, weavers, bustards and many more.
8th November – Lake Langano, Bale Mountains, Harenna Forest
After breakfast drive to the Bale Mountains National Park (approx. 3 hours with stops). Lunch at EWCP’s HQ’s in Dinsho 3000m and meet the local team. Visit their museum and learn how they are conserving Ethiopian wolves in the field. The Bale Mountains National Park protects 2200km² of the scenic Bale range. The wild Afro-alpine scenery is breathtakingly spectacular. Its remoteness and bleakness are part of its allure, and the changing landscapes and unique vegetation are a photographer’s paradise.
But the real allure is to see the rare endemic Ethiopian wolf. With around 400 wolves remaining and more than half of them living in the Bale Mountains, this is the very best place to see them and where the EWCP focuses its conservation efforts.
Drive around the Bale Mountains National Park to the high Sanetti Plateau 4050m. The wolves on the Sanetti Plateau are very used to vehicles so you can get close to them from your car. Spend the afternoon wolf watching from the vehicles.
At the southern end of the Sanetti Plateau the Harenna Escarpment descends to a forest almost 2000m below. The forest is far denser than the juniper woodland around Dinsho and is excellent for bird watching and for seeing olive baboons, black and white colobus, Menelik’s bushbuck, warthog, bush pig, and hopefully Bale Monkeys, giant forest hog, leopard, lion, African wild dog and serval cat. Nocturnal mammals include genet, civet, porcupine and hyena. Significant birds include Abyssinian hill babbler, Abyssinian crimson-wing, Ayre’s hawk eagle, silver-cheeked hornbill, black-winged lovebird, black-headed forest oriole, yellow-fronted parrot and Narina’s trogon. The contrast from the high plateau in such a short distance is extraordinary and will help you acclimatise. Dinner and overnight at the excellent Bale Mountain Lodge in the forest 2380m. The lodge has 8 ensuite stone cottages.
9th & 10th November – Bale Mountains National Park, Sanetti Plateau
Head back up the escarpment to the Sanetti Plateau and to the EWCP’s research hut, where our camp will have been set up with individual and double tents, a fully catered mess tent 4050m. Spend the next two full days on wolf watching forays on foot and in 4×4’s.
11-14th November – Bale Mountains National Park, Web Valley
Drive around the Bale Mountains National Park to access the beautiful Web Valley (3450m). Our camp will have been relocated next to EWCP’s other research hut in the Bale Mountains. The wolves in the Web Valley have much less human and vehicular contact so travelling on horseback is the best method. With just 4 – 7 people in our party you will be able to get close to the wolves without unsettling them.
Over the next 4 days we will be heading out from camp to watch wolves on foot, on horseback and in our 4×4 vehicles. We use sturdy local ponies that are sure footed and are used to the terrain. We ride at a walking pace and no previous riding experience is required. Whilst the focus will be on finding wolves, locating dens and hopefully observing pups, other species to enjoy include mountain nyala, Menelik’s bushbuck, rock hyrax, klipspringer and giant mole rat.
At least 16 endemic bird species have been recorded in the park including the Bale parisoma. You are very likely to see blue-winged goose, wattled ibis, spot-throated plover, ruddy shelduck, Auger buzzard, lanner falcon, kestrel, tawny, steppe, black and golden eagles, Lammergeier and Abyssinain long-eared owls.
15th November – Bale Mountains National Park – Addis Ababa
Drive back to Addis Ababa (approx. 7 hours with stops). Option to fly Goba – Addis Ababa. Onward visits in Ethiopia or fly home. (Ethiopian flights depart 0200 hours on 16 November)
Price per person: £7,495
Single supplement: £100
Number of participants: 4 – 7
Trip Host – Claudio Sillero
Claudio’s resolve and energy is the driving force behind the research and conservation of the Ethiopian wolf. He works relentlessly to help the long term survival of this endangered species – raising the finances to run the programme, spreading the awareness about the wolves and working with the Ethiopian Government to ensure its sustainability. Claudio is also Head of Conservation at the Born Free Foundation and holds the post of Bill Travers Fellow for Wildlife Conservation at the University of Oxford. Claudio is the Chair of the IUCN Canid Specialist Group. He supervises other conservation projects worldwide, including the Satpura Landscape Tiger Programme in central India and the Transfrontier Conservation of Andean Cats project in South America. Claudio is a passionate conservation biologist actively committed to mitigating wildlife-human conflict through hands-on initiatives – the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme is a prime example of this.
