The next morning started with a pre-breakfast bird walk with James Nungi, the resident naturalist. James was incredible and not only did he impart fascinating facts about the birds but also about the plants and trees of the park as well. Having been in Ethiopia for 8 years he has an encyclopedic knowledge of the area.
After a delicious breakfast of scotch pancakes, fresh fruit, eggs, homemade peanut butter and delicious local honey, we split into different groups with some of us going to the Dolomena market, some going on a walk to see the Riva waterfall and village and some just relaxing at the lodge enjoying the stunning surroundings and birdlife.
I opted for the waterfall and village walk which proved to be an excellent decision. Riva, the local village is the most immaculate village I’ve seen with neat fences of bamboo and rolling green hills. Brook, our guide was brilliant telling us all about the forest as we walked through it but also with a wicked sense of humour, which kept us all, entertained. It took us about 20 minutes to walk to the waterfall which was stunning and would provide a perfect place for a (v chilly!) swim.
Our second BML guide, Hakrim, came from Riva village and was very proud to show us around his village. The tour ended with us being invited in for coffee and local honey in one of their huts, which also doubles us as a (evidently very popular!) café. There we were fed with the most delicious fresh bread and honey and freshly brewed coffee.
We all rendezvoused back at the lodge for lunch and exchanged anecdotes of our varying morning experiences. Amazingly, after all that amazing bread and honey, I still managed to find room for lunch at the lodge which was a traditional feast of tibs, wat and injera along with fresh tomato & red onion salad.
After lunch again we split off into different groups with one bunch attempting to climb Mt Gujeralle and one going on a horse ride. Having climbed the mountain last year I took a slightly more leisurely activity of horse riding. The people of this part of Ethiopia are horsemen and I was pleased to see the horses looking very healthy and well looked after. It was lovely to ride through the forest and being greeted by enthusiastic waves from the local children.
We were due to be treated to a honey harvesting show later in the afternoon but unfortunately the heavens opened so instead we all sat around the roaring log burner and chatted instead accompanied by the BML gorgeous pet dogs, Lucy & Mass!