​Wildlife & Animals – Simien Mountains NP

Philip Briggs
By Philip Briggs

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Bradt guidebooks to African destinations, including the guide to Ethiopia.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Bradt guidebook to Ethiopia.

Philip is the author of the Bradt guidebook to Ethiopia.

The Simien Mountains are an important stronghold for three large mammals that only occur in Ethiopia. Of these, you can’t really miss the gelada monkey, large troops of which are common throughout the park. The endangered Walia ibex and Ethiopian wolf are the other two sought-after endemics. The more widespread golden jackal is sometimes found lurking around the campsites.

Walia ibex Occasional

Wildlife Highlights

Walking and spending time with the gelada monkeys is one of Africa’s most underrated primate encounters. The experience, not unlike chimp or gorilla trekking, is likely to be one of your trip highlights. These red-chested, hairy primates are the size of big baboons, and being eye to eye can be intimidating at first, but their gentle nature will win you over in no time.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

It is possible to see the endemic wildlife of the Simien Mountains National Park at any time of the year. Sightings of gelada monkeys are almost guaranteed, and you might even see them grazing around your lodge. Travel in the park is, however, easiest in the Dry season months from October to April, and the scenery is most spectacular from September to December.

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