Save Gambella for the World
Plight of Gambella, A Worthy Cause
Ethiopia’s Gambella National Park is an uncut gem in Africa’s crown of spectacular wildlife reserves, established as a protected area in 1973 to conserve a varied assemblage of wildlife species and unique habitats.
The Park forms part of a proposed Peace Park between Southern Sudan and Ethiopia and was originally established to protect the richly diverse ecology, habitats and the endangered wetland antelope – the Nile lechwe.
Some 850 km west of Addis Ababa, you’ll find the undulating plains of savanna and woodland, shrubland, wet grassland and swamps that make up Gambella National Park, one of our crowded planet’s last wild places. The exceptionally diverse ecology of the Akobo river system and the Baro River supports huge Nile perch, crocodile and hippos and is the lifeblood of the region, flowing into Southern Sudan, eventually joining with the White Nile.
Apart from the White-eared Kob and Nile Lechwe (Kobus), the reserve contains African elephants, African buffalo, Masai lion, African leopards, Sudan cheetahs, Nubian giraffe, roan antelope, Korigum (Tiang or Topi), Jackson’s hartebeest, Abyssinian reedbuck, olive baboon, and Guereza monkey. Of the three hundred species of birds found in Gambella, the enormous shoebill stork, long-tailed paradise whydah, red-throated bee-eater and rare green bee-eater only occur here. The massive Shoe-billed Stork standing tall at 110cm to 140 cm – 39” to 55” with a wingspan of 230cm to 260cm – 7’7” to 8’6” is classified as Vulnerable with its main threats being habitat destruction, disturbance and hunting.
The second largest mammal migration in Africa takes place in Gambella every year when the White Eared Kob, migrates between Ethiopia and Southern Sudan from March through June. According to Ethiopian authorities, an estimated 1.2 million antelope migrate each year, second only to the great migration of wildebeest from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.
As in other African countries, the park area is home to indigenous peoples who share in the wealth of the reserve. This vast collection of savannahs, flood plains, riverine forests, lazily flowing rivers and grasslands teem with a wide variety of wildlife and forty-one larger mammals have been recorded here along with fish, amphibian and reptile species.
The park is one of the world’s last true wildernesses and the wildlife populations rival the world famous reserves of Kenya and Tanzania. For the ultimate safari in wildest Africa and to appreciate the rich and varied diversity, the experience is best enjoyed when visitors are prepared to be completely self-sufficient.
Prime time to visit is between January and early April, with January to March being the peak for the antelope migration. The Gambella National Park Headquarters in Gambella offers sound advice and organises the compulsory guides.
In this world full of people, the wild places are vanishing along with the animals and ecosystems they support! Man needs nature, nature needs man for both to survive and flourish. We can support the survival of these small spots of perfect wilderness, the little pieces where nature flourishes as it should.
The following video is a must, if you love Africa. Its 4:25 min long and narrated in Italian by Roberto Nistri, with English subtitles in the beginning and end. The middle is narrated in English with Italian subtitles. Well worth the watch, this video is very professionally done.
We at Wildmoz saw a need and wrote this article. If you feel this project needs your help then you can reach out here on a secure link.
If you can afford the bandwidth, below is a wonderful video of 23 mins long, about the treasures of Gambella and the migration of the white eared kob antelope.
We would like to thank Wikipedia for the relevant images.