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“Explore Abyssinia Travel - highly highly highly recommend!!!!!”

Simien Mountains National Park
Ranked #1 of 19 things to do in Gonder
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Simien Mountains National Park, in northern Ethiopia is a spectacular landscape, where massive erosion over millions of years has created jagged mountain peaks, deep valleys and sharp precipices dropping some 1,500 m. The park is of global significance for biodiversity conservation because it is home to globally threatened species, including the iconic Walia ibex, a wild mountain goat found nowhere else in the world, the Gelada baboon and the Ethiopian wolf.
Reviewed 17 November 2011

In early November, my boyfriend and I and one other couple (friends of ours) decided to do a trek in the Simien mountains. We went with Explore Abyssinia Travel, headed by Seyoum Yigzaw, and I cannot recommend him highly enough. Compared with our experiences with some other hotels and/or tour operators in Ethiopia, Seyoum was an absolute saint! The trip that he put together for us was incredible - well organized and memorable. Our guide throughout the trek, Bego, was knowledgeable, friendly, and told us all kinds of crazy stories about trekking in the Simen mountains, and even showed us some of his own "secret" places he usually doesn't take tourist trekkers to (though I'm sure he probably says this to every group! :)

on one evening during our trek, it rained VERY heavily for about 3 hours straight and hailed as well; at the camp, almost everyone's tents were flooded, and people didn't have stoves to make dinner. however, thanks to the professionalism of explore abyssinia, our tents were practically the only ones unscathed, and we were able to eat a delicious dinner by candlelight thanks to our wonderful cook and guide.

while some people prefer to arrange their own trekking in the mountains as opposed to going through an outfitter, i would highly recommend explore abyssinia. we found the prices reasonable, and the quality of service VERY worthwhile. compared to the other groups we encountered who had organized their own trips, i think we were able to have a much better experience thanks to the knowledge and generosity of our team from explore abyssinia.

also, in gondor, we highly recommend lodge du chateau! we had originally made reservations at a different hotel (the taye hotel), but when we first arrived in gondor, we went to meet seyoum at lodge du chateau, and immediately fell in love with the friendly service, delicious coffee, and amazing views from the upper deck.

2  Thank 265Katie23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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670 - 674 of 873 reviews

Reviewed 12 November 2011

Our hotel (the Simien Park Hotel in Debark) was meant to have organised a trek for us (two families and children) but decided not to bother, and only told us this the morning we were due to begin our trek.

So we went along to the park HQ and for a fraction of the price we'd been quoted soon organised a guide and armed ranger, and overnight accommodation in a simple lodge. We were self-driving and left some of our stuff at the lodge so we could take the guide and ranger with us. We also picked up some basic foodstuffs and drink.

We soon got into amazing scenery and we and our children were enthralled by the park's baboons who carry on with their lives oblivious to human presence (and indeed that of the cows, goats and sheeps who inhabit this unique Afro-Alpine ecosystem). Wonderful flowers, birds and mountains. The guide was very well-informed and knew all about the wildlife, and also judged well how much the kids could take. The scout didn't speak much English but was very helpful eg carrying tired children. The families living around the lodge cooked us food and made us tea and coffee for a small donation, and enjoyed watching us play football. They also provided firewood (you're not allowed to use the indigenous wood).

Very beautiful and memorable, and well worth the intrepid journey beyond Gondar (it takes 3-4 hours to do the 100 km journey as the road is so bad but a new Chinese-built road is due to be complete in a couple of years).

Do take: suncream and hats, comfortable walking boots, your own sleeping bags and liners (it gets chilly in the mountains and sheets aren't best clean), a camera and spare batteries, binoculars if you have them, matches and marshmallows for your campfire, torches and batteries. Some disposable plates/cups/cutlery may also come in handy. You might want to have biscuits to give to children you see. When you stop for photos, kids hawking little souvenirs will appear out of nowhere. And do take enough food for your scouts/guides.

1  Thank BigMamma35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2011

Our 3 day trek from Sankaber to Chenek via Geech was one of the highlights of two weeks in Ethiopia. The mountains, valleys, waterfalls and wildife were all spectacular and the close encounters with the endemic wildlife including Walia Ibex and Gelada Baboons made for a very rich experience. Trekking at High altitude and camping in freezing temperatures made it physically exhausting, but being prepared with adequate thermal insulation for the nights and the assistance of mules for parts of the trip made it very worthwhile

1  Thank lizziesbirds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2011

It's not easy to reach, not easy to walk through (because of the hight) and not comfortabele to stay at but it is one of the most amaizing places in the world. And it's worth any effort and money ( entrance fee, guide and scout must be paid at tha gates plus porters or mule)
Mountains are completely deserted. The camps are very basic with fresh water spring, and shealter for cooking. You need all teh equipment, food and cookin staff. In few forgoten villages you can only get some eggs, milk, sometimes meat.
Views are spectacular ane unforgetable even when it's misty.
The extra attraction are hundrets of baboons living around.

1  Thank very-sunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 October 2011

Simien Mountains - must be one of the most scenic places on earth. Travelled in a
group of 8 for 10 days, including Rash Dashen. The views compensated for all the
hard walking. Absolutely amazing. Go and see it. But, don't go for 1 or 2 days. Stretch
it to a least 6-8 days. And, as a bonus we sighted the Ethiopian Wolf (or Simien Fox)
on our second last day.

5  Thank fritz75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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