Semien Mountains National Park

Semien Mountains National Park

The Semien Mountains National Park has Ethiopia's biggest and most spectacular mountain range, the Simien Mountains. Ras Dashen at 4553m is the country's highest peak, with rock faces falling away thousands of feet from summits like Inatye (4070m) and Imet Gogo (3960m). Wildlife is also an attraction of the Park. It’s amazing of sitting between the endemic gelada baboons and clearly visits Walia Ibex at higher altitudes like Buahit and being able to see the Simien Wolf, world's rarest canid.

The Simien Mountains present perhaps the most dramatic mountain scenery in Africa - great volcanic plugs, formed some 40 million years and eroded over the aeons into fantastic crags, pinnacles and flat topped mountains, “the chess pieces of the Gods” as one writer described them, tower over precipitous gorges, river valleys and plains stretching all the way to Eritrea. The Simien Mountains are geographical marvel, where pinnacles of solidified lava rise from a moon-like landscape which is one of the most impressive trekking sites in the world.

While trekking in the Simiens visitors can see the endemic Gelada or bleeding heart baboon, the Walia Ibex, Simien Wolf and rock hyrax, endemic birds such as the Thick-billed Raven, Black-headed Siskin, White-collared Pigeon, Wattled Ibis, White-billed Starling, Spot-breasted Plover and White-backed Black Tit, cruising Lammergeyer with their 3 metre wingspan and Afro - Alpine meadows carpeted with flowers and punctuated by the tall spiky kniphofia or “red hot pokers”.

Tourists can also visit the cliff-nesting birds of prey such as the lammergeyer, which are regularly seen floating high above the escarpment in the search for prey. It is wise to combine visiting Simien Mountains with a tour on the Historic Route.