Covering an area of 2200 km2 Bale Mountains National Park is the largest remaining alpine habitat on the African continent. Founded in 1970, the Park contains the biggest continuous area of Afro-alpine vegetation (~1000 km2, circa 17.5% of all Afro-alpine vegetation) and a large proportion of moist tropical forest.
Bale Mountains National Park offers opportunities for unsurpassed mountain walking, horse trekking, scenic driving and chances to view many of Ethiopia's endemic mammals, in particular Ethiopian Wolves, Simien Foxes, Menelik's Bushbucks and Mountain Nyalas.
Birds such as the Thick-billed Raven, Wattled Ibis, Blue-winged Goose, Rouget's Rail, etc. can easily be seen in the Park. Bale is the southern-most breeding population of Golden Eagles, Wattled Cranes and has a large breeding population of Bearded Vultures. The wetlands and forests of Bale are the source of major rivers which provide a significant proportion of the perennial water supply to approximately 10 million people in South-eastern Ethiopia and Somalia.
Including one of the principal mountain massifs of Africa, the Simien Mountains consist of several plateaus, separated by broad river valleys. With over twenty peaks towering to heights above 4000 meters, Simien escarpments are also known as the "Roof Of Africa". Its highest peak, Ras Dashen at 4543 meters, is the fourth highest peak on the African continent. The Simien escarpments, which remind of the Grand Canyon of the USA, have been adopted in 1978 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The Park which covers 179 km2 lies at an altitude between 1900 and 4500 meters.
The mountains are lush and green: your former conception of Ethiopia is likely to be turned over. The park offers great possibilities for trekking, with dramatic and exhilarating scenery.
The dramatic landscape of the Simien Mountains is the result of massive seismic activity in the area about 40 million years ago. Molten lava poured out of the earth's core reaching a thickness of 3000 m. This massive eruption has created one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world, with jagged mountain peaks, deep valleys and sharp precipices dropping some 1,500 m. The famous pinnacles - the sharp spires that rise abruptly from the surrounding land - are volcanic necks: solidified lava and last remnant of ancient volcanoes.
Access to the park is from Debark; about 2 hours drive north of Gondar. Buyet Ras, Sankaber, Geech and Chenek are the four major campgrounds of the park
The beautiful landscapes and the peaceful environment are favorable conditions for mountain biking in Ethiopia. Zelalem Tours organizes a unique and truly rewarding biking holiday. Our cycling tour includes the spectacular ride either to Bale Mountains or to the Rift Valley region. It can also be arranged following the great historic route of Ethiopia.
Biking in Ethiopia is mostly along paved and gravel roads, crossing mountains and through undulating landscapes. Most of the time clients ride their bike, but there are also places where you are driven in the car in case of exhaustion, long distances or road conditions.
Taking the riding distances into consideration we arranged camping days on our biking trips. Our cook prepares delicious meals while camping. Join one of our biking tours and enjoy an Ethiopian outdoor experience