Established in 1970 to protect and conserve two endemic mammals, the mountain nyala and Ethiopian wolf, Bale Mountains National Park is divided into three major ecological zones. These are the northern grasslands and woodlands, the central highland afro-alpine areas and moorlands, and the Harenna Forest, which is a unique closed canopy forest. The highest mountain in southern Ethiopia, Tulu Dimtu, at a height of 4,377m above sea level, is located on the Sanetti Plateau. The rainy season extends from March to October. Temperatures fluctuate a lot during the dry season. The rainy season average temperature is warmer with less variation between minimums and maximums. The highest temperature recorded on the mountain was 26 degrees C.
Location:400km southeast of Addis Abeba, in Oromia Regional State.
When to Go: The dry season from November to February.
Things to See and Do: Bale Mountains National Park is the largest area of afro-alpine habitat on the continent. It gives the visitor an unsurpassed opportunity for mountain hiking, horse trekking, scenic driving, and chances to see the rare Ethiopian wolf, the mountain nyala, Menelik’s bushbuck, and the giant mole rat. The park is home to many of Ethiopia’s endemic birds, as well. Unique physical features include Mount Batu, the Harenna Forest, and the Sanetti Plateau.
Getting There: By road.
Where to Stay and Eat:Horse trekkers can camp in the park. The best choice is Dinsho Lodge. Otherwise, Ras Hotel, 50km off, and BekeleMola Hotel, 40km off, are the other options.