Alternatively, it is approximately a 3 hour drive from Lake Langano.
For further details, see Wednesday 5th January.
From Wondo Genet, return to Shashamene, and drive 70 km south, before turning right onto a gravel road of unknown condition. It is thought that the road should be in reasonable condition, but care should be exercised. After 208 km, the village of Bitata will be reached. Turn left towards the Genale River. This road is suitable for a car travelling quite slowly. After approximately 30 km the Genale River is reached. Back-track a few km, and follow the details given on Saturday 8th January. If the drive from Shashamene is slow, continue to overnight at Negele, and return the following day - it should take less than 2 hours to reach the river from Negele.
Continue south from Negele to the Sidamo Lark site, which is a very passable gravel road.
From here turn left towards Melka Ghuba and Yavello. This road is a surprising good road, since it has just been regraded - how long it will last in this condition is unknown. For details see Sunday 9th January. Details of where to stay in Yavello are not known. From here, it is possible to drive to Awasa, Wondo Genet or Lake Langano in a day.
Yavello can be reached in a day from Negele, Lake Awasa, Wondo Genet or Awasa. From Yavello, it is worth driving both south and east, which will give an excellent chance of finding the localized endemics. See some details on Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th December and Sunday 9th January.
This area is well worth visiting as an alternative stop-over on the way north from Yavello. See details on Sunday 5th & Monday 6th December.
A very good bird-watching trip for those who have not visited East Africa before can be achieved by driving south from Addis Ababa through Lake Ziway to Lake Langano, then Wondo Genet, on to Lake Awasa, and back to Addis Ababa. Covered in 7 days, a wide range of habitats can be covered.
Driving south from Wondo Genet to Yavello, staying overnight, and returning to Lake Awasa would not require a tougher vehicle, and would cover the southern endemics. This would extend the trip to around 9 days.
The more adventurous, with a reliable and strong vehicle, could include the Negele portion of the route. This would make it into a 12 day trip.
Lalibela, Bahir Dar, Gonder & Axum all have regular supposedly cheap flights – but I have no information on these. All three would allow access to historical sites and some birding from a standard tourist “package” without renting a vehicle – although this would be beneficial in Lalibela.
An Ethiopian trip: 27/11/1999 to 17/01/2000Giles Mulholland 31 January 2000