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9 Day Mountain Trekking and Wildlife Tour in Bale Mountains, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Fantastic Wildlife Tour in Ethiopia

Elmi Tour Operation PLC invites you to join their mountain trekking and wildlife tour program in beautiful Ethiopia. In this program, you will have the chance to spot many different kinds of animal. From birds to lions, you will be able to see them all! To add to your enjoyment, you will also get the chance to hike and take part in the city tour. Do not miss the chance to immerse yourself in the beauty of this country!

Key information

  • Group size: 2 - 10 persons
  • Starting point and ending point: Addis Ababa
  • Park fees are included.


  • 5 birdwatching, 6 mammals and 3 flora explorations
  • Entrance fees to the sites, national parks, and villages
  • A chance to see one of the rare and critical endangered Ethiopian wolves
  • A full-day exploration of Sanneti Plateau with 1 game drive to Harenna Forest
  • Hiking at Bale Mountain National Parks to reach Mount Tullu Dimtu
  • Airport transfers and ground transportation in 4WD vehicles
  • Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and water
  • 8 nights' accommodation


8 activity days
Group size: Maximum of 10 participants
Airport transfer included: Bole International Airport
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During this program, you will stay at Caravan Hotel / Monarch Hotel / Jupiter International Hotel on your first night, Dinsho Lodge on your second night, Sodota Campsite on the third night, Wassyma Camp for the next night, Rafu Rock Lava on the fifth night, Harenna Forest for the next night, and Goba Wabe Shebelle Hotel on your final nights.

Caravan Hotel

Caravan Hotel provides personal services both for business travelers and tourists. The services are meticulously organized and provided in such a way that they fulfill the tastes and desires of both foreign and national guests. The hotel is located in the center of Addis Ababa - the bustling capital of Ethiopia. Their close proximity to the international airport and free shuttle service takes only a five-minute drive and is one of the added advantages that the guests conveniently enjoy arriving on time for departure.

The 37 rooms that they have made available for esteemed guests offer great value. All the rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art furnishings and essential amenities that a modern hotel room fulfills. The rooms are organized in a comfortable style incorporating ample space with ambiance for the guests to relax as well as to carry out their work in a quiet environment.

Dinsho Lodge

The lodge in Dinsho provides tourists with 31 beds and kitchen equipment for self-service. The accommodation is simple but pleasant. Camping at Dinsho and at different sites in the park gives great delight to tourists.

Goba Wabe Shebelle Hotel

Goba Wabe Shebelle Hotel welcomes tourists with accommodation and catering services.


Day 1: Addis Ababa

Elmi Tour Operation PLC will welcome the group at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD), and they will transfer you to your hotel to leave the luggage (if rooms are available, check in). There will be a mini city tour of Addis Merkato (the biggest open-air market in East Africa), Holy Trinity Cathedral (the magnificent baroque-style architecture), Mount Entoto (the highest peak and city view at 3,200 meters above sea level), and more. After that, you will stay overnight in Addis Ababa.

  • Accommodation options: Caravan Hotel / Monarch hotel / Jupiter International Hotel

Day 2: Addis Ababa - Bale Mountains National Park

Drive from Addis Ababa to Bale Mountains National Park headquarters for an afternoon birdwatching, mammals and floras exploration. After that, you will stay overnight at Dinsho Lodge.

  • Key animals: mountain nyala and Menelik’s bushbuck
  • Key birds: yellow-fronted parrot, white-backed black tit, Abyssinian long-eared owls, African wood owls, Abyssinian slaty flycatcher and Abyssinian woodpecker
  • Other animals: warthog, golden jackal, spotted hyena, bohor reedbuck, grey duiker, colobus monkey, and tree hyrax
  • Other birds: Abyssinian ground thrush, cinnamon bracken warbler, brown woodland warbler, and montane nightjar
  • Habitat: open woodland

Day 3: Sodota

This broad flat large area, covered by Artemisia afra, Helichrysum splendidum, and Kniphofia foliosa, is very interesting to visit before you reach Sodota. There is a very big waterfall which is known as Finch Habera, which means women urine in the local language. After that, you will overnight at Sodota Campsite.

