• the higest peaks summits ethiopia simien eco tours

Trek the highest peaks at the Horn of Africa

Ethiopia is the roof of Africa. A paradise for summiters. On this challenging trekking trip, you will climb dizzying heights in the ascent of the two highest mountains in the country, Ras Dashen (4,550 meters) in Simien National Park and Abuna Yoseph (4,260 meters) in the Lasta Mountains near Lalibela.

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Accompanied by one of our experienced SimienEcoTours mountains guides (English, Italian, Spanish, French & German available) you will visit the world famous rock churches in Lalibela before leaving for a 4-days trekking above Lalibela in the astonishing Lasta Mountains. A trek that leads you through villages, to nature refuges and to some rock churches hidden far up in the mountains. There will be plenty of time to meet locals along the way and to get cosy in your community stays. Followed by a break in the ancient capital of Ethiopia in Gondar you will then start a 7-days trek through the nature of Simien Mountains National Park that combines the highlands with the 4,550 meters high Ras Dashen peak - the highest mountain in Ethiopia - with the lowlands of the Simiens. The trails lead you along the lofty high plateaus with unique flora and fauna and later down into the lowlands where farmers plow their lands. 

All treks are accompanied by our team of muleteers and a cook that make your trekking experience unforgettable. You can enjoy the spectacular scenery of the mountains with your light backpack and get comfortable in our overnight camps with good food.

Upgrades to more atmospheric high-range lodges in some destinations are possible. Talk to our Travel Experts.

Tour code: CU12

Operator: SimienEcoTours

Gallery

Itinerary & In/Exclusions

Day 1

Addis Ababa - the third higest capital city in the world

Travel: 1-2 h, 50 km

After your arrival at Bole Airport and check-in at your hotel, you will go on a city tour in Addis Ababa and then drive up to Entoto, the capital's 3,000-metre-high local mountain. From up here you have a fascinating view of the growing metropolis. Afterwards you visit the National Museum and discover the huge textile market at Shiro Meda.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Caravan Hotel or similar (check-in after 12pm), Addis Ababa

Day 2

The monolithic rock churches of Lalibela

Flight time: 1 h

Travel: 1 h, 30 km

A domestic flight will bring you to the holy city of Lalibela (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Its 12th century eleven rock-hewn churches are truly mysterious as they are chiselled out of solid rock. Legends claim this miracle as the work of angels. You arrive at Lalibela town in the morning for your check in at the hotel.

Today you are entering the heart of the holy city. On your guided personal tour you walk though the labyrinths of trenches and tunnels to discover the eleven rock churches of Lalibela. Beta Medane Alem (“Church of the World Saviour”) and Beta Gyorgis (“St. Geogre Church”) are architectural masterpieces counting among the biggest rock churches in Ethiopia. Beta Mariam (“Church of St. Mary”) with its beautiful painted interior and its frescoes is not less impressive as the churches of the southern cluster which used to be an old fortress with narrow confusing pathways. You will have the day to discover these churches in its details before your sunset dinner will be with splendid views in the Lasta Mountains.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Cliff Edge Hotel or similar, Lalibela

Day 3

Hike from Asheten Monastery to Hudad

Travel: 0.5 h, 10 km

Hiking: 2-3 h, 6 km (difficulty: moderate, altitude difference: ↑400m, ↓100m)

Above the town of Lalibela towers the 3,800m high Asheten Table Mountain. At its foot lies the Asheten Mariam Church of the same name, which you can visit (optional visit for US$ 30 per person) before you climb the nearby Hudad table mountain from here. A perfect short tour to get used to the altitude. On the Hudad you will stay overnight in an Eco-lodge. Up here you will experience Ethiopian country life and pure nature. 

