Known as Biye Bahi, which means "good water" in Somali, this hunting area is located in northeastern Ethiopia about 60 kilometers north of a town called Harar (which is about 200 kilometers east of Addis Ababa). Elliot says the area is teaming with Somali Soemmering's gazelle and northern gerenuk. This latter subspecies is reportedly huntable only in Ethiopia and is available in only one other hunting concession. Elliot claims Biye Bahi also promises to produce big lesser kudu, possibly even bigger than the ones found in the Omo Valley - which currently dominate the top-ranking entries in the SCI record book.
"Other fascinating animals found in the area," says Elliott, "include the Somali ostrich, which has grey-blue legs that become bright blue during the mating season, and the desert warthog." Also called the Somali warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus), this warthog is scientifically recognized as a separate species from the common warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) and is found only in southeastern Ethiopia, western Somalia and in central and eastern Kenya. The desert warthog has different cranial and dental features and a different facial appearance.
Lastly, there is what Elliott says is the smallest and most interesting species for collectors, the Harar dik-dik. "This sub-species of dik-dik hasn't been hunted since the early 1990s, and there are only 15 total entries in the SCI record book," he says.
ERVS's first safaris in this area are scheduled for this coming February, so I won't have any first-hand subscriber reports for you until the April issue at the earliest. Elliott says they have been issued liberal quotas and have a number of current clients who want to combine their safaris with one to Biye Bahi. So, interested........(continued)