When is the best time to go to the Bale Mountains?
Best trekking conditions: October to March
The best time to visit the Bale Mountains is from October to March. At this time of year, the days are generally warm and dry, and temperatures can reach up to 25°C (although they are usually closer to 15°C). These dry days offer more pleasant conditions for trekking in the Bale Mountains, and clearer views of the breath-taking landscapes.
The clear night boast an incredible sky full of stars which you can enjoy from a camp or the veranda of your lodge. Due to the altitude, temperatures at night can drop to below zero and so you will need to bring warm clothing no matter what time of year you are visiting.
If you're visiting from October to December, the flowers will be in full bloom and the landscape flush with thick green tropical vegetation. With the mist of the clouds rolling across this blanketed terrain, the Bale Mountains have a true wilderness appeal.
The Rainy Season: April, August, September
When you choose to visit the Bale Mountains will have an impact on your overall experience. As a high-altitude area, the park sees more rainfall than the rest of southern Ethiopia. There are two rainy seasons in the Bale Mountains, a short rainy season in April, and the long rainy season from August and September.
Whilst the rains and mist create a certain moody atmosphere and add to the frontier explorer appeal of the Bale Mountains, it does limit your ability to fully explore the park as trekking routes and camping options can be more limited.
One benefit to visiting during these months is the reduced price tag. The Bale Mountains Lodge has seasonal rates and so accommodation is cheaper from May to September. If you are camping, there are no price changes.
The Shoulder Season: May to July
For those willing to put up with afternoon showers, May to July is also a wonderful time to visit the Bale Mountains. The days remain warm and sunny with periods of brilliant blue skies despite the occasional downpour, and daytime temperatures around 15°C. Nighttime temperatures hover around zero.
For lovers of wildflowers, June also offers a spectacular treat. Around this time the hillsides are covered by red-hot pokers and other stunning flowers in bloom. These spring flowers attract many colourful birds, which adds to the magic of the park at this time of year.
It is important to note that regardless of the time of year, high altitudes remain very cold at night and weather can change drastically. All visitors must be prepared for a range of weather conditions, from hot days to freezing nights, to remain safe and avoid getting caught out.
When to visit the Bale Mountains
Ready to explore the Bale Mountains?
The trips below show just some of what is possible - get in touch wish us and we can help plan a tailor-made holiday.
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
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
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
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