Claudio is a dynamic and hands-on conservation biologist actively committed to mitigating wildlife-human conflict. He is an engaging and informative host. His enthusiasm and passion for the Ethiopian wolf is infectious and awe-inspiring. What Claudio has achieved and his dedication and hard work in helping the long-term survival of the species is truly commendable. He is a unique individual and it is a real privilege to travel with him.
Trip organization – Liz Drake
This trip is organised and coordinated by Liz Drake from Spencer Scott Travel. She will travel with you as your escort, taking personal care of you and helping to make sure you are as comfortable as possible. She will be supported by the camp staff and EWCP team. She and Prof Claudio Sillero have worked together since 2004 on special wildlife trip to India, Brazil and Ethiopia.
- Camps are located alongside EWCP’s research huts
- We travel with our own chef and mess staff. Meals are freshly prepared in camp and served inside the research huts next to the wood-burner
- High quality modern expedition double and single tents (single tents can be pitched under thatched roofs)
- Sleeping mattresses included
- Mobile eco-toilets on sharing basis
- Bucket shower with hot water
Personal equipment recommended
- Waterproof Goretex trousers and jacket
- Down jacket
- 4-season sleeping bag
- Lightweight Goretex hiking boots
EWCP’s sponsors include:
Eco-tourism at its best
This is a special fund-raising safari for the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme. Your participation will financially support the sustainable conservation of Ethiopian wolves. It is also the only wolf watching trip that is hosted by EWCP’s Director Prof Claudio Sillero.
Prof. Claudio Sillero will share with you many of the secrets of the remote and wild Ethiopian Highlands. He will take you to den sites rarely visited by anyone other than himself and his wolf monitors. He will explain the unique social behaviour of the Ethiopian wolf and the data on the various packs in the Bale Mountains. Prof Claudio Sillero will also talk about the challenges EWCP faces and the on-going work needed to be done.
Wolf Watching at its best
We shall have 4×4 vehicles with us throughout, but to reach remote dens and to observe wolves foraging and social behaviour at a time when many packs will be looking after their pups, it is best to head out on foot or on horseback. Previous riding experience is not necessary as we use sturdy and sure-footed mountain ponies. We will be driving to both wolf watching locations in the Bale Mountains but there is an option to traverse the Bale Mountains on horseback for those wishing a wilderness adventure.
The Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme protects Ethiopian wolves and their Afro-alpine habitats. It’s Director is Prof. Claudio Sillero – a leading conservation biologist.
For more information on Ethiopian Wolf Conservation:
The Bale Mountains (2,500 – 4,377m)
Thr Bale Mountain range is spectacular, wild and varied with lava flows, dramatic granite outcrops, Afroalpine moorlands, Afro-montane forests, escarpments and high alpine plateau. The Bale Mountains are the largest mountain plateau in Africa (“the roof of Africa”). It is a vast wilderness area with no tracks and a pristine but fragile environment. Only a few Oromo families can be found living in isolation up on the plateau. The Bale Mountains are best visited during the dry season from November – February when the days are normally clear and warm and nights can be frosty. On the Sanetti Plateau sleet and snow is possible. Temperature will fall with increasing altitude and at night and could vary between +26C and –15C. At this time of year the Helichrysum, everlasting flowers of the Afroalpine area and the Hagenia and Hypericum trees are in flower, the wolves have their pups and so there is usually lots of wolf social behaviour to observe around the dens.
List of Endemic Species in the Bale Mountains
|Mammals species include:||Endemic birds include:|
Blick’s grass rat
White-backed black tit
Black-headed forest oriole
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