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Bale Mountains National Park in Ethiopia

Bale Mountains Explorer

Example 4 Day Tour
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Spend four days exploring the fascinating landscape and endemic species of Bale Mountain National Park on this four-day Ethiopia tour extension. Found in these mountains are the endemic Ethiopian wolf, Bale monkey, and Harenna chameleon, which are only found within a 5 km radius of the lodge. Listed as one of the top 5 birding destinations in Africa by the African Birding Club, the Bale Mountains do not disappoint its visitors keen on spotting rarely seen wildlife. Rare cats and plants are found in the Harenna cloudforest environment as well. Spend a day hiking the Sanetti Plateau at over 4000 m. This four-day wildlife tour in Ethiopia can easily be added to any main highlights tour along the historic route.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Drive to Bale Mountain Lodge
Day 2 : Sanetti Plateau | Harenna Forest
Day 3 : Rift Valley or Gaysay Grasslands
Day 4 : Return Addis Ababa

Highlights

  • Spot Bale monkeys on trails around the lodge
  • Explore the Sanetti Plateau and see the rare and endemic Ethiopian wolf
  • Hike the Harenna Forest and keep your eyes peeled for the diverse birdlife

Places Visited

  • Africa
  • Ethiopia
  • Addis Ababa
  • Bale Mountain Lodge
  • Bale Mountains National Park

Activities

Trip Type

  • Independent

Activity Level

Easy Active

Trip Snapshots

Ethiopian Wolves on the Sanetti Plateau Bale Mountains terrain Nyala spotted in Bale Mountains Wildlife in Bale Mountains Monkey spotted in Bale Mountains Landscape in Bale Mountains National Park Wildlife spotting in Bale Mountains Bird species are abundant in Bale Mountains

Day 1 Drive to Bale Mountain Lodge

Today set out on the 8-hour journey from Addis to Bale Mountain Lodge, stopping en route for sightseeing and leg stretches. Arrive to the tranquil setting of the cloudforest. The lodge is set high in the mountains with views overlooking a large clearing that offers breathtaking views and opportunities for animal sightings. Guest sightings have included giant forest hogs, leopards, black-maned lions, Bale and vervet monkeys, olive baboons, and Meneliks bushbucks. The lodge is located conveniently in the cloudforest and guided walks in the immediate surroundings are available everyday. 

Settle in this afternoon and relax after your long journey, or set out on a hike before dinner. Some of the short walks near the lodge commonly afford guests with sightings of the shy Bale monkey, a colorful variety of birds including Ethiopian cisticola, Abyssinian slaty flycatcher, Abyssinian catbird, black-headed siskin, and the yellow-fronted parrot and black-winged lovebird. A more strenuous two-hour walk up Mount Gujaralle gives stunning views of the pristine forest. Stop to take a cooling dip in a secluded waterfall on your way back to the lodge.

Day 2 Sanetti Plateau | Harenna Forest

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
One of the last places in Africa to attract scientific research, the remote location of the Bale Mountains has kept tourist crowds largely at bay from following its 'discovery'. Less than a forty-minute drive from the lodge you travel to see the attraction that has been most responsible for putting Bale Mountains National Park on the map – the Ethiopian wolf. The wolf is the world’s rarest canine and about 60% of its remaining population are found on the Sanetti Plateau which sits at 13,000 ft. Only about 350 of these wolves remain. They are surprisingly very readily seen here, and they have adapted well to living on the high altitude plateau where the rodent population provides an abundant food source. Some of the rodents are themselves endemic such as the giant mole rat and Blix’s grass rat, and they also provide a food source to plateau raptors such as the golden eagle and lammergeier and long-eared owls. Birding enthusiasts will be impressed as well with some of the breeding pairs that can be spotted here.

Spend the day taking in the landscape of lakes and waterfalls and hike around spotting wildlife. Take in impressive views of the escarpment and deep canyon below. Walk in the Harenna Forest, a magical forest reminiscent of a Grimm’s story located in the area near the lodge. This is one of the last remaining extensive patches of forest in Ethiopia and is known for its coffee production as well as for providing honey to the locals. The small village of Rira also offers a unique encounter with the local communities here. 

Day 3 Rift Valley or Gaysay Grasslands

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Travel just 40km to the south today to explore the Harenna Forest, which drops into the dry Rift Valley. Visit the small town of Dola Mena which is about an hour drive from the lodge, keeping your eyes peeled for giant forest hogs and vervet monkeys as well as a number of butterflies that travel through the area.

Or if you would rather travel a bit further, drive about 3 hours to the northern Gaysay Grasslands. This part of Bale National Park is known for its game spotting opportunities and is home to the endemic mountain nyala, Menelik's bushbuck, and wild pig.

Day 4 Return Addis Ababa

  • 1 Breakfast
Return back towards the town of Goba and continue on to Addis Ababa, sightseeing along the way with your guide.

Bale Mountain Lodge

Per person starting at
$2,368

Notes

Select a Date
Rates based on group of 2 with private guide services from Addis Ababa.

Included

  • 3 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 3 Dinners
  • 3 Nights Accommodations
    • 3 Nights Lodge
  • 4 Days Guide Service
  • 4 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Park Entrance Fee

Excluded

  • Visa Fees

Budgeting

  • $30 Meals not Included
  • $40 Optional Excursions
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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When to Go

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Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.

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