Bale Mountains holiday in Ethiopia
Description of Bale Mountains holiday in Ethiopia
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetOur clients are fully briefed on the best environmental practices before travelling on this tour to Ethiopia. This adventure involves hiking through very natural environments and we work with the policy of ‘take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints’.
This means that we do not leave any foreign materials or waste in these environments from our camps, nor do we take any objects from the environment nor disturb its equilibrium by our presence or actions.
We do not approach wild animals that we see in abundance on this trip as they may then be forced to fight or flee, which can cause them or you injury.
Throughout this adventure, you will get the chance to spot mountain nyalas, huge warthogs and redback and bushback deer who often drop past to say hello, as well as an abundance of local birdlife and the cheeky Columbus monkey! Ethiopian red wolf can be seen either as solitary hunters or in small packs with their young.
We stay in local hotels in Addis Ababa and we camp in remote areas on the rest of this adventure which helps maintain the pristine landscape.
We spend 2 nights of the adventure in the Bale Mountains Eco Lodge, located in the forest wilderness lodge, deep within the Bale Mountain National Park (BMNP) of south-central Ethiopia.
The lodge supports strong sustainable policies around power, water and waste. Efficient appliances, such as heat-pump hot water heaters act as a reverse refrigeration, ensuring that the lodge minimises its power draw to ease power management issues. They also take water from the river and subject it to slow sand filtration and purification so that clients are able to drink water straight from the tap. Bale Mountain Lodge is also committed to minimising non-biodegradable waste through various methods.
Finally, we are very proud to have partnered with Water-To-Go, specialists in personal and expedition water purification, instantly, and on-demand. Their unique, 350L water bottles incorporate advanced filtration technology to convert even the dirtiest water to drinking water as you fill up.
Being able to produce safe drinking water from sources off the beaten track, of sometimes dubious quality, offers incredible benefits to our adventure travellers and eliminates the need for single-use plastic bottles. We subsidise this product to make it more accessible to you.
PeopleWe use our popular and charming local guide from Ethiopia on this adventure and he will help to explain the cultural necessities throughout the trip, in order not to offend, confuse or endanger any wildlife or the local villages and communities we encounter en route.
Many of our adventurers have talked to us about how best to support those experiencing poverty or with very little access to equipment and services. They ask what they can bring to donate or leave in the country after their trip. Our response has been to develop links with well-established local projects and charitable organisations that are sustainably benefitting the regions and communities that we visit.
In this itinerary, we include an opportunity to learn about Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. Set within the bustling capital city of Ethiopia is an unexpected haven of tranquillity: the Addis Ababa Hamlin Fistula hospital. Funded and directed by the charity Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, established in 1974 by Drs Reginald and Catherine Hamlin, the hospital is a world-class centre of excellence for treating obstetric fistula patients, and training obstetricians to specialise in this surgery. Rehabilitation programs assist former patients to reintegrate to village life. The organisation also has a preventative strategy that aims to eradicate obstetric fistula from Ethiopia, by providing trained midwives in the rural regions of the country.
In taking you on the path less travelled, your YellowWood adventure is taking you into remoter corners of Ethiopia. Here, in the small villages, there is often little or no midwifery support for women in labour. Girls and women may experience prolonged and difficult labour, leading to still-births, and obstetric complications such as fistulas, which go hand in hand with urinary incontinence. Ashamed of their symptoms, they may either isolate themselves or be spurned by their husbands, leading to utter loneliness and sorrow.
Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia provides stable employment for many local Ethiopians while also providing much-needed health services for women and girls. Their work on the ground is sustainable and enriching – run by Ethiopians, for Ethiopians.
They are proud of their facilities and welcome visitors to their hospital, to teach them about the obstacles faced by some women in more remote areas, and the progress they have made towards eradicating obstetric fistulas. We are invited as a group to learn about their work, and see first-hand the facilities at their Addis hospital, either during our first day Tour of Addis Ababa, or on the penultimate day of your adventure, when you travel back to the capital to ready for your homeward flight.
The visit is entirely optional, but offers a unique opportunity to understand more about life off the beaten track in Ethiopia, and a chance for us to reflect on what we can offer, be it a greater level of understanding, empathy and compassion, informing others of the realities that face these women, or making a donation of time or money to the Hamlin Fistula cause.