A Journey through the Simien Mountains
4 Days Simein mountain Itinerary
This extensive trek explores in depth one of Africans largest mountain ranges, studded with at least a dozen peaks over the 4,000m mark. These include Ras Dejen the highest point in Ethiopia, and the 4th highest peak in Africa. The area was designated a national park in 1966, and the entire range a UNESCO world heritage site in 1978.
Trek through the Simien Mountains, following an extensive network of trails. The quality of these trails, along with the fantastic scenery, unique flora, diverse wildlife and rich bird life make this a rewarding and challenging trek. It is a paradise for natural history enthusiasts as well as for trekkers.
Day 1: Gondar-Sankaber (3250 m), 3-4 hours
Pick you at Gondar Airport or your hotel, drive along a good paved road from Gondar to the park headquarters in Debark. The 100 km journey will take around two hours. At the headquarters we will arrange our permits to the park and pick up our scout. After that we will drive for another hour before we start our first day introductory walk. This first hike is an easy one along the northern edge of the escarpment with a nice view points over the foothills and plains of northern Ethiopia. You will encounter gelada baboon along this hike and over nigh at Sankaber.
Day 2: Sankaber – Gich (3600 m), 5-6 hrs
We follow the northern escarpment eastward, before we descend a little into the Kaba Valley. After that we climb up before we reach Gich Abyss and continue over a narrow ridge to a cliff where we have a spectacular view of the abyss towards the Simien foothills. We also find a large waterfall here, where the Jinbar River plunges 500 m into the abyss. We proceed for about two hours and have lunch at the Jinbar River. After lunch we walk through fields of barley before we arrive at the idyllic village of Gich. Here we can enjoy a traditional coffee ceremony in one of the huts and learn more about local farm life. From Gich village it is a short walk to Gich camp which is a good area to look for lammergeyer and thick billed raven. After a relaxing afternoon, we will take a short hike up to Kedadit to enjoy sunset plus the gorgeous shaded landscapes down to the cliff side towards to the eastern direction and return to the camp for dinner.
Day 3: Gich – Chennek (3600 m), 7-8 hrs
From Gich camp we stroll through endless fields of Giant Lobelia before we reach the towering cliffs of Imet-Gogo (3926 m). Here we will spend some time to absorb the superb views over the mountain valleys below and strange shaped domes in the distance, which we will see from up close at the end of the trip. After that we descend into the Jinbahir River Valley. In this way we get a very different perspective of Imet-Gogo and the volcanic landscape, where it looks like big chunks of mountains have been blown away. The trail follows the edge of the escarpment, which is completely vertical here for several hundred meters. We climb to a summit of 4070 m where we will have lunch. After lunch we descend to Chennek for about two hours along a steep trail. From Chennek camp there are spectacular views in all directions. Sit down on a bench at the escarpment and try to spot Walia Ibex in late afternoon or early morning. Sometimes Walia Ibex visit the edges of the camp site.
Day 4: Chenek – Buwahit, 5-6 hrs
Climb the second highest peak in the Simien mountains Buwahit (4430m) rewarding with one of the endemic wild animals in Ethiopia particularly in the Simien mountains called Walia Ibex (a goat family), in addition to the scenic views of surroundings including the chance to see the highest mountain peak in Ethiopia Ras-Dejen (4543m) and back down to chenek camp where the car waiting us to pick and drive back to Gondar for about 4 hrs.
Services to be Provided $350 USD
♦ Transportation in and out
♦ Food and Mineral water
♦ Cook (a person in charge of preparing fresh food every day)
♦ Guide (English speaking)
♦ Park ranger which is compulsory
♦ Park entrance fees
♦ Camping equipment such as Tent, Mattress and Sleeping bags.
♦ Mule and muleteers for loading and unloading stuffs and luggage from one camp to anothe