Largest national park.spectacular landscape
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.
Drive (2.5 hrs) Gondar- Michibiny (3200 m). Hike to Sankaber (3250 m).
We drive from Gondar to Michibiny with a brief stop at the Simien Mountains National Park headquarters to arrange the permit. We start the trekking easy with a 2-3 hours hike to Sankaber, a good way to acclimatize and get used to the altitude. Overnight camping.
Hike Sankaber to Gich (3600m).
Today’s trek covers a distance of approximately 12 km and takes around 5-6 hours. The hike goes through highland grasslands, heather forests, cultivated fields and follows a spectacular escarpment with dramatic views. We will encounter the friendly gelada baboons, foraging in big groups. A stunning viewpoint at the Jinbar Falls is reached after clambering a few rocks. This waterfall plunges several hundred meter down the escarpment in the abyss. At the end of the day we pass through the welcoming village of Gich where the local people are happy to prepare a well-deserved coffee. The coffee ceremony is an important social event in Ethiopian culture. The camp for the night is not far from the village. Overnight camping.
Hike Gich to Chennek (3620 m).
This is a long but probably the most spectacular stage of the trekking, offering stunning views all the way. Today we hike 7-8 hours to cover 12 km, including a short detour to Imet Gogo (3925 m). This summit offers the most exciting views. The giant lobelia is abundant on the Gich plateau. The majestic lammergeyer might soar the skies in front of you and the endemic thick billed raven will be present. On your way to Chennek you pass some other major peaks (Inataye reaching 4070 meter) and a deep valley. Chennek is the best place to spot the endemic and endangered walia ibex. Not seldom they walk into the camp. Overnight camping.
Hike Chennek to Ambiko (3200 m).
Today is for sure the most challenging day. First we hike up the Bwahit Pass (4200 m) and we can summit Bwahit (4430 m), the second highest peak after Ras Dashen. Later we will reach the bottom of the valley of the Mesheha River (2800 m) before we reach Ambiko. The 18 km we cover today will take at least 8 hours walking. Weather permitting we will be rewarded with the first glimpse of Ras Dashen (4533 m). Around Bwahit is an excellent area to find the Ethiopian wolf. Our chef will prepare another great meal with very limited means and like the other evenings we lit a campfire to keep us warm. But we will sleep early as we start tomorrow well before sunrise. Overnight camping.
Hike Ambiko to Ras Dashen (4533m).
The roof of Ethiopia is the goal for the day. Ras Dashen (4533 m) is roughly a 6 hours/ 10 km away and it is all the way up to the top. The view from to top might not be as stunning as at other places in Simien Mountains, like Imet Gogo, but you made it! Yes! Walking back to Ambiko takes about 4 hours. Overnight camping.
Hike Ambiko to Chiro Leba, drive (5 hrs) to Gondar
On the last day in the majestic Simien Mountains we return to the small village Chiro Leba, the nearest place a vehicle can reach and drive back to Gondar.
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Chewua Sefere, Gondar Town
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