The journey to Dodola takes your through some sensational landscapes in southern Ethiopia, craggy peaks, waterfalls, and streams. After the rainy season, a festival of colour arrives, bringing red-hot poker and yellow and blue wildflowers set against a backdrop of lush green vegetation and trees. Dodola is perfect hiking and trekking. The mountain scenery with it’s high altitude natural forest and Afro-alpine moorland, are attractive. Amazing juniper and hagenia forests protect a variety of birds including Rouget’s rail, black-winged lovebird and Abyssinian longclaw. Colubus monkeys can be seen sitting casually in the trees. The forest gives way at 3,200 metres to open moorland of St John's wort and heather, along with giant thistles and giant lobelias dotted on the mountain sides and through the plains. The full five night, six day trek will take you round a circuit of five mountain huts from west to east: Wahoro, Angafu, Adele, Mololicho and Duro. If your time is short, then a one, or two day, trek can be arranged. The altitude is high and trekking on horseback is a lovely way to move around the mountains.
What is so fantastic about this trek?
This trek was established by the IFMP (Integrated Forest Management Project), with implementation by GTZ (Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit), as a non-profit activity aimed at protecting, and conserving what remains of the precious Afro-mountain forest. The project has generated community earnings and employment from tourism by ensuring that each of the huts are run by locals of the area and that payment for staying at the huts is given directly to the keeper. Similarly, the same for the hire of horses: each leg of the circuit has fresh horses brought and payment is to each of the owners, as horses are changed over. This whole, simple process makes the tour inexpensive as there are no travel companies involved for profit and enables the local population to take responsibility of the precious mountains. We highly recommend this trek.
The Forest Management Project (IFMP)
Since 2005 the Integrated Forest Management Project Adaba-Dodola (IFMP) has become a unit under the GTZ-SUN (Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit- Sustainable Utilization of Natural Resources) for Food Security Oromia program. This is a new arrangement under the Ethio-German development cooperation programme. The GTZ-SUN Dodola office is a technical cooperation project of the Governments of Ethiopia and Germany, which started in 1995. Its mission is to develop a feasible approach for the conservation of natural forests in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia.
Geographically Ethiopia is stunning. The landscape is dominated by the dramatic Ethiopian Highlands with peaks of 4000m or higher. The country is bisected by the Rift Valley, which starts at the Red Sea, to the North East, and continues south to Mozambique in southern Africa.