NechSar is named after the creamy white grass that covers the park in the central plains area. It was established in 1974. The park is challenged by human settlement but offers the tourist a wide selection of wildlife and birds. Water bodies, including lakes Abaya and Chamo, cover about 15% of the park’s surface area and are home to a lot of Nile perch and crocodiles. The neck of land between the two lakes, which would otherwise be one huge lake, is known as the Bridge of God. The crocodiles found in these two lakes are the biggest in Africa, the largest ones measuring 7.8m long. Elevations range from 1,108m to 1,650m above sea level. Annual rainfall for the Arba Minch area is 800mm, with most rain falling from April to May. The mean annual temperature is around 21 degrees C.
Location: 502km south of Addis Abeba, just east of Arba Minch.
Hours: 6:00am to 6:00pm.
When to Go: From November to May is best.
Things to See and Do: The Crocodile Market is a stretch of the shoreline of Lake Chamo where hundreds of crocodiles come out to bask in the sun. Wildlife includes plains zebra and Burchell’s zebra, Grant’s gazelle, Guenther’s dikdik, greater kudu, Swayne’s hartebeest, bushbuck, vervet monkey, and black-backed jackal. If a birder, feast the eyes on lesser kestrel, pallid harrier, lesser flamingo, black-billed wood hoopoe, teita fiscal, borancisticola, white-tailed lark, NechSar nightjar, and several more.
Getting There: Road or air transportation to Arba Minch can be used.
Where to Stay and Eat: Paradise Lodge Arba Minch, Tourist Hotel, Swayne’s Lodge, or BekeleMolla Hotel.