Fixed departure Trekking Tours in the Simien Mountains

In the main season we're offering to our clients Trekking Tours in the Simien Mountains with fixed departure dates. In this way people will join other hikers and can share the costs with more people.

These tours are leaving from Gondar twice in a week, every Wednesday and every Saturday morning at about 7:30 AM, for 4 days / 3 nights. So the return to Gondar is on Saturday and Tuesday respectively at about 5 PM.

The cost per person depends from the total number of participants and will be as listed here:

tot. 2 persons: 400 USD per person;
tot. 3 persons: 350 USD per person;
tot. 4-6 persons: 300 USD per person;
tot. 7-8 persons: 250 USD per person;
tot. 9-10 persons: 220 USD per person.
Maximum number of participants: 10 persons.

This price is an all inclusive price for the complete package from/to Gondar and includes:
- transfer from your hotel in Gondar to Debark and the Simien Mountains on the first day and back from the mountains to Gondar on the last day;
- accommodation in tents for 2 persons;
- full board, including drinks (alcoholic drinks excluded);
- entrance and camping fees for the Simien National Park;
- scouts and park rangers;
- mules and mulemen for the transportation of the heavy material;
- cook and cooking assistant who will prepare all the meals;
- cooking and camping equipment (tents, sleeping mattress);
- experienced local tour guide (fluently English & Amharic speaking).

The price doesn't include:
- alcoholic drinks;
- tipping;
- sleeping bag (it's recommended to bring your own).

After an advance payment of 80 USD or 70 EUR per person as confirmation of your participation you can pay the remaining amount (depending on the final number of people) directly in Gondar, in cash (ETB, USD or EUR) or with credit card in our office.

Please understand that prices may vary due to change in currency exchange rates, fees and taxes and depending on the season.

This is the detailed description of the itinerary with some photos.

Day 1: GONDAR - DEBARK - SANKABER (3,250m)

7-8 km, 2-3 hours walking. In the morning at about 7:30 the bus picks us up at the hotel in Gondar and takes us 100 km north on the Ethiopian highland to Debark, a small town of about 35,000 inhabitants at the border to the famous Simien National Park.
After a quick stop for the formalities at the head quarter offices of the national park and for collecting cook and scouts we drive out on a rough road to the Sankaber area at about 3,100 m sea level from where we take a short walk of 2-3 hours to assist the acclimatization process.
We get a first impressive view over the dramatic mountain range and see some typical plants of that area such as big Heather Trees (erica arborea), St.John swort (hypericum revulutm) or the Abissinian Wild Rose (rosa abissinica). This is also the area in which the largest number of Gelada Baboons (theorepticus gelada) can be found. First night in the tents at the Sankaber camp at 3,250m sea level.
Meals included: L, D.

Driving through the small town of Debark The impressive mountain ranges while driving up the mountains
A male Gelada Baboon eating fresh grass Walking along the edge of the escarpment
The view from there on the 2000m deeper lowlands The Thick-billed Raven (Corvus crassirostris), endemic in East Africa

Day 2: SANKABER (3,250m) - GICH (3,600m)

13 km, 6-7 hours walking including breaks. At Sankaber we organize and arrange mulemen and mules which carry our heavy camping and cooking equipment for the next days. So the hikers need to carry only a light daypack with some water, the photo camera, a light jacket and a few personal things that they might need for the hike during the day.
After the breakfast (bread, eggs, porridge, coffee, tea,…) we leave the camp at around 8:30 and we traverse along the Northern escarpment before dropping down to get impressive views, for example of the beautiful Jinbar Waterfall. In the large gorge of the waterfall there are many huge circling birds, especially vultures such as the Griffon (Gyps fulvus), Lappet-faced or Nubian Vulture (Torgos tracheliotos) and Lammergeier or Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) and other smaller birds as buzzards and ibises. Hopefully we also encounter the endemic Abissinian Catbird (Parophasma galinieri). Among the mammals Klipspringers (oreothragus oreothragus) and Meneliks Bushbucks (Tragelaphus scriptus) can be observed between Sankaber and Gich.
After a short distance (20 min) on the rough road, crossing the Jinbar river where we have the lunch break, we ascend through terraced farmland to the village of Gich and walk through to our camp at 3,600m. In the evening we have the possibility to walk up (30 min) to the mountain Kedadit (3,760m) and to assist to an unforgettable sunset.
Meals included: B, L, D.

