Bale Mountains National park
Bale Mountains National park
Bale Mountains National park, Wildlife Trip, Bale Mountains National park & Sof Omar Cavern
The Bale Mountains National Park is an outstanding tourist destination area! The Bale Mountains Park rises from 2500 up to 4377 m (Mount Tulu Deemtu) above sea level. It is believed that the Bale Mountains were formed lava outpourings in the in the Miocene & Oligocene Geological Periods between 38 & 7 Million Years ago. When to Visit: Bale Mountains National Park is best visited during November – March, when days are clear & warm. However, it can be frosty & chilly during night time. During May to July, it is a very appealing time to visit the Mountains but frequent showers, usually in the afternoon. Days are sunny and warm. Bale Mountains National Park consists the largest area of Afro Alpine Habitats in Africa. Bale Mountain shelters Ethiopian Wolves (Endemic), Mountain Nyala (endemic), Giant Mole - Rat, Giant Lobelia Tree, and many more endemic Mammals and Birds. The Bale Mountains National park is also Known as park of endemism for 26% of Mammals & 6.1% of birds are Endemic – found only in Ethiopia! Trek is most preferable to visit all best sites in the Bale Mountains National Park.
Highlights of Bale Mountains: Dinsho Forest, Gaysay valley, Harenna Forest, Sanetti Plateau, and camp sites.
Sof Omar cavern: it is easily accessible from Bale Mountains National park. The cave with the Web River formed 16km underground passage! It is said that the deepest point lies 150m under the surface of the ground. In the cave, one can easily see innumerable bats hanging from the roof of the Cave.
Herewith are sample itineraries. Always, we are flexible to reception all achievable tour itinerary requests based on interest and budget.
Visit Bale Mountains National Park, Visit Dinsho, Gaysay, Sanetti plateau, Abyssinian Wolf, Mountain Nyala, Menelik’s Bush Buck and landscapes
Itinerary - for trekkers
Program: Bale Mountains
Tour Code: Nyala 01
Duration: 18 Nights/19 Days
Transportation: 4WD, Trekking & Fly
Tour starts: Addis Ababa
Tour ends: Addis Ababa
Day 1: Arrive in Addis Ababa, city tour of Addis Ababa
Morning, on arrival in Addis Ababa, our representative will meet you at Bole International Airport and transfers to Hotel. An overview of the program and itineraries will be given. The rest of the day, visit historical sites in Addis Ababa including the National Archaeological Museum, where we will view the 3.18 million year old remains of “Lucy”, whose skeletal remains has been discovered in 1974. You will also visit the Ethnological Museum at Addis Ababa University, Holy Trinity Cathedrals and Mount Entoto which rises up to an altitude of 3300 meters and offers the panoramic view of the metropolis. Overnight – Addis Ababa
Day 2: Visit Addis Ababa -Rift Valley lakes & Swayne’s Hartebeest
Morning, drive from Addis Ababa to Awassa, also named – Hawassa (273km from Addis Ababa). on the way, visit the Rift Valley Lakes: Lake Ziway, Lake Langano, hot springs nearby Lake Shalla( the deepest lake in Ethiopia – 270m deep!), & innumerable pink flamingos on Lake Abijata.
After 70km drive from Shashemene, visit the Sinkele (also named as Senkele) for Swayne’s hartebeest, the place in Ethiopia where Swayne’s Hartebeest sightings are possibly guaranteed.
