Harenna Bamboo and Waterfall Trail:
Less than an hour’s walk from the center of Rira (in the Harenna forest) are two waterfalls, stacked almost on top of each other, tucked away in a narrow canyon filled with bamboo. The trail can either begin or end at the park sub-headquarters, located 1.5km south of the village center or at the Bale Mountain Lodge. Beginning and ending at the park sub-HQ, the round trip hike takes 2 hours. One way from the Bale Mountain Lodge to the waterfall (or opposite direction) takes 5-6 hours.
The hike takes you through mountain forests, descends steeply into the open range and then into the bamboo-filled canyon. The trail crosses the river on a natural land bridge, giving you a perfect view of the first, shorter waterfall. Following the trail to the left of the waterfall basin, you will climb up around the falls to the second waterfall. A large pool at the base of the second waterfall is a great spot for photos and offers a chance to soak your feet. Although chilly, the water is clean and ideal for a dip. Afterwards, continue up the loop trail out of the canyon for a birds-eye view of the falls as well as sweeping views to the south. Continue along the trail past a pair of inhabited huts and then cross a footbridge over the river and continue up to the sub-headquarters and the trailhead. Keep your eyes peeled for the black-and-white colobus monkey and the elusive Bale monkey as well as Menelik’s bushbuck. Birds in the area include the grey cuckoo shrike, Abyssinian catbird, Ruppell’s robin-chat, Abyssinian ground thrush, white-cheeked turaco and many more.