Hiking across the highest plateau in Africa and sleeping under the stars, with some of the continent’s rarest wildlife for company, this nine-day adventure through Ethiopia’s Bale Mountains is unquestionably the perfect use of a week’s holiday.
The chance to spend time in under-explored corners of the world comes along rarely. But this trip, run by the excellent Yellow Wood Adventures, is all about going to places and seeing things that are hardly ever experienced by outsiders.
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The trip starts in Dinsho, at a campsite just inside the Bale Mountains National Park. If you’re hoping for luxury this is not the trip for you, with long days on foot followed by nights under canvas.
However, the opportunity to traverse the Sanetti Plateau, at an average of 4,000 metres the highest in Africa, and meet its nomadic people and catch views that are inaccessible by car, more than makes up for being a tad bleary-eyed first thing.
Passing over plains and through farmsteads, the initial stretch to Sodota Camp offers the chance of a glimpse of the rare Ethiopian Red Wolf, which can be spotted in packs or prowling alone in search of prey. Keep a keen lookout for hyenas too. Guides and porters will be on hand to put off any overly keen animals who enter camp after dark.
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The following nights include stays at the base of Mount Waaswma, with a sweeping vista of the plains, and a night in the ‘stone forest’ at Rafu Camp. By now, you’ll be a touch footsore, but that’s no excuse for not scaling Mount Tuludimtu. With 360º views, it’s the highlight of the trip, made all the better by a night in an actual bed in a hotel in Goba.
After this, there’s the chance to take in the Harenna Forest, with its population of Colobus Monkeys, and a night in the nearby village of Rira.
Where to fly into
Ethiopian Airlines flies direct from London Heathrow to Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. While flights aren’t included in Yellow Wood Adventures’ trip, you’ll be picked up and taken for lunch and a tour of the city before an overnight stay.
The next adventure trip costs £1,299, running from 5-13 October. That includes nine nights’ accommodation, plus breakfast, lunch and dinner. Flights, visas, insurance, airport taxes, tips and beverages are not included. Horse riding is also available as an optional extra.