Above Dodola

  • Ethiopia South Bale Mts, Above Dodola, Dodola , Walkopedia

Key information: Above Dodola

  • Wonderful treks in the rugged mountains above this gateway town. Huge variety, from villages and farmland, to forest, shrubland, heath and alpine areas. 

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating85
  • Beauty33
  • Natural interest17
  • Human interest2
  • Charisma33
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating85

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Your choice
  • Maximum Altitude: 3,350m
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable


Dodola, a small town with a few lodges, sits on the main access road on the western side of the mountains. There are wonderful treks in the rugged mountains above (some argue with even better landscape than in the NP, although the wildlife is less abundant); this is tough and high waking, though, so you will want to be fit, or take a horse. 

The trails pass through farmland and forest, and tantalise with glimpses of juniper forest, heather moorland and alpine meadow as the plateau thrusts out of the lower agricultural areas. Encountering the local way of life in remote villages on the way is part of the delight of walking here. 

You can make day walks above Dodola, but the multi-dayers into the heart of this tremendous landscape are compulsory for the serious trekker. There are six lodges/tented camp you can walk between here, of varying distances apart. A lodge-to-lodge circuit between 5 and 7 days depending on whether you take in all the lodges/sites, and you can make shorter versions by doing part of the circuit or doing long days. 

The full trail ends at Adaba, east of Dodola on the main road. You can also head onward onto the Sanetti Plateau for longer, high-level trips. Options abound: you can create a special route with your guide to glean the benefits of his park knowledge and cultural insight.

The lodges are reasonably comfortable, but sleeping bags are a good idea and you need to cook for yourself. Longer treks thus require quite a bit of self-sufficiency, so come prepared or make a more organised trek. A guide is essential and support teams can be arranged. 

See our Bale Mountains page for more general and practical information and photos.

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Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.


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