Maze National Park
Maze National Park is one of the wildlife conservation areas known for its good population of the critically endangered endemic Swayne’s Hartebeests population and located 460km and 235 south west of Addis Ababa and Hawassa, respectively, in Gamo-Gofa Zone.
The Park is fortunate in possessing a number of rivers and streams which ultimately drains to Omo River. The name of the park derived after the largest river that crosses the park called Maze River.
The Park is covered by savannah grassland with scattered deciduous broad leaved trees as well as Riverine association along the main watercourses. The Wild animal of the Maze National Park supports a wide range of savannah species. So far 39 larger and medium sized mammals and 196 birds’ species have been recorded. It is one of the three sites in the world where good population of the endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest’s population still survive. Besides, orbi, Bohor red buck, buffalo, warthog, bushbuck, waterbuck, greater kudu, lesser kudu, bush pig, Anubus baboon, vervet monkey, lion, leopard, wild cats, serval cat are among others .common species.
The road from Sodo to the park is all-weather gravel road covering a distance of 83km. It is also possible to use the road from Jinka to Betomela form the other sides of the park.
The landscape of Maze National Park is surrounded by interesting high rugged mountain ranges, escarpment, and small hills. The landscape is breathtaking and important for sustainable eco-tourism development. The Maze National Park and the surrounding area have different natural, cultural and historical attractions such as Bilbo Hot Springs, Wenja Stone Cave, “Kaouwa Wella”(Yeniguse Warka),
Bilbo/Halo Hot Spring: is situated at the upper parts of Maze River in the park. It is a form of geyser, which shoot up hot water from deep inside the ground. The smoke released from this hot spring, cover wide area and seen from a distance. People from far areas and local people used it as traditional medicine.
Wenja Stone Cave: Natural rock cave that can hold up to 300 people. According to legends, in the past, the site was used to punish criminal/ unlawful member of the community.
Religious Site in Chosho Market: There are two oldest big trees in Chosho Market. These trees are believed as justice giving (court) by the locals’ residence for any disagreement that may arise among them. The site is locally called “Kaouwo welloa” meaning the king’s tree.
Source: Southern Region Tourism offices