The first part of this report is at Exciting Trip to Ethiopia Part I.

Early morning we organized our selves, ate breakfast, and started the trek to Geech.

Hamadrayas BaboonIt didn’t take us long to find another species of baboons called Hamadrayas.

The Hamadrayas are shy of humans, unlike the Gelada baboons.

However we had a rare opportunity to take their pictures.

As we were trekking, we found about ten people carrying a woman hurt by an ox. They were taking her to a clinic, a journey that could take them almost a day.

They asked if there was a doctor among us that could treat her. It was sad, as we could do nothing for her, since none in our party was a doctor.

Normally the villagers think a white man or woman could be doctor and ask for treatment especially if they are sick. We advised them to take her to a clinic as none among us could treat her.

We continued our trek passing through the spectacular and amazing landscapes.

My guests were busy taking pictures and asking us almost every type of bird and flowers. We saw several bird species such as Lammergeier, Wattled ibis, Alpine chat, Pied crow, Chestnut-winged staring, White-collared pigeon, and Augur buzzard.

After trekking for almost two hours we reached the beautiful water fall of Jinbar Falls descending more than 500m.

Jinbar Falls

It is a very beautiful spot for someone heading either to Geech or Chenek. We also had a chance to buy some handicrafts from shepherds who put their products on the street waiting for trekkers to buy them.

After we crossed a river around 2pm, we found that our cook, who had gone on ahead to prepare lunch, was already waiting for us. We had a delicious lunch at the river side and continued the trek to Geech.

On the way to GeechThe weather during the day was very cloudy and the rain kept catching us in different places. This meant we were wet when we arrived at Geech.

We reached Geech around 4pm after a long but wonderful trek.

The Geech camp site was situated approximately 48km north east of Debark town on a plateau at 3,600m with a mean annual temperature of 7.7c.

It comprised the scenic mountain range, an impressive escarpment, superb view points and near by mountain summits such as Seha, Kedadit and Gidergot as well as the endemic mammals, birds, and plant species.

Its vegetation is part of the afro mountain ever green bush land and mixed afro alpine communities. The lower part of the plateau is dominated by Erica arborea and Hypericum revoltum.

Lobelia rhynchopetalum, Helichrysum and Fastuca gelbertiana (an endemic grass in the Simien Mountain National Park) species are dominating the high plateau.

We arranged our tents for camping and went inside the hut for our dinner and to sit by the fire. We sat round the firewood taking hot drinks and snacks until dinner was ready. We had a delicious meal and Ethiopian spirit for dinner enjoying well into the night.

The weather was foggy, so much so that we couldn’t even see each once we stepped outside to go to our respective tents. During the night it was stormy and the rain lasted almost for the whole night.

The next morning our guests complained that they couldn’t sleep due to the storm and refused to stay in that area the next day and night. They were also irritable from a lack of sleep which caused some frustration in my team as we could do nothing about the unexpected storm.

Our initial plan was to rest at Geech and stay there for two nights before heading to Chenek, the last camp site. However, as our guests refused to stay at Geech the next night, we had to rush to Chenek taking another road.

On our way we had to cross a river. My guide Semma and I carried our guests bags across and also helped them to cross the river.

Around 3pm we arrived at Chenek where it was nice and sunny, unlike at Geech and that made us all happy.

View at ChenekThere was a lodge, recently completed, that had not yet opened for service, but I asked the manager to allow my guests to stay the night.

Luckily the manager agreed and they became the lodge’s first guests.

The support team and I stayed in a hut in our sleeping bags.

Chenek is located approximately 58km north east of Debark town in the Simien Mountains range at an altitude of 3,600m and with a mean annual temperature of 8.8c.

The lower part of the plateau is dominated by the Giant Lobelia and Erica arborea and in the high plateau the dominant and common species are Helichrysum and Fastuca species. The endemic Rasularia Simensis is also found in this camp.

It is extremely spectacular with a scenic mountain range, the summits of Imet Gogo and Buhit, an impressive escarpment and super viewing points.

Surrounding this campsite are to be found the endemic Walia Ibex, Ethiopian Wolf (Red Fox) and the Gelada baboon. There are also small mammals among them the white toot shrew, narrow headed rat and unstriped grass rat, endemic to Ethiopia.

The next morning my guests had agreed to stay at Chenek. It was their last day to enjoy the Simien Mountains especially to see Walia Ibex and to see the spectacular scenery.

Thick Billed RavenHere also we saw several bird species such as Lammergeier, Thick billed raven, Wattled Ibis, and Alpine chat.

After breakfast, we went in search of Walia Ibex.

This wild and beautiful goat species is endemic to Ethiopia and found only in the Simien Mountains.

After an hour long search we found them around twenty in number and in different groups at the peaks.

Walia Ibex at Chenek

Late in the afternoon, to our surprise, the Walias came to our camp site to pick leaves.

The Gelada baboons also came in large numbers picking the grass in front of us until they were full.

The next morning we had to trek back to Sankaber where our 4WD awaited to take us to Gonder for the next day flight to Addis.

After breakfast, we trekked down to Sankaber where the whole team said goodbye to my guests. Although it was shorter than the previous days, it was an exciting trek during which we also spotted a few Klipspringers at the bottom of Mount Imet Gogo.

At Sankaber, we concluded our five days trekking at the Simien Mountains massif.

Eskinder Hailu - Manager, Highway Tours

Eskinder Hailu
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