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.

Harenna Forest

Bale Mountains National Park Map

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.

Harenna Forest

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. 

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