Awash National Park: stretched over 756 kilometres2 AWNP is situated at 225 kilometress south east of Addis on the plain through which the highway and railway line leading to Dire Dawa and Djibuti passes.
Establish in 1966, Awash National Park is the first officially gazetted wildlife reserve in the country. The park is entirely established on the plain of the Rift Valley. With the exception of 2600m high mountain Fantallé, the park area is predominantly covered with shrub, bush, acacia and open grass lands.
The main tourist attractions of the park include:
- The 46 major species of mammals and 453 species of birds among which six species are endemic to the country. All the mammals are East African plain animals origin like greater and lesser Kudus, oryx, bush buck, dik-dik, gazzelle, fox, klipspringer, cheetah, lions and others. The bird species include secretary birds, Abyssinian ground hornbill, carmine bee eater, Abyssinian Roller and birds of riverine forest like coucal, turaco and goaway birds;
- The Awash River that at the end of its gentle flowing course in relatively plain surface, suddenly drops into a gorge where the waters hit the bottom basaltic rocks to form a smoky water falls offering delightful sensation;
- Fantallé mountain, which rises majestically over the surrounding low land with its fascinating feature of volcanic origin, and depression on the top of the mountain that form a rugged surface with clouds of volcanic steam rising here and there;
- The palm springs of the northern part of the park, where hot water springs from the wall of hill flows down making a stream and a natural swimming pool amidst palm trees;
- The museum in the park head quarters where trophies of animals living in the park are displayed;
- The 22 caravans stationed on the edge of the Awash river gorge and the camp sites along the gently flowing Awash river where visitors could camp under riverine trees give opportunity to see crocodiles in the river and other larger animals that come to drink water.