​User Reviews – Simien Mountains NP

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climbhigh1001   –  
Canada CA
Visited: December 2019 Reviewed: Jan 14, 2020

Email climbhigh1001  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Considering I had excellent weather, it was an absolutely fantastic trek!
Overall rating

The trek I completed began about 7 or 8 km west of Sankabar and took a total of 6 days, my furthest point from the start being the summit of Ras Dashen, the highest point in Ethiopia. My trek took place in December and for all 6 days, the weather could not have been better. Sunny and clear skies every morning, with some cloud coming in around 3pm (which was fine, as our hiking for the day was usually done by that time).

I booked my excursion through the company ETT. There are pros and cons with any company which I won't get into here, but let me say that for my Simien experience, they truly did a great job. Our guide, Berhanu, was very knowledgeable and just an all round really good guy, so if you can get him, he'll do you well.

As far as scenery and wildlife goes, it was incredibly beautiful at all times. The gelada monkeys were fun to watch and we had numerous opportunities to do so. Also, on two separate occasions I was able to see the rare Ethiopian wolf (also known as the red jackal, I believe) which was a fantastic experience. At one point, we even saw a group of about five ibex in a valley far below.

My group and I didn't know what to expect for food, so the first night we were served soup. We ate to our heart's content thinking that was all we were going to have, but that turned out to only be the first course of several - all of which were excellent - including dessert. I should mention that meat is not an every day thing, though, as I believe we had chicken only once in the first three days and again on my last day. Nonetheless, we all had plenty of energy and whatever we ate certainly satisfied us.

I should also say that a nice perk was that each day after hiking and arriving at the next camp, a snack of some sort (usually popcorn and biscuits (cookies)) was waiting for us - very much appreciated!

No day's hiking was particularly difficult (other than days 4 (up Mount Bwahit and then over to Ambiko) and 5 (up Ras Dashen), but the altitude did take some getting used to. By my final summit day (day 5), I had loads of energy even though it was definitely a longer day, but again, the terrain was never difficult, so really it was just putting one foot in front of the other until you get there. A 5am start helped with that, too, as it was nice and cool at that time and you could summit nice and early. (For reference, I should add that I'm a 55 year old male, not particularly athletic, but quite experienced with hiking and bagging peaks.)

The people in my group I only met for the first time on that first day, but I must say that they were a fantastic group of people (3 others plus myself) and made the experience that much more enjoyable. Hopefully if you go, you're able to join in with as good of people as I did!

Average User Rating

  • 4.5/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

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