Kafta Shiraro National park

This protected area (of 2,176km2) lies in the far north of the country. It was originally established as a wildlife reserve but upgraded to a national park in 2007. It was formally gazetted in 2015. Kafta-Shiraro NP is hugely important as it contains the largest global population of Heuglin’s Gazelle (up to 50%). As with Babille, there is an isolated elephant population in the area (estimated at 300 animals): this is the most northern population of elephants on the African continent and the population crosses the border into Eritrea. The area is threatened with habitat loss as a result of frequent fires, and corridor obstruction by irrigation schemes, settlement and agricultural expansion.

Tourist and

Major wildlife conserved includes the largest global population of Heuglin’s Gazelle (50% of the global population), the most northerly Elephant population in Africa, Ostrich, Aardvark, and Greater kudu, Roan Antelope, Caracal, Leopard and Lion. While the main river is the Tekeze, it is fed by a number of rivers that originate in the Simien Mountains and highlands of Wolkait. Elevation ranges from 550 meters above sea level on the edge of Tekeze River, and 1800 meters above sea level on the highlands of Kafta. The site has a mono-modal pattern of rain with high peaks in May and early September, which coincides with the period that elephant populations are most commonly seen in the park, migrating from Eritrea. Preliminary records show that the site conserves 42 mammalian, 100-120 avian species and 9 reptile species.


Chief Park Warden:

Gebregziabher Gebru.


+251 914742241




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Photo credits: Håkan Pohlstrand, Nakachew Birlew and Ludwig Siege