BY Sandra Appiah, 12:00am April 12, 2011,

Spotlight: Nechsar National Park (Ethiopia)

By: Greta Iori

National Parks, are some of the greatest treasures of African Countries, the vast lands, endless valleys and incrusted wildlife, tribal cultures and unknown wonders; make it a great way to show appreciation for the country’s heritage in the form of natural environments.

I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit numerous national parks worldwide, and till this day the Nechsar National Park found at 500 kilometers south of Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian Capital – has cast a special charm over me. I am not quite sure what it is exactly about this national park that urges me to go back over and over again – but it does.

Ethiopia is extremely rich in landscapes, usually completely unknown to the foreigners. Rarely associated with breath taking views, monster crocodiles infested lakes, and never ending hills – mind you occupied by hundreds of zebras, antelopes and monkey species. The lion, serval-cat and cheetah, have also been spotted, but it is no doubt a challenge to spot them – not only due to the fact that this National Park covers 514 square kilometers, but also due their nocturnal lifestyle.

When standing on the hillside of my guesthouse, I can look directly upon the entrance valleys of the National Park. It is so immaculately perfect in its appearance that I must blink twice to make sure such astonishing scenery is not just a painting on some wealthy household’s wall. It could be, the Chamo and Abaya lakes sitting comfortably facing each other with this great rocky hill in-between that captivate me. What is known scientifically as an isthmus; when two water forms are separated by a larger landmass – in this case a steep mountain. The outer world may know it as an isthmus but to the locals nothing more than the “Bridge of God” – simply enchanting.

The National Park gets its name ‘Nechsar’ from the clearly identifiable white grass plains. The national park is mostly covered in this dry grassland and bush land of the Amaro Mountains. The mouth of the national park on the other hand is covered in thick forest and swamps, where some of the regions fresh water springs are found. This is not a rare combination of landscape, as this region is known as ‘Arbaminch’, otherwise known as ‘Forty – springs’.

Whether it is the ‘Bridge of god’, the dinosaur likes crocodiles on the shores of Lake Chamo, the implausible perfection of the Zebra’s coat in contrast to the white grass, or simply the moment of drinking a cool beer and watching the sun set’s rays reflect on the twin lakes waters – there is something incredible about this place.
So here is to our Spotlight National Park, Nechsar!

Last Edited by: Updated: September 12, 2018


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