Category: Uncategorised

Size:2,479 km2 (four)

Region: Oromia

Geographical Location:-South east Ethiopia, Southern end of Eastern-edge of Rift valley mountain chain, 400km from Addis Ababa.

Altitude:-1,500-4,377 m

Physical Features: The extensive Afro- Alpine area contains alpine Lakes and the highest peak in Southern Ethiopian, Tulu Dimtu. The area of the parks divided into two major parts by the Hareman Escarpment that runs from east to west.

North of the escarpment is a high altitude plateau area, which dissected by many rivers and streams that, having cut deep gorges into the edges over the centuries. In some places this has resulted in scenic waterfalls. The northern part of the park is riverine plains,. Bushland and wood; the center is high plateau of 4,000 meters, which is crossed by the highes tall-weather road in Africa. The southern part of the park is forest

Temperature:range from 70c to 260c, depending on the seasons.

Rainfall:is high, averaging 1,150mm and usually falls b/n March and October, as well as in other months.

Vegetation:-in the north, are green riverine Plains bordered by bands of bushes, particularly St. john swort wild flowers from carpets of color. Fringing the hills are stands of hagenia and Junipers and above them are mountain grasslands higher up the mountains heather appears. The high Sanity-Plateau is characterized by Afro- alpine Plants, some coping with the extreme temperature by coming small land others by becoming large. The best dominant Wildflower in the park is the everlasting flower. The southern part of the park is heavily forested. The heather forest is particularly mature here, draped with many lichens.

Fauna:-The park was originally established to protect two of the Ethiopia’s endemic species, the mountain Nyala and the semen fox or mammal in the park, eleven(11) of them endemic including Menelik’s bushbuck, bohor, reed buck,geryduiker, Worthhog,several cat, colobus monkey, giant mole rat, African wild dog ,bushpig,gaint foreshog,lion &Anubis baboon.

Birdlife:-The 220 bird species, of Bale include 16(sixteen) endemic species, many of which are easily seen. These Include watt led lbs.,black-winged love bird blue-winged goose Roget’s rail, and thick billed raven. Wattled cranes are often seen on the high plateau in the wet season when they breed.

Visitor facilities: self-catering Lodge and campsite at park headquarters, camping allowed in park while trekking. Hotels in Goba and Robe,Museum.

Bale Mountains National Park

Bale Mountains National Park: This is a magnificent high altitude plateau with numerous dramatic volcanic plugs, seasonal tiny alpine lakes and cascading mountain streams. Located at about 400 kilometres from Addis Ababa, it is stretched over an area of 2000 square. kilometers with in altitude ranges of 1500m-4377m above sea level. Being the largest Afro Alpine habitat park in Africa, Balé mountain National Park offers the following major features of attraction.
It gives chances of viewing about 46 mammal and more than 200 bird species and vegetation of unspoiled wonderland including various tree species and precious endemic mammals, namely Red Fox, Mountain Nyala, and Menelik’s Bushbuck.

Its climate is mostly very cold with high rainfall and damp cloud with rare sparkling blue sky. The best season of walking, trekking and camping in the park to view the endemic life and enjoy other tourist activities in the astonishing vast alpine areas is the dry season which is from November to March. Visitors can also enjoy the habitat at all seasons with warm and weather proof clothing.

The three main divisions of the park, includes the northern area-Dinsho and Gassay Plain the central alpine part-Sanaté, and the southern forest area-Haranna that offer distinct features. Dinsho area is the perfect site of viewing Mountain Nyala and Menelik’s Bushbuck, etc. Tourists can also visit the head quarter and the museum of the park here at Dinsho and get lodge service and relevant information about the park.

Sanaté, nick-named as “ The Island in the Air”, is a high plateau souring up over 4000m on top. The second highest peak next to Ras Dashen in Ethiopia, Tullu Dimtu (4377m above seal level), is among many peaks on the plateau found. An all weather road from Goba to Dallo Manna passes over this plateau. The seasonal tiny alpine lakes, some rare birds, and above all, the endemic Red Fox, and giant Molrat the top tourist attraction mostly specific to Balé Mountains National Park are spotted here.

The southern Haranna area is an area of lower altitude covered with dense moist tropical forest. The road penetrating Sannaté and Haranna forest connects Goba with Dallo Manna. Bush pig, a frican hunting dog, giant forest hog, spotted hyena, lion, leopards, colobus monkey, etc. abound in Haranna forest area.
The beautiful rainbow and trout fish stocked in the park rivers with fry from Kenya in 1960 may give tourists a fishing opportunity if they have time.
The lodge at Dinsho provides tourists with 31 beds (room 6) and kitchen equipment for self service. The accommodation is simple but pleasant. Camping at Dinsho and at different sites in the park gives great delight to tourists. The Bekelé Mola (at Robé) and the Wabé Shebelé (at Gobba) Hotels welcome tourists with accommodation and catering services.

While in Bale Mountains National Park there are important specific sites worth visiting, these are Dinsho head quarter site, Gassay Valley, sannate- Tullu Dimtu, Harana escarpment, Harana forest-Kacha site Weib valley and others.

Touristic Appeal: The Bale Mountains National Park is an area of major importance in nature conservation, scientific research, education and tourism. Among the major factors that contribute to its tourist appeal, the following distinctive feature can be mentioned: The park conserves the largest area of afro alpine habitat on the continent of Africa; The Harana Forest, at the south of the area, is the second largest stand of moist tropical forest remaining in Ethiopia;

Lake Tana is the largest lake in Ethiopia. Which flows to Khartoum, Sudan and beyond? It was formed by volcanic blockage and created one of Africa’s greatest waterfalls, known as Tis Abay or Tis Isat .

The lake has a number of islands, whose number varies depending on the level of the lake; it has fallen about 6 feet in the last 400 years. A more modern geographer named it 37 island of which 19 have or had monasteries or churches on them.
Remains of ancient Ethiopia emperors and treasures of the church are kept in the isolated island monasteries. On the island of Tana Qirqos rock shown to visitors on which it was told the Virgin Mary had rested on her journey back from Egypt and also Frumentius who introduced Christianity to Ethiopia is allegedly buried on Tana Cherqos. The body of Yekuno Amelak is interred In the monastery of st .Stephen on Dega Island; other emperors whose tombs are on Dega include Dawit I, Zara Yaqob ,Za Dengel and Fasilides . Other important islands in lake Tana include Dek Isaland and Meshralia .

Lake Tana and its Medieval Period Island Monasteries

Lake Tana has thirty-seven islands, twenty of which are home to churches and monasteries. Some of them dated back to the 13th century and many others are dated from the 14th century to the Gonderine period of the 17th and 18th centuries. Many of the original churches of Lake Tana are said to be renovated and reconstructed during the Gonderine period.

Many of the churches and monasteries of Lake Tana are very famous cultural museums because of their beautiful mural paintings and many other valuable treasures such as varieties of crosses, crowns, costumes of Kings, illuminated manuscripts, mummified bodies and remains of several Ethiopia Emperors in wooden coffins and glass boxes. In addition, they have been used as the major refugees for many cultural treasures of the country in general and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in particular during the times of war and worse conditions in the history of the country like the devastating wars of Ahmed Gragn.