The Bale Mountains National Park is the largest area of Afro-alpine terrain in Ethiopia. It is an alluring destination for walkers, wildlife enthusiasts and birders alike. In a country with so much history and culture, the Bale Mountains allow you time to enjoy Ethiopia’s natural beauty, wildlife and diversity. There’s not a church in sight!
This diversity is truly staggering. The high Sanetti plateau ranges from 3,600m to well over 4,000m and is home to the highly endangered Ethiopian wolf, giant mole-rats, as well as 18 endemic bird species. It is a heather-covered wild and windswept moorland. Here daytime temperatures head downwards from chilly to absolutely freezing.
However then you head down off the plateau, via a series of dramatic switchbacks into the less well-known half of the National Park. The Harenna forest lies some 2000 metres below. This magical cloud forest with moss covered trees and bamboo is home to completely different wildlife. Specials include the rare bamboo-loving Bale monkey, packs of Columbus monkeys, bushbuck, warthog, leopard and even occasionally, lion. It is this part of the park which offers some of the best birding on the African continent with 280 species recorded here including many endemic species.
Highlights of the Bale Mountains
- Stunning walking opportunities both on the moorland and in the forest
- Chance to see the rare Ethiopian wolf, Bale monkey and other endemic species
- Superb bird-watching
- Authentic, untouristy, coffee ceremonies in local villages
- Visiting the colourful local markets