Attractive scenery and birdlife have been the main draw cards of Abijata-Shala National Park since most of its larger mammals were poached to local extinction during the Derg era. The park is named after the two Rift Valley lakes that lie within its boundaries, separated by a narrow sliver of hilly land. The southern part of the park is dominated by the scenic Lake Shala, which lies within a 260-metre-deep volcanic caldera and is fringed by a field of steaming, bubbling hot springs. Of greater ornithological interest is the sump-like Lake Abijata (or Abiata), whose alkaline algae-rich shallows are regularly tinged pink by hundreds of thousands of flamingos, along with various migrant and resident waders. An excellent guided circular hike (3–4hr) from the main entrance gate takes you to a superb viewpoint over the two lakes, as well as to the hot springs abutting Lake Shala.

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