Trekking in the Semien Mountains national park
duration, 12 days and 11 nights
tour code, QET 041
Type of tour, trekking and camping
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
12 DaysTrekking Round and Long Trekking.
Day 1: Arrive Addis Ababa and transfer to the Hotel, city tour.
A representative from Quest Ethiopia Tours welcomes you on your arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport and transfer to hotel. After refreshment, city tour of Addis Ababa.O/n Hotel.
Day 2: Fly to Gondar then drive Sankaber. Overnight camp in Sankaber
After breakfast transfer to airport to fly to Gondar, established by king Fasiladas in 1636. The town was capital of Ethiopia17thc. Upon arrival at Gondar Airport, departure for Debark town (100 Kms from Gondar), where the head quarter of Semien Mountains National Park is found. Here we pay the entrance fees and a scout and a local guide will accompany us. Then we continue driving to Sankaber (31 Kms) the first campsite of the National Park. On this drive you will gain your first impression of the scale and beauty of this highland region, the extraordinary scenery, enjoying the endemic Gelada Baboons and the bone breaker giant bird Lammergeyer roaring around. O/n Camping at Sankaber. – (3200 m)
Day 3: Sankaber to Geech Camp Site 5 – 6hrs
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 – Geech:
This day we will be walking 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, Quedadit. After some stay we walk back to Geech camp site. The walk this day is not hard; it takes about 4 – 5 hours. It is the day that we will be walking in the best part of the national park. If we are lucky we might have the chance to see mammals like the Simien wolf, Walia Ibex and Klipspringers. O/n Camping at Geech Campsite – (3600m).
Day 5: Chenek. Overnight Camping:
We trek to Chenek, we will be walking through the Giant lobelia trees and under these trees, and African field Rats are common. After picnic lunch 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 6: Chenek- Buahit Ras- Ambiquo 10hrs Trek
Today is the longest trekking day so far, taking up to about 10 hours. 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, before climbing slightly to reach Ambiquo campsite at an altitude of 3100 metres. Overnight camping at Ambiquo.
Day 7: Ambiquo- Ras Dashen Summit – Ambiquo the longest day 10-11hrs trek to ascent
Today is a summit day involving a trek of 16 kilometers (ten to eleven hours)! So we leave from our campsite around 4: ooAM morning the path winds its way over eight kilometers and ascends up 1400 metres to Ras Dashen. It begins by climbing steeply through barley fields and fallow land before clearing the vegetation zone and reaching mountain steppe, at around 3700 metres. From there it flattens out, as it traverses ridges in the shadow of Ras Dashen. Just below Dashen Pass at around 4250 metres, an impressive moraine can be seen. A moraine consists of material transported by a glacier and before being deposited. This moraine was formed 20,000 to 14,000 years ago in the last Ice Age, when the Simien Mountain tops had small ice caps. The final stretch to the summit involves an exciting climb and scramble up and over large boulders, before reaching the summit. From the top of Ras Dashen at an altitude of 4543 metres, we are sure to be mesmerized by the far ranging views which spans more than 10,000 square kilometers. To the west the steep faces of peaks in the national park are visible, whilst the Tekeze Valley is visible to the north and the east. Returning from the summit we retrace our steps along the same path back to our camp at Ambiquo.
Day 8: Arkwaziye Trek for 7-8 hrs
From Ambiquo the path takes us back down to the Mesheha River (2800 metres). Our destination tonight is Arkwaziye, which is situated at an altitude of 3600 metres and located on the northern reach of the Mesheha (Went) River. A great day to take in more incredible views of the Simien Mountains this campsite is one of the most beautiful located campsites in the national park.
Day 9: Arkwaziye to Lamo
We have to leave the higher plateau and village of Arkwaziye (11800ft. /3600m), cross several substantial ridges and valleys, and then climb down the near vertical Devil’s staircase with a 3000ft. /900m. Descent. There ward for this effort is Lamo, one of the most beautiful Locations in the Simien. Our overall height loss will be around 5200ft/1600m. Alt at Lamo approx 2000m. Trek time 10 hours.
Day 10: Mekarebia to Mulit
We set from our campsite for Mekarebia. Look north-east across the valley to the circle of mountains around AmbaTon and you will see the view illustrated on Ethiopian Airlines tickets. Today you should allow around eight hours for a day of ridge and valley treks through some spectacularly beautiful scenery to Mulit, where we camp at much the same altitude as Lamo. Trekking time about8 hours. Altitude undulating approx 1900m.
Day 11: Mulet to Adi Arkay – Gondar
Walk down to the market town of Adi Arkay. From Hawaza located at around 6500ft/2000m. With wonderful views to Amba Ton and the high escarpments of the Simiens Plateau, walk to Adi Arkay 1600m. Trekking time approx 2/3 hours. Altitude dropping to Adi Arkay1600m from 1900m. After a celebratory drink in a cafe, say goodbye to your muleteers and camp staff, and meet the vehicles for the five hour drive to Gondar again we stop at Debark to say Goodbye to our park guide and Scout, proceed to Gondar for welcome showers, dinner and overnight at the Goha Hotel.
Day 12: Fly Gondar-Addis – Fly back home
Morning transfer to Gondar airport flies Addis. Afternoon will be at leisure evening transfer to Bole international airport fly back home.
Quest Ethiopia tours wishes you a pleasant trip!