The Park takes its name from the Awash River, which marks its southern boundary. It is one of Ethiopia’s oldest national parks, established in 1966. Elevation ranges from 750m to 2,010m above sea level, with the average altitude hovering around 1,000m. Short rains are expected from February to April and long rains from June to August. Temperatures can rise to 42 degrees C, but average temperatures are around 27 to 30 degrees C.
Location: Afar and Oromia regional states, 215km east of Addis Abeba.
Entry: Passing through the hot springs, Geda, or Emareti (main gate). It is recommended to enter through the main gate first and travel down toward the Awash River.
Hours: 6:00am to 7:00pm.
When to Go: Any time of the year is suitable, but between June and January is best.
Things to See and Do: Major species conserved here include beisaoryx, Soemmering’s gazelle, defassa waterbuck, Salt’s dikdik, warthog, hamadryas baboon, aardvark, greater and lesser kudu, and reedbuck. More than 400 species of birds are found in the park, ranging from the large ostrich to tiny fire finches. Of these, 6 are endemic, namely the banded barbet, golden-backed woodpecker, white-winged cliff chat, white-tailed starling, thick-billed raven, and wattled ibis. The waterfalls and hot springs (35km from the park entrance) in the Awash River Gorge are also beautiful. Lake Beseka and the dormant crater Fantalle are added attractions for visitors.
Where to Stay and Eat: Awash Falls Lodge is the best place here. Camping is also permitted in the park.