Photo by: Patricio Robles Gil
Trekking is one of the most sought after activities to do in Simien Mountains National Park. The following are guidelines to help plan your trekking experience:
- Tours start at Debark where the Simien Mountains National Park Headquarters is located (3,000m). Here you will need to register, pay your entrance fees and meet your trekking guide from the Walia Local Guides Association.
- You are free to walk or ride. However, it is recommended to take along riding mules as a precaution as climbing to an altitude of 4,000m can be tiring.
The highland campsites are situated at an altitude between 3,250 and 3,600m, while the lowland campsites are between 1,990 and 1,655m. Each camp is located between 15 and 25km from each other and can be reached between 5 - 8 hours. This allows you to spend every night in a different campsite. It is also possible to reach some of the campsites by car.
- The most common way to start the trek is to drive into the national park (1.5 hours on the main road from Debark) to the escarpment near Michibiny (3,203m) where you will start the trek. From there it is a 2 - 3 hour trek to the first camp - Sankaber. It is also possible to drive straight to the Sankaber campsite.
- While trekking you will be treated to magnificent views of the famous Simien escarpments as you travel through the Afroalpine habitat. Wildlife includes the walia ibex which is found nowhere else in the world, the iconic Ethiopian wolf and the gelada as well as a wealth of bird species. Following the rewarding experience of the highland routes, the trip then takes you on a more off-the-beaten-track route to the lowland parts of the park through the villages of Mekarebya, Mulit and Adi Arkay. This route also gives you a chance to see the other side of the highland scenery with the opportunity to mingle with local people and discover their ways of life.
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