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Top 5: Animals to Spot on an Ethiopian Safari

by Holly Riddle

Jan 13, 2020

ID 144344835 © Henkbogaard | Dreamstime.com

Top 5 / Africa

When many travelers think of going on a safari, they think of seeing the “big five” animals — typically elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards and buffalo. However, the big five in Ethiopia are a bit different. Here are the animals you should look forward to spotting during an Ethiopian safari.


The Ethiopian Wolf

Africa’s most endangered carnivore and the planet’s rarest canid, the Ethiopian wolf is red and white, and on the smaller side. Most of the wolves live in the Bale Mountains in southwest Ethiopia and their numbers are guessed to be less than 500 in total.


The Gelada Baboon

Found only in the Ethiopian highlands, the Gelada baboon is more eye-catching than its brown cousin, due to a bright red spot on its chest. It spends more of its time on the ground than in the trees, and forages grasslands where it eats, somewhat unusually, grass.


The Walia Ibex

A type of wild goat, the Walia ibex is confined to Simien Mountains National Park. Habitat loss threatens these endangered creatures, whose numbers are just a few hundred. They travel in herds of five to 20 animals.


The Mountain Nyala

A type of antelope, the Mountain Nyala are large in size for antelopes, standing four feet at the shoulder. The male antelopes have curved horns and the females have longer necks and larger ears. The Mountain Nyala live primarily in the Bale Mountains.


The Menelik’s Bushbuck

The Menelik’s Bushbuck are related to the Mountain Nyala, but are more widespread. They can be spotted in Ethiopia’s highland forests, the Bale Mountains and Simien Mountains National Park.



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