Visit Sof Omar- Africa’s largest natural cavern tunnel

Visit Sof Omar- Africa’s largest natural cavern tunnel and Sheikh Hussein shrine 


Program: Addis Ababa, Bale Mountains Park     

Tour Code: Dire Sheikh Hussein

Duration: 6Nights (7 Days)

Transportation:  4X4

Tour starts: Addis Ababa

Tour Ends: Addis Ababa 

Arrive to Addis Ababa (Day 1)

Evening, arrive to Addis Ababa Bole International Airport & meet with us and transfer to Hotel (4*) or below or above 4* Hotel– Addis 

Visit Addis Ababa -Rift Valley lakes & Swayne’s Hartebeest (Day 2) 

Morning, drive from Addis Ababa to Awassa, also named – Hawassa (273 km from Addis Ababa). on the way, visit the Rift Valley Lakes: Lake Ziway, Lake Langano, hot springs nearby Lake Shalla( the deepest lake in Ethiopia – 270 m deep!),  &  innumerable pink flamingos on Lake Abijata.   After 70km drive from Shashemene, visit the Sinkille (also named as Senkele) for Swayne’s hartebeest, the place in Ethiopia where Swayne’s Hartebeest sightings are practically guaranteed. Then drive to Dinsho (the Head Quarter office & ticket office of Bale Mountains National Park). Stop and walk at Gayssay (Mountain Nyala Field) and discover herds of mountain Nyala. After having tickets for the Bale Mountains National park, drive and trek into the Dinsho Forest for Mountain Nyala, Menelik’s Bushbuck,… the forest itself- the Juniper Hagenia woodland & and birds:  Blue-winged goose, Spot-breasted lapwing, Abyssinian long claw, Wattled ibis, Black-headed siskin, Rouget’s rail. Overnight – Dinsho Lodge – Dinsho

Addis Ababa – Bale Goba – Abyssinia Wolf, Senate Plateau & Harena Forest (Day 3)  

Morning at Dinsho Forest, Discover Mountain Nyala, Menelik’s Bushbuck, Bohor, warthogs etc. Then continue to Bale Goba. Afternoon,  drive to  immensely beautiful Bale Mountains for its landscapes peak mountains( 4377m – Mt. Tulu Demtu), Abyssinian/Ethiopian Wolf ( often being seen), Giant Mole Rat & Harena Forest  for Bale Monkey ( endemic) . Hotel (3*) – Bale Goba (2500m of altitude) or lodge in Bale Mountains park

Sof Omar- Africa’s largest natural cavern tunnel – Sheik Hussein shrine (Day4) 

Morning, drive to Sof Omar vast network limestone caverns,  the largest in Africa lies at about 100km east of the Bale Mountains range at an elevation 1300m. It has been curved by the Web River, descending from the Bale Region Highlands to the flat arid plains then stretches to Somali Border. The underground chamber, watering by the Web River reaches 16km long, the limestone pillars that support the caverns are high up to 20m.   The cavern is named after Sheikh Sof Omar, a 12century Muslim Chief who used the area as a refuge, remaining an important pilgrimage site for Ethiopian Muslims. Sof Omar Cavern is also  best site for birdwatchers to see salvadori’s Serin– with bold yellow throat (endemic),  & good to see acacia-scrub bird species  such as orange- bellied Parrot, Blue napped mouse bird, Somali Tit and more others.  Then drive to the Muslim pilgrimage center of Sheik Hussein Mosque/Shrine. Sheik Hussein Mosque is famous Islamic holiest place in Bale region. Overnight Tented Camp – Sheik Hussein 

Awash National Park (Day 5) 

Drive to Awash National Park and enter the Awash National Park for game view.  The dramatic Awash Falls, as the river tumbles into its gorge, is the sight not to be missed in the national park. Awash national park, surrounding the dormant volcano of Fantalé, is a reserve of arid and semi-arid woodland and savannah, with riverain forests along the Awash River. Forty six species of animals have been identified here, including Beisa Oryx, Dik-dik, lesser and great kudu, Waterbuck, leopard (rare to see), cheetah (rare to see), Lion – rare, Kudu. Hamadryas and Anubis baboon, crocs, etc and the nomadic Afar tribe at the hot spring water. Overnight – lodge in the Park – or Hotel in Awash Sebat Town – near Awash Park 

Ali Deghe Wildlife Reserve  (Day 6) 

Drive to Ali Deghe Wildlife Reserve area, located in Afar People of Ethiopia.  Possible wildlife: Beisa Oryx, lesser kudu, salt’s dik-dik, warthog, spotted hyena, crocodile, hippo, and lion. Overnight – lodge or tented camp

Alay/Ali Deghe protected Plains – Addis Ababa (Day 7)   

Explore Alay Dege (also spelt as Ali Dege) protected area for full day, for Grevy’s Zebra, antelopes and significant varieties of birds and drive back to Addis Ababa and transfer to Addis Ababa Bole International Airport  for departure (end of the trip)

Notice: This itinerary can be amended upon request

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