One of the five distinctive habitats of the Bale national park, the Grasslands sit higher than anywhere else in Park. At an altitude of 3,000m to 3,500m, the thin air and lack of moisture means, unlike the woodlands that dominate much of the park, the Grassland cannot support trees. Despite this, the grasslands support a plethora of life as diverse as the landscape around the grasslands.
Bale Mountains National Park Map
Wildlife and plants
A slice of paradise on earth, due to it’s high altitude the grasslands are home to a range of ever present, exotic and indigenous flora and fauna, solely adapted to living in these conditions. Equally impressive is the animals that use the grasslands to graze, a huge range of wildlife can be found crouching in the grass.
Reclusive Nyalas are known to congregate on the cliff face, using the land for grazing and raising their young. Seen in groups of up to 50, the grasslands offer a wholly unique experience to see one of the rarest, most introverted animals on the planet, in their natural habitat.
Visiting the area
Encircled by clusters of dark green trees and sloping, swooping hills below it, the grasslands are intersected by the Dodola Road, the end of an expansive highway that leads visitors through the wastelands outside the cities straight into the clusters of hills. The area is best viewed during Ethiopia’s ‘dry season’, between the November – February,in which the average daytime temperature sits around 20 C.
Throughout the rest of the year, torrential rain render many of the routes up impassable, as well as descending the area in a heavy, low mist, which adds an ethereal element to the area, whilst also reducing many of the striking views and vistas that make the areas so popular, to a sea of impenetrable white mass intersected by sparse green tree tops.
Regardless what time of year you choose to visit, night-time temperatures often plunge well below zero, meaning warm clothing is a must when visiting the grasslands.
Holding a special and intimate connection with the indigenous residents of the Bale Mountains, the grasslands and the wild flowers and plants it supports are used in centuries old medicines. Seeped in decades of fantasy and mysticism as thick as the mist that covers the tops of the mountains, the Gaysay Grasslands are considered a spiritual heartland for those in the area,replenishing the soul of the weary few brave enough to tackle the ascent.
Ready to explore the Bale Mountains?
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