For trekkers, nature enthusiasts and bird and wildlife watchers, the Bale Mountains National Park (2,200 square kilometers) is a hidden treasure. Few visitors make it to the remote Bale mountain range, relative to the more accessible Simien Mountains in the north. Those who do embark on the 6-hour drive from Addis Ababa are rewarded with rugged landscapes complete with alpine lakes, deep gorges, plunging waterfalls, dense and damp forests and arid wind-swept plateaus.
The main draw of the park is the abundant wildlife with 300 species of bird and 78 known mammal species, including the endemic Nyala antelopes, Menelik bushbucks and the Ethiopian wolf which is the world’s rarest canid. Despites its rarity visitors are almost always guaranteed a sighting.
The most popular way of exploring Bale Mountains National Park is by foot. There are plenty of trekking opportunities in the park ranging from one to seven days and the trails are not too demanding, following well-trodden paths at altitude ranges between 2,800-4,300 meters, with frequent sighting of bird and wildlife.