Amora Gedel National Park
At less than 1 square kilometer, Amora Gedel National Park in Hawassa ethiopia, is probably one of the smallest national parks in Africa. And by it’s location adjacent to Hawassa it is probably more precise to call it a city park. Hence it is a very popular park for the locals who come here to relax, to fish and to perform wedding ceremonies. Actually there is also occupation inside the park, as a few families have build small houses and live there.
Yet the park also inhabits many animals and birds. Vervet monkeys and Colobus monkeys are plentiful and birds of many species wander around, looking for food. Sometimes even hippoes are spotted here as well as are monitor lizards in the lake (the locals call them crocodiles, but there are no crocodiles in Lake Awasa). The mix of animals and people living in peaceful co-existance gives a unique impression and if you happen to visit Hawassa it’s a great place to spend some time.
Meet the locals
Amora Gedel Park is a great place to get in touch with how life is for many Ethiopians as you will have the chance to meet some and talk to them if you wish. The locals come to the park for relaxation but also to fish in Lake Awasa. They use home made fishing poles and catch Tilapia fish and sometimes – if they are hungry – eat them raw (like Sushi) on the spot.
Tall Marabou Storks watch them closely to see if they can snatch some fish as well. The park oozes tranquility and boat trips on Lake Awasa can be hired inside the park. The boat trips are a great way to explore and see Lake Awasa and there’s always the possibility to maybe spot some hippos in the lake.