One Park, Many Worlds

Travel Directory

Though all concern has been taken in obtaining up-to-date information, information contained in the directory will certainly change. Please do not hesitate to inform us of any incorrect or out of date information at info@balemountains.org.

* Biggest market of the week

Adaba-Dodola

Tourist Information

  • Adaba-Dodola Ecotourism Office: Located in Dodola town in the compound of the Oromia Wildlife and Forest Enterprise. Tel: +251 (0) 226660700.

Awash National Park

Accommodation

  • Awash Waterfall Lodge: Single, double, twin and triple rooms available. Singles cost 70 USD, doubles $80 US, twin $100 US, and triple $110 US. Food ranges from 80 to 150 Birr excluding VAT and service charge. Advanced booking is required a suggested one month prior. Tel: +251 (0) 116530245,+251 (0)930096789.
  • There are also two campgrounds. Camping fees are the same as in BMNP.
  • Accommodations on a basic level can be found in the town of Awash, 15km from the park.

Bale Mountains National Park

Accommodation

  • Bale Mountain Lodge: In the Katcha clearing of the Harenna forest is the Bale Mountain Lodge, undoubtedly the best accommodation in the Bale area. The lodge boasts 15 double rooms and offers activities in and around the clearing related to the forest flora and fauna. A resident naturalist is on hand to provide advice and information and the lodge is an excellent place from which to explore the plateau, forest and valley from the comfort of a modern and welcoming lodge. Booking is required in advance as the lodge is often full. Website: www.balemountainlodge.com, Tel: +251 (0) 912790802.
  • Dinsho Self-Help Lodge: this is a basic lodge located within the park headquarters. See ‘Logistics’ on page 55 for more information.
  • Kessan Lodge: This tukul-style lodge plans to begin construction in early 2014.
  • Bale Mountains National Park Headquarters: Tel: +251 (0) 221190758.

Delo-Mena

Restaurants

• Café Central (Kaaffee Seentiraal): Serves breakfast foods including scrambled eggs and omelets as well as coffee, tea and soft drinks throughout the day.
Tel: +251 (0) 226680031.

• See also hotels

Accommodation

  • Ganale Hotel: For 40-50 Birr you can spend the evening in a quiet, clean but basic hotel with a shared shower and toilet. Attached, there is a restaurant that serves Ethiopian food. 7 rooms; Tel: +251 (0) 912106523.
  • Hotel Ganat: Located in the center of town, 40-50 Birr will provide you a clean room with mosquito netting and a window facing a restaurant serving Ethiopian food. Showers are shared. 12 rooms; Tel: +251 (0) 226680059.
  • Café Central (Kaaffee Seentiraal): 40-50 Birr for a double bed with shared showers. 7 rooms Tel: +251 (0) 226680031.

Other

  • Culture and Tourism Office: +251 (0) 226680248
  • Police: +251 (0) 226680007; +251 (0)226680124
  • Administration: +251 (0) 226680005; +251 (0) 226680023
  • Markets: Wednesday, Saturday*
  • Bus Station: Located on a side street across from the Ganat Hotel on the left. Buses leave early morning on Sunday and Thursday to Negele-Borena. It is recommended to buy your tickets the day before.
  • EVDO & CDMA access not available.

Dilla

Dilla is a larger, bustling town with wide cobblestone streets. It has an Awash International Bank, Bank of Abyssinia, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and Dashen Bank with an ATM, as well as several fuel stations. There are also several attractions to explore from Dilla.

Other

  • Culture and Tourism Office: +251 (0) 463312693
  • Police: +251 (0) 463314414
  • Sights: Manchiti (Shappe) Rock Engravings: 8km from town is a partially collapsed frieze depicting about 50 cattle, thought to be at least 3,000 years old. Tutu Fela Stelae Field: This field of 300 densely clustered stelae is about 20km south of Dilla in a small village. Tututi Stelae Field: 8km south of the Tutu Fela Stelae turnoff lies 1,200 stelae founded some 1,000 years ago. Most have fallen over; although several that measure over 6m in height still stand. (You are better off finding a local guide, as the sights are tricky to find.)
  • EVDO & CDMA access available.
  • Markets: Monday through Sunday

Dinsho

Restaurants

  • Mana Nyaata Kaaffee Immish: This restaurant regularly serves fresh bayaynet (vegetable fasting dish) as well as great buna bowetet (coffee with milk) and tea. Coming from the park headquarters, turn right at the dirt road junction, the restaurant is on the left. 20 Birr per dish. Tel: +251 (0)911330354
  • Wolf’s Den Café: Known for coffee, tea and baked goods, the Wolf’s Den Café also serves fool (bean stew) for breakfast and bayaynet (vegetable dish) throughout the day. 20-30 Birr per dish. Tel: +251 (0) 911064898
  • Mana Nyaata If’naan: Serves fresh meat from an attached butcher shop, as well as coffee for reasonable prices. 20-50 Birr per dish.
  • Mana Nyaata Muslimaa: Located next to Mana Nyaata If’naan, this restaurant also serves fresh meat from an attached butcher shop with similar prices.
  • See also Hotels.

