2 Days Chilimo Forest

About Mount Zuqualla

Mount Ziquala is a volcanic cone which rises to 3000 m, some 1000 m higher than the surrounding countryside, the crater is 2 km across and some 60 m deep, with a shallow lake at the bottom. On the north east of the caldera is a monastery, part of which was destroyed by Ahmed Gragn in the 16th century, but which was later restored. The monastery is dedicated to Abba Gebre Menfes Kidus, an Ethiopian saint renowned for his love of animals and wild life – he is frequently shown in paintings surrounded by lions and other wild beasts. A common story is that he allowed a bird to drink water from his eye. The crater slopes are covered by dry mountain forest, mainly made up of Juniper trees. The forest has a high bio-diversity – 217 species of flowering plants and ferns have been recorded. A number of endemic birds and mammals can be seen here, including: Wattled Ibis, Blue-winged Goose, Black-winged lovebird, Banded Barbet, Abyssinian Woodpecker, White-winged Cliff Chat, Abyssinian Catbird, White-backed Black Tit, and the Colobus Monkey. Other birds of interest include: White-cheeked Turaco, Slender-billed Chestnut-winged Starling, Sharpe’s Starling, and Ruppel’s Griffon Vulture, while of animal species Grey Duiker and Klipspringer can be seen.