75,600ha Awash National Park is at a road distance of ± 225km east of Addis Ababa from where it can be reached in about 3 hours over the highway to Djibouti, which actually runs through it separating the Illala Saha Plains to the south from the Kudu Valley to the north. The Awash River runs through a canyon or gorge in the Southern part of the park where it falls off the cliffs of the famous Awash Waterfalls. The Awash Falls Lodge is located within the park at 5 minutes walking distance from the falls.
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The Awash river never reaches the sea as it ends in the highly saline Lake Abbe, gradually losing its water to evaporating - and irrigated farming - as it runs through the arid Awash Valley. North of the highway, the landscape is dominated by the Fentale Volcano at the Northern border of the park where one can seen its last lava enormous lava flow of 1820. One also finds the Filwoha oasis with hot springs amid a palm grove at the Northeastern park limit.
Most of the park is covered by shrub savannah and open grassland, with exception of the left shore of the Awash River, which is a dense Gallery forest.
Wildlife in this park include the Oryx, Soemmerring's Gazelle, the tiny Salt Dik-Dik, the lesser and greater Kudus, Warthogs, Defarsa waterbuck, Anubis and Hamadryas baboons, Colobus and Grivet monkeys, Leopards, Lions, Black-Backed and Golden Jackals, Caracals, Servals and Wildcats.
The bird list has about 470 species, of which we mention:
- Six endemics: Banded Barbet, Golden-Backed Woodpecker, White-Winged Cliff Chat, White-Tailed Starling, Thick-Billed Raven and Wattled Ibis;
- On the open grassland plains one has a chance to see several species hawks and Secretary birds, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Carmine Bee-eaters, and the Abyssinian Roller;
- In the wooded vegetation one can find Emerald-Spotted Wood Dove, Green Wood-Hoopoes, Red and Yellow Barbets, Coucal, Turaco, Go-away bird, Silver-cheeked hornbill just to name a few.