Gray countries with texture denote areas of future engagement.


Spectacular scenery as far as the eye can see

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Bale Mountains


  • Quick Facts:


    221,962 hectares (857 sq. mi.)

  • Key Landmarks

    Bale Mountains National Park

    Harenna Forest

    Tullu Dimtuu Mountain


Located southeast of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, the Bale Mountains are truly special—with so much diversity in geography and wildlife, it’s no wonder it has been named to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. This undulating landscape ranges from glacial lakes and swamps to volcanic ridges and peaks—and is inhabited by endemic species like the gelada baboon, the Walia ibex and the endangered Ethiopian wolf.

Tags: East Africa, Ethiopia


Natural resources are being stretched thin.

A steadily expanding Ethiopian population is placing considerable strain on the Bale Mountains. Overgrazing is one of the most formidable threats, with livestock grazing ranges imposing on habitats for key species like the Ethiopian wolf, and destroying essential highland vegetation.

New neighbors are introducing new threats.

As more and more humans have settled in and around the Bale Mountains, they have brought domestic dogs with them. This poses a significant threat to the Ethiopian wolf—the world’s rarest canine—as dogs pass on diseases like rabies and canine distemper. Outbreaks of disease have dramatically reduced the Bale Mountains’ wolf population, which is the largest in the world. 


Our solutions to safeguard this essential diversity:

  • Encourage conservation with financial incentives.

    Community-owned and operated tourism facilities provide local populations with an alternative source of income, reducing their dependence on environmentally exploitative practices. Through a loan from AWF’s African Wildlife Capital, the Bale Mountain Lodge is helping communities appreciate the economic value in protecting local flora and fauna, while simultaneously raising the bar for national tourism standards.

  • Enlist the help of local change agents.

    As part of our Urgent Response Fund efforts, AWF is engaging local communities as “Wolf Ambassadors” via the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme. In this role, community members will monitor wolves, introduce a report system to understand the causes of livestock predation by carnivores, and undertake rabies vaccinations for domesticated dogs to prevent disease outbreaks from spreading to the Ethiopian wolves.


Explore some of our related projects.

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