Today you have a long 9 hour drive to Bale Mountains National Park, which you will enter at its north western entry point and overnight at Dinsho Park headquarters, camping among the wildlife in the heavily wooded slopes above at an altitude of around 2,500 metres. It is also possible to fly from Addis to Robe near Bale on certain days of the week.
Having spent the morning enjoying the mountain nyala, Meneliks bush buck, wart hogs and many birds that frequent this corner of the park, the horses will be saddled up for the first day’s ride. Homesteads will gradually become less frequent as we head into the park proper on a 5 hour ride, camping at Sodota in a valley dotted with lobelias, an area favoured by rare Ethiopian wolves. Overnight Sodota campsite at an altitude of around 3585 metres. (B, L, D)
You leave the Wasem river valley, which is inhabited by colonies of baboons, riding up into more canyons that are concertinaed into a giant amphitheatre and head onto basaltic plateaus up to 4000 metres high. You follow a long valley through wild mountains, and camp overnight at Wasama at an altitude of around 3750 metres after 6 hrs of riding.
This morning the trail leads to Gebre Guracha, or Black Lake, which is home of many endemic bird species. You ride on to the Saneti Plateau, also know as the island in the air, which lies at an altitude of 4000m and is sometimes shrouded in fog. On today’s trail riders are likely to encounter Ethiopian wolves and warthogs. We pass through a forest of hagenias and African junipers, our path bordered by yellow flowers and bright red Kniphobias, which cover the hillsides. At this altitude the air is fresh and clear and the views can be spectacular, especially the Herenna escarpment to the south, which drops 2000m towards a vast tropical forest extending all the way to Kenya. After riding for approx 7 hours you are met and driven to the luxurious Bale Mountain Lodge for an overnight stay at an altitude of around 2800 metres.
After breakfast you will be transferred by 4 wheel drive vehicle down from the high altitudes, via Goba and Dinsho, the headquarters of the Bale National Park, then to Shashemene and Lake Langano where we stop for lunch and a swim in the lake before arriving at Addis in the evening where you will and then drive back to Addis.
Neither Wild and Exotic nor the operators or suppliers can accept any responsibility for changes to itineraries or dates that may arise due to weather or unforeseen circumstances such as changes, disruptions or delays to airline flights for whatever reason. This holiday is subject to Wild and Exotic’s terms and conditions, a copy of which is available on this website under the general info tab.
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This trip is for the true adventure traveler and explores Bale National Park by horseback, foot, and quad motorcycle. The tour includes many nature based activities as well, including fishing. The sights are out of this world, this is a truly one of a kind experience.
What to Know
All participants should be comfortable on horseback. You should be comfortable at all paces and able to gallop out of trouble. You should be fit enough to ride up to 7 hours a day. With the exception of the nights spent at Bale Mountain Lodge, these are camping trips run inside the remote Bale Mountain National Park – an Afro alpine moorland with a plateau at about 4,000 meters and peaks over 4,200 – 4,360meters high. These horse back safaris take you off the beaten trail beyond the reach of vehicles. As a result they are quite basic. All materials are carried on horses these are not luxury camps.
About the Destination
Ethiopia is a country of diverse and striking beauty, with a fascinating and turbulent history moulded by the influences of Christianity. Wild and Exotic recommends that a trip to Ethiopia includes awe-inspiring cultural tours discovering beautiful buildings, and understanding a way of life of the friendly Ethiopians, together with the more physical treks, to inhale the breathtaking landscape and witness the rural community. Sometimes the two are combined, with a hike, and even a climb, to see ancient mountain-top churches.
Gondar lies at the edge of the Semian mountains and is home to some fascinating architecture, including the Quesquam enclosure, the beautiful church of Debre Birhan Sellassie and the Qusqam Monastery. A short flight away, Lalibela is home to 11 world famous monolithic rock hewn churches that date from the 12th century and endure as an extraordinary feat of engineering and is the single most impressive site in Ethiopia. Queen Sheba used the ancient city of Axum in the far north of Ethiopia as her capital in the 10th century BC, and the city of Axum is famous for its obelisks as well as for being the final resting place of the Arc of the Covenant.
Your tour will take you south to the Bale Mountains National Park for a wildlife rich experience: home to rare endemic species such as Nyala antelope, Semien fox, and Menelik’s bushbuck and the endangered Ethiopia wolf.
Things to Do
On this tour, your days will be jam packed with adventure. If you wish to extend your trip, we suggest expoloring other parts of Ethiopia or Addis on your way out. Addis Ababa has the buzz of a strong expat presence, and a cosmopolitan feel.
How to get there
We recommend Ethiopian Airways, as domestic flights are inexpensive if you have booked your international flights with them.
- 10 Sleeps
What is Included
Accommodation: Dome tents (singles or doubles) which are put up by camp staff who accompany the ride, and foam mattresses (about 5cm thick). We recommend guests bring their own sleeping bags on the trip, and they should be good to temperatures of at least minus 5°C. At Dinsho, Sodota there are clean squat toilets. There are no facilities at Seneti and Wesema, which are located in the wilderness. All loo paper and human waste should be buried.
Type of Horses: We use local ponies from the Bale Mountains. They are good for the altitude and the occasional stony paths. But they are very narrow and small (maybe max 13.1 or 13.2). We send our expert ahead to select the best of the ponies available.
Local transportation is included. If participants wish to fly to Bale, and flights are available on their departure date, the flight will be included in the price or must be paid for later by participant.
The exact order, contents and rates of this tour is subject to availability
Most Packages are available with a self-guide alternative. You will be given information and a packet on where to visit in a certain area and provided options on how to complete the trip. Please contact us for this more affordable option.
The rates of this tour can be changed without prior notice
This tour is offered by the Tour Operator, not by aSuiteStay
All information about this tour is provided and updated by the Tour Operator, not by aSuiteStay
Please check with your local Ethiopian Consulate or Embassy. Tourist visas are usually $50+ depending on your country of residence. If you need assistance with this please contact us.
Rates are based on availability and season. All rates are quoted in USD. Some packages are customizable. Final pricing depends on add-ons.
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