Overview of Sha Peak
Welcome to Simien Mountains National Park . We hope you enjoy your stay!
You can contribute to the conservation of this unique and living heritage and the beautiful surrounding environment by observing a few simple, responsible travel tips. These are designed to limit your impact on the area and neighbouring communities, as well as enhancing your own safety and enjoyment.
Visitors Code of Conduct: Golden Rules of Tourism in the Simien Mountains:
Following these Golden Rules will minimize your impact on the park and communities, as well as enhance your safety and enjoyment. Remember that everyone in the park, including you, has a responsibility to adhere to and enforce these Golden Rules. Don’t be afraid to gently remind other park visitors, including park staff.
- Be safe: Do not take risks with your personal safety by climbing or walking in dangerous areas. Follow the advice of your guide and stay in designated areas.
- Respect other park users: Other people have a right to use SMNP, whether scientists, local inhabitants or other visitors. Please ensure that your interactions with other people are respectful of their work and culture.
- Don’t forget to pay your park fees: These help park management conserve this unique place. Make sure you pay only at officially designated sites and provide all required information to help with record keeping and your safety. Accept only officially stamped and numbered receipts.
- Drive carefully: If viewing wildlife from a vehicle, keep to tracks, drive slowly and do not drive when the ground is very wet. Wild animals always have right of way.
- Allow animals to behave naturally without disturbance: Many wild animals become distressed when approached too closely by people or vehicles. Keep noise to a minimum and never try to attract an animals’ attention.
- Do not bring any domestic or exotic animals or plants into the park: Ensure that you do not unknowingly bring any exotic plants or their seeds into the park. Non-native species are a major threat to the environment.
- Do not consume wildlife or purchase wildlife products when in the park or in park-associated communities.
- Make sure your environmental impact is minimal: Do not damage any vegetation or animals and do not collect any native plants or animals. Stay on trails at all times.
- Remember to take out all of your litter: Litter can harm both animals and people, and is also unsightly. This is especially true of cigarette butts, which often kill birds that mistake them for food. Please dispose of rubbish at your accommodation or at designated collection points.
- Camp only in designated areas.
- Take care with fire: Be very careful with cigarettes and matches, or when lighting fires. Accidental fires are a major threat to much of the mountain vegetation. Campfires are only permitted at authorized campsites.
- Do not use non-biodegradable soaps or detergents in the natural water bodies.
- Use toilets where provided or bury waste at least 50m from water.
- Please follow set prices for services such as horse hire: Negotiation will create uncertainty and unpleasant relations. Prices can be obtained from the park office or at (link to rates page coming soon)
- Ask permission before you take photographs: Please do not pay for photographs as this encourages begging.
- Only buy everyday handicrafts such as baskets, mats, and spoons: Do not buy family heirlooms as these are an important part of the cultural heritage and are sometimes stolen to be sold to tourists.
For taxi, bajaj or gari drivers, it is best to agree on a price in advance. Tips are not mandatory but 5 birr is appreciated. Keep in mind that money goes a lot further in rural areas.
For guides in the national park, if you feel that their service was satisfactory, a tip is appreciated. If you feel that they’ve gone above and beyond feel free tip more generously. The amount of the tip should depend both on the level of service and on the number of days they have spent with you. A rough guideline is anywhere from 10 to 40 percent.
However, please do not hand out things such as money, empty water bottles, pens or other objects, as this will encourage begging.