Trek through Ethiopia’s dramatic Simien Mountains - 12 Days

The dramatic skyline of peaks and jagged volcanic plugs which tower over the highland plateau of the Simien Mountains compete with rugged gorges and deep gullies to form what is, arguably, the most awe-inspiring landscape in Africa. AS we trek through this distant mountain range we pass small hamlets where villagers eke out an existence from the limited arable land. We may come across large troops of Gelada baboons foraging on the escarpment; and, with luck, spot Walia ibex and Ethiopian wolves.

Highlights

  • Castles of Gondar
  • Trekking through dramatic scenery
  • Endemic flora & fauna
  • Remote mountain communities

The dramatic skyline of peaks and jagged volcanic plugs which tower over the highland plateau of the Simien Mountains compete with rugged gorges and deep gullies to form what is, arguably, the most awe- inspiring landscape in Africa. As we trek through this distant mountain range we pass small hamlets where villagers eke out an existence from the limited arable land. We may come across large troops of Gelada baboons foraging on the escarpment; and, with luck, spot Walia ibex and Ethiopian wolves. 11:50 ‘_o NS Se ll 8% & range we pass small hamlets where villagers eke out an existence from the limited arable land. We may come across large troops of Gelada baboons foraging on the escarpment; and, with luck, spot Walia ibex and Ethiopian wolves.

Harar and Lalibela extensions available

Day 1
Arrive Addis Ababa; half-day city tour

Please note that if you are being picked up at the airport (either on the group transfer or private transfer) you will have to exit the terminal to find our representative with the Ethiopia board. You may see people with signs inside the terminal but they are generally people with special permission such as the UN, Government or hotels with desks inside the terminal. In the afternoon we go on a Sightseeing tour that takes us to the Ethnographic Museum and the Church of the Trinity where Haile Selassies’ remains now lie.Tourist standard hotels

Day 2
Fly to Gondar; tour castles and DebreBirhan Selassie church

We have a spectacular flight to Gondar. From the air we see the extraordinary nature of the Ethiopian plateau, cut again and again by immensely deep gorges. Gondar was once the capital of Ethiopia and in the afternoon we visit the castles, which were built in the 17th and 18th centuries by several generations of Ethiopia’s kings. Nearby is the DebreBirhan Selassie church with its sensational angelic ceiling, and the bathhouse of Fasil at which thousands of Ethiopians celebrate Timkat festival every January. Our hotel is up on a cliff top with wonderful views overlooking the town.(On the Timket Festival departure in January we spend a full extra day in Gondar to experience the festival. We join the Ethiopian crowds at Fasilides’ Baths whose water has been blessed by priests. Young men dive into the water to symbolize the baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan. The festival has been described as one of the greatest shows on Earth.) Goha Hotel or similar

Day 3
Drive to Debark; start trekking to Sankaber Camp

We travel by road the 105 kilometres to the small town of Debark, the nearest town to the Simien National Park. There is a little time to explore the area while the guides prepare the equipment and mules for the trek.

From Debark the landscape suddenly opens onto a picturesque valley dotted with mud huts, horses and livestock. We start our walk at BuyitRas, entrance to the park, and head towards Sankaber where we have our first night’s camp. There are spectacular views across the range from here. 3 hours walking, 9kms. Sankaber Camp or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance covered: 9 km/5 miles

Day 4
Trek to Geech via Jinbar Waterfall

Walking near small settlements and villages we have fine views across the lowlands and the Simien plateau as we continue our trek heading towards Geech (3,600m). En route we see a stunning waterfall; cascading through a hole in the rock, it falls 500 metres to the bottom of the gorge and is particularly impressive after the rainy season (by Christmas the waterfall may not be visible). The last 2 hours of the day involve a steep climb up to our campsite, where we Stay for two nights. 7 hours walking, 12 kms.

Geech Camp or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance covered: 12 km/ 7 miles

Day 5
walk to Imetgogo

A spectacular day – in the morning we walk to Imetgogo (3,926m). Situated at the end of a long ridge, which disappears on either side to the lowlands below, there are outstanding views of the gorge and mountain range and it is easy to understand why the striking formations have been described as ‘the chess pieces of the Gods’. We should get our first glimpse of RasDashen from here and we can See clearly our route for the coming days. If we haven’t already encountered them, there is a good chance of seeing the indigenous Gelada, also known as the ‘bleeding heart’ baboon or Lion monkey. The Gelada is in fact neither baboon nor monkey but the last remaining species of a branch of high altitude, grass eating primates that have all but vanished. We return to the same camp and enjoy an afternoon at rest. 4 hours walking, 10kms, ascent 325m, descent 325m.

