Summary Itinerary: Ethiopia Bale Mountains Adventure
Day 1: Arrival in Addis Ababa
With group members arriving during the afternoon and evening, today is a ‘free’ day for you to arrive, be transferred to the start hotel, and to shake off any travel fatigue, before the start of your adventure in earnest, tomorrow.
Day 2: Addis Ababa City Tour
Our adventure begins with a tour of the highlights of this liveliest of cities including the Ethnological & Red Terror Museums, and the panoramic views from Entoto Mountain. We pause at Tomoko Coffee Shop for our first taste of Ethiopian coffee and to absorb the vibe of the city. We are invited on an optional visit to Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis, run by the charity HamlinFistulaEthiopia; please see our Adventure Pack for more details on Worthwhile Travel. In the evening we will watch traditional musicians and dancers performing different tribal dances in a culture house before dinner at a restaurant and a jazz club or two for any interested parties.
Day 3: Addis to Dinsho
Making an early start we will drive down to Dinsho through the incredible southern Ethiopian countryside. Our campsite is situated inside the Bale Mountains National Park, and affords beautiful views of the endemic Mountain Nyalas, huge warthogs and Redback and Bushback Deer who all drop past to say hello, as well as an abundance of local birdlife for which the park is famous.
Day 4: Begin Bale Mountain Trek
We will trek from Dinsho east along to Sodota camp through the farmsteads and then vast plainlands. This is the natural habitat of the endemic Ethiopian Red Wolf, and we will keep a sharp eye out for either solitary hunters or small packs with their young, here, in their hunting grounds.
Day 5: Sodotato Wasswma camp
Today we climb right up onto the plateau, through beautiful landscapes of silvery everlasting flower, to camp near the base of the stunning Mt. Waaswma. From the plainlands we gain some real height and are rewarded with fantastic views of the pyramid mountain and also the sensation of being in a remote and magical place that very few people have had the opportunity of seeing.
Day 6: Wasswma to Rafu camp
A shorter day today across the Rooftop of Africa will bring us to Rafu camp, situated in the incredible mind-bending natural ‘stone forest’ of the plateau. Our camp is nestled in between the stones in this surreal and beautiful setting. For the more energetic there is the option to ascend a small peak from camp, affording incredible views of the Harenna Forest to the south.
Day 7: Rafu to Mt. Tuludimtu
Today we walk along the windswept plains with the option of a short hike up to the summit of Mt. Tuludimtu, Ethiopia’s second highest mountain. The 360° views from the top are undoubtedly the highlight of the adventure before we are collected by our van and taken down to the mountain bamboo groves and lichen-covered Harenna Cloud Forest. We celebrate the day’s achievements with the first of a 2 night stay in the incredibly situated, picturesque and memorable Bale Mountain Lodge . This unique wilderness lodge is a wonderful treat, juxtaposing perfectly with the trek experience you have just enjoyed and offers us the chance to relax in incredible surroundings.
Day 8: Explore the Harenna Forest
Today we will explore the mountain-bamboo groves and lichen-covered Harenna Forest on foot to view the hidden natural waterfalls cascading down into rock pools, as well as the exotic looking Colobus monkeys. In the afternoon we can relax in the amazing surroundings of Bale Mountain Lodge, where we stay for our second night.
Day 9: Harenna Forest to Addis Ababa
We start early for the full day drive through the African countryside to Addis Ababa (9hrs), pausing en route to stretch our legs. Tonight has in store for us our final group dinner, in one of the best restaurants in town, and possibly a jazz club before our last night in Addis.
Day 10: Fly out of Addis Ababa