Simien Mountains

  • Sunset on the Simien Mountains - © From Flickr user Hulivili
  • Simien Mountains -  - © Flickr user Giustino
  • Simien Mountains -  - © Flickr user Martino"s Doodles
  • Simien Mountains - © From Flickr user Hulivili
  • Simien Mountains - © From Flickr user Hulivili
  • Simien Mountains - © From Flickr user Hulivili
  • Simien Mountains views From Chennek - © From Flickr user Hulivili

Key information: Simien Mountains

  • Magnificent highland scenery, with high plateaux riven by deep gorges and a spectacular skyline of towering peaks, including Ethiopa’s highest. Many outstanding views. A World Heritage site.
  • The mountains are full of exotic flora and fauna. A traditional but very poor way of life.

Walkopedia rating

(Top 100)
  • Walkopedia rating89
  • Beauty34
  • Natural interest16
  • Human interest8
  • Charisma33
  • Negative points2
  • Total rating89
  • Note: Negs: altitude.

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Variable
  • Maximum Altitude: 4,543m (optional)
  • Level of Difficulty: Strenuous

This walk description page is at an early stage of development, and will be expanded over time. Your comments on this walk, your experiences and tips, and your photos are very welcome.

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Simien Mountains views From Chennek - © From Flickr user Hulivili

WALK SUMMARY

One of the major mountains ranges in Africa, the stunning, rugged scenery of the Simien mountains provides a dramatic setting for some very exhilarating trekking. The peaks form a jagged skyline, with deep gorges carving through lofty plateaux edged by huge escarpments, with striking flora and fauna scattered around the landscape. Amongst all this is the highest summit in Ethiopia (the fourth highest in Africa), Ras Dashen – the actual height of which is under debate, but is generally considered to be 4,543m.

Wildlife is a highlight of the range, as it is home to three endemic species (the Walia ibex, the Simien fox (ironically seen more often in the Bale mountain range) and the Gelada baboon) as well as many others; the sixty-three species of birds are equally fascinating, particularly the rare, huge Lammergeyer.

The Simiens are formed from highly eroded volcanic plateaux with dramatic escarpments, and are said to be unique – along with the Drakensberg in South Africa, that is. 

Surrounded by this beauty both natural and man-made, it is possible to overlook the extreme poverty of the country. In these mountains the Amhar people live in rural villages which they say aid often does not reach, and many suffer badly through lack of medical supplies, food and good sanitation.

There are various routes that can be taken, depending on what your expedition organiser recommends, but most people go via Geech, Chenek, Arhwasiye and Ambikwa to Ras Dashen peak. These are high (mainly 3,000-4,000m), remote and tough walks in unpredictable mountains: be prepared.

There are many spectacular historical sights in the area, in both number and quality, and many expeditions take in some of the most impressive along the way, including the amazing rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, many of them up to 800 years old, and the castles of Gondar, the seventeenth century capital of Ethiopia. 

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

COMMUNITY COMMENTS AND PHOTOS

Name: nickcran
Posted on: 11/06/2014
Actually it is best to avoid the key months of Oct, Nov, January. Other months such as September, March, April, May and June are excellent when you can trek in complete tranquility with good weather. Simien Lodge at the beginning of the park is an excellent place to start and end the trek. Scouts are essential but are really there to create employment. Other people such as cooks, muleteers and guides are not essential but will add to the enjoyment of the trip. The best views are from Buit Ras to Sankabur and then at Imet Gogo.

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

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Simien Mountains -  - ©Flickr user Martino's Doodles

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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Simien Mountains - © From Flickr user Hulivili...
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