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Bale Mountains National Park

Bale Mountains National Park (BMNP) boasts a spectacularly diverse landscape mosaic comprised of distinct ecosystems and habitats and associated biodiversity. The property covers an area of 215,000 hectares in the heart of the Bale-Arsi Massif in the south-eastern Ethiopian Highlands in Oromia National Regional State. Building upon much earlier efforts, the National Park has been legally protected and demarcated since 2014. The property includes the Africa’s largest area of afro-alpine habitat above 3,000 m above sea level (a.s.l.) with numerous glacial lakes, wetlands and moorlands.

Volcanic ridges and peaks tower above the plateau, most prominently Tullu Dimtu, Ethiopia’s second highest peak at 4,377 m a.s.l. Elsewhere in the park, extensive grasslands thrive next to various types of forests including tree heath, bamboo and juniper forests. Significantly, the southern slopes of the Bale Mountains descend dramatically into the famous Harenna Forest, the second largest moist tropical forest in Ethiopia, including patches of cloud forest.

This property protects a landscape mosaic of extraordinary beauty that is shaped by the combined forces of ancient lava outpourings, glaciation and the dissection by the Great Rift Valley. It features volcanic peaks and ridges, dramatic escarpments, sweeping valleys, glacial lakes, lush forests, deep gorges and numerous waterfalls, creating exceptional natural beauty. The property harbours diverse and unique biodiversity at ecosystem, species and genetic levels, and five major rivers originate within the Park, estimated to supply water and support the livelihoods of millions of people in and beyond Ethiopia.