The Harenna Forest, Bale Mountains National Park
The Harenna Forest is located in a highland forest region of the Bale Mountains, in the Oromia region of southeastern Ethiopia.
A beautiful jungle-esque region, the Harenna forest is a hot-spot of biodiversity, with a plethora of indigenous species living here.
One of the last remaining natural forests in the country, the rich fauna and flora supports an array of unique wildlife. Atop the giant heather trees, golden crowned Bale mountain monkeys, giant forest hogs and a vast selection of brightly coloured birds are often the most visible.
Nyalas, various types of buck, and even lions and panthers live in the forest.
Bale Mountains National Park Map
Making Honey in the Harenna Forest
Bee hives are made from hollowed out tree trunks, and supported high in the air with long strips of bamboo. These ancient methods, long forgotten in other parts of the world, still support the local economy.
While other parts of Ethiopia are moving to more modern production, the 600 families of the Harenna Forest are reluctant to abandon techniques honed over generations. Folklore tells tales of King Lalibela, who as a newborn was swarmed by bees and miraculously emerged unscathed. Since then honey has been treasured across all the regions of Ethiopia, but none more so than in Oromia.
The Bale Mountains Lodge
The Bale Mountains Lodge is the best accommodation option in the Bale Mountains. The lodge is set in a pretty clearing in the Harenna Forest, and there are a number of excellent treks and viewpoints accessible from the lodge.
A road running through the park means you can explore much of this incredible wilderness area without having to camp out, or do too much arduous trekking. The road can take you north of the forest to the Sanetti Plateau, and take you back again for dinner around the fire at the lodge, and perhaps a few sundowners on your private veranda.
Popular Trips Including the Bale Mountains
Bale Mountains Safari
Hike across electric landscapes of thick forests, Afro-alpine moorland, peaks and plateaus, and jungle thickets. An extraordinary outdoor adventure, with high altitude hikes unlocking staggering viewpoints, beautiful clearings, and endemic wildlife. At night, the sky is ablaze with starlight in…
- 7 Days
Rift Valley and Bale Mountains
Meander through the stunning Rift Valley Lakes, staying at boutique lakeside lodges as you make your way towards the Bale Mountains National Park.…
- 10 Days
Best of Southern Ethiopia
Explore the very best that Southern Ethiopia has to offer. Combining the Omo Valley with the scenic delights of Yirgalem and Bale Mountains National Park, this adventure is a perfect blend of culture, history, and beautiful landscapes.…
- 13 Days
Birds of the Rift Valley and Southern Highlands
Discover the extraordinary bird life in Ethiopia that includes dozens of endemic species. Explore the national parks, rift valley lakes, and highland peaks and valleys that make Ethiopia a world-class birding destination. Boutique and eco lodges place you in the…
- 19 Days
Cultural and Natural South
Combining the best that Ethiopia has to offer south of Addis Ababa, this two-week odyssey takes you to the farthest corners of the Omo Valley, through the verdant forests of the Bale Mountains, and across the lakes of the Great…
- 13 Days
Highlights of the North and South
The classic northern trail extends south into the Omo Valley, passing through the Rift Valley Lakes and highland peaks of the Bale Mountains. A once in a lifetime adventure combining the very best that Ethiopia has to offer.…
- 20 Days
Southern Ethiopia Explorer
Charter aircraft takes you to the wild Gambella National Park, into the Omo Valley, and across the Bale Mountains National Park. Luxury hotels and exclusive tented camps are your base for exploring these remarkable regions.…
- 11 Days