Ethiopia is not your typical safari destination, which is one of the reasons we were excited to go there! Brenda and I have hunted in seven different African countries over the last nearly 30 years, some many times. We had never seen a Mountain Nyala, because Ethiopia is the only
country where they live – and we hadn’t been there! Ethiopia is famous for its historic sights, which attract a great many tourists; but we were there to hunt, with no time allowed for sightseeing.
There are many huntable game species in Ethiopia, in various ecosystems, but the Mountain Nyala was
our primary focus. It was a routine twelve-hour “daytime flight” from Chicago to Addis Ababa, arriving early morning there (eight-hour time change). We had decided on a seven hour safari car ride, rather than a one-hour flight, to base camp, as we like to see the country and its people
on our first safari to a new country; we’ve found that driving is the best way to do so.
Our hunt was in the southern highlands, east of the capital of Addis Ababa. This area can best be described as mountain jungle; very dense! There were no roads, just wide people/livestock
trails, for crossing the mountain between villages; and much smaller livestock trails, through the bush, that the game also used. The walking was up and down these rocky trails, then sitting and glassing small openings on the opposite hillsides – looking for game, but often seeing people or livestock.
the toughest hunt of my life, both physically and mentally; Brenda was able to hunt near our spike camp and shot her Nyala quite early; but mine came on the morning of the 8th day, about an hour’s hard walk from spike camp — where we had slept each night
and had our light morning and evening meals.
Our Nyala hunts over, we spent one more night in spike camp and the following morning walked two hours down the mountain, where the safari car was waiting to take us back up the other mountain to base camp. There we both shot
Menelik’s bushbuck the next day, and departed the following morning - two days ahead of schedule. As safaris go, it was a very interesting experience. Like always, we are already trying to figure when we might go back to Ethiopia and what we want to hunt.