Bale Mountains are formed from lava outpouring of the Miocene and Oligocene geological periods. The lavas covered the underlying rock formations. This area has varied climate as a result of variation in altitude. It gains 8 months of rainfall, from March to October. The highland part gets on average 1200 mm rain per annum. The temperature ranges from –15 to +260c.
Day 1: Drive to Awassa. En route, stop at lake Ziway for bird watching. This lake is the northern most of the rift valley lakes. Boat trip to the Island of Debre Gelila is possible. This island was the sanctuary of the original Ark of the Covenant in the 10th century that was brought from Axum for fear of the attack of the anti-Christian Queen, Yodit Gudit. The nearby Abyata-Shalla Park is important for bird watchers, even said as bird watchers paradise for the presence of several species of birds. Flamingoes and Pelicans are the charismatic species of the lakes. O/N Hotel, Awassa.
Day 2: After breakfast, drive to Goba (175 km.), picnic lunch at Adaba. Stop at Dinsho, the head quarter of the Park for game viewing. The endemic Mountain Nyala, and Warthog can be seen in herds. The other endemic mammal Menelik’s bush buck, Red buck, and several species of birds can be seen in the lush forest dominated by the indigenous trees of Juniperous procera and the endemic one Haginia abyssinica. O/N Wabi-Shebelle hotel.
Day 3: After breakfast, drive to Sof Omer cave (123km.) south of Goba. On the way one can enjoy the contrasting highland behind and, the lowland waiting ahead. River Weyb that formed the cave passes under the natural arch of rock for about one and half kilometer. Enjoy the cave by which nature has demonstrated its architectural skill. This area is important to bird watching as well. Then, drive back to Goba for dinner and overnight in a hotel.
Day 4: After breakfast drive to Senate plateau through the Afro-montane forest that is dominated by plants like Giant heath, Red-hot poker, etc and the Afro-alpine moorland dominated by; everlasting, Giant lobelia, and mosses. Mammals like the endemic Ethiopian wolf, Giant mole rat, and birds like the endemic Blue winged goose, Egyptian goose, Lammergeier, etc can be seen. Trek or drive to Tulu Dimtu (4377m.a.s.l.) the second highest peak in the country. After picnic lunch, drive back to Goba for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: After breakfast drive to Addis Ababa. En route, visit one of the crater lakes at Debre Zeit.
Note: This tour can be extended to Harar or to South Omo.