Ethiopian Wolf Watching Expedition (Nov 2011)
Travelling to Ethiopia is an adventure in itself, especially for first time visitors to Africa! Our journey was to the remote and extreme Bale Mountains to see the endemic and endangered Ethiopian Wolf – the only wolf in Africa. 75% of the remaining 400 canids can be found here so this is the best place to see them.
It is hard to choose one highlight of the trip – sharing the wolves’ environment and searching for them is a unique and immensely rewarding experience. Travelling with the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme’s (EWCP) Director, Professor Claudio Sillero, is one of the most enlightening, engaging and informative safari experiences possible. You get a valuable insight into how one person can really make a difference. Prof. Claudio’s personal and ongoing dedication and focused and practical hands-on approach has conserved this endangered species. Prof. Claudio deserves full admiration and support. His environmental experience and wildlife knowledge is extensive and his willingness to share all this with us meant we all had a quality and informative insight into the behaviour of the wolves and the challenges and successes of the EWCP to date. Meeting his field staff and understanding the complexities of running the EWCP made us aware of the importance of ongoing financial support required to deliver results.
Of course the enigmatic wolves have to be one of the highlights! These beautiful creatures have adapted to their harsh and fragile habitat and have much to teach us humans in finding a balance between social interaction, survival and the environment. The timing of our trip coincided with the time when many of the packs have pups, which were wonderful to watch and hugely encouraging, because breeding pairs and the formation of new packs is testimony to Prof. Claudio’s and EWCP’s work.
The Bale Mountains ask a lot of people – it’s an extreme and remote environment that takes you way outside your normal comfort zones – horse trekking at over 4000m, camping out in freezing night-time temperatures, long days in the saddle, rocky climbs out of canyons etc but the ever-changing big landscapes and African skies are stunningly beautiful, invigorating and worth any temporary hardships felt. The warmth of the campfire, a tasty hot meal and the satisfaction gained from achieving some personal firsts make this a very special safari.
I personally can’t wait to travel back to Bale to see the Ethiopian wolf and to learn more from travelling with Prof. Claudio Sillero. We are already planning another trip for 6 – 8 guests in November 2012. Register your interest for more details.
For more information on Professor Claudio Sillero and his work please check out these websites:
View the photo gallery of the November 2011 expedition