Simien Mountain-10 Days

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10 days
We will meet you in the morning at Gondar Airport or your hotel in Gondar.
Adi Arkay
Min Age : 15+
Tour Details

The intrepid 1920s traveler Rosita Forbes declared it to be “the most marvelous of all Abyssinian landscapes “waxing Iyrical about its “stupendous crags” and “gorges of clouded amethyst “upon inscribing it is as a natural world heritage sites in 1979, UNESCO went one further by lauding it as “one of the world’s spectacular landscapes ,with jagged mountain peak deep valleys and Sharpe precipices dropping some 1.500m”.

Ethiopians know it is as the roof if Africa ,an awesome afro -Alpine Plateau of grassy Meadows and ericaceous moorlands that rise to 4,533M at Ras Dejen. to biologists, it is the most important biodiversity hotspot in northern Ethiopia ,populated by an alluring wealthy of endemic plants and animals, including the imperious Walia ibex ,golden -maned gelada baboon and endearing Ethiopian wolf. Birders know it as the most best place in the world to see the mighty lammergeyer, which is regularly observed soaring overhead ,displaying its 2-meter wingspan.The 412km2 Simien Mountains National Park is also ,unsurprisingly ,Ethiopia’s premier trekking and walking destination.


Hiking and trekking

The best way to see the simien mountains is in foot for these with limited time ,it is possible to drive along to he all -weather road running east from Buyit Ras to Chennek and exit the car for short walks ,or to do the 3-4hour round hike from Ayna meda to Imet Gogo.several overnight hikes are available.the 3-day hike connecting Sankaber ,Gich ,Imet Gogo and Ayna meda is recommended to those whose main interest is endemic wildlife such as geladas and Walia ibex. For peak -baggers, the more easterly hike to summit Ras Dejen, the country’s highest point ,could be undertaken as a 5days hike but a longer hike starting at Sankaber is recommended to acclimatise to the high altitudes it is possible to cover all hiking routes on mule back (no prior riding experience required ).A pack mule is strongly recommended to carry camping and other gear.

Did you know ?

The Walia ibex was held sacred by pre-Aksumite culture of the northern Ethiopia and is depicted on several 2,500-plus year old artefacts unearthed at Yeah and other sites of similar vintage.

The gelada is something of a living fossil :the only surviving member of a once wide -ranging Africa genus of grazing monkeys ancestral both to baboons and to the drills of the Western rainforest.

The lammergeyer is the only bird specialized in feeding on bone marrow,which comprise up to 90 percent of it’s diet, and is often obtained by dropping bones from great heights to break them open.

The Jewish kingdom of Beta Israel thrived in the simien area for several centuries prior to it’s conquest by Emperor Susenyos in 1627.


Geology and vegetation

The basaltic bedrock of the Simien Mountains comprise a vast done was uplifted as a result of tectonic activity, 75million years ago, to form a sheer escarpment rising above the plains to its north and east.Glacial activity and rain have since moulded the escarpment into a series of jagged pinnacles and buttresses overlooking countless massive canyons carved by rivers.most of the 412km2 area stands above 2000m and it includes more than a dozen peaks topping the 4000m mark.the afromontane vegetation includes more than 1200 plant species, of which three are endemic to the park. Above 3,700m, the dominant vegetation type is open grassland punctuated by spectacular giant lobelias that stand up to 10m high. Giant Heather trees and other ericaceous plants are the main vegetation type between the 3,000m and 3,700m contour.afromontane forest and juniper woodland naturally occur at lower altitude ,but this vegetation type has greatly reduced.

Endemic life

The Simien Mountains from the last remaining stronghold of the endemic Walia ibex, the only goat indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa. Associated with narrow cliff ledges, the ibex is absolutely unmistakable due to it’s massive decurved came seriously close to extinction in the 1960s, when the population dropped below 200,but a ban on hunting has seen it climb back to 1,200 in recent years.the park supports 20 percent of the global population of 250,000 gelada baboons, an Ethiopia endemic rendered unmistakable by the male’s flowing lion -lile mane and heart -shaped red chest patch.unique among living primates in that it needs predominantly on grass, the gelada has a complex harem-based social structure ,and groups if several hundred commonly seen by hikers. The Ethiopian wolf is less common here than it is a bale, but a population of around 50 individuals still makes the Simien Mountains the second-most important sanctuary for this endangered endemic.The wolf is occasionally seen east of Gich camp,but is rare further west. Other large mammal species includes Anubis baboon ,Hamadryas baboon, grivet monkey, Menelik’s bushbuck ,Klipspringer ,common jackal,spotted hyena and leopard.