Looking back on the escarpment The Jinbar Waterfall / The tall flower of a Giant Lobelia
Reaching the Gich camp on the plateau Cattle walking home from the highlands
At the Gich camp before sunset The wonderful sunset from the Kedadit Mountain

Day 3: GICH (3,600m) - CHENEK (3,620m)

15 km, 7-8 hours walking including breaks. After the breakfast we walk for about 2 hours to the summit of Imet Gogo (3,926m), which is one of the most spectacular viewpoints with 360 degrees and from where we can see Ras Dashen, the highest peak of the country.
After a photo break we trek along the whole escarpment, cross a small valley and climb the peak Inatye (4,070m) where we will take our lunch stop and have a rest. From there we will have a nice view more than 1,000m down to the green fields of the mountain villages Dihwara, Tiya, Amiwalka and Truwata. During the whole day we walk through vast fields of Giant Lobelia (lobelia rhynchopetalum) and sometimes Heather Trees (erica arborea) or Red Hot Poker (knphofia foliosa).
After the break we descend and reach our camp Chenek in the afternoon (3,620m). Chenek, sometimes called wildlife corridor, is the best place to see the Gelada Baboons (theorepticus gelada), the Walia Ibex (capra ibex) and the Ethiopian Wolf (canis simensis). These animals are best observed around Chenek camp. At the campside we have the possibility to wash ourselves at the river or pipe water.
Meals included: B, L, D.

Looking down on the green fields of the village Dihwara Vultures after their meal
A family of Gelada Baboons enjoying the sun Walking through Giant Lobelias between Imet Gogo and Inatye
Grain ears in the hands of a local farmer Plants warn about their poisoned fruits

Day 4: CHENEK (3,620m) - BWAHIT (4,430m) - CHENEK - GONDAR

12 km, 5-6 hours walking including breaks. In the early morning we leave from our last camp Chenek, where we meet again Walia Ibexes (capra ibex), and first climb up about 600m to the Pass Bwahit (about 4,200m). This is the pass that hikers have to traverse if they want to climb Ras Dashen, but reaching this summit takes at least 2 days more.
If the physical condition allows it we continue from the pass our climb up to the peak of Ras Bwahit (4,430m), one of the highest in the whole area. Then we descend to Chenek and the car brings us back first to Debark on a 58 km long rough road and from there on the new asphalt road to Gondar, where we will arrive in the afternoon at about 5:00 PM.
Meals included: B, L.

Wildlife near to the Chenek camp (Gelada Baboons and Walia Ibex) The majestic Lammergeier moving around Ras Bwahit
Green fields waiting for the harvest A shepherd boy around Chenek camp
Women on the way to a funeral The beautiful flowers of the Red Hot Poker

OUR CARS AND EQUIPMENT

Cars
We will transport you through the rough roads in the Simien Mountain National Park either with our 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser or with our robust Toyota Hiace Minibus. Both cars were bought in 2015 and are in a convenient condition. All of our 4 drivers have long-time experience in driving on rough and muddy roads and will bring you safely to your destination.

Camping equipment
You will be accommodated in our brand new Vaude Campo 3P tents. These tents are a 3 persons model, but we accommodate only two tourists. Also the tents have 2 entrances on either side, so that everybody is independent on stepping in and out of them.

For breakfast and dinner we will eat in our new dining tent, spacious for 10 people. It gives you shelter from the cold wind in the mountains or from rain (in rainy season) and keeps insects away.

When booking a tour please consider also our General Terms and Conditions.

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