Four day sample itinerary


  • Three different distinct habitats to explore each with different scenery and wildlife.
  • Strong links with FZS, EWCA, EWCP and the local community to promote conservation, ‘water tower’ sustainability and habitat protection, plus the promotion of research and conservation projects
  • Endemic birds and mammals, including the Ethiopian Wolf, rare Bale Monkey and endemic Harenna Chameleon only found within 5km of the radius of the Lodge
  • Bale Mountains listed as ‘one of the top five bird watching sites in Africa’ (African Birding Club)
  • A stunning place in which to relax, explore and unwind
  • The first Lodge concession within a National Park with covenants for Park Protection and sustainable tourist eco credentials
  • The possibility of engaging with scientific researchers and assisting in their activities (dependent upon studies and time of year)
  • Extra optional activity interests linked to the local community such as fishing, honey collection and horse riding (not included in package and may be seasonal)
  • Guided activity using our local, experience guides: guests will need their own vehicles and drivers for all excursions away from the Lodge

Seasonal Weather

(Oct – March) : Cool Mornings with hot or warm days and clear skies can be cold at night
(April – May): Cooler evenings with some rain
(June): Cool mornings but warm when the sun rises
(July – Sept): Rainy season.
These are general trends and weather in the mountains is variable.


Bale MonkeyMany guests arrive at Bale Mountain Lodge after long sightseeing tours of Ethiopia, and find the tranquillity of the forest setting conducive to re-energizing and relaxing in a beautiful place. Bale Mountain Lodge is set high in the mountains, on an 8 Hectare plot within the cloud forest, with views overlooking a large clearing used by animals for grazing and foraging. Recent sightings include Giant Forest Hogs, Leopards, Black Maned Lions, Bale and Vervet Monkeys, Olive Baboons and Meneliks Bushbuck.The lodge is a superb location from which to explore the forest on a walking safari in the company of a local guide. That said, guests need to be patient as the forest vegetation provides excellent cover for animals and makes a sighting more difficult. The stream, which runs through the clearing is a wetland habitat which harbours many endemic species of frogs, newts and recently discovered crabs. There are many shorter walks in the vicinity of the Lodge, including the route of the Microhydro, something of an engineering feat in such a remote location, and which provides ‘clean’ energy to the Lodge. This walk is known to offer some of the best sightings of the shy, rare endemic Bale Monkey. For bird-lovers, the forest supports the endemic Ethiopian Cisticola, the Abyssinian Slaty Flycatcher, the Abyssinian Catbird, the Black Headed Siskin and other colourful varieties such as the Yellow Fronted Parrot and Black Winged Lovebird. A more strenuous two hour walk up Mount Gujaralle will give fantastic views over the vast expanse of the pristine Harenna Forest. All trips can be supported by our lodge guides who know the avifauna and the vegetation of the forest and who can offer you the best chance to spot rare birds and mammals. Afterwards a secluded waterfall- fed rock pool is ideal for cooling down on hot days. Following such exertions each guestroom ‘menyettabet’ has its own deck from which to watch the wildlife, or simply get away from the pressures of modern life. All of the paths and decks offer views of the clearing or meadow and forest. A wide eucalyptus wood deck encircles the main lodge and offers additional space for al fresco dining or taking tea in the afternoon.
Mount GujraleThe open plan living and dining room has traditional architecture with a high thatched roof lined with bamboo. A large sunken fireplace acts as the focal point of the dining room with fires laid on both sides of the hearth. Comfortable sofas and armchairs, a wood burning stove, Ethiopian rugs and friendly service create an atmosphere of comfortable relaxation within the lounge area. Having had a day without driving, some guests choose to take their own driver and do an evening game drive, hopeful of seeing the Black-maned Ethiopia Lion, Giant Forest Hog, Bushbuck or Abyssinian Jackal, now believed to be genetically different from the Common Jackal. To finish the day guests often meet before dinner for sun downers around the external fire pit on the front deck and marvel at the wonderful ‘star-scapes’ on crisp nights.


