Introduction to the Bale Mountains

Situated 400km southeast of Addis Ababa, the Bale Mountains National Park is undoubtedly one of the highlights of Ethiopia’s natural heritage.

The park contains a dazzling blend of different landscapes on its 4,000km high Afro-Alpine plateau, from glacial lakes to volcanic ridges, moorlands, jungle and the Harenna Forest, the latter of which is filled to the brim with wildlife that includes Colobus monkeys and forest hogs.

The rich biodiversity in the Bale Mountains also includes the elusive Ethiopian Wolf and African gold wolf species, the spotted hyena, warthogs and 283 species of birds. 

Camping in the Bale Mountains

Colobus Monkey in the Bale Mountains

Multi-day treks

This extraordinary natural beauty and array of wildlife can be experienced by strapping on a good pair of boots and doing some trekking, either on foot or on horseback.

While independent trekking is theoretically possible, the Bale Mountains can be difficult to navigate for the uninitiated. With our network of experienced local partners and guides, we can handle everything from tents to horses.

A popular choice is to stay at the Bale Mountain Lodge and take sorties into the park via road. However, for those who want more than a surface introduction to the mountains, a multi-day trek is the best way to get the most out of the park. You can trek from camp to camp over a number of days, stopping at the best viewpoints along the way.

What’s more, sleeping under the stars is a wonderful experience here as the clear, pollution-free skies here means the night sky bursts with starlight.

Camping in the Bale Mountains

Tented camps in the Bale Mountains

Camping in the Bale Mountains

The campsites of the Bale Mountains, while lacking in facilities, have beautiful views and each has its own unique features. They are set between 17-22km away from one another at 3000-4100m altitude, meaning that it takes less than a day’s walking to travel from one to another.

As most people will be staying at the nearby lodge, you will likely have the park all to yourself.

Camping in the Bale Mountains

Trekking through the Harenna Forest

The Webb Valley

Webb Valley Camp sits near the scenic plains of the high plateau, where the majestic Ethiopian Wolves can be spotted patrolling their territory in the early morning.

Spotted hyenas, golden jackals, olive baboons and the mountain Nyala are among the other exciting species seen in around the Webb Valley, as well as some phenomenal bird life.

Ponies can be hired at this camp. While on the ponies’ backs, you are able to get much closer to the wolves. Don’t worry about any tense run-ins with the wolves, guides and porters will be at hand to make sure that these usually non-aggressive animals don’t cause any trouble.

Camping in the Bale Mountains

Found this stunning clearing on day 1 of the trek

Rafu Camp

From here, we recommend hiking up to the camp at Mount Waaswma, which offers a panoramic view of the plains and pyramid mountains. The next day, you can trek across the park to end up in the ‘stone forest’ at Rafu Camp, where the influence of volcanic eruptions on the area can be seen from the surreal and spectacular collection of basalt pipes and granite boulders.

If your feet aren’t too sore yet, you can do a relatively short hike up to Ethiopia’s second-highest mountain, Mount Tulu Dimtu. At the top, you're rewarded with a truly mind-blowing 360-degree vista of the entire national park (or you might see a floor of clouds!). 

Camping in the Bale Mountains

At the summit of Tulu Dimtu


For those looking to spend just one night in the Bale Mountains, it's possible to camp at Dinsho, where the Bale Mountains National Park HQ is located.

It has some simple facilities, as well as a great view of the valley below. Sightings of wildlife like warthogs, Nyala and bushbuck are common here.

Tents, sleeping bags and sleeping mats can be hired at the entrance of the park in Dinsho, along with tour guides and personalised itineraries. For guaranteed quality, you are better off arranging these things with us. 

Camping in the Bale Mountains

The green mountains blanketed in mist

Ready to Explore the Bale Mountains?

Below are some examples of what is possible in the Bale Mountains - but get in touch with us and we can help you with a tailor-made holiday.

Ready to plan your Ethiopia adventure?



We'll spend some time listening to your aspirations, then discuss the kind of experience that might suit you.



Next we'll discuss the options, shortlist the best trips for you and present you our impartial recommendations.



We'll place a 24 hour hold on your preferred option - without obligation - whilst we talk through the details.

Whatever your budget, group size, length of stay, preferred activity or appetite for adventure, we can help.

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