Bale Mountains hike tour (5 days)
The tour includes daily nature hikes of around 6h’s with opportunities to meet the local people.
We are flexible; every trip is customized to your wishes.
Covering 240 000 hectares, the Bale Mountains National Park is a divers and timeless wonderland, split between high-altitude plateaus and gorges to the North of Harenna escarpement and densely forested southern areas. The Sanetti plateau in the North lies at 4000 meters above sea level, the highest area in Southern Ethiopia and is vegetated by afro-alpine plants. Its peak, Tulhi Deemtu, is Ethiopia’s second highest mountain, at 4377 meters. Largely unexplored, 78 mammal species are recorded within the Park and 300 bird species. The park hosts 16 endemic species, easily spotted in the Park, making bird watching a popular activity. Waterfalls, alpine lakes, volcanic rock cliffs, streams and amazing wild flowers are other natural attractions in the North of Harenna, as well as the Ethiopian wolf, only found in Bale area and the native mountain Nyala, usually spotted in large numbers.
Harenna forest is densely vegetated by wild bamboo and spectacular large Juniperus trees covered by ferns, lichen and moss varieties. Many pristine rivers and gorges pave their ways through the various Bale landscapes, also hosting a healthy population of Rainbow Trout.
Trip Overview (start from Hawassa)
- Gebre Guracha
- Sanetti Plateau / Hawassa
Day 1: Hawassa / Dinsho (Bale Mountains). Early morning drive to the town of Dinsho, in order to fill in the necessary forms for the trip at the headquarters of the Bale Park. Then we drive to the campsite, set up the tent and make a short walk along the northern part of the park. ‘Bale mountains’ is a conservation site preserving its unique flora and fauna in 5 quite undisturbed vegetation zones and the longest afro-alpine moor land in Africa. After your first day short hiking experience in a wonderful landscape, you will overnight at the campsite. Other option: stay overnight at Dinsho Guesthouse.
Day 2: Dinsho / Sodota. After breakfast, start the hike from Dinsho to Sodota. This hike is around 20 km and will take about 6 – 7 hours. Today’s trekking will give a good chance to see the typical biodiversity: Mountain Nyala, Menelik Bush Buck, Warthog and the Ethiopian Wolf and different birdlife that you may spot, including the gigantic bearded vultures known as lammergeyers and the thick-billed raven, wattled Ibis, blue-winged Goose and Rouget’s rail. Lunch at the mid-way point of the hike. After enjoying the beautiful highlands fauna and flora we have dinner and overnight at the campsite in Sodota.
Day 3: Sodota / Wasama. After breakfast, we hike from Sodota to the Wasama valley. Today’s walk may take about 5 – 6 hours. You will experience an altitude of 2,200 m above sea level and see the second highest mountain Tullo Demtu 4377m rising above you in a stunning alpine scenery. The 4000m high Sanetti plateau hosts more than 400 species of birds including 12 of Ethiopian endemic ones. We have lunch at the mid -way point of the hike. After a day with breathtaking views and enjoying of the fresh mountain air we sleep in the camping in Wasama Valley.
Day 4: Wasama / Gebre Guracha. In the morning, walk from Garba Guracha to Wasama. Today’s trekking will take 5 to 6 hours. We climb Mount Wasama, situated at 4200 meters above sea level. The terrain around the mountain is dotted with colorful giant lobelia and other plants typical to the high altitude Afro-Alpine landscapes. Our walk will pass through high altitude plateau with amazing views and amazing clear alpine lakes. Overnight: camping at Garba Gurach
Day 5: Gebre Gurracha / Sanetti Plateau / Hawassa: After breakfast, hike to the Sanetti Plateau. Today’s trekking will take 2 to 3 hours. The plateau, at an altitude of 3,500 up to 4,000 meters, is covered by Afro-alpine Moor land with beautiful wild alpine scenery. We may have the chance to spot the rare Ethiopian Wolf hunting for its rodent prey across the Sanetti heights. Our walk will pass through colorful Erica forest and the unique Harrana forest. After the hike tour, the car will pick us up and start the drive back to Hawassa. On the way we will have a stop in Wondo Genet late afternoon. You will have relaxing time and swim in the pool fed by natural hot spring. We plan to be back in Hawassa by 6 pm, to enjoy the Sunset by the lake side to finish our program.
Optional: part of the trip can be done riding on a horse.
Clothing: You need good walking boots, a long trouser, suitable ‘layers’ of clothes for very cool nights, freezing mornings and hot days. We strongly advise to bring sun cream and a hat.
Flexibility: the itinerary can be adapted following your choice of activities. The tour can also start and finish in Addis Ababa; in this case additional day will be required.
Price : SST will arrange the overnights (hotel or campings) based on your requirements and budget. Recommended hotels range from 15 $ up to 90 $ per night for 2 persons.
These rates include:
- Car rent including petrol, guide
- Camping equipment and Park entrance fees: 170 $ per day for one up to two persons
- Meals – options:
- 1. Customers pay for their own meals and or prepare their picknick.
- 2. A cook is arranged by SS Tour.
Shorter: 2 or 3 day trip ( a weekend) can also be organized , via Doddola.
‘Sof Omar Caves’: The spectacular caves on the outskirts of Bale National Parks are the longest network of underground caves in Africa, spanning 15 km and is often described from the inside to replicate a cathedral.
For any question, please don’t hesitate to ask further information.
Mobile of Wonde (Whats app): +251 911769489