Simien Mountains National Park Trek for 4 Days
This extensive trek explores in depth one of Africa’s largest mountain ranges, studded with at least a dozen peaks over 4,000 meters. These include Ras Dejen (4,543 meters), the highest point in Ethiopia and the fourth highest peak in Africa. The area was designated a national park in 1966 and the entire range became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1978.
The park offers an extensive network of trails, fantastic scenery, unique flora, diverse wildlife and rich bird life. It is a challenging trek that requires a national park permit and an authorized scout. Official guides, cooks and mule handlers can be arranged at the park headquarters in Debark.
Gondar to Sankaber 3-4 hours of hiking
We will pick you up at the Gondar Airport or at your hotel. We will drive along a good paved road from Gondar to the Simien Mountains National Park headquarters in Debark. The 100 km journey will take about two hours.
At the headquarters, we will arrange our permits and pick up our scout and possibly guide, cook and cook assistant. After that, we drive for another hour before we begin our trek.
The first trek is an easy one along the northern edge of the escarpment with nice view points over the foothills and plains of northern Ethiopia. You are almost certain to encounter gelada baboons. Camp at Sankaber.
Sankaber to Geech. 5-6 hours of hiking
We follow the northern escarpment eastward until we descend into the Kaba Valley. Next, we climb up until we reach the Geech Abyss where we can continue over a narrow ridge for a spectacular view of the abyss. We will also see a large waterfall where the Jinbar River plunges 500 meters into the abyss.
We proceed for about two hours to the Jinbar River to have lunch. We then eventually walk through fields of barley before arriving at the tiny village of Geech. Here we can enjoy a traditional coffee ceremony in one of the huts and learn more about local farm life.
The Geech camp is but a short walk further. There you may find baboons, Lammergeyer and the thick-billed raven.
After a relaxing afternoon, we will take a short hike up to Kedadit viewpoint to enjoy the sunset and gorgeous shaded landscapes before returning to the camp for dinner. Camp at Geech.
Geech to Chenek 7-8 hours of hiking
We stroll through seemingly endless fields of giant Lobelias before reaching the towering cliffs of Imet Gogo (3926 meters). Here we will spend some time to absorb the superb views over the mountain valleys below and the strange shaped domes in the distance.
We then descend into the Jinbar River valley. In this way, we get a very different perspective of Imet Gogo and the volcanic landscape. In places, it looks like big chunks of mountains have been blown away.
The trail follows the edge of the escarpment, which is completely vertical here for several hundred meters. We climb to a summit of 4070 meters where we will have lunch.
For about two hours after lunch, we descend along a steep trail to Chenek camp. The camp offers spectacular views in all directions. You can sit on a bench on the escarpment and try to spot the Walia ibex. Camp at Chenek.
Chenek to Bwahit 5-6 hours of hiking
We climb Bwahit, the second highest peak in the Simien Mountains. It is another chance to see the Walia ibex and Ras Dejen, the highest peak in Ethiopia.
Then it’s back down to Chenek, where the car is waiting to drive us about four hours back to Gondar.