  • Key animals: mountain nyala, klipspringer, grey duiker, Ethiopian wolf, giant mole-rat, and Blick’s grass rat
  • Key birds: wattled crane, spot-breasted lapwing, blue-winged goose, three-banded plover, common sandpiper, black eagle, tawny eagle, peregrine falcon, lanner falcon, and augur buzzard
  • Habitat: Afro-alpine

Day 4: Wassyma

On this day, you will be above 3,400 meters on the roof of Africa with incredible scenery and spectacular mountain cliff. You will also have the chance to see one of the rare and critical endangered Ethiopian wolves, as well as the birds, which will be an awesome part of this trip. After that, you will stay overnight at Wassyma Camp.

  • Key animals: Ethiopian wolves
  • Key bird: bearded vulture, black eagle, steppe eagle, tawny eagle, lanner falcon, and Rouget’s rail
  • Habitat: Afro-alpine and wetland

Day 5: Rafu Rock Lava

There will be no rush on this day as it is not that much a long day you hike. However, you are going to stay where the Bale Mountains were formed prior to the creation of the Great Rift Valley from lava outpourings, which covered all underlying, rock formations between 38 and seven million years ago. The rocks of the volcanic outpourings are predominantly trachytes, but also include rhyolites, basalts and agglomerates, and tuffs. After that, you will stay overnight at Rafu Rock Lava.

  • Key animals: Ethiopian wolves

Day 6: Sanneti Plateau - Harenna Forest

After breakfast, you will depart to reach the second highest peak in Ethiopia which is known as Mount Tullu Dimtu, located at the Sanneti Plateau. After you spend a full day at Sanneti Plateau to explore very well by vehicles, you will drive to the Harenna Forest, one of the best places to spot some game mammals. After that, you will stay overnight at Harenna Forest.

  • Key animals: Abyssinian black-maned lion, leopard, giant forest hog, bushpig, and bush baby

Day 7: Harenna Forest - Goba

Before you leave the Harenna Forest, an early morning birdwatching is a very interesting thing to do as the forest area has a highly diverse birdlife and also mammals like the endemic Bale monkey. After that, there is an optional hiking activity to the bamboo and waterfall trail. Then, you will be driven back to the biggest Afro-alpine plateau with a packed lunch. After that, overnight at Goba Wabe Shebelle Hotel (the only better hotel in the area).

  • Key animals: Bale monkeys and Menelik’s bushbuck
  • Key birds: Abyssinian catbird, Abyssinian woodpecker, and Abyssinian ground thrush

Day 8: Sof Omar

After breakfast, your journey will continue to Sof Omar Caves, which are located about 115 kilometers from the Bale Mountains National Park headquarters and 95 kilometers from the zone’s capital of Robe. It is one of the longest underground caves in Africa, with a total length of over 1.5 kilometers where the meandering Weyib River lies in. It is an entrenched gorge, 150 meters below the level of plateau basalt. After that, stay overnight at Goba Wabe Shebelle Hotel.

Day 9: Addis Ababa

You will have a morning drive from Goba to Addis Ababa (400 kilometers). On the way, you will have a short stop at Lake Langano for lunch. Your last dinner will be at Yod Abyssinia Cultural Restaurant. Enjoy the music and dance from different parts of the country over traditional food (injera) and honey wine (tej). After dinner, you will fly back home. This is the end of the tour.

Included excursions

  • A mini city tour of Addis Ababa to visit Addis Merkato, Holy Trinity Cathedral, and Mount Entoto
  • Journey to Sof Omar Caves
  • Traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony (at a convenient time in the program)


This program will take place in Addis Ababa, Bale Mountains National Park, and the Bale Mountains area. From Addis Ababa, you will go to Bale Mountains National Park headquarters, Sodota, Wassyma, Raffu Rock Lava, Sanneti Plateau, Harenna Forest, and hen Sof Omar.

Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa is the third highest capital of the world at an altitude of 2,300 - 2,500 meters with a pleasant climate and a background of green with eucalyptus tree-covered mountains. Addis Ababa is also the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union (AU).

Bale Mountains National Park

Bale Mountains National Park is a magnificent high-altitude plateau with numerous dramatic volcanic plugs, seasonal tiny alpine lakes, and cascading mountain streams. Located at about 400 kilometers from Addis Ababa, it is stretched over an area of 2,000 square kilometers within altitude ranges of 1,500 meters - 4,377 meters above sea level. Being the largest Afro-alpine habitat park in Africa, Bale Mountains National Park gives chances of viewing about 46 mammals and more than 200 bird species and vegetation of unspoiled wonderland including various tree species and precious endemic mammals, namely the red fox, mountain nyala, and Menelik’s bushbuck.

