Chebera-Churchura National Park
Chebera-Churchura National Park
Location: found within the western side of the central Omo Gibe basin, in between Dawro zone and Konta Special Woreda of the SNNPRS, Ethiopia. The park is located about 330 & 460 km southwest of Hawassa & Addis Ababa, respectively. It covers an area of 1215 km2 that ranges in altitude form 700 to 2450 m.a.s.l.
Drainage: The Park is fortunate in possessing numerous rivers and streams and four small creator lakes (Keriballa, Shasho, Koka) which are reason for the rich wildlife resources of the area. Zigina River is rises from the north east highlands of the area and cross the central part of the park (north to south) and feeds the Omo River (there are also different perennial rivers feeding Omo River crossing the park). Shoshuma River is rises from the northwestern highlands of the Konta area highlands cross the northeastern part of the park and mixed with Zigina River inside the park, which go down together to Omo River.
Topography: The prominent topographic features is unique & highly attractive and characterized by unique and highly heterogeneous and hilly terrain, few flat lands and highly undulating to rolling plains with incised river and perennial streams, valley and gorges.
Access: Access to arrive Chebera-Churchura National park is not a problem. One can reach to the park following either the Addis-Jima-Ameya road or Addis-Shashemene-Sodo-Waka-Tocha. The internal park road is under study however there is some 80 km rough dry weather road crossing the western sides of the park and show the entire park view or it is also possible to trek inside the park following foot paths available in the park but with help of local Guide.
Wildlife: So far, 37 larger mammals and 237 species of birds have been recorded in the different habitats (Highland & Reverine forest and savanna and bush lands) of the park. White-cliff chat, banded-barbet, wattled ibis, black-headed forest Oriole and thick billed Raven are endemic birds for the country.
Common mammals include the African elephant, hippopotamus, Cape buffalo, lion, and leopard. Currently, CCNP appears to be the least disturbed and reliable ecosystem for the African elephant and Buffalo in the country.
Scenic value: This park is one of the relatively untouched, recently discovered and rich wilderness areas but the list visited and known park in the country. The park comprises unique and attractive mountain closed forest, closed tall-grassed savannah habitat, thick woodland forest. The landscape very fascinating highly rugged, undulating to rolling plains there a number of hilly & mountainous land which the whole year covered by vegetations. A number of cold & hot springs, historical caves, the Meka Forest (which is always with African Elephants). The park is the best site to see the African Elephants, and Buffalo.
The Park & surrounding area also has different natural and cultural attractions such as different hot and cold springs, lakes and caves.
Maze National Park (MzNP)
Mazie National Park was established in 2005 G.C. It is 210 square kilometers wide.
Location: Maze National Park is one of the wildlife conservation areas known for its good population of the critically endangered endemic Swayne’s Hartebeests population and located 460km and 235 south west of Addis Ababa and Hawassa, respectively, in Gamo-Gofa Zone.
Drainage: The Park is fortunate in possessing a number of rivers and streams which ultimately drains to Omo River. The name of the park derived after the largest river that crosses the park called Maze River.
Wildlife: The Park is covered by savannah grassland with scattered deciduous broad leave trees as well as River basin association along the main watercourses. The Wild animal of the MzNP supports a wide range of savannah species. So far 39 larger and medium sized mammals and 196 birds’ species have been recorded. It is one of the three sites in the world where good population of the endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest’s population still survive. Besides, orbi, Bohor red buck, buffalo, warthog, bushbuck, waterbuck, greater kudu, lesser kudu, bush pig, Anubus baboon, verevt monkey, lion, leopard, wild cats, serval cat are among others common species.
Access: The road from Sodo to the park is all-weather gravel road covering a distance of 83km. It is also possible to use the road from Jinka to Betomela form the other sides of the park.
Scenic value: The landscape of the park is surrounded by interesting high rugged mountain ranges, escarpment and small hills. The landscape is breathtaking and important for sustainable eco-tourism development. The MzNP and the surrounding area have different natural, cultural and historical attractions such as Bilbo Hot Springs, Wenja Stone Cave, “Kaouwa Wella” (Yeniguse Warka),
Bilbo/Halo Hot Spring: is situated at the upper parts of Maze River in the park. It is a form of geyser, which shoot up hot water from deep inside the ground. The smoke released from this hot spring, cover wide area and seen from a distance. People from far areas and local people used it as traditional medicine.
Wenja Stone Cave: Natural rock cave that can hold up to 300 people. According to legends, in the past, the site was used to punish criminal/ unlawful member of the community.
Religious Site in Chosho Market: There are two oldest big trees in Chosho Market. These trees are believed as justice giving (court) by the local residence for any disagreement that may arise among them. The site is locally called “Kaouwo welloa” meaning the king’s tree.
Key Species: Swayne’s hartebeest, Oribi