Geech Camp or

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance covered: 10 km /6 miles

Day 6
Trek to Chennek via Enatyie Escarpment

Another wonderful walk – heading in the same direction as yesterday we soon branch off to reach the edge of the escarpment which we follow to the top, Inatye (4070m). The dramatic views continue all the way down to our camp at Chennek. 7 hours walking, 13kms, ascent 650m, descent 570m. Chenneck camp or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance covered: 13 km/ 8 miles

Day 7
Trek to Ambiko; ascend Bwuhit

A memorable but hard day’s trekking of ascents and descents as we make our way from Chennek to Ambiko. We should see birds like the Ground Scraper Thrush, Siskins, Falcons and Kestrel. Today is also our best chance of seeing the rare and endangered Walia Ibex, a species that can only be found in the Simien National Park. From Chennek we climb to a pass at 4,200m and from here the fit and energetic may like to continue on a further hour up to the summit of Bwuhit at 4,430m. Otherwise from the pass we have a big drop down to the Meshah River at 2850m, via the village of ChiroLeba, where we may be able to visit the school and small clinic (if open). From the river we ascend 350m to our camp, where we spend 2 nights at Ambiko. 10 hours walking, 17km, ascent 1105m, descent 1570m.

Ambiko Camp or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance covered: 17 km/10 miles

Day 8
Ascent of RasDashen, highest point in Ethiopia

We ascend RasDashen before returning to Ambiko. This day is the longest day of the trek. It may take up to twelve hours climbing 1350m to the summit. RasDashen has 3 peaks and we climb to the middle highest peak – the roof of Ethiopia. Our efforts are rewarded with incredible views from the summit. 12 hours walking, 21km, ascent 1345m, descent 1345m. Ambiko Camp or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance covered: 21 km/ 13 miles

Day 9
Trek to Sona via Arkwasiye

Another challenging day, although not as difficult as the previous one! From Ambiko we trek to the superbly positioned camp at Sona. After plenty of ups and downs we might be able to stop for some local coffee in the small village of Arquaziye before continuing for another hour and half to our camping site at Sona. 10 hours walking, 21kms, ascent 965m, descent 1055.

Sona Camp or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance covered: 21 km/ 13 miles

Day 10
Descend to AnsiyaWenz River and on to Lamo Camp

A much easier day! We descend into the lowlands. Our day begins with a 1,100m descent into the Ansiya valley, where we have a relaxed lunch break. We then move onto our camp, near the village of Mekarebya. This is an excellent day for seeing birds and there are very good views up to the Simien Mountains. We can look back with pride upon the areas we have recently trekked. 5 hours walking time, 10kms, ascent 65m, descent 1120m.

Mekarebya Camp or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance covered: 10 km /6 miles

Day 11
Continue to Mulit Camp

From our camp we drop 350m, to where we have another long idyllic lunch spot. The final 2 hours of the day involve a hot 400m of ascent, to our final campsite at Mulit. Here we are completely surrounded by fantastic views all around us. 5 hours walking, 17kms, ascent 515m, descent 425m.

Mulit Camp or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance covered: 17 km /10 miles

Day 12
Short walk to AdiArkay where the trek 12 finishes; drive to Gondar

Our final day’s walking takes us to AdiArkay from where we drive, via Debark to Gondar (approx 6 hours driving), for a much deserved wash and rest! 2.5 hours walking, 7kms, ascent 50m, descent 440m.

Goha Hotel or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

Distance covered: 7 km/ 4 miles

Simein trip ends here

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 9 lunches, 9 dinners
  • All accommodation All transport and listed activities
  • Tour guides
  • Local flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Trek through Ethiopia’s dramatic Simien Mountains

Trip Facts

  • All breakfasts, 9 lunches, 9 dinners
  • 4543m, average 3300m
  • 13 Days Ethiopia Land only
  • 16
  • Harar and Lalibela
  • 9 nights wild camping, 3 nights standard hotels with and suite facilities
  • Min group size: 1 Max group size: 16

Contact Info

Grum Walle | General Manager
Phone number : +251918774668 / +251910053200

info@grumethiopiatours.com

Address: Gondar Piassa west of Central Hotel

 

Location