4 - 12
The Sanetti Plateau in the Bale Mountains is the Rooftop of Africa; averaging 4000m in altitude, it is the highest plateau on the continent.
On this incredible adventure we will walk across it, viewing its beautiful and exotic wildlife including Mountain Nyala, Ethiopian Red Wolf, impala, warthogs and Colobus Monkeys; meeting the nomadic herders grazing their flocks on the plateau and learning about their culture.
Trekking (with the option of some horse-riding), accompanied by our team of local guides, porters and horses, and often above the cloud-line; we will traverse this region of immense landscapes and breath-taking natural beauty.
Highlights include the beautiful Lake Gebreguracha, the otherworldly, mind-bending ‘stone forest’ and the opportunity to hike up Ethiopia’s second highest summit, Mt. Tuludimtu (4389m).
On our drive down to the ancient lichen-covered Harenna Forest, where waterfalls plummet between bamboo groves, we will visit villages where the local people live in thatched houses, and whose way of life has not changed for a millennium.
After the adventure of camping we treat ourselves with a 2 night stay at the exquisite Bale Mountain Eco Lodge; an exceptional wilderness retreat and the ideal base from which to explore.
This is travel in its purest form.
Single rooms are available on a first come, first served basis. Single tents are available during the camping sections of this adventure. We will charge on a pro-rata basis if a single room is not available to book for part of the trip where it would have been possible.
Single rooms are available on a first come, first served basis. We will charge on a pro-rata basis if a single room is only available for part of the trip.
We fully believe in, and practice Responsible Tourism, using local hotels, owned and run by locals. We put time and effort into building our relationship with them to ensure you have a a great trip.
We choose hotels based on cleanliness, comfort, safety, proximity to our route (to avoid unnecessary extra road travel), and a warm client welcome, as well as reliability in their service to us. Some hotels will be basic, in modern buildings or in town centres. Wherever we can, we will choose smaller more characterful, individual hotels, but in areas where tourism is still developing, this may not be available. An aspect of our adventures is to escape the ‘trappings’ of modern Western lifestyles and to experience new things which are exciting and memorable, and reflects the countries we are visiting.
This is adventure travel and on occasion the advertised services at a hotel (eg wifi, or hot showers, or continuous power) may not be functional on our arrival. This tends to occur in the smaller, more remote hotels. Very rarely a hotel lets us down and we are required to find alternative suitable accommodation that might not be our first choice. This trip involves hotels, a wilderness lodge and camping.
The list below gives information on our first choice of accommodation for this adventure; where hotels and hostels are fully booked or unavailable, we will use an alternative of a similar standard, and equally well situated. We will provide you with an accurate list of accommodation, with contact information to leave with relatives, prior to departure on your adventure.
Addis Adaba (Day 1,2 & 9): Monarch Hotel (www.monarchaddis.com). Address: Cameroon Street near Edna Mall, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Phone: +251 116672480 (Wifi & Pool)
Camping (Day 3-6): We wild camp in the heart of the wilderness on this adventure, in 2 man tents. We have horses to carry all our camp equipment and our guides will assist with setting up, but please be aware that camping facilities are basic. There are no toilet facilities - you may need to find a suitable spot away from the group and waterways to dig a small hole in order to manage your toileting in a hygienic and environmentally responsible way. You will need to carry your own toilet paper, burning it after use. Washing is done in mountain streams or using camp water. However, believe us when we say that the views from your chosen ‘wild bathrooms’ will be totally incredible!
Bale Mountain Lodge (Day 7 & 8): Bale Mountain Lodge (http://balemountainlodge.com). Phone: +251 912790802. Wilderness lodge - this is something very special indeed as a once in a lifetime stay!
With the exception of some of the higher class hotels in Addis Ababa, hotels generally do not have heating or air conditioning. As nights can be chilly, please bring appropriate sleepwear if needed (see packing list for further information).
In areas where malaria is a problem, hotel rooms come with mosquito nets.
Unless you have booked a single room (where they are available) and paid the single room supplement for those nights, you will be sharing a twin room with another client (of the same gender).
Supporting you on your holiday will be an experienced member of the YellowWood Guiding team. They will be joined by local city guides in Addis and Ayuba, our local hiking guide in the Bale Mountains, will join the team for the duration of the trek.
This ensures you the perfect balance of information and support on your trip; your Ethiopian guides offer insight into local life and customs, as well as routes during hiking, whilst your YellowWood guide ensures the smooth running of your adventure.
Porters and camp staff all ensure that you are well supported and secure on this holiday during the camping part of your adventure.
Your group will be any number from our minimum group size of 3 or 4, up to a maximum of 12 clients. This number works really well with the ratio of guides, and ensures the optimum level of service to you during your adventure.
We get clients booking alone, as couples and in small groups of friends. If you have a group of friends or family who are interested in having their own customised trip, then please let us know and we can cost it for you.
You are visiting the mountainous areas of Ethiopia and this is one of our more challenging itineraries involves hiking/trekking in the heat, at altitude and over some rough terrain. The camping is wild camping with only basic facilities. The hiking is at the natural pace of the group, with regular stops. As horses will be moving all your luggage and belongings, you will be carrying just a day pack and your water bottle. We highly recommend a filtration water bottle such as Aquapure Traveller.
To get the most of out of this adventure, you need to be a regular walker and in good physical condition so that you can enjoy consecutive days of hiking. You do not need to be experienced in trekking, however.
Horses will walk with the group so riding is an option if you are tired or feeling unwell.
As with all active holidays, the fitter you are the more you can relax and enjoy the stunning route, and the better you can cope with challenges such as the outside elements. Clients are advised to get in as much regular walking/ short runs before the trip as is convenient.
