• Ethiopia Trekking and Walking Holidays- Simien Mountain National Park
    Ethiopia Trekking and Walking Holidays- Simien Mountain National Park

Ethiopia Trekking and Walking Holidays

This 8 day Simien Mountain trek, traces the dramatic ridge trail from Sankaber to Chenek and then dropping down into the rarely visited lowlands teeming with bird-life and refreshing rivers.

The Simien Mountains in Northern Ethiopia offer some of the finest highland trekking in the world with rare wildlife, vast views and fascinating traditional villages all on view. The Simien Mountains National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and treks follow a common trail from park campsites along a dramatic ridge that overlooks mile upon mile of hill country.

This 8 day trek includes many of the highlights of the classic 5 day trek, including the 700m drop at Jinbar Falls, the 360 degree views at Imet Gogo and of course plenty of opportunities to catch a glimpse of the native Gelada Baboons and majestic Walia Ibex. What marks this trek out are the last 3 days heading down into the lowlands away from the crowds. Expect refreshing swims in rivers, rich bird-life and buzzing villages.

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Ethiopia Trekking and Walking Holidays-Simien Mountain National Park

Day 1

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. 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 4x4). 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 acclimatization 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.

Day 2

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, sodom’s Apple, Abyssinian Rose, St John’s Wort and Globe Thistle. The highlight of the trek from Sankaber to Geech is Jinbar Falls, an incredible 500m sheer drop. From the viewpoint opposite, you can watch the Falcons, Augur Buzzard and Lammergeyer/Bearded Vulture soar on the thermals below. From the Jinbar falls, the trail passes drier dustier land, broken by lunch at a somewhat less intimidating and more peaceful waterfall. 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 Injera. Geech Camp itself is set on a grassy plateau with stunning sunset views. 

Day 4

Geech (3600m) – Inatye (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 Heath 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.

Day 3

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 Saha Gorge for lunch. Afternoon at leisure before heading out for a short optional sunset trek to KedaDit (3760m). Overnight at Geech Camp again. 

Day 5

Chennek (3600m) – Sona (3500m)

7-8 hours walking

After breakfast you will set out from camp for a steady 2 hour climb up to Buahit Pass (4,200m). From the pass there are stunning views over towards Ras Dashen. After a quick half hour descent it is a nice flat walk to Sonar, stopping at the market village of Arkowazie for lunch. Sonar Camp is spectacularly situated with stunning sunset views. Overnight at Sonar Camp.

Day 6

Sona (3500m) – Mekarbra (2150m)

5-6 hours walking 

Setting out from Sonar you soon reach the Incya Valley which you descend for 2-3 hours down to the lowlands. You’ll enjoy a picnic lunch on the banks of the Incya river where there is a lovely spot for a refreshing swim. After lunch there is a further 2 hour walk along the banks of the river to Mekarebia where you camp in the village.

 

Day 7

Merkarbra (2150m) to Mulet (2150m)

The walk today passes along the dry river bed of the Incya River. The bird life is incredible, Pin-Tailed Waders, Village Indigo, Paradise Monarchs and Tropical Bubu are all frequently spotted.  Lunch at Derk wenz pool, where you can rest and swim. From the pools there is a 2 hour climb to Awazza Village at the foot of the striking Awazza Table Mountain. There will be time for a refreshment stop in the village before a final hours trek up to the last camp at Mulet.

After breakfast, it is a 3 hour walk to Adi Arkaye, where you’ll be picked up and transferred back to Gonder (5 hour drive).