Accommodation

  • Genet Hotel: Located in the center of town on the main road, this hotel has basic rooms with a shared toilet for 40-50 Birr. There are no showers. The restaurant serves good food for 10 – 20 birr. 12 rooms. Tel: +251 (0) 913348903
  • See also Dinsho Self-Help Lodge

Other

  • Administration: +251 (0 221191139
  • Police: +251 (0) 221190980
  • Commercial Bank of Ethiopia: Exchanges US Dollars, Euros, and British Pounds. Tel: +251 (0) 221191310, 311, 312.
  • Agriculture and Rural Development Office: Located on the left side of the main paved road when heading into town from the park headquarters. Fishing permits can be obtained from here. Open Monday-Friday. Tel: +251 (0) 221191022.
  • Markets: Tuesday* and Saturday.
  • EVDO & CDMA access not available.

Dire Sheik Hussein

Restaurants

  • Wessen Restaurant: Located on the left side of the main road when coming into town, the Wessen Restaurant is the only building with a sign. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as soft drinks and tea. The food is freshly cooked. Pasta and chicken are available upon request. Dishes range from 10-20 Birr. Tel: +251 (0) 924571886, 87

Other

  • Culture and Tourism Office: Follow the main road and take the last road on the right before the shrine. They provide a free campsite as well as a bathroom. Check with the Culture and Tourism Office for exact dates of the pilgrimage as the dates of the festival rely on the lunar calendar. Tel: +251 (0) 923268412
  • Markets: Thursday
  • EVDO & CDMA access not available.

Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA)

  • Tel: +251 (0) 115514389; +251 (0) 115151426; +251 (0)115546810; +251 (0)115502480.
  • Website: www.ewca.gov.et
  • Email: e.w.c.o@ethionet.et; info@ewca.gov.et

Geralle National Park

  • 102km from Negele-Borena.
  • Park Warden – Mamo Alemu. Tel: +251 (0) 91292200.

Goba

Restaurants

  • Orion Café and Restaurant: Located on the first floor of the Amara building on the right side of the main road from Robe. Serving great Ethiopian food in a lively, local setting. Tel: +251 (0) 922505031
  • Internet Café: Coming from Robe, make a left onto the side street across from the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, shortly after you will find it on your right side, next to the Flamingo Cafe. A bit of a misnomer, it does not have Internet, but serves excellent fool (bean stew with scrambled eggs) breakfast and is able to make coffee when the power is out!
  • Salem Café: Located on the left side of the main road coming from Robe, Salem Café was recently renovated and upgraded. They boast the best pastries in town as well as great coffee and tea.
  • Turetogonech Tej House: Drink tej (local honey wine) with local and retired military men. A bit hard to find, located by the roundabout behind a lot of trees.

Accommodation

  • Orion Café: For 60 Birr you can spend the night in a single room with a shower above the Orion Café. Inquire and pay in the restaurant. 13 rooms.Tel: +251 (0) 922505031.
  • Bekele Hotel: A quieter hotel off the main road with attached butcher shop offering Ethiopian dishes. A double room with a common shower is 40 Birr for Ethiopians and 70 Birr for foreign visitors. 11 rooms; Tel: +251 (0) 226610610.
  • Baltena Hotel: Also with an attached butcher shop cooking up Ethiopian dishes, this hotel costs 20-35 Birr for a room with 6 Birr communal shower. 20 rooms. Tel: +251 (0) 226611189.
  • Wabe Shebele Hotel: Located 2km down the main road towards Robe, this is the nicest hotel in the Goba. Rooms are large and clean with hot showers. The attached restaurant serves both Ethiopian and International dishes, lunch and dinner costs 88 Birr for a three-course meal. Single rooms costs 404 Birr for foreign visitors and 253 Birr for Ethiopian visitors. Doubles are 455 Birr for foreigners and 363 Birr for Ethiopians. Breakfast is included in all room rates. 47 rooms; Tel: +251 (0) 226610041, 262

