Ethiopia simien mountainEthiopia Simien Mountains National Park is located 885km North West of the capital Addis Ababa.

The park was added to the world heritage site in 1978.

There are 57 tree species and variety of herbaceous plants, 22 large and 13 small mammals and about 180 bird species have been recorded.

There are endemic mammals Walia ibex, Ethiopian wolf, Menelik’s bushbuck and the gelada baboons.

The forest vegetation varies with altitude beginning with high forest at lower altitudes in the escarpment extending to the high plateau touched Afro Montana evergreen bush land and thickets.

13 km as you drive through the park gate, you will find Buit Ras campsite. The common animals for this campsite are Gelada baboon that are endemic to Ethiopia and birds such as wattled ibis, alpine chat, black kite and white collard pigeon, lammergeyer, and augur buzzard.

Ethiopia Simien Mountains – Sankaber campsite

Sankaber campsite is located 38km north east of Debark town in the Simien Mountain  Ethiopia geladasrange and is accessible by vehicle both in the wet and dry seasons.

Here you will be rewarded with very impressive views of the lowland areas and also be encountered with large troops of the endemic gelada baboons. They are often referred to as the bleeding heart baboon or the lion monkey.

They are impressive in their shaggy coat resembling a lion whilst their chest has a marked red heart or patch.

You can be certain to find them here in large numbers and an exciting part is they are quite easy to approach.

Sankaber area comprises the scenic mountain ranges and impressive escarpment both in the north and south faces of the camping site.

The camp site is part of the afro-Montana evergreen bush and thicket and endowed with commonest animals for the park such as the endemic gelada baboon, klipspringer. There is also a chance to see the two endemic Walia ibex and the Menelik’s bush buck.

There are several birds species among them the common ones erckel’s francolin, white rumped babbler, olive thrush, ground scraper, alpine chat, Abyssinian wood pecker, African white backed vulture, and lammergeyer.

Ethiopia simiens Gich Ethiopia Simien Mountains – Gich

The Gich campsite is situated at 48km north east of Debark (where the park’s main office is located) at an altitude of 3600m.

Gich campsite is not accessible by transportation and it is recommended by riding and using pack animals.

There are no lodge facilities except the basic community lodges.

The campsite is the best part of the spectacular Simien massif for its impressive escarpments superb view points and mountainous summit such as Emetgogo, Seha, Kedadit and Giderdgot.

In this area, cultivation is done in a two-year cycle. One side of the valley is planted whilst the other side lies fallow. You will notice extensive soil erosion in this area as a result of the combination of such factors as slope steepness, cultivation, overgrazing, erosive rainfall and limited land resources.

If you are trekking, then you might want to pause at Gich village where you can be sure to be invited into one of the local houses for a coffee ceremony. You may want to enjoy this very important social tradition of Ethiopia as well as gain an insight into the traditional lifestyle.

Just above Gich village is the campsite which will serve as your base. It is recommended to stay there at least for two nights.

The campsite has great views of the mountains and is characterized by giant Lobelia plants. These plants can grow up to 10 meters in height and may live for as long as twenty years, at which point they first flower before dying.

Ethiopia Simien Mountains – Chenek campsite

Chenek campsite is spectacularly located in a beautiful valley at the foot of the Bwahit Ethiopia simiens chenek Peak.

Strategically placed benches allow for the opportunity to take in the expansive views back toward Imet Gogo, especially beautiful in both the dawn and dusk light.

A large troop of gelada baboons are common here and Walia Ibex are also often seen on the rocky escarpments.

The Chenek campsite is located at 58km north east of debark at an altitude of 3600m. It is accessible by car both in the wet and dry season. It is extremely spectacular containing scenic mountains ranges, impressive escarpment super view points and mountains summit such as mount Buhit and varieties of plant and animal species.

Chenek campsite is in a mixed afro alpine community zone. Visitors have more chance to see the endemic mammals Walia ibex, Ethiopian wolf and gelada baboon. Also klipspringer and common jackal including the several bird species.

Ethiopia Simien Mountains – Ras Dashen Summit
Ethiopia simiens viewDashen is the highest peak in Ethiopia, 4530mt above sea level.

As you continue your expedition to Dashen there is a pass, at around 4250 meters where there is an impressive moraine.

This moraine was formed 20,000 – 14,000 years ago in the last ice age when the Simien Mountain tops had small ice caps.

A moraine is material transported by a glacier and then deposited.

The final stretch to the summit involves an exciting climb / scramble up and over large boulders to the summit. From atop the summit of Ras Dashen, 4543 meters, you will be fascinated by the far-ranging view which spans more than ten thousand square kilometers.

On the west the steep faces of peaks in the National Park are visible whilst to the north and east is the Tekeze valley. A lot can be said about the spectacular Simien Mountains but nothing matches that great first hand experience. Come and see, you are invited!!

Eskinder Hailu - Manager, Highway Tours

Eskinder Hailu
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