Bale mountains


The Bale Mountains (also
known as the Urgoma
Mountains), in the Oromia
Region of southeast Ethiopiasouth of the Awash River, are
part of the Ethiopian Highlands.
They include Tullu Demtu, the
second-highest mountain in
Ethiopia (4377 meters), and
Mount Batu (4307 meters). The
Weyib River, a tributary of the
Jubba River, rises in these
mountains east of Goba. The
Bale Mountains National Park
covers 2,200 square kilometers
of these mountains. The main
attractions of the park are the
wild alpine scenery, and the
relative ease with which you
can see many birds and
mammals that are unique to
Ethiopia.

The Bale Mountains are home
to many of Ethiopia’s endemic
animals, notably the Ethiopian
wolf (Canis simensis), found on
the Sanetti Plateau. The park
also contains the Harenna
Forest, situated to the south of
the mountains, which is a
largely unexplored area
thought to contain many
undiscovered species of reptile
as well as lion, leopard and
various types of antelope.
Besides wildlife the National
Park offers exceptional
trekking opportunities from
the park headquarters at
Dinsho. (Dodola is also a useful
base for exploring these
mountains.

The largest group of Ethiopian
wolves is found here. Other
characteristic large mammals
are the mountain nyala,
Menelik’s bushbuck, warthog,
and bohor reedbuck.
The Juniper-Hagenia forests lie
between 2,500 and 3,300 m
and are mostly found on the
northern slopes. An unusual
plant of the Dinsho area is the
white-flowered Abyssinian
rose. The alpine moorland of
the Saneti Plateau is covered in
heath-like vegetation broken by
heather plants and stands of
giant lobelia which grow up to
6 m high. One of the most
common and distinctive plants
throughout the Bale region is
the red-hot poker, an aloe
which can be identified by its
orange spear-shaped flowers.

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