IntroductionIn eastern Ethiopia, the Awash River Valley starts at the edge of the Danakil Desert and continues southwest to just south of Addis. Probably the most famous "residents" of the valley are the Australopithecus afarensis, early human ancestors who lived there more than 3 million years ago. The area, about 100 mi/160 km east of Addis, also has extinct volcanic craters, the largest being Fantale Volcano (10 mi/15 km in diameter). Thermal springs and lakes dot the area, which is also good for bird-watching and home to many animals. At the southern boundary , Awash National Park is known for its contoured hills, narrow river gorges and varied wildlife including lion, oryx, hamadryas baboon and hundreds of bird species.
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