Bird life

Simien Mountains National Park is one of northern Ethiopia’s key birding sites, with a checklist of 180 species that includes five Ethiopian endemics and an other 12 shared only with Eritrea. Many of these endemics are woodland grassland -associated endemics such as Ankober serin ,black -headed siskin and thick-billed raven ,as well as the cliff -loving Ruppell’s black chat and white-winged cliff chat.

However ,the simien’s true avian star is not an orange throat and crest.

The Simien Mountains are thought to support the world’s largest population of this year -threatened species,which is also known as the bearded vulture,and there is no better place in the world for close -up sightings -whether it is soaring effortlessly above the cliffs or raiding tourist camps.

Departure & Return Location

Gondar Airport or your hotel in Gondar.(Google Map)

Departure Time


Price Includes

  • Meals
  • Standard cars with air condition
  • Tour Guide
  • Entrance Fees
  • All transportation in destination location

Price Excludes

  • Domestic Flights
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Room Service Fees

What do you need?

  • Light (walking in the night)
  • Cloth , comfortable shoes (trekking shoes)
  • jacket
  • additional tour gears
What to Expect

You will most certainly encounter troops of the endemic Gelada Baboons and see them up-close. You may also see common jackal, klipspringer and more. There are a lot of birds such as Thickbilled Raven, Augar Buzard, Black Kites, Lammergayer and different plant species such as Abyssinian Rose, Erica Arboria tree, Ephorbia Species, St. Johns Worttree(Hypercumrevoltum) and so on.


Day 1Trek from Sankaber (3,250m) to Gich (3,600m): 5 – 6 hours

The trek starts with a gentle stroll through the Erica heather that hangs on white lichen and mosses, resembling an old man’s white beard.

Along the route keep an eye open to spot the elusive and elegant klipspringer. After 2-3 hours you will reach the viewpoint where you encounter the seasonal and impressive Jinibar waterfall. From there, you climb fairly steeply for an hour to reach the Jinbar valley and head down to the JinbarRiver at 3,190m. Have a picnic lunch in these majestic surroundings. On the way, keep an eye open for the rare and graceful lammergeyer, soaring in search of food. After a brief rest at the river ascend gradually on an undulating trail for 2-3 hours to the village of Gich – dotted by the traditional round thatched huts and home to the Muslim community. After the village, the trail then winds its way into the moorland where visitors will experience the highland flora of giant lobelia as you arrive at Gich camp.

Day 2 Imeg Gogo and the two peaks circuit: 4 – 5 hours

One of the most scenic and spectacular trails in the park, this route takes you to a viewpoint that rewards you with views of the remarkable shape of the landscape and canyon which are the result of geological upheaval between 60 – 70 million years ago. The first part of the hike is a gentle uphill walk of around 2 hours from Gich to the imetgogo viewpoint (3,926m). With some good luck, you may spot the iconic Ethiopian wolf. While sitting amongst the rocks at Imeg Gogo, you can see Ras Dejen in the distance.

Another hour’s walk through the Afroalpine meadow takes you to the Lobelia Valley, which is home to thousands of these giant plants. The trail then brings you to the second viewpoint: Saha (3,785m) with stunning views of the dramatic gorge and rock towers. This is ideal spot for lunch. After lunch and before the final ascent towards the camp, another 1 hour trek brings you to the final viewpoint of the day called kedadit (3,760m). After that, a 45-minute downhill stroll brings to the Gich campsite.

Day 3Trek from Gich to Chennek (3,600m): 7- 8 hours

The trek begins by ascending gradually for about 2 hours through the Afroalpine meadows. Next, you descend to where you’ll have impressive views of the gorge below imetgogo. The trail then winds its way to the lowest point and begins ascending to the peak Inateye (which means beloved mother in Amharic). You ascend fairly steeply at first for an hour and then more gradually for another hour to the highest point of the day at Inateye (4,070m). This area is an outstanding place to view birds, particularly raptors. Many interesting species can be seen here, among which are the tawny eagle, lammergeyer and augur buzzard.

Here you have a rewarding view of the Imeg Gogo summit, Bwhait pass and the surrounding escarpment and mountains. After a brief rest and lunch in this majestic spot, begin your 2-3 hour descent to the camp.

About 10-20 minutes before reaching camp stop at Kurbetemetaya to get the final and excellent view of the day’s trek and look for the first sighting of the cliff specialist walia ibex. Also keep your eyes peeled for geladas. Animals at this campsite have become accustomed to humans – please keep a distance and do not feed any of the animals.