While in Bale Mountains National Park, there are important specific sites worth visiting, these are Dinsho headquarters site, Gassay Valley, Sanneti, Mount Tullu Dimtu, Harenna escarpment, Harenna Forest - Kacha site, Weyib Valley, and others. The three main divisions of the park include the northern area (Dinsho and grassy plain), the central alpine part (Sanneti), and the southern forest area (Harenna) that offers distinct features. Dinsho area is the perfect site of mountain nyala viewing, Menelik’s bushbuck, etc. Tourists can also visit the headquarters and the museum of the park here at Dinsho and get lodge service and relevant information about the park.

Sanneti, nicknamed the island in the air, is a high plateau souring up over 4,000 meters on top. The second highest peak next to Ras Dashen in Ethiopia, Mount Tullu Dimtu (4,377 meters above sea level), is among many peaks on the plateau found. An all-weather road from Goba to Dallo Manna passes over this plateau. The top tourist attraction, including seasonal tiny alpine lakes, some rare birds, and above all, the endemic red fox and giant mole-rat, which are mostly specific to Bale Mountains National Park are spotted here.

The southern Harenna area is an area of lower altitude covered with dense moist tropical forest. The road penetrating Sanneti and Harenna Forest connects Goba with Dallo Manna. Bushpig, African hunting dog, giant forest hog, spotted hyena, lion, leopards, colobus monkey, etc. abound in the Harenna Forest area.

The Bale Mountains National Park is an area of major importance in nature conservation, scientific research, education, and tourism. Among the major factors that contribute to its tourist appeal, the following distinctive feature can be mentioned:

  • The park conserves the largest area of Afro-alpine habitat on the continent of Africa.
  • The Harenna Forest, at the south of the area, is the second largest stand of moist tropical forest remaining in Ethiopia.
  • The area is a center of endemicity that conserves stocks of genetic materials, much of which is not just endemic to Ethiopia but is confined only to these mountains.
  • The area also contains the entire global population of giant mole-rat, etc.

Sof Omar

Sof Omar, a tiny Muslim village in Bale, is the site of an amazing complex of natural caves, cut by the Weyib River as it found its way into the nearby mountains. The settlement, which is a religious site, is named after a local sheikh. There, one can see an extraordinary number of arched portals, high, eroded ceilings and deep, echoing chambers.


During this tour, you will be served meals on a bed and breakfast basis in Addis Ababa, while outside of Addis Ababa, you will be served meals on a full board basis. Moreover, you will go to a farewell dinner in Addis Ababa to enjoy traditional Ethiopian food and music. You will also get one liter of water per day per person.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

On the seventh day, there is an optional hiking activity to the bamboo and waterfall trail.

What's included

  • 5 birdwatching, 6 mammals, and 3 flora explorations
  • A full-day exploration of Sanneti Plateau with 1 game drive to Harenna forest
  • Hiking at Bale Mountain National Parks
  • Entrance fees to sites, national parks, and villages
  • A mini city tour of Addis Ababa
  • Journey to Sof Omar Caves
  • Traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony
  • Qualified English-speaking guide as well as mandatory local guide and scout fees at parks and villages
  • Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
  • 1 liter of water per day per person
  • Farewell dinner in Addis Ababa
  • 8 nights' accommodation
  • Ground transportation in 4WD vehicles with fuel and costs of the drivers
  • Transfers during the tour
  • Use of camping gears
  • Cook service on camping days
  • Government taxes

What's not included

  • International and domestic flights fares
  • Lunch and dinner in Addis Ababa
  • Other kinds of drink / beverage (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), incidental meals, lunch and dinner in Addis Ababa, and snacks
  • Video filming and photographing fees
  • Tips
  • Items of personal nature like laundry, telephone calls, souvenirs, and any other not listed
  • Visa fees

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Bole International Airport Airport transfer included: Bole International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 40% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
9 days / 8 nights
from --
Pricing information
  • 1,120 USD per person for a group of 7 with 2 4WD vehicles
  • 1,240 USD per person for a group of 8 with 3 4WD vehicles
  • 1,170 USD per person for a group of 9 with 3 4WD vehicles
  • 1,110 USD per person for a group of 10 with 3 4WD vehicles
  • 115 USD for single supplement 

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