Other

  • Culture and Tourism Office: Located on the hill past the roundabout. Tel: +251 (0) 226612394.
  • Police: Located by the bus station. Tel: +251 (0) 226612008.
  • Markets: Monday, Wednesday*, Friday and Saturday.
  • Bus Station: Buses to Addis (two per day) and Shashemene (one per day) leave early in the morning. It is recommended to buy a ticket a day ahead.
  • Banks: Commercial Bank of Ethiopia is located on right side of main road from Robe in the middle of town. They will exchange American currency above 10 USD.
  • Bale Art Gallery: Artisan and owner, Ibrahim Safi, creates wonderful and unique works of art including paper mache, leather goods and curtains. Located near the Wabe Shebele Hotel, behind the Red Cross. Tel: +251 (0) 226611777
  • Bale Beauty Nature Club: Origin of much of the beautiful artwork seen in the Bale area, the Bale Beauty Nature Club is home to a large Environmental Library and Resource Center. They also have a riverside campsite, tree nursery and nature trail. Library Tel: +251 (0) 958402361.
  • There are fuel stations as well as a hospital.
  • EVDO & CDMA access available.

Ginner

Restaurants

  • Mana Fooni Marab: Located on the right side of the main road, they serve meat from the attached butcher as well as soft drinks and beer from the bar in the back. Food is good and very reasonably priced.
  • Alem Bar and Restaurant: Serves excellent and reasonably priced shiro and bayaynet. Located across from Mana Fooni Marab, adjacent to the Ayele Hotel.
  • Kurru Café: Located on the left side of the road, noticeable by the big, pointed red tent, is a popular spot serving the best coffee and tea in town.

Accommodation

  • Bale Tourist Hotel: Located on the left side of the main road when coming into town from Jarra. Rooms costs 60 -70 Birr and are basic and clean with hot showers included. Attached is a butcher and restaurant serving Ethiopian dishes as well as pasta. Tel: +251 (0) 226640104
  • Goofa Hotel: Newly constructed, this hotel is located in the center of town on the way to Sof Omar. Rooms are clean and cost 60-80 Birr. 26 rooms; Tel: +251 (0) 226640464

Other

  • Police: +251 (0) 226640027
  • Markets: Saturday* and Thursday
  • Banks: Oromia International Bank, Awash Bank, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Cooperative Bank of Oromia.
  • There is a hospital and fuel station.
  • EVDO & CDMA access not available.

Goro

A quaint town, serving as a stop over point from Sof-Omar to Robe, has a lively open-air market on Mondays and Thursdays* and is known for its spices.

Accommodation

  • Beza hotel, located across from the Holy Savior Church (Medhanialem) has decent rooms in a quiet compound for reasonable prices.
  • Central Hotel, in the center of town also serves Ethiopian dishes as well as pasta. Tel: +251 (0) 224470043.

Other

  • There is also a Commercial Bank of Ethiopia in town.

Hager Maria

  • The town has several banks, including Awash International Bank, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, and Abyssinia Bank. There is also a fuel station.
  • Hager Mariam Hotel: Pleasant outdoor seating centered around a fountain with mini tukols (traditional Ethiopian huts) and an outdoor coffee ceremony station. Rooms with twin beds cost 180 Birr for Ethiopians and 360 Birr for foreigners. Rooms with double beds cost 200 Birr for Ethiopians and 400 Birr for foreigners. 37 rooms; Tel: +251 (0) 464430221
  • Market: Wednesday*
  • EVDO & CDMA access available.

Jarra

A good town to stop for a hot coffee, Jarra also has a Commerical Bank of Ethiopia.

Negele-borena

Restaurants

  • Tekle Salem Grocery: This large restaurant specializes in meat. Place your order with the butcher in the front and take your number to your seat. There are two well-equipped bars, coffee ceremony room, as well as indoor and outdoor seating. 70 Birr per kilo of meat. Call in advance to arrange a coffee ceremony. Tel: +251 (0) 913414903.
  • See also hotels.

Accommodation

  • Ethiopia Hotel: Currently under renovation, this two-story hotel with an open courtyard charges 70 Birr for a clean room with a common shower. 19 rooms; Tel: +251 (0) 464450607.
  • Nyaali Hotel: Located across from Tekle Selam, there is an attached restaurant serving Ethiopian food as well as simple European dishes. Rooms costs 70-100 Birr with a private shower and common toilet. 16 singles.Tel: +251 (0) 464451582
  • Giroosarii Tsagaa: A courtyard style hotel, a bit off the main road, charging 50 - 60 Birr for a quiet room with a shower and shared toilet. There is an attached restaurant serving Ethiopian food, though European meals are available upon request. 10 rooms; Tel: +251 (0) 464451223.
  • Green Hotel: A clean and popular hotel with tourists and a restaurant attached serving good local dishes and simple European dishes. Rooms with a shared toilet and private shower costs 120 – 140 birr for foreign visitors and 60 – 70 Birr for Ethiopian visitors. Rooms with communal shower and toilet cost 80 Birr for foreign visitors and 50 Birr for Ethiopian visitors. 20 rooms; Tel: +251 (0) 464450374

