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A Week Trek in the Simien Mountains National Parks

All international flights to Ethiopia arrives at Bole International Airport (ADD), Addis Ababa. An hour flight from the capital takes you to the starting destination of this seven days program. Gondar, has been called the camelot of Africa, previously served as the capital of both the Ethiopian Empire and the subsequent Begemder Province. The city holds the remains of several castles, including those in Fasil Ghebbi (the Enclosure). Debre Berhan Selassie church is also the other sightseeing in Gondar. On the following day, you proceed driving to Debark, the headquarter of Simien Mountains National Parks.Today your obligatory local guides, scouts, and cook will join you till the end of your trek inside the park. All nights will be spent at camping sites-Sankaber, Geech and Chennek.


Day 1: Arrival and Domestic Flight to Gondar
Today, you will have a domestic flight to Gondar. After checking in your hotel in Gondar, you will visit Fasilidas' Palace, probably the most impressive of all the castles found in the area and the oldest one! After a relaxed, you will proceed visiting the castles and the Church of Debre Berham Selassie (Light of the Trinity).

Day 2: Drive to Sankaber
Depart Gondar early in the morning, and drive to Sankaber via Debark where the park’s entrance fee is paid, and obligatory staff are met. You will be dropped of at Buyit Ras for a 3-4 hours hike to Sankaber by which you will pass close to the escarpment edge. Nearing Sankaber, you will have beautiful views on both sides of the escarpment ridge and where you will likely see the endemic Gelada baboons. Here, the driver will back to Gondar until the last day you finish the hiking.

Day 3: Trek from Sankaber (3,250m) to Geech (3,600m): 5 – 6 hours
The trek starts with a gentle stroll through the Erica heather that hangs on white lichen and mosses, resembling an old man’s white beard. Along the route keep an eye open to spot the elusive and elegant klipspringer. After 2-3 hours, you will reach the viewpoint where you encounter the seasonal and impressive Jinbar waterfall. From there, you climb fairly steeply for an hour to reach the Jinbar valley and head down to the Jinbar River at 3,190m. Have a picnic lunch in these majestic surroundings. On the way, keep an eye open for the rare and graceful lammergeyer, soaring in search of food. After a brief rest at the river ascend gradually on an undulating trail for 2-3 hours to the village of Gich - dotted by the traditional round thatched huts and home to the Muslim community. After the village, the trail then winds its way into the moorland where visitors will experience the highland flora of giant lobelia as you arrive at Gich camp.

Day 4: Imet Gogo and the two peaks circuit: 4 – 5 hours
One of the most scenic and spectacular trails in the park, this route takes you to a viewpoint that rewards you with views of the remarkable shape of the landscape and canyon which are the result of geological upheaval between 60 - 70 million years ago. The first part of the hike is a gentle uphill walk of around 2 hours from Gich to the imet gogo viewpoint (3,926m). With some good luck, you may spot the iconic Ethiopian wolf. While sitting amongst the rocks at Imet Gogo, you can see Ras Dejen in the distance. Another hour’s walk through the Afro Alpine meadow takes you to the Lobelia Valley, which is home to thousands of these giant plants. The trail then brings you to the second viewpoint: Saha (3,785m) with stunning views of the dramatic gorge and rock towers. This is ideal spot for lunch. After lunch and before the final ascent towards the camp, another 1 hour trek brings you to the final viewpoint of the day called kedadit(3,760m). After that, a 45-minute downhill stroll brings to the Geech campsite.

Day 5: Trek from Geech to Chennek (3,600m): 7- 8 hours
The trek begins by ascending gradually for about 2 hours through the Afroalpine meadows. Next, you descend to where you’ll have impressive views of the gorge below imet gogo. The trail then winds its way to the lowest point and begins ascending to the peak Enateye (which means beloved mother in Amharic). You ascend fairly steeply at first for an hour and then more gradually for another hour to the highest point of the day at Enateye (4,070m). This area is an outstanding place to view birds, particularly raptors. Many interesting species can be seen here, among which are the tawny eagle, lammergeyer and augur buzzard. Here you have a rewarding view of the Imet Gogo summit, Bwhait pass and the surrounding escarpment and mountains. After a brief rest and lunch in this majestic spot, begin your 2-3 hour descent to the camp. About 10-20 minutes before reaching camp stop at Kurbet Mataya to get the final and excellent view of the day’s trek and look for the first sighting of the cliff specialist walia ibex. Also keep your eyes peeled for geladas. Animals at this campsite have become accustomed to humans - please keep a distance and do not feed any of the animals.

Day 6: Climb to Bwhait Mountain and Drive Back to Gondar
Your day begins at sunrise to give you enough time to explore the surrounding cliffs for good sightings of the Ethiopian endemic walia ibex. Then begin the tough 3-hour ascent to the top of the Bwhait pass (4,200m). This is the second highest point in the park and offers magnificent views of Bwhait peak, Beroch wuha, Silky and the Lori village below. The driver will come to you from Gondar, and take you back to Gondar for an overnight.

Day 7: Fly back to Addis Ababa
After a relaxed breakfast, you will be taken to the airport for your flight to Addis Ababa. Up on arrival and interest, the driver and the guide will meet you , and take to you for some shopping and tasting Ethiopian Coffee. The tour ends with a transfer to Bole International Airport

END OF TOUR

Things to Do

  • iconEnclosure of Gondar
  • iconDebre Berhan Selassie Church
  • iconWildlife, Bird Watching and Waterfall
  • iconHiking
  • iconShopping
  • iconCoffee Tasting
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