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Hudad Eco-Retreat, Lasta Mountains

Day 4

Trekking from Hudad to Degosach through villages

Hiking: 4-5 h, 9 km (difficulty: moderate, altitude difference: ↑400m, ↓100m)

Today's relaxed hiking day takes you up to a plateau above Hudad. With distant views over the Lasta Mountains you will hike through farming villages across the plateau and experience Ethiopia's simple country life. A good day for further acclimatization to the altitude, as the paths are mostly flat with only a few ascents. In the afternoon you reach the next Eco-lodge.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Degosach Eco-Lodge, Lasta Mountains

Day 5

The ascent to Mt. Abuna Yoseph (4,260 m)

Hiking: 6-7 h, 19 km (difficulty: medium/difficult, altitude difference: ↑1.400m, ↓200m)

In the early morning you will start the not too difficult hike to the highest peak of the Lasta group, the Abuna Yoseph (4,260 m). On the last kilometres to its double peak you will hike through a nature reserve and experience the afro-alpine nature. If you are lucky, you will encounter the Ethiopian wolf here. In the afternoon you will return to the lodge with a 4x4 vehicle.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Degosach Eco-Lodge, Lasta Mountains

Day 6

Descent into a hidden valley and visit of Yemrehanne Christos church

Hiking: 2-3 h, 9 km (difficulty: medium, altitude difference: ↑100m, ↓1.200m)

Today, after wonderful days in nature and among farmers, you will descend into the church forest of the Yemrehanne Christos Church, which you can visit (optional visit for US$ 30 per person). It is a little visited jewel of church architecture in the region around Lalibela. From here you will return by car to Lalibela, where you can enjoy the end of the first summit tour with a sunset. 

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Cliff Edge Hotel or similar, Lalibela

Day 7

The ancient capital of Gondar

Flight time: 1 h

Travel: 1-2 h, 50 km

In the morning you will fly to Gondar, which is reminiscent of a medieval European city because of the old castles built here by the emperors. In fact, in the 17th century the Portuguese missionaries had a decisive influence on the architectural style of the Ethiopian emperors. Today you will visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the park-like grounds you can escape from the present day and go back to the 17th century.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Inn of the Four Sisters or similar, Gondar

Day 8

The Roof of Africa - Simien Mountains National Park

Travel: 4 h; 150 km

Hiking: 4-5 h, 12 km (difficulty: medium, altitude difference: ↑200m, ↓500m)

Drive to the Simien Mountain National Park. After a short stop in the city of Debark for the formalities you drive on a rough road into the Ayna Meda area at about 3,800 meter above sea level, from where you start your hike in the National Park. At first, you hike through a quite flat area up to the mighty north-eastern flank to the viewpoint Inatye (4,010 masl) and look down to the lowlands that are almost 2,000 meter below you. From Inatye your hiking trail leads along the edge to the campground in Chennek.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Camping in Chennek, Simien Mountains National Park

Day 9

Trekking from Chennek to Ambiko

Hiking: 7-8 h, 22 km (difficulty: medium/difficult, altitude difference: ↑950m, ↓1.400m)

From the campsite in Chennek, the trail climbs steeply uphill to an area full of giant Lobelias that can grow up to 6 metres high, and looks back at the north-eastern flank of the Simien massif. The trail alternates with the road leading to the Bwahit Pass. This area is still home to many of the endemic Ethiopian ibex. You reach the Bwahit Pass at 4,100 masl and from here you branch off to towards Ambiko camp. A path leads past the fields alternate with afro-alpine grasslands. Ambiko lies at 3,600 masl and you camp near the small village.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Camping in Ambiko, Simien Mountains National Park

Day 10

The summit of Ras Dashen (4,550 m)

Hiking: 10-11 h, 22 km (difficulty: difficult, altitude difference: ↑1.350m, ↓1.350m)

Today you will climb the summit of Ras Dashen. Before sunrise you will start with a hike to the foot of the mountain. The path becomes steeper and steeper and climbs up amidst huge lobelia plants. The last part of the hike is very demanding for most trekkers, but all the more rewarding when you reach the highest point of Ethiopia. At an altitude of 4,550 m the view is breathtaking! Finally, you return back to your base camp.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Camping in Ambiko, Simien Mountains National Park