Day 4Trek from Chennek to Ambiko (3,600m): 8- 9 hours

Your day begins at sunrise to give you enough time to explore the surrounding cliffs for good sightings of the Ethiopian endemic walia ibex. Then begin the tough 3-hour ascent to the top of the Bwhait pass (4,200m). This is the second highest point in the park and offers magnificent views of Bwhait peak, Berochwuha, Silki and the Lori village below.

This route is one of the most popular routes leading to the summit of Ras Dejen. This route has a total ascent of 945m, and a total descent of 1,400m. The highest point of the day is 4,200m and the lowest is 2,800m.

After 3 hours of hiking downhill from the pass you will be at Chiro Leba, a small rural village where you can mingle with local people and discover their ways of life. Another hour’s descent from the village takes you through mountain slopes and rocky hillsides covered by the endemic aloea plant to the Mesha river where Euphorbium candelabrum, a giant succulent tree, grows. From the river it takes about 1.5 hours of ascentto reach the Ambiko campsite.

Day 5 Trek to the Ras Dejen Peak (4,553m) and continue to Mentaber

At 4,553m, Mount Ras Dejen is Africa’s forth highest and Ethiopia’s highest mountain. The trek to the summit is 10- 12 hours of challenging trekking (6-7 hour ascent, 4-5 hour descent) but enormously rewarding. The ascent and descent is 1,300m.

The day begins before sunrise to give you ample time for trekking. The first 2-3 hours follow a rocky trail. The trail then starts to ascend more steeply and continues for another hour. From here to the summit it will take about 2 hours trekking through Afroalpine meadows. The trail winds its way into the moorland where everlasting flowers and helichrysum become dominant. The trail to the summit is obvious and easy until you make that final scramble and find yourself on the roof of Africa. Eventually, you’ll descend 4-5 hours to the Mentaber campsite.

Day 6Trek from Mentaber to Arekwazeye (3,600m): 7 hours

This trail is endowed with several famous mountain peaks, namely Kidus yared, waliakend, Silki and Berochwuha, This trail also exposes you to the beautiful mountain scenery. The trail begins walking across the hillside for about 3-4 hours as you ascend to the next pass at 3,580m.

From there you descend about 2 hours on a trail that brings you to the village of Arekwazeye. The campsite is situated in a pleasant spot on the foothill of Mt. Beorch whuha.

Day 07 Trek from Arekwazeye to Sona (3,020m): 4-5 hours

Begin your day with an hour’s walk uphill towards the Mt. Beorch whuha peak (4,272m). This beautiful peak rewards you with a glimpse of the stunning views of the rocky peaks of Imeg Gogo. Leaving the summit behind, you’ll join the main trail for a flat or downhill stroll.

You’ll pass through small villages and the Sona primary school until you reach the Sona campsite located on the riverside.

Day 08Trek from Sona to Mekarebya (1,900m): 5 - 6 hours

The day begins with a downhill walk to the Ansiya River (one of the tributaries of the Tekeze River that drains towards Sudan, and joins the Atbarah River.) Located at 1,975m, the river is surrounded by big fig trees. The descent is approximately 1,000m and takes 3 – 4 hours.

After you reach the river, you continue on flat ground for 2 – 3 hours. The trail offers splendid views of the riverine forest. The trail then winds its way into the lowland where visitors will experience the enormous, lowland flora that is now rare in Ethiopia.

The dominant tree on this route is Cordia africana, known for providing excellent shade for growing coffee, but also for its beauty.

In the western part of the country logs from this tree are used to make beehives and barrels for keeping tej (local honey wine). This route is also known for an abundance of birdlife such as the African paradise flycatcher, pin-tailed whydah, red and hemirpch hornbill.

Leaving behind the scattered tree zone you’ll arrive in the small village of Mekarebya and then to the campsite.

Day 09trek from Mekarebya to Mulit (2,050m): 5 – 6 hours

Begin the day’s walk by descending 1 hour to the river and continue on an undulating trail along the riverbed for 2 hours. From the lowest point of the day at 1,620m, begin a steep ascent for 2 hours on a rocky trail to Hawaza (table mountain in Amharic). Along this route is an impressive array of rock towers. From Hawaza continue on a flat path for 1- 2 hours to reach the very vibrant village of Mulit.

Day 10Trek from Mulit to Adi Arkay (1,665m): 2 hours

The shortest trek on the entire trip, takes you for 2 hours of a gentle stroll downhill to Adiarkay. The scenery and the valley of the lowland villages are attractive. Here, you can either take public transportation or arrange for a car to  meet you.