Soudah Waterfall and Escarpment

The walk at Soudah Waterfall, a well known birding hotspot, is not more than a kilometre or so but it is an eventful one. The track passes through a narrow wadi where the water flow is consistent as it is fed by a spring. The stream sides are thick with emergent rushes and in places with trees including a magnificent willow tree over a deep, clear pool where African paradise flycatchers usually have a nest. Butterflies, dragonflies are frequent . This is a place of rare abundance and apparently a good location for Arabian cobra; it is also well known for its roosting Arabian Eagle Owl, which sits beautifully camouflaged on a well-vegetated cliff near the entrance. There are other endemics such as Yemen thrush and Arabian woodpecker. Brightest of all is little rock thrush, another species with a distribution that straddles the Red Sea.

At the nearby escarpment, ancient Juniper trees and patchwork of shrubs carpet the rocky ground. We search in vain for a chameleon. The baboons track us from a distance before disappearing over the precipice; this drops a cool one kilometre to the wadi below. The afternoon cloud runs up the cliff and quickly suffocates the breathtaking panorama.

Leave a Reply