Once considered one of the richest areas in terms of animal life, the park has suffered greatly over the past fifty years from the displacement of people from Sudan, which poses a serious threat to the balance of the ecosystem of this unique marshland area in Ethiopia. With the new massive influx of refugees and the lack of security in the area, especially in the park, it is now permanently closed to the public. We do not recommend that you visit the area.
About the park: Covering an area of 5,061 km2 and varying in altitude from 400 to 770 m, this area was probably the last refuge of some black rhinos and also harboured species characteristic of Sudanese fauna, but before the massive poaching that is intensifying in this region invaded by armed groups.
The park's highlight is when a million white-eared guinea pigs, elephants and other large mammals migrate into the border region between Gambela and Boma, making this mass movement of animals one of the largest and most spectacular in Africa. It is also the only animal migration corridor in Ethiopia.
In addition to cobs de Buffon and cobs lechwe, which are found nowhere else in the country, there are several species of antelope, damalisques, waterbucks and ewes, which are distributed over vast grasslands and woodlands and, while it is certain that populations of elephants, giraffes, buffaloes and big cats haunt the area, it is very difficult to estimate their numbers.
More than 150 species of birds have been recorded in this marshy environment which offers the unique opportunity to observe the strange shoebill, a large anthracite grey bird with an imposing beak.
The road through the now closed park to Abobo and then Gog, 95 km south of Gambela, gave the opportunity to visit many Anuak villages, including Deepa, and to approach the best ornithological sites along the Mekoy River and on the banks of Lake Tata, which is particularly rich in fish. It is hoped that it will reopen one day when the situation in the region has stabilized. Before travelling, it is essential to check the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, www.diplomatie.gouv.fr, under the heading "travel advice".
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