Semien Mountain Trek

Tour Highlights

There is nothing as breathtaking as watching the Blue Nile plunge into a gorge creating ‘smoking water’. A trek up Simien Mountain affords you to the chance to spot the endangered gelada baboon and the Ethiopian wolf. Our trip takes us to the Orthodox Church in Addis Ababa for insight into Ethiopia’s religious history.

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Itinerary Details

Day 1
Upon arrival at the airport in Addis Ababa, we meet a Kibo Slopes representative. After an introduction we proceed on a drive to Bahir Dar. The 500km drive takes us about 7 to 8 hours. On the way we come to the first bridge in Ethiopia-the Portugese Bridge and stop for lunch in Debre Markos. We arrive in the late afternoon at Bahir Dar for dinner and overnight stay at the Abbey Minch lodge.

Day 2
In the morning, we take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit the Island Monasteries, such as those on the Zege Peninsula and Kibran Gabriel (which do not allow entry for women). In the afternoon, we drive at the Blue Nile Falls for a hike around the area. In the early evening, we complete our tour of Bahir Dar with a drive up to Haile Selassies’ old palace and watch the sunset over the source of the Blue Nile. Dinner and the overnight stay will once again be at the Abbey Minch Lodge.

Day 3
After breakfast we take a 2hour drive to Gondar. This area is famous for its exceptionally well-preserved 17th century Castles; unique in Ethiopia and unlike anything found elsewhere in Africa. We shall visit the Royal Enclosure & Debre Berhane Selassie Church, whose walls host the nation’s most vibrant ecclesiastical artwork. Its ceiling captures most visitors’ imaginations. We will have lunch in one of the restaurants in the town center and visit the Bath of Fasilides in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight stay will be at the Taye Hotel.

Day 4
After breakfast we drive to Debark, the village base for hiking in the Simien Mountains. After registering with the park authorities we visit the Jinbar waterfalls before driving as far as Chenek campsite where we shall pitch tents for the night. On this drive we will get an incredible first impression of the beautiful highland region; the extraordinary scenery, enjoy watching the endemic Gelada Baboons and the bone breaker giant bird Lammergeyer roaring around. Today we set up camp at 3,600m at Chennek.

Day 5
After breakfast we take a 1hour drive towards the Bouhawit pass at 4200m if the roads are good. 0n the way we have the chance to see the magnificent Walia Ibex and possibly the endemic but rare Simien wolf. There are lovely views along the way as we descend to the Mesha River at 2750m. After we cross the river, we ascend 400m to Ambiko camp. It is a very long day with 8 to 10 hours of hiking. Dinner and overnight stay will be at the Ambiko camp.

Day 6
Today is the summit day involving a 16km trek of starting at 4am. The path winds its way ascending up to 1400metres to Ras Dashen. The 5 to 6 hour trek is quite strenuous but a reward is waiting for us at the summit. From the top of Ras Dashen at an altitude of 4543metres, we are mesmerized by the far ranging views which span more than 10,000 square kilometers. To the west the steep faces of peaks in the national park are visible, whilst the Tekeze Valley is visible in the north and the east. While most tour groups return to Ambiko after reaching the top, we continue over the top and descend through a broad valley with countless Giant Lobelia, before reaching another spectacular view point in 2hours where we rest a little while. From this spot it takes another 3-4 hours before we reach Mentaber camp. Dinner and overnight stay will be at the fly camp.

Day 7
From Mentaber we walk through narrow and steep valleys for a couple of hours. Although the people here do not see many tourists, they are very welcoming and many of them would want to shake hands with us, especially children. Before reaching the broad valley of Arkwazye where the camp situated, we take a steep climb through one of the villages, during which we might feel the strain of the previous day’s long walk. Dinner and overnight will once again be at the fly camp at Arkwasiye at 3700m.

Day 8
From Mentaber we walk through narrow and steep valleys for a couple of hours. Although the people here do not see many tourists, they are very welcoming and many of them would want to shake hands with us, especially children. Before reaching the broad valley of Arkwazye where the camp situated, we take a steep climb through one of the villages, during which we might feel the strain of the previous day’s long walk. Dinner and overnight will once again be at the fly camp at Arkwasiye at 3700m.

Day 9
Today we have an exciting 250km drive through rough road which is partly under construction and winds itself through the Simien Mountains offering spectacular views. The drive can take up to 8hours. On the way, we stop for lunch and arrive at Axum the holiest sanctuary and oldest capital of Ethiopia in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight stay will be Sabiyan Hotel.

Day 10
Today is reserved for sightseeing in Axum. The guided tour includes a visit to the spectacular ancient Obelisks which are cut out of a piece of granite and have a length of 40m. Axum had its heydays in the 4th century. This is the time when it also embraced Christianity. The Orthodox Church believes that the Church of our Lady Mary of Zion houses the Biblical Ark of Covenant. We visit the church and the museum, though the place where the covenant is kept is closed to the public. We will have our lunch in between the visits in one of towns’ restaurants and return to the Sabyian Hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 11
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Addis. We are picked up at the airport and transferred to the Friendship Hotel. We can opt for a lunch before proceeding on a sightseeing tour of Addis which includes a visit to the Orthodox Church and Entoto Mountains which was the original place of the Kings Palace. We also use the opportunity to shop for some souvenirs. In the evening, we attend an Ethiopian traditional dinner with Ethiopian song and dance. Overnight stay will be at the Friendship Hotel.

Day 12
Depending on the timing of our flight we will be transferred to Bole in good time for the security check and check in.

  • Tour Days: 12
  • Departure: Everyday departure with a minimum 2 pax from Addis Ababa
  • Price Guide:
    No. of PeoplePrice (USD)
    15712
    23399
    32628
    43032
    52643
    6 and more2383

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