Then drive to Dinsho (the Head Quarter office & ticket office of Bale Mountains National Park). After having tickets for the Bale Mountains National park, drive and trek into the Dinsho Forest for Mountain Nyala, Menelik’s Bushbuck,… the forest itself- the Juniper Hagenia woodland & and birds: Blue-winged goose, Spot-breasted lapwing, Abyssinian long claw, Wattled ibis, Black-headed siskin, Rouget’s rail, .. Overnight – Dinsho Lodge – Dinsho
Day 3: Gaysay valley – Dinsho
Trek from Dinsho to Gayssaye Valley for Mountain Nyala herds & trek back to Dinsho. Overnight – Dinsho Lodge – Dinsho
Day 4: Dinsho – Sodota
The sheer scale of the Bale Mountains is breathtaking. Trek from Dinsho to Sodota (trek could be 5-6 hrs) through the lush highland vegetation & finch’s Abera Waterfall to the first campsite, Mararo. The air here is clean and crisp and the scenery utterly stunning. On the way, it is most probable to see a number of birds like Wattled ibis, Rouget’s rail, black-winged lovebird, thick-billed raven, white-collared pigeon, Abyssinian long claw, Abyssinian catbird, white-backed black tit, black-headed forest oriole, black kite, augur-buzzard and lammergeyer…. Overnight tented Camp – Sodota camp site
Day 5: Trek Sodota –Morobawa
Trek from Sodota & climb Mount Morobawa (3843m). Overnight - tented camp – Morobawa camp site
Day 6: Trek Morobawa - Keyrensa Valley
Trek towards Keyrensa Valley, seeing wolves hunting for mole rats, before climbing over a lava flow, where you may see Rock Hyrax. The Keyrensa Valley divides two of the lava flows. Here, view, isolation & wildlife are so special- Overnight – Tented Camp- Keyrensa Valley
Day 7: Keyrensa – Rafu Valley
Trek from Keyrensa to Rafu. Discover the eroded rock pinnacles of the lava flows at Rafu. Overnight – Tented camp – Raftu Valley
Day 8: Raftu – Sanetti Plateau
Trek from Rafu to Sanetti Plateau. Sanetti - in Oromo Tribes language stands for “where the strong winds blow.” This is more real at mount Tulu Deemtu (also Demtu) summit (4,377m). The Afro Alpine ecosystem on the top of Tulu Deemtu is magnificent! The view over the escarpment, extending to the lowlands & stretching towards the Kenyan Border is spectacular, especially during dry season (November – March.) Overnight – Tented camp – Sanetti Camp Site
Day 9: Sanetti Plateau – Gabra Guracha
Trek from Sanetti to Gabra Guracha stands for “Black Lake” in Oromo language. Yes Again, the view over Lake Gabra Guracha & beyond the lowlands is worth visiting! Overnight –Tented camp – Gabra Guracha camp site
Day 10: Gabra Guracha – Worgona Valley
Trek from Gabra Guracha to Worgona valley. Overnight – tented camp – Worgona Camp Site
Day 11: Worgona – Dinsho
Trek back from Worgona Valley to Dinsho. Overnight – Dinsho lodge
Day 12: Visit Sof Omar
Morning, take lunch box & drive to Robe then to Goro- Sof Omar for full day visit. This vast network limestone caverns the largest in Africa lies at about 100km east of the Bale Mountains range at an elevation 1300m.
It has been curved by the Web River, descending from the Bale Region Highlands to the flat arid plains then stretches to Somali Border. The underground chamber, watering by the Web River reaches 16 km long, the limestone pillars that support the caverns are high up to 20m.
The cavern is named after Sheikh Sof Omar, a 12 century Muslim Chief who used the area as a refuge, remaining an important pilgrimage site for Ethiopian Muslims. Sof Omar Cavern best site for birdwatchers to see salvadori’s Serin– with bold yellow throat (endemic), & good to see acacia-scrub bird species such as orange- bellied Parrot, Blue napped mouse bird, Somali Tit and more others. Overnight – at Goba Shebelle Hotel – Bale Goba
Day 13: Dinsho – Awash National Park
Drive from Bale Goba to Awash national Park via Assela Town – Adama/Nazret. On the way near Awash Park, bird watching on Lake Beseka. Overnight – at Awash falls Lodge – in the Park or hotel – Town Awash Sebath
Day 14: Awash National park
Looking for wildlife in Oryx Field (Beisa Oryx is 100% Guaranteed) , dik-dik, lion/Rare, cheetah/rare, waterbuck, kudu, monkeys & birds like bustard, secretary bird & Hot spring water at Fentalé. Overnight – at Awash falls Lodge – in the Park
Day 15:Visit Babile Elephant sanctuary
Morning rediscover the Oryx and drive to Harar. Lunch in Harar and proceed to Babile, visit the unique Dakatta Rock formation (on Babile – Jijiga Road) and drive to Babile elephant sanctuary. Looking for elephants. Overnight – Tented camp - Babile Elephant Sanctuary
Day 16: Babile Elephant Sanctuary
Looking for wildlife (elephants) for full day. Overnight – Tented camp - Babile Elephant Sanctuary
Day 17: Harar - City Tour
Explore the sanctuary in the morning and drive back to Harar. Afternoon; visit the walled city of Harar (4th Muslim sacred city after: Jerusalem, Mecca & Medina). Your Harar visit includes: the Rimbaud House, Harari tribes house, Palace of Ras Mekonnen (father of Emperor Haile SellassieI), Museum and the hyena man show (evening). Overnight – at Heritage Plaza Hotel or similar – Harar
Day 18: Harar – Dire Dawa
Drive from Harar to Dire Dawa. On the way, visit Lega Oda paints on rocks (7000 years before!). Lega Oda is located on the way to Dire Dawa (51 km from Harar). Afternoon, the city of Dire Dawa: the market (often dominated by rural Oromo & Afar Tribes), the Ethio –Djibouti Rail Way Station. Overnight – Hotel – Dire Dawa
Day 19: Addis – Departure
Fly from Dire Dawa to Addis and fly back home (end of the trip)
This tour can be amended upon request