Abijatta-Shalla Lakes National Park was primarily created for its spectacular numbers of aquatic birds, especially Great white Pelican and Lesser Flamingo the bird breeding islands in Lake Shalla, and its scenery. It is a famous and significant ornithological site in the country.
Species recorded: 76 mammal species and 436 bird species
Charismatic species: White Pelican
Location: Abijatta-Shalla Lakes National Park is found 207 kms south of Addis, situated in the main Rift Valley it’s a park back grounds the two beautiful Rift Valley Lakes Abijata and Shalla. It is located on the co-ordinates 7030’N and 38030’E. The general area is within an altitude range of 1540-2075m asl.
Rainy season: The climate of the park is generally dry. Located in a rainfall deficit area of the Rift Valley, it eceives an annual rainfall range between 500 and 700mm during the two wet seasons, with the small rain periods are March to April and the main is June to September.
Temperature: the minimum and maximum temperature range between 50c and 450c respectively.
Ecological Zone: Rift Valley
Vegetation types: Acacia-Euphorbia woodlands savanna
Major wildlife species: the most notable waterfalls have been the Great White Pelicans, Storks, Flamingoes, Egrets and Herons, Cormorants and Plovers.
Mammals: Grant’s gazelle, Colobus monkey, grivet monkey, Warthog, Greater kudu, Klipspringer, Oribi and Jackals.
Endemic mammals: Yellow-fronted Parrot is endemic to the park.
Major physical /geological features: these include Lakes Abijatta and Shalla, hot springs, lava caves and four islands used as nesting site for different bird species.
Threats to the park: settlement, cultivation, livestock grazing, fuelwood and charcoal making, fishing on Lake Abijiata, and mining and soda ash plant.
Attractions: Its chief attractions are the scenic beauty of the Lakes, and the wealth of birdlife they support. The park is resided by few mammal species and much birdlife with unique combination. The two lakes in the park are found side by side and have different features. Lake Shalla is the deepest lake in the Rift 260ms and Lake Abijata shallowest lake in the Rift 13ms. Lake Abijiata is a home for enormous species of big game as well as nesting birds where as Lake Shalla is devoid of birds. An ostrich farm is another charm of this national park. This park is especially known for its significance to migrating wetland birds from palaearctic during the northern winter months. It serves as a stopover for a high population of birds including the Shoveler, Black-winged Stiit, Avocat, the large number of Lesser Flamingo and as a major feeding ground for the Great White Pelican.
Lake chitu: is a small Crater Lake offers a pectacular view of colony of flamingos feeding on blue green algae.
Look-out points: designated near Head Quarter to give contrasting views of both lakes.