​Expert Reviews – Simien Mountains NP

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Ariadne van Zandbergen   –  
South Africa ZA
Visited: Multiple times

Ariadne is a renowned African wildlife photographer whose work is featured in many well-known guidebooks and magazines.

3 people found this review helpful.

The Simien Mountains – a haven for Ethiopian endemics
Overall rating

Simien Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, protects some of Africa’s most dramatic scenery. A single rutted road brings you close to Ras Dashen, which is Ethiopia’s highest peak at 4,550m/14,928ft. The easy summit is perhaps slightly disappointing to mountain climbers, since it is little more than a hillock protruding from the surrounding 4,000m/13,123ft high Afro-alpine moorland. Hiking through the park, you can expect some rewarding wildlife viewing. Not your usual big animals, but several of Ethiopia’s most exciting endemics. Most visible and approachable are the big troops of gelada monkey. Male geladas, with their swirling manes and bold red chests, look quite scary, but these vegetarian grass-munching primates are in fact very chilled. The highly endangered and more elusive Walia ibex is a goat-like acrobat most likely to be seen on the precipitous cliffs that form its preferred habitat. Last but not least, the Ethiopian wolf, which is most easily seen in Bale Mountains National Park, is also making a comeback in the Simiens, and on my most recent visit I was lucky to see one of them trotting across the grassy slopes.

Average Expert Rating

  • 3.8/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

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