NB: If you have bought new hiking boots for this adventure, training is the right time to wear them in, not on the trip itself.
For general information on health issues in Ethiopia, please see the general information on Ethiopia, however, for this specific adventure, the following points are worth separate consideration.
Our guides are fully First Aid trained and there to support you.
The highest altitude that you will be experiencing in the Bale Mountains is at around 4400m, which can be difficult for people coming from lower altitudes. The summit of Mount Tuludimtu is at 4377m but other areas are around 3500m.
While we do our best to create an itinerary that allows for some time for acclimatising, altitude affects everyone differently, and to varying degrees, and the whole of the Sanetti Plateau is high. If you experience any of the following symptoms during this adventure, make sure to inform your guide and they will support you in descending to a lower altitude as soon as possible.
There is no malaria in Addis Ababa and in many places in the northern highlands (with the exception of Bahir Dar), as the malaria-carrying mosquitoes do not travel to higher altitudes, generally above 1800-2000m. For this reason it is also not present in the Bale National Park.
However, Malaria is present in lower-lying areas. We travel through these areas by car, en route from Addis to Bale Mountains National Park and back. The only guaranteed way not to contract malaria is to not get bitten by a malaria-carrying mosquito.
Suggested ways to avoid contracting malaria include:
Your YellowWood adventure starts at the airport in Addis Ababa on the start day of the trip. We understand that arriving into an unfamiliar airport can be very daunting, so we aim to give you as much information here as possible to help you prepare.
Flights are not included in the cost of your holiday, and whilst we are happy to help advise you, responsibility for booking the correct flights rests with you. We recommend that you use a comparison tool such as www.momondo.co.uk or www.skyscanner.net when searching for flights. We will send you a Flight Information Sheet with further pointers on which flights to book for your adventure.
In order to benefit from the natural and undisturbed beauty of the Bale Mountains, we need to be prepared to travel some distance, by road, to reach our destinations on this adventure. There are 2 days (Day 3 and Day 9) where you will be in private transport (minibus) travelling long distances to or from Addis, in order to reach the Bale Mountains National park. The roads are not always in great condition and the journey may be hot and dusty at times. However this is very much part of the adventure, and a wonderful opportunity to absorb the ambiance of South Central Ethiopia, so we ask you to embrace the travel days, as without it, we would not be able to access the remote areas we then enjoy.
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. As the situation in our destination countries can change, please do ensure you check regularly before your adventure. We also receive notifications direct from the FCO so we are always aware of the ‘status’ in our destination countries.
Bole International Airport (Addis Ababa) has reassuringly tight security measures and for this reason they do not allow any non passengers into the airport.
Fortunately, the Monarch Hotel has a small booth inside the airport so all you need to do is head to the booth and tell them you are a hotel guest, with YellowWood, and they will organise your shuttle transfer straight to the hotel (transfer of 20mins). Before you head to the Monarch desk however, you have a couple of jobs to do!
Toilets can be found in the arrivals lounge.
On arrival at the Monarch hotel, you should head to reception. You will be greeted by your guide at the hotel, and will be welcome to settle into your room.
You will be heading to a local restaurant for lunch and a trip briefing, once everyone has arrived.
Not sure which adventure is best for you? Dates or itinerary not quite fit?
+44 207 846 0197
History & Landscapes of Ethiopia
Ethiopia - Cultural
Thriving Addis, natural beauty of Simien & Bale Mountains and Awash National Park plus UNESCO Lalibela with its rock hewn churches.
Origin of Coffee Journey
Ethiopia - Cultural
From crop to cup: follow the journey of the coffee bean in the beautiful plantations of Kafa Biosphere Reserve, ending in thriving Addis.
Trails & Traditions of the Picos
Spain: Picos de Europa - Hiking
Stunning guided day walks in little known Picos National Park. 1 night in a mountain refuge. Charming Picos towns & Covadonga Basilica.
Select dates & add any extras or 'Add on' adventures. Complete our Booking Form
'Make Booking': You will be redirected to secure WorldPay to make your deposit (£200/$250/person) payment (receipted), if booking >56 days before your adventure or full payment if <56 days before your adventure. Your monies are held securely by the Travel Trust Association.
Your booking will show as 'pending' in your YellowWood online account.
Enter booking information for all guests in your party.
We will be in touch as soon as we are able, to confirm your booking or discuss any availability limitations. Do not book transport/flights until we have emailed you to confirm your booking (receipt of your booking form is not confirmation). We will change the status of your final invoice from 'Pending Approval' to 'Outstanding', when it becomes payable online.
This payment is due 56 days before departure date (we send reminders).
Contact us with any questions about your adventure or booking.
+44 207 846 0197
To help you choose the right adventure for you, we have given each itinerary a grading that relates to the level of Walking / Trekking you will experience during the trip. This grading can be found on the Yellow map on the adventure page of the website.
All of our trips involve a level of general activity so are designed for people who are in good health, enjoy the outdoors, and have a taste for adventure and some level of fitness. As will be clear from our destinations, the climate (and altitude) may be different to that which you are used to, so please take this into consideration when choosing the most suitable holiday.
Please read our Adventure Itinerary & Essential Information for more information and don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to chat through whether you have found a suitable adventure for you.
Get in touch via our Enquiry form to check our availability, discuss the adventure and check we can meet your needs.
Complete our Enquiry Form; contact details, additional requirements (eg diet or health requirements) & questions you may have. Include as much information as you are able to, so we can help you with the detail you are looking for
Click on 'Send Enquiry' (receipted).
We will be in touch as soon as we are able, to answer your questions and help you plan your adventure.
+44 207 846 0197