Other

  • Police: +251 (0) 464451344
  • Culture and Tourism Office: +251 (0) 464452425
  • Markets: Tuesday*, Saturday*
  • Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Oromia International Bank, fuel station and a hospital.
  • EVDO & CDMA access available.

Mecharra

Restaurants

  • Lamarot Hotel: Although not a hotel, this restaurant is located on the main road on the right hand side when entering town from Nazret. An attached butcher shop sits in the outdoor seating area from where they serve good meat dishes. They also sometimes provide fasting dishes (vegan) on Wednesdays and Fridays. Meat is 80 Birr per kilo. International dishes can be made upon prior request. Tel: +251 (0) 255570117

Accommodation

  • Jebenga Hotel: A peaceful, adequate hotel located near the bus station, rooms with a communal shower cost 40 - 60 Birr.

Other

  • Police: +251 (0) 255455394
  • Markets: Saturday*
  • There is a fuel station, post office, Awash Bank and Oromia International Bank.
  • EVDO & CDMA access not available.

Rira

Rira is a small village located within the Harenna forest in the Bale Mountains National Park. There is no running water or electricity; quiet nights are broken only by the occasional call of owls or hyenas.

Restaurants

  • Mana Nyaata Aman: One of only two restaurants in town, located on the right hand side of the road coming from the Sanetti plateau, serving only ambesha and gomen – a flat bread with steamed kale for 10 Birr. Dine either in a dining room, outdoors with the chickens or in the tukol where the food is cooked. Also serves delicious tea spiced with wild thyme.

Accommodation

  • Harenna Forest Hotel and Cultural Lodge: Located across the street from Mana Nyaata Aman restaurant, where a small selection of traditional Bale Oromo food and simple international dishes are available. Crafts handmade within the village are also available for purchase. Rooms cost 100-150 Birr. There is also a designated camping ground for 30-50 Birr per tent. No showers. It is advised to bring your own sleeping bag. There are 9 rooms. Tel: +251 (0) 912740350
  • See also Bale Mountain Lodge on page 60

Other:

  • Honey & Coffee Harvesting: contact the Bale Mountain Lodge
  • Markets: Tuesday, Friday*
  • EVDO & CMDA access not available.

Robe

Restaurants:

  • Haani Café: Serves good coffee and breakfast foods (fool, omelet, firfir) as well as lunch and dinner foods including some international dishes such as burgers and club sandwiches in a pleasantly bustling outdoor seating area. Service is particularly fast and friendly. Located on the main paved road near the roundabout.
  • Mana Nyata Jiddaa: A Muslim restaurant known for meat dishes, mainly a Yemeni dish called hanid, of roasted goat or lamb thigh and rice. Coming into town from Dinsho, it is located on the main paved road on the right hand side about a kilometer into town.
  • Shamshat Café: Serves excellent coffee and breakfast foods as well as lunch and dinner including some international dishes such as spaghetti and rice with vegetables. Located 200m from the main road across the Waqo Gutu roundabout on the gravel road to Sof-Omar. Tel: +251 (0) 226650868
  • Gojo Traditional Bar and Restaurant: The only traditional restaurant in Robe known for Ethiopian traditional dishes. They also provide European dishes upon request. Located across the Waqo Gutu roundabout on the road to Sof- Omar near the Venus Pension.

Hotels:

  • Grum Guest House: Located in the Total fuel station on the dirt road leading to Sof-Omar, this two-story hotel has rooms with basic essentials and is clean. All rooms (except one) are singles, and hot showers are included in all rooms. Rooms cost 160 Birr for foreign visitors and 100 Birr for Ethiopians. An attached restaurant is to open soon and will serve local dishes as well as basic European dishes. 20 rooms; Tel: +251 (0) 226650617
  • Abadama Hotel: Located on the main paved road towards Goba, this hotel is peaceful and surrounded by gardens. Rooms cost 90 – 130 Birr for Ethiopian visitors and 250 Birr for foreign visitors. They are spacious and clean and include a hot shower. 19 rooms. Tel: +251 (0) 228650260/920202543
  • Venus Pension: Located off the main paved road 200m from the Waqo Gutu roundabout on the road to Sof-Omar, this peaceful pension is surrounded by gardens. Rooms cost 92 – 150 Birr. The rooms are clean and include a hot shower. 14 rooms; Tel: +251 (0) 226652141

