Swarovski Optik Blog 5/9: Week one in Nechisar National Park

In 2015 I organized an expedition to Ethiopia. I collected a team of 5 researchers to search for Caprimulgus solala in Nechisar National Park. For the purpose of this expedition, I wrote 9 blogs for Swarovski Optik.

Original blog message here (20 January 2015)


Week one of our expedition has ended, and we already have encountered some interesting birds, mammals and reptiles. We even have made a new discovery for Nechisar National Park, but it’s not the Nechisar Nightjar.

On Monday 5th January we landed in Addis Abeba, the capital of Ethiopia. We were surprised by the high diversity of small birds, raptors and vultures despite the bad habitat, smog and dirty environment. The next day we travelled to Arba Minch, where the main gate to Nechisar National Park is situated. During this 450km bumpy ride we encountered many small towns, and even found some endemic bird-species like the Wattled Ibis. We needed three days to finally arrive in our temperately base camp. The camp overlooks Nechisar National Park and is proximate to the Sermale River.

On day five of the expedition we finally made it to Nechisar National Park. We started catching nightjars and in the next 3 days and until now we have caught over 25 birds. They include Dusky nightjar, Slender-tailed nightjar and Star-spotted nightjar.

Using our Swarovski Optik binoculars we were also able to spot some really rare animals like Caracal, Martial eagle, Marsh mongoose, Wattled ibis and less rare ones such as Zebra, Kori-bustard Kudu and Grant’s Gazelle. This is just a fraction of our extension list of observations which we were able to make despite the dark conditions at night, or difficult situation in the swampy forest.

We are looking forward to update you on the next weeks, even in the weeks after the expedition with more elaborate descriptions of our expedition.

See you next week, If we can find internet!

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