Day 11

Trekking from Ambiko to Sona

Hiking: 7-8 h, 20 km (difficulty: medium/difficult, altitude difference: ↑700m, ↓1.300m)

You will first walk along the river valley through farmland. Here the Simien Mountains are inhabited again and you will experience the country life in the village of Arkwasiye. You hike down to the much warmer lowlands and spend the night in Sona. From Sona you have a fantastic view back to the high peaks and where you were a few days before.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Camping in Sona, Simien Mountains

Day 12

Trekking into the lowlands to Mekerebya

Hiking: 4 h, 9 km (difficulty: medium, altitude difference: ↑250m, ↓1.400m)

The first part of today's hike leads on a path a little more than 1,000 meters steeply down to the Ansiya River. Here you will have a lunch break in the shade of the trees and can take a bath in the river. In the afternoon, you will hike for about 2 hours to Camp Mekarebya at 1,900 m and discover a well for the village people that was financed by the local agency.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Camping in Mekarebya, Simien Mountains

Day 13

Trekking from Mekerebya to Mulit

Hiking: 4-5 h, 12 km (difficulty: moderate/medium, altitude difference: ↑800m, ↓700m)

A somewhat easier hike takes you back down to the Ansiya River in the morning to explore a side valley. A beautiful small lake invites you to take a swim, before the 400 m altitude difference leads you up to the village of Hawaza and then to the last camp in the village of Mulit.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Camping in Mulit, Simien Mountains

Day 14

The last trekking day to Adi Arkay

Travel: 4-5 h, 190 km

Hiking: 2 h, 6 km (difficulty: moderate/medium, altitude difference: ↑200m, ↓550m)

After about two hours of easy walking you reach the village of Adi Arkay. It is situated on the main road and thus you are back in civilization. A vehicle is already waiting for you and will bring you back to Gondar in the afternoon. There you have time to stroll around or to put your feet up in a relaxed way.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Inn of the Four Sisters or similar, Gondar

Day 15

Return to Addis Ababa and say good bye

Flight time: 1 h

Travel: 1-2 h, 40 km

A domestic flight takes you back to Addis Ababa. You still have time today to take care of some business or to get to know one of our social projects in Addis Ababa. Finally, a traditional dinner with dance and music completes the trip and you will be taken to the airport.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: ---

Included

Our services include:
  • all (3) domestic flights in Ethiopia with Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa-Lalibela, Lalibela-Gondar, Gondar-Addis Ababa), Note: If the international flight is with a carrier other than Ethiopian Airlines, there will be a supplement of € 230 for the domestic flights;
  • all accommodations in double rooms with private toilet/shower in hotels or lodges (5x mid-range), exception during the trekkings: 3 nights in mountain huts with compost toilets & bucket shower for and 6 nights in tents for 2 persons;
  • all transfers and travels in Ethiopia with private car (minivan & 4x4);
  • full board (1 drink per meal included, alcoholic drinks excluded);
  • all entrance fees and permissions at tourist attractions, churches, museums and national parks;
  • for the trekking: entrance and camping fees, guide, scouts and rangers, mules/dromedaries and mulemen, cook, cooking assistant, cooking and camping equipment (it's recommended to bring your own sleeping bag);
  • all persons for safety and security (when prescribed);
  • all tips for meals;
  • all (mandatory) local guides in the single destinations;
  • all taxes and administrative fees;
  • 24/7 emergency assistance;
  • experienced SimienEcoTours Mountain Guide (fluently English & Amharic speaking), other language guide on request with surcharge.

Excluded

Our services do not include:
  • international flights;
  • optional visits to Asheten Mariam & Yemrehanna Christos Church (plus US$ 20/30 per person/church);
  • travel insurance;
  • visa for Ethiopia (currently € 46);
  • alcoholic beverages;
  • tips;
  • photo and video fees (if applicable);
  • all extras and personal expenses.