Wolf on huntThe location of the Bale Mountain Lodge has been selected for its stunning views and its easy accessibility to both the forest and Sanetti Plateau. The Plateau is home to probably the main attraction of the National Park, a mere forty minute’s drive away from the Lodge. The Ethiopian Wolf is the world’s most rare canid, with some ⅔ of the remaining population (350) inhabiting the Sanetti Plateau. For such a rare creature it is amazing that they are so readily seen and to date 100% of our guests have sighted the Ethiopian Wolf. The Wolf has especially adapted to living on the high altitude plateau and its prey is the abundant rodent population, many of which are endemic themselves, including the Blix’s Grass Rat and the Giant Mole Rat. It is this population of rodents that also provide sustenance for the population of Plateau Raptors. The plateau hosts a small population of Golden Eagles and other rare varieties such as Lammergeiers and Long Eared Owls. For bird enthusiasts species on the plateau include the most northerly breeding pair of Wattled Cranes, near endemic Rouget’s Rail, and the endemic Black Headed Siskin, Thekla Lark and Blue Winged Goose. The plateau itself is a mixture of amazing ‘moonscapes’, lakes and waterfalls.On returning to the Lodge guests pass through the ‘fairy tale’ forest of Erica with ‘old man’s beard’, reminiscent of a Grimm’s fairy tale. The small village of Rira offers the authentic experience of taking tea, coffee and local food within a traditional satera hoteela. (Inexpensive but not included in the inclusive Lodge price). Guests will need their own vehicles and drivers to explore the plateau.

DAY 3  :- Dola Mena: Rift Valley, Camels, Coffee
Dolo Mena Around 40km or so to the south, the pristine Harenna forest drops into the dry, dusty rift valley. A trip south from the Lodge to the small town of Dolo Mena takes about an hour. En route one has a chance to see Giant Forest Hog and Vervet monkeys along with myriad butterflies that flitter through the shadows and sunlight. Small temporary camps may be seen, springing up where wild coffee is harvested from the forest; coffee said to amongst the best in the world. At certain times in the year, post rains, the wild coffee can be seen drying at the side of the road. Dolo Mena is a small town, where one can savour the coffee and locally collected wild honey. A camel market is frequently held along with a local market for other traders. Few tourists venture here, and so it is still unspoilt in its daily activities. Approximately 20km further on from Dola Mena are the Welman River Falls and caves - home to a hermit - which have religious significance. Those able bodied enough can crawl through the caves and pass behind the waterfall onto the river bank opposite. The rift valley also offers an opportunity to spot birds which are indigenous to the dry conditions. Guests will need their own vehicles and drivers for this trip.
DAY 4  :- Other Activities

The lodge showcases the best of Ethiopian flora and fauna within the Bale Mountains National Park whilst providing access to other attractions further afield. Activities include guided bird watching trips, game viewing, walking and possible interaction with research and conservation teams which may be operating in and around the lodge site.

FishingFishing :-  The Web, Shire and Tegona rivers offer some of the best trout fishing in East Africa with the best months for fly fishing being Nov – Mar. Each of the rivers offers fast flowing water with abundant rock pools where fish can be stalked in the company of an experienced river guide. For guests who are new to fly-fishing, our guides provide expert instruction and assistance. Rods, tackle and flies are provided although enthusiasts may bring their own. All fishing is on a catch and release basis. Advance notice is needed if guests intend to fish. Fly fishing is an extra $50 per person per day. Guests will need their own cars and drivers for this option.

Honey Collection :- A fascinating experience witnessing the local community collecting forest honey from canopy beehives. Guests are given the chance to taste the honey – and often may purchase. Collection is normally within the vicinity of the Lodge. Payment is made directly to the local community.

Horse-riding :-  At the moment the local community can Horse riding organize short guided treks on horseback. The lodge does not keep horses, in order to promote the conservation messages regarding the reduction of grazing animals within the National Park, but has close links to the village, where horses are an integral part of rural life. Please note that the local horses are naturally small and that the locals use traditional saddles and tackle that is suited to the horses. In order to protect the horses there is a restriction in the size of guest who is permitted to ride of approximately 80kg. Also, the lodge takes no responsibility for this activity and guests should check that their travel insurance includes horse riding if they wish to hire a horse from the village.

Birding outside the National Park :-  The National Park harbours some 18 endemic bird species along with large numbers of migratory birds and passage raptors alongside the resident populations. Additionally, within three hours south is the habitat of the rare Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco and also the Libon Lark, of which very few breeding pairs are known to exist.

Boulder - Climbing :- Recent guests have enjoyed climbing various boulders that are scattered over the plateau. Park permission may have to be sought and equipment is not provided.