Trekking in the Simen Mountains - 8 days
Simen Mountains National Park is great for trekking in Ethiopia. The most established route goes all the way to Ras Dejen, the highest peak in Ethiopia.
Arrive in Addis Ababa in the morning and fly to Gondar in the afternoon. Overnight hotel.
Drive from Gondar to Debark, the head quarters of the Simen Mountains National Park. After finishing park entrance formality, drive into the park.
The bus will drop you in the park and you hike for about 1-2 hours to Sankaber for dinner and overnight.
The people whom you meet during your stay in the Simen Mountains are the Amharas, one of the major ethnic groups in Ethiopia. They benefit from tourism by hiring mules and horses and by working at camp sites.
Sankaber (3200m)- Geech (3600m) -Trekking Time: 5-6 hours
Start trekking to Geech with stops at various spectacular view points including the waterfalls of the Jin Bahir River plummeting into the spectacular Geech Abyss.
The endemic Gelada Monkey and different species of plants (including red-hot poker) and birds (including thick-billed raven) are common site during your trekking today. Overnight camping.
Geech (3600m)-Chenck (3600m) - Trekking Time: 7-8 hours
After breakfast we start trekking to Chenek. Part of the walk is steep, so those who ride may have to dismount and walk for some distance.
Have lunch stop at Enatiye and continue in a relaxed mood to Chenek, our next campsite at 3,600m. Arrive at Cheneck for dinner and overnight.
Cheneck (3600)-Ambiko (3,800m) - Trekking Time: 8-9 hours
After an early breakfast, walk up the side of Mount Bwahit. From Chenek a track leads easterly then south easterly up towards a viewpoint on the eastern escarpment, to the north of Bwahit.
This is a fine viewpoint: to the east, across the vast valley of the Mesha River, you can see the bulk of Ras Dejen, although it's hard to pick out among the other peaks and cliffs.
From the viewpoint north of Bwahit the path drops steeply. You descend approximately 1000m and pass through the little village of Chiroleba.
After having lunch at a suitable site, follow a stream bed through a rocky gorge to finally reach the large Mesha Rive. Wade across the river and take the path which climbs sharply up the east side of the valley to reach the village of Ambiko (3,800m) after about two hours.
Dinner and overnight will be at the campsite.
Ambiko (3,800m)-Ras Dejen (4533m)-Ambiko - Trekking Time: 10-12 hours
After breakfast, while the rest of the entourage waits at the campsite, we do the best part of the trek to the highest peak of Ethiopia, Ras Dejen at 4,553m.
An early start is preferable. The path climbs steeply; through a cluster of huts called Mizma to reach a ridge crest about 1:30 to 2 hours form Ambiko. The clear path then aims southeast climbing gently along a valley side, aiming directly for the imposing gray cliffs and peaks of Ras Dejen.
After a further two hours, at a pass, you meet another path heading roughly north-south: turn right and follow this for a short distance then leave it to aim east again, swinging round to the north, to enter a huge semicircular basin of rocky peaks.
One of them is Ras Dejen, the highest peak in Ethiopia. Having enjoyed the excitement of being at this place and photographed we'll have lunch there at the peak and trek down for four hours back to our campsite at Ambiko for dinner and overnight.
Ambiko-Chiroleba, drive to Gondar - Trekking Time: 2-3 hours, Driving time: 6 hours
In the morning hike for about 3 hours to Chiroleba where you will meet your vehicle for the drive to Gondar. Overnight Goha hotel.
In the morning fly to Addis Ababa. You will have a chance to do some shopping for coffee and other things. Fly out of Addis this afternoon or evening.