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Destination Details

Gambela, Ethiopia

Gambella National park is located 850 km west of Addis Ababa. It was established as a protected area in 1973 to conserve a diverse assemblage of wildlife and unique habitats. Although not technically in the Rift Valley, Gambella National Park lies along another of the country's important rivers: the Baro. Near the town of Gambella, Gambella National Park, is one of Ethiopia's least developed parks and has no facilities. Nevertheless, the large conservation area contains many species not found elsewhere in the country, such as the Nile lechwe and the white-eared kob. Roan antelope, topi, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, and the unusual whale-headed stork are also to be found here.

Originally the park was created for protection of extensive swamp habitat and ts wildlife. Located on the Akobo river system, it hosts several wildlife not found elsewhere in Ethiopia. The banks of the baro are rich in birdlife and thus give visitors an extra advantage. With its total area of approximately 50,600 hectars, it is the largest protected area in the country. Its northern boundary is formed by the Baro River. To the south of the park isthe Gilo River flows from Gog to Tor in a northwesterly direction.

The people of this area are the Anuak and the Nuer. Mainly fisherfolk - but also cattle herders - the Anuak and Nuer are extremely handsome, with dark, satiny complexions. Both men and women favour a style of decorative scarification on the chest, stomach, and face; and often boast heavy bone bangles, bright bead necklaces, and spikes of ivory or brass thrust through a hole pierced in the lower lip and protruding down over the chin.

Unaffected by the ways of the modern world, these interesting people remain as remote, unchanged, and beautiful as the land in which they live.

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