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The Bale Mountains are made up of the Harenna Forest and the Sanetti Plateau, home to the world’s rarest canid – the Ethiopian wolf. The scenery is spectacular, with pristine lakes and rushing streams carving waterways to the lowlands.

Thanks to the isolation of these mountains, the park has an incredibly high number of endemic species, and the wide altitudinal range has resulted in a variety of belts of vegetation that support many niche species of both flora and fauna. The open spaces of the high Sanetti Plateau are possibly the easiest place to see the rare Ethiopian wolf, while nearby Harenna Forest is the place to find bushpig, giant forest hog, grey duiker and occasionally lion and leopard. Menelik’s bushbuck, mountain nyala and giant mole rat, all endemic to the Bale Mountains, can also be seen here.

Many other attractions outside lie within easy reach: in the Rift Valley to the south, the landscape changes to arid scrub, providing a habitat for an entirely different range of indigenous birds. A day trip often results in a sighting of the exceptionally rare Prince Ruspoli’s turaco in a small area between Dolo Mena and Negele, some 50 kilometres away. In the opposite direction lie the spectacular Sof Omar limestone caves, the largest in East Africa and an Islamic religious site. 

Read more about Ethiopia's foremost wildlife destination from Wildlife Worldwide's Isabel Ashworth.

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: Ethiopian wolf, giant mole-rat, Menelik’s bushbuck, mountain nyala, Rougets’s rail
  • Where: Oromia Region, Ethiopia

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

Ethiopian Wildlife Extravaganza

This wonderful introduction to Ethiopia takes you to each of the country’s major cultural highlights and provides you with the chance to see superb wildlife, such as gelada baboon, Menelik’s bushbuck, mountain nyala and one of the world’s rarest mammals - the Ethiopian wolf - all in stunning scenery.

  • When to go: Jan-Jul, Sep-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,695 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Wolves & Baboons of Ethiopia’s Highlands

Ethiopia offers wonderful biodiversity and is home to some charismatic wildlife species. This suggested itinerary begins in the picturesque Simien Mountains where you can see gelada baboons in close proximity, before travelling to the spectacular Bale Mountains, to look for Ethiopian wolf and walia ibex.

  • When to go: Jan-Jul, Sep-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,195 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Bale Mountain Lodge

This innovative and attractive lodge brings new levels of comfort and service to the unmissable Bale Mountains. Set in a forest clearing which teems with wildlife, this thatched ecolodge offers a secure and comfortable base with first-class facilities, excellent food and exceptional views.