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Tour to Semien mountains and Afar

Mode of transport: surface and flight

Duration:13 days and 12 nights

Type of vehicle:4×4

 

The Semien Mountains in Ethiopia are simply put, one of the best trekking destinations in the world. Jaw dropping views, wall to wall sunshine, generous hospitality and rare wildlife combine to make for an unforgettable trek.  The Simien Mountains National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting rare populations of walia ibex, gelada baboon and Ethiopian Wolf, alongside a rich and diverse flora and birdlife.

Highlights of the Simien Mountains National Park:

  • Taking in the 360 degree views at Imet Gogo and marveling at the precipitous paths that locals have to navigate to make it up onto the ridge
  • Spotting the graceful Walia Ibex framed by the most incredible mountain panorama and trying to inch closer to capture that perfect image before it moves on
  • Watching the coffee beans roast over the fire in a primitive mud and straw village hut
  • Watching the birds of prey soar on the thermals over terrifying drops of up to 1000m

 

 

Day 1, Addis- Gonder

Take a flight from Addis to Gonder. In the afternoon visit the castle compound of fasiledas looks like European cities, the 16th century Debre birhan church and the swimming pool of Fasiledas. o/n landmark hotel or kino hotel.

Day 2, Gonder- Semien mountains national park

Drive to the park, on the way you will have short break at woleka village where the falasha(black jewish) live. After 100 km we will get small town called Debark where the park headquareter located. We will have scout and entrance paper. Drive to the park region. Before getting the camp site, drop off and start trekking for about 2-3 hours. We will get the group of Gelada baboon common everywhere in a park. The panoramic view is gorgeous to take pictures.o/n Sankaber.camping

Day 3, Sankaber-Geech

This day is the day that we arrange all the trekking staff including mules and Muleteers for packing and transport of camping gears and all foodstuffs for the trek. It is this day that we start trekking in the national park. We walk from Sankaber to Geech, which will take between 5 – 6 hours. After about 1 and half hours walk we see the Jinnbar River and falls, we will cross the river later in the day. After crossing the river, we ascend for about two hour to Geech, which is full of Giant Lobelias. The scenery is wonderful, and heard of the endemic Gelada Baboon can be seen on our way. O/n Camping at Geech Campsite (3600m).

 

Day 4:  Geech – Imetegogo – chenek:

 

This day we will be waking to the best viewpoints in the National park. First we walk to Imetgogo, the view here enables one to look 360 to all directions this is one of the best view in the national park. After a short stay here continue walk to Seha, the other terrific viewpoint in the National park. We will have our picnic lunch and we continue to the last viewpoint.

We trek to Chenek, we will be walking through the Giant lobelia trees and under these trees, and African Field Rats are common.  we walk on the edge of Elate escarpments (4000m. above sea level), which is another breathtaking view in the national park; finally, we descend to Chenek. Chenek is the best place to see the endemic Walia Ibex and more Gelada Baboon. It takes 6-7 hours walk.  O/n Camping at Chenek. – (3600m)

 

Day 5,  Chenek- Buahit Ras- chenek

 

From Chenek at 3650 metres, the path to Ambiquo campsite crosses over the Bwahit Ras. Leaving Chenek we are faced with a two-hour ascent to the top of the pass at 4200 metres, where we enjoy views that open up to the east over Mesheha Valley to the Dashen mountain range. Looking back we find ourselves under the cover of the impressive rock formations of Imet Gogo. From Bwahit Ras the path leads steeply down and across the Mesheha Valley. Here we notice an increase in temperature as we descend down to the Mesheha River at 2800 metres. But we will stop here and come back to chenek.o/n chenek camping

Day 6, drive to Axum via Tekezze gorge.

There is new asphalt road makes easy the day.

You will have time to visit the stelae field and the church of st. merry of zion where  the ark of the covenant is kept.o/n consolar hotel.

Day 7, Axum-Geralta

On this day

You will have 2 options. One is to get another adventure to Geralta mountain top churches to access Mariam korkor and Abune yemata church. o/n Geralta lodge.

If not this, you will drive to Mekelle. On the way you will visit Debre Damo monastery only men are allowed to climb to the hill top church using rope only to access it. And then 14th c church of wukro. o/n mekelle. AXUM hotel.

Day 8, Mekelle-Erta’ale.

Drive to Erta’ale in a new asphalt road. Then detour to the dust road to reach the dramatic active volcano. we will have break at the camp site and we will start trekking around 6 o’clock. It is 12 km on foot or on camel back. The volcano is scenic at night. We will stay the night on top near the volcano.

Day 9,

early in a morning come down to the camp site and have breakfast. Then drive to Dallol. When we arrive there, we will take break and leave to the camel caravans transporting the bar salt which once was a currency in Ethiopia. o/n camping

Day 10, Dallol-Mekelle

In a morning drive to Dallol depression, a land surfaced with colored Sulphur and potash. It is one of the lowest points of the world down to 116 m below sea level. Then head to the traditional salt extraction area. The local people are cutting and loading the Bare salt on their camels to transport for the highlanders. then to Mekelle. o/n Axum hotel

Day 11, Mekelle- Lalibela

This day you will pass through Ambalage mountains and visit Amhara village. o/n tukul village hotel or Lalibela lodge.

Day 12, Lalibela

This day is dedicated to discover the 11 rock churches dated back to 12th century. They are grouped in 3 categories. o/n same hotel.

Day 13, Lalibela- Addis.

Take a flight back to Addis. have city tour and shopping time. In the evening we will have farewell dinner in a traditional restaurant with live music and cultural dance. Departure home.