National Park (Amharic for white grass) is located in eastern
North Omo Zone near Arba Minch, named after the white grass
that covers the undulating Nechisar plains, hosting the lakes
Abaya and Chamo.
National Park is in eastern North Omo Zone. The zonal capital,
Arba Minch, is on the western border of the park. Arba Minch
is 510 km south of the capital Addis Ababa and 279 km
south-west of the regional capital Awassa. Nechisar is named
after the white grass that covers the undulating Nechisar
plains and contrasts with the black basalt rocks of the Amaro
Mountains to the east, and the black soils of the plains.
This 750 km2 National Park was established in 1974, and it is
among the most beautiful game reserves in Africa set in the
Rift Valley at an altitude of 1,000-1650m, the Park protects
not only the easterly Nech-Sar “white grass plains for which
it is named, but also portions of lake Chamo and Abaya and the
mountainous bridge of God” that lies between the two lakes.
Nech-Sar National Park is the wide Varity of animals and 350
bird species have been recorded.
The most common large mammal here is Burchell’s Zebra, which
is regularly seen in herds of two or more you should also see
grant’s gazelle and, with a bit of luck, one of the 100 odd
resident Swayne’s hartebeest. Lion, cheetah and even Africa
world dog are present and Guenther’s dik-dik and greater Kudu,
Crocodile, Hippo and Waterbuck are frequently seen from the
view point over Lake Chamo. Acacia birds such as rollers,
Sparrow weavers and Starlings are well represented, and
Nech-Sar seems to be particularly good for Raptors
Around 15% of the park comprises portions of Lakes Abaya to
the north and Chamo to the south. The water of Lake Abaya is
always brown or red-brown, in contrast with Lake Chamo which
has strikingly blue water and white sandy beaches. The park
also covers the neck of land between the lakes which supports
groundwater forest. At the foot of Mt Tabala in the south-east
there are hot springs. The altitude ranges from 1,108m at the
shore of Lake Chamo to 1,650m on Mt Kalia in the north-east.
The main habitats of Nechi Sar National Park are the lakes,
their shorelines, the groundwater forest and connecting river,
the dry grassy plains, thick bushland and the wooded valleys
and foothills of the Amaro Mountains. Most of the park is
covered in bush land, which is thick and impenetrable in
places, the taller trees.
The forest between the two lakes and by the Kulfo River is
dominated by Ficus sycamorus up to 30m tall. This same area
supports a number of shrubs and scramblers, but few herbs on
the forest floor. The freshwater swamps at the mouth of the
Kulfo River and in Lake Chamo are dominated by Typha
angustifolia, tall waterside grasses, e.g. Saccharum
spontaneum, and the small leguminous trees, Sesbania sesban
and the legume Aeschynomene elaphroxylon..