Other:

  • Police: +251 (0) 226610227
  • Culture and Tourism Office: +251 (0) 226651066
  • Administration: +251 (0) 226651532/31/25; +251-(0)226650060
  • Bus Station: Several buses leave daily early in the morning for Addis, minibuses leave throughout the day Goba and Dinsho.
  • Markets: Thursday*
  • Car rent: it is possible to hire a minibus or 4WD for day excursion trips around Bale from the Shamshat Café. Contact Babe Oumr: Tel: +251 (0) 226650868.
  • Banks: Awash International Bank, Commerical Bank of Ethiopia, Oromia International Bank, Business and Construction Bank.
  • EVDO & CDMA access available.

Sof-OMar

  • Entrance fee: 150 Birr for foreign visitors and 50 Birr for Ethiopian visitors; a guide is mandatory and costs 50 Birr. For 20 Birr, camping is permitted anywhere and firewood can be acquired for around 30 Birr. All of this can be arranged at the first hut on the right after you make the turn off from the main road. Bring a flashlight. For information contact the guide association head, Abdul Jabar Ahmed: +251 (0)924601614.
  • Accessibility by public transport: Buses leave from Robe to Goro (55km), from Goro you can take a bus to Sof Omar (41km). Buses are much more frequent on market days.
  • Markets: Saturday

Yabelo

Hotels:

  • Yabelo Motel: Located on the main road junction from Negele-Borena 2.5km outside of town, this large hotel is a pleasant place to spend the night. The restaurant serves both Ethiopian and international dishes in an outdoor garden and covered veranda. They also have an Internet café. Twin rooms cost 50 USD (foreign visitors), or 300 Birr (Ethiopians); newly renovated single rooms cost 35 USD (foreign visitors) or 225 Birr (Ethiopians); older single rooms cost 30 USD (foreign visitors) or 150 Birr (Ethiopians); a family room costs 100 USD (foreign visitors) or 500 Birr (Ethiopians). 35 rooms; Tel: +251 (0) 464460785, 86, 88.
  • Borena Lodge: Located 5km before the junction from Negele-Borena and 2.3km isolated off the main road; the sophisticated and chic Borena Lodge consisting of ten private bungalows draped in bougainvillea with large covered balconies. The rooms and bathrooms are spacious and impeccably clean, each outfitted with a desk and stocked mini-fridge. Rooms cost 110 USD for two beds. They also have rooms with three beds. Tel: +251 (0) 916984370; +251 (0) 913388983.
  • Yabelo Hawi Hotel: Down the road from the Yabelo Motel on the left side of the street, Hawi Hotel charges 300 Birr for a double room with shower and toilet. They also have a restaurant, which serves both Ethiopian and international dishes. 15 rooms; Tel: +251 (0) 464461114; +251 (0) 916023674.
  • There are also many budget options in town, all of similar quality. 69

Other:

  • Culture and Tourism Office: +251 (0) 464460195
  • Police: +251 (0) 464460152
  • Markets: Tuesday*
  • There are several fuel stations. Banks include the Oromia International Bank and Commercial Bank of Ethiopia.
  • EVDO & CDMA access not available.

Yabelo Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Located 10km from the Yabelo Junction, the sanctuary has more than 38 species of mammals, the most abundant being Burchell’s zebra.
  • Park office: +251 (0) 464460087

Yirga Chaffe

Generally visited only for a quick stopover, Yirga Chaffe is a small, subdued town, known for its phenomenal Yirga Chaffe coffee grown at high altitudes. There is a Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and fuel station.

  • Lewison Hotel serves good food and coffee, and also has a buffet. Tel: +251 (0) 46320154
  • EVDO & CDMA access available.

Yirgalem

  • Aregash Lodge: Clearly signposted on the road to Shashemene, the lodge is 8km off the main road. Aregash Lodge is a collection of stylish private tukols (traditional Ethiopian huts). An excellent restaurant serving both Italian and Ethiopian dishes is supplied with ingredients fresh from the garden. A tukol for 1-2 people costs 60 USD, while a tukol for 3-4 people costs 90 USD. Lunch is a standard 150 Birr for adults and 68 Birr for kids; dinner is 170 Birr for adults and 80 Birr for kids. The lodge offers many excursions in the area. Tel: +251 (0) 115514254/82/90; email: alltour@ethionet.et

 

Bale Mountains National Park