More than any other Park in Ethiopia, the Bale Mountains National Park is known for its wildlife. Over 60 mammal species and 260 bird species have been recorded here. The scenery may be less spectacular than the Simien Mountains’, but it is certainly no less beautiful. As you approach the park from Dodola, ridges to the east are punctuated with fortress like escarpments, while those to the north are gentler, their rounded rock pinnacles dotting the ridges like worn teeth protruding from an old man’s gums. Within the park, rivers cut deep gorges; alpine lakes feed streams; and water accepts gravity’s fate at several waterfalls. In the lower hills, Highlanders canter along century old paths on their richly caparisoned horses, and the abundant wildflowers, beautiful birds such as the Malachite and Tekezze sunbird flit about.
The park stretches over 2400 km2 and ranges in altitude from 1500 – 4377 meters. The Harenna Escarpment splits the park in to two, running fracture like from east to west. To the northeast of the escarpment lies the high altitude plateau known as Sanetti Plateau (4000 meters). The plateau is broken by a series of volcanic plugs and small peaks, including Tullu Deemtu, which at 4377meters is the highest point in southern Ethiopia.
To the south, the land gradually falls away from the plateau, and a thick heather belt gives way to heavily forested areas known collectively as the Harenna Forest.