Bale mountains

18-21 December 2019

There are mytical places on Earth that we discover through books, reports, documentaries and that remain in a corner of our mind... …The Bale highlands is one of them and we were finally able to make the discovery of the myth a reality.


One of our objectives was to observe the Ethiopian Wolf, a mammal endemic to Ethiopia. This canid, one of the rarest in the world, is highly threatened by rabies, probably introduced by sheepdogs, as well as by the loss of the habitat due to the extension of grazing on the highlands. There are only 500 individuals left in total. We were lucky enough to observe five of them.

The Sanetti plateau, which dominates the Bale mountains, is a steppe area that offers a unique lunar atmosphere where time stands still. It's cold, windy and the high altitude can make you feel cold...

It is the kingdom of millions of rodents which are the prey of various raptors and the Ethiopian wolf. The flora is not very diverse but every bush is a new one and the giant Lobelia trees with their upright stipes appear as the mountain's guardians... Unfortunately, it seems that this rare species is threatened by climate change.

Down below the plateau (between 1600 and 2500m) is the Dinsho forest and vast marshy meadows, other splendid natural environments sheltering a whole other set of species; among others, a great density of mammals including the majestic and endemic Nyala.


Three Owls also completed our list : Cape Eagle-Owl, the Abyssinian Owl and the African Wood Owl.


Other visited regions :


-Rift Valley 1 (lakes and lots of birds)


Harenna forest (tropical-style atmosphere)


The south: Negele, Yabello (endemics and savannahs)


Rift Valley 2 (back to big lakes)


Gibe gorge, Jema valley and Ankober (great rivers and Geladas)


Awash (beautiful savannah and heat)