Overview – Chebera-Churchura NP

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Bradt guidebooks to African destinations, including the guide to Ethiopia.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Bradt guidebook to Ethiopia.

Philip is the author of the Bradt guidebook to Ethiopia.

Nature-lovers wishing to get off-the-beaten-track should consider a visit to Chebera-Churchura National Park. The park is one of the last elephant strongholds of elephant in Ethiopia. There are no viable roads and you’ll go out with an armed ranger on foot. The elephants are shy and you’ll do well to get just a glimpse, but tracking these giants in the jungle is a thrilling experience.

Best Time to Go October to March (Little rainfall)
High Season October to January (The park is never busy)
Size 1,279km² / 493mi²
Altitude 596-2,071m / 1,955-6,795ft

Pros & Cons

  • Exciting, off-the-beaten-track destination
  • A chance to see elephant and buffalo on foot
  • Pristine wilderness
  • Away from other tourist destinations
  • Only one very bad road in the park
  • Only very basic accommodation or camping without facilities

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Wildlife

Chebera-Churchura National Park has a good variety of animals. The game rangers are skilled at tracking elephants and buffalos. Other wildlife you might spot while hiking includes lesser and greater kudu, defassa waterbuck, hippo, bushpig and giant forest hog. Guereza monkeys are common in the riverine forest, while vervet monkeys offer lots of entertainment in the campsite.

Scenery

Due to the large span of altitudes, Chebera-Churchura NP covers a lot of different habitats and landscapes. There is a big chunk of lush jungle-like forest crisscrossed by streams and animal paths. Further afield the forest thins and gives way to woodland savannah. Several hot springs and crater lakes can be reached on hiking excursions.

Weather & Climate

The weather and climate of Chebera-Churchura NP is comparable to that of Ethiopia in general. More info:

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Chebera-Churchura NP is in the Dry season from November to February. The park is best explored on foot, so the Wet season months from April to October can be a bit more challenging. However, the scenery is at its best during this time.

Getting There

Chebera-Churchura NP is located about 450km/280mi southwest of Addis Ababa. The journey is usually taken over two days and can be broken up in Jimma.

Health & Safety

Please read our vaccinations and malaria page for Ethiopia, and our general wildlife viewing safety precautions page for more info:

Want to Visit Chebera-Churchura NP?

Chebera-Churchura NP Safari Reviews

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  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • User Rating
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    0 Reviews
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Elephant’s in Ethiopia’s jungle
4/5

Elephants? In Ethiopia? I’d been to Ethiopia many times and seen most of the endemic wildlife for which the country is known, but I’d never heard you could see elephants here. So, I was skeptical when I was taken to the remote, totally...