The Sanetti Plateau in the Bale Mountains is the Rooftop of Africa; averaging 4000m in altitude, it is the highest plateau on the continent. On this incredible adventure we will walk across it, viewing its beautiful and exotic wildlife including Mountain Nyala, Ethiopian Red Wolf, impala, warthogs and Colobus Monkeys; meeting the nomadic herders grazing their flocks on the plateau and learning about their culture. We end with drive down into an ancient forest filled with waterfalls in this part of Ethiopia so little explored by the outside world.
We meet for lunch then a tour of the city including the Cathedral, Natural Museum and Merkato. We will have our first group dinner at a culture house watching traditional music and dancing.
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.
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.
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 very few people have the opportunity of seeing.
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.
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 to our hotel in Goba for a well-deserved rest.
Today we will drive down into the mountain-bamboo groves and lichen-covered Harenna Forest, again over the plateau and then down through beautiful villages and barley fields. Taking a short walk we can view the hidden natural waterfalls cascading down into rock pools as well as the exotic looking Columbus monkeys. There is the add-on option of staying in the incredibly picturesque and luxurious Bale Mountain Lodge (don’t be fooled by their very average website). This is an absolutely perfect way to spend the last night although it is not compulsory – if you prefer you can semi-camp in the nearby village of Rira for a more local experience.
We make the drive back to Addis Ababa for our final group dinner in one of the best restaurants in town and possibly a jazz club (or two) before our night in a hotel.
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