Gambela National Park
Gambella National park is found 850 km west of Addis Ababa.it was set up in 1973 to preserve a differing array of natural life and exceptional habitats.The park covers a total area of approximately 50,600 hectarses. it is the largest protected area in Ethiopia.
Gambella National Park lies along one of the Ethiopia’s significant important rivers: the Baro river ,shaping the parks northern boundary.To the south of the park is the Gilo River flowing from Gog to Tor in a northwesterly direction.
Initially the park was created for protection of extensive swamp habitat and its wildlife. Situated on the Akobo river system, it hosts several wildlife not found elsewhere in Ethiopia. The banks of the baro are rich in birdlife and thus give visitors an extra advantage..
This enormous protection area of Gambella National park contains numerous species not discovered somewhere else in Ethiopia, such as, the Nile lechwe and the white-eared kob. Roan antelope,topi, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, and the unusual whale-headed stork are also to be found here.
Wildlife of Gambela National Park
41 larger mammals are known including Buffalo, Elephant, White-eared Kob, Hippopotamus, Nile Lechwe, Giraffe, Warthog, Topi, Waterbuck, Roan Antelope, Burchell’s Zebra, Bushbuck and Reedbuck. The rivers host healthy populations of Nile Crocodiles. Gambela has in excess of 300 bird species, including water birds like the Shoebilled Heron, Basra Reed Warbler and Demoiselle Crane. Nile perch weighing more than 100 kg have been caught from the Baro River.
Gambela National Park Climate
The climate of Gambella is hot and humid with maximum temperatures just before the rainy season in May. Annual mean temperature is with a minimum and maximum of 20.4 and 34.8 0 C, respectively. Annual rainfall is about 1400 mm. The wet season is from May to October when large parts of the park are totally inaccessible.
The landscape of Gambela is low and flat with altitude ranging from 400 to 768 masl. The average altitude is around 500 meters above sea level.
Gambela National Park is also home to the Anuyak , who are strikingly tall and very dark-skinned for Ethiopians, and theNuer , who are smaller but even more dark skinned. Both sexes of the Nuer favor scarification, an adornment causing bumps in various patterns on their bodies.Unaffected by the ways of the modern world, these interesting people remain as remote, unchanged, and beautiful as the land in which they live.
Getting to See Gambela National Park
Getting to see GAMBELA National Park is a bit of an undertaking for a few reasons. It is so far away that it would take 2 days arriving via car, so it is advised to fly to the town of Gambela (Ethiopian Airlines flies from Addis Ababa to Gambella). Overnight accommodations are extremely basic. During the wet season it is hard to get around in Gambela National Park, and and some roads may be totally cut off. There are no decent vehicles in the zone and we have to send a vehicle a day ahead of of the tour.