Walia Ibex

What a truly impressive creature! Found only in the highlands of Ethiopia, the Walia Ibex is one of those animals that you just want to see. Take another look at those horns – absolutely remarkable! But not only is the Walia Ibex a majestic species, it just happens to occur in one of the most breathtaking places on the planet – the stunning Simien Mountains, where seeing this species is just one of the many highlights.

The Walia Ibex is, however, a highly endangered species, with very specific habitat requirements and a population limited to just 750 animals. Fortunately, the population has been on the rise over the past few decades, as back in 1995 estimates were down to only around 200 animals. These massive ‘mountain goats’ tend to prefer high altitude areas, between 2,500 and 4,500 m (8,200 and 14,800 ft), where the habitat is dominated by Giant Lobelias, moors and alpine grassland.

Males are typically larger and heavier than females and can weigh up to 125 kg (280 lb). While both sexes have horns, the males’ tend to be larger and longer, with lengths reaching up to 110 cm (43 in).

The Simien Mountains are also well-known for its massive troops of Gelada, another extraordinary mammal that Ethiopia is famous for. Anyone interested in reading more about this fascinating primate can take a look at Adam Riley’s absorbing blog post here.

We still have spaces available on our upcoming Ethiopia trip at the end of the year. This is an excellent time to visit the country, as it is dry season and the mammal and bird viewing is sensational. The trip includes time spent at the fabulous Bale Mountains, where we stand excellent chances of seeing Ethiopian Wolf, (our recent tailor-made trip had an incredible 7 different wolves in one day), Mountain Nyala, Giant Mole Rat and the endemic Bale Monkey; while we also take time to visit Awash National Park and the Simien Mountains, where headline species include Gelada and Walia Ibex. Cultural and birding opportunities during the tour are also excellent.

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