LARGEST NATIONAL PARK.GREAT RIFT VALLEY
The classic camping/trekking route in the simien Mountains National park . This short camping trip through the Simien Mountains can work great as a standalone adventure, but is more commonly included as part of a wider itinerary. The itinerary illustrates some of what is possible in the Simiens, but it is possible to arrange trips from 1 night to up to 10 nights in the Simien Mountains, using a combination of camping and lodge stays. Enquire for details.
Gondar – Debark – Sankaber Camp (3,200m)
4-5hrs driving, 7km 2/3 hours walking You’ll be picked up from your hotel in Gonder around 7.30am for the 2 ½ hr drive to Debark in a 4×4. The road is rough and very dusty, but if you haven’t left the built up areas in Ethiopia yet, it is a real eye opener into the life of the rural majority. At Debark you will sign in at the park headquarters, pick up your guide and scout and head up into the mountains (by 4×4). The road continues all the way to the first camp at Sankaber, but you’ll be dropped off on the way for a leisurely three hour acclimatisation hike. The stunning views hit you as soon as you get out of the vehicle as you walk along the ridge. There will be time to stop for a picnic lunch and after a short but demanding climb (at this altitude) to Sankaber you’ll be met as every day on this trek with a tray of fresh coffee, tea and snacks.
Sankaber (3,200m) – Geech Camp (3,600m)
Walking 7-8hrs / 15km After a hearty breakfast, you’ll set off trekking along the ridge with stunning views over the foothills 800m below. For the first two hours the trail passes through low bush of Giant Heather, soda apple, Abyssinian rose, St John’s Wort and Globe thistle. The highlight of the trek from Sankaber to Geech is Genbar Falls, an incredible 500m sheer drop. From the viewpoint opposite, you can watch the falcons, augur buzzard and lammergeier bearded vulture soar on the thermals below. From the Genbar falls, the trail passes drier dustier land, broken by lunch at a somewhat less intimidating and more peaceful waterffall. Klipspringer and bush buck may be seen in the steep rocky and wooded slopes, whilst troops of Gelada Baboons roam the dusty fields for roots. Just before you reach Geech camp site, there is a wonderful opportunity to visit one of the traditional village houses for home roasted coffee and injurra. Geech Camp itself is set on a grassy plateau with stunning sunset views.
Geech (3,600m) – Imet Gogo (3,926m) – Siha Gorge – Kedar Dit – Geech (3,600m)
Walking 5-6 hrs / 13km After breakfast you’ll trek for 2 hours along the grass plateau past countless bizarre outsized Giant Lobelia plants. The destination is Imet Gogo, an incredible rocky promontory that grants 360 degree views over the Simien Range. At an altitude of 3,926m you can see West back along the ridge towards Sankaber and Geech and South East across a deep gully towards the tomorrow’s ridge walk to Inatye and Cheneck Camp. The views here are arguably the best in the Simien Mountains and the drop is terrifying. From Imet Gogo, you’ll return to camp via the Siha Gorge for lunch. Afternoon at leisure before heading out for a short optional sunset trek to KedaDit (3760m). Overnight at Geech Camp again
DAY 4: Geech (3600m) – Innatye (4070m) – Chennek (3,600m)
Walking 7 hours / 15km Today is the longest and arguably most spectacular passing close to the ridge most of its length. After breakfast you will head back on the path towards Imet Gogo before detouring SE towards Inatye. The path drops into a forest of Giant Hazel before following the ridge on open grassland. The climb to Inatye (4,070m) rewards with stunning views. Inatye roughly translates as “mamma mia” and the terrifying vertical drop here justly warrants the name! After a picnic lunch the path follows mostly downhill through open grassland and gian lobelia towards Chenek with a number of stunning viewpoints along the way. Chenek camp is superb for wildlife with both Gelada Baboons and Wallia Ibex common here.
Chennek (3600m) – Mount Buahit (4430m) – Chennek (3600m)
Walking 5 hours / 830m elevation gain and descent / 10km distance covered After an early breakfast, you will head SE out of Chennek to climb Buahit Peak at 4430m. The path follows a small stream for an hour or two up to Buahit Pass. At the pass the views open up to the North East towards Lori and Sona Villages. This is a fantastic place to spot the Wallia Ibex. From here it is another hour or two’s scramble up a rocky slope to Buahit Peak. It is hard work at the altitude but the views from the top and the wildlife on the way are more than worth it. After a quick lunch in Chennek, you’ll be driven back to Gonder.
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Chewua Sefere, Gondar Town
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