The Simien Mountains are one of the prominent highlands of Africa rising to the highest point of Ethiopia – Ras Dashen (4520m), which is believed to be the fourth highest peak in Africa. Though the Simien Mountains are not far from the equator, snow and ice might appear on the highest point and temperatures sometimes drop to zero or below.
The national park has three main botanical regions: the higher lands are mountain grass lands with fescue grass as well as heather trees, splendid red hot pokers (only seen from August to the end of September) and Giant Lobelia.
The park was primarily established to rescue the Walia Ibex, a species of wild goat. Some 1000 of them are said to be still living in the park and their population size is growing thanks to appropriate conservation. They are the only ones in the world and Simien Mountains NP is the only place where you could find them. Also in the park you could see a number of unique Gelada Baboons with a “bleeding heart” on the chest; and the rare Ethiopian Wolf can also be seen there. Over 50 species of birds have been found in the Simien Mountains.
People settled many years ago in the park and they still live there doing many different activities such as farming, animal breading and mixed farming. It is believed that they settled there in the 16th century and their origin is in the South Arabia. The traditional and cultural way of living of the local people is one of the attractions of the national park. Both Christians and Muslims live peacefully in the park and they share everything they have during public holidays as well as wedding and funeral ceremonies. This is the way they express their mutual understanding and co-existence.
As confirmed by most of our clients, the park is a wonderful place for those committed to do real trek. Apart from the wildlife experience, the Simien Mountains provide some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. That is probably the reason UNESCO considers it a world heritage site. It is easily accessible from the historic towns of Gondar and Axum. You can also see a number of bird species, even though it is not as rich as in the south of the country.