Trekking the Simiens
17th September 2017
Tom Hilton got to put a big tick on his Must Experience list when he went hiking in the Simien Mountains recently.
“The Simien Mountains had been on the ‘to do’ list for some time, a hidden gem of northern Ethiopia. Friends who had been up here unanimously spoke of the splendour of this rugged range, and we were not disappointed.
The route follows various ridges and mountain passes, with astonishing views guaranteed throughout, as rugged peaks and gaping valleys unfurl at every turn. The camps are basic and we carried our own gear, whilst our guides prepared plenty of delicious food every day. Sunrises and sunsets provide otherworldly views from remote plateaus, whilst fabulous wildlife – much of it endemic to the Ethiopian highlands – abounds.
A personal highlight was a rare sighting of the Ethiopian wolf on our second night. With estimated numbers at only around 100 individuals in the Simiens, these sleek, fox-like predators are the rarest and most endangered predator in all of Africa. To see a pair of them scamper through the long grass at dusk by our camp was truly memorable.
Our group spent four days and three nights in the park, arranging transport through Tadele Travel from Gondar to just inside of the park entrance, before camping at Sankaber, Gich and Chennek, and being collected at Chennek on the final day for the return to Gondar. The hiking is a good workout but not overly challenging, with a lot more ridge walking than demanding ascents and descents. Our group of seven was aged mid-to-late 20s and of mixed fitness levels, but found we comfortably took on the hike with plenty of time to relax and take in the stunning views.”
Interested in trekking in the Simiens? Find out more about our guided tours
Tom Hilton, the author of this post