I awoke early my first morning in Bale Mountains. Opening the curtains in my room at Bale Mountains Lodge provided me with a most spectacular view over Mount Gujaralle and the Harenna Forest. I couldn’t wait to get out there and see what the rest of my time here would surprise me with.
Bale Mountains National Park is an oasis of lush, moist greenery, high altitude plateau, wildlife, a day’s drive and a world away from Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa.
With native bamboo forests, the rare Bale Monkey, Ethiopian Wolf and numerous other rare and endangered species Bale Mountains National Park plays a vital role in helping preserve Ethiopia’s biological diversity.
During our trip to Bale Mountains we were treated to a great many experiences including walking through bamboo forests, wildlife spotting, bird tagging for research, traditional honey collecting, great company and discussion. For me, my most memorable experience was spending the day on the Sanetti Plateau with the world’s rarest canid, the Ethiopian Wolf.
The Ethiopian Wolf. I am not a wildlife biologist. I am just another animal. Like all animals we learn by observing and doing. With the Ethiopian Wolf (as with so many animals I have taken the time to sit and observe, such as the Gelada Baboon) they showed me that life really is simple – full of time to rest, eat and be social. These are the lessons I took from my time with the Ethiopian Wolves (and George, featured here – with no idea why I felt compelled to name him, except that perhaps I felt an affinity with him after spending quite some time with him).
It is estimated there are only about 500 Ethiopian Wolves left in the wild – so I felt particularly grateful to have spent so much time with them. If you are interested in the Ethiopian Wolf I would recommend having a look at the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Program’s website. By protecting these wolves many other endemic species can also be protected. This is a video I was recently made aware of about the importance of wolves in the wild (in the US) which I feel is an example for every species, we all have our role to play.
This was to be my last big adventure in Ethiopia. I couldn’t have hoped for a better farewell adventure. But… one day, just maybe, I will be back. There is still so much more to explore.