view of mountains

The Simien Mountains in Northern Ethiopia offer some of the finest highland trekking in the world with rare wild life, stunning views and fascinating traditional villages. A designated UNESCO World Heritage site since 1978 due to its outstanding beauty and its host of indigenous species, treks follow a common trail from park campsites along a dramatic ridge. Known as the Roof of Africa, the mountains range between 3,500 and 4,000 metres, with Ras Dashen as the highest peak at 4,543 metres.

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The park is located in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia and is home to over 12,000 people. The traditional lifestyle, culture and agricultural practices of these people are some of the major attractions of the park. Both Christians and Muslims live within the park and both communities place great emphasis on welcoming visitors, who may observe or even experience the traditional greeting of cheek kissing. Visitors will also observe the beautiful local clothes known as Shemma.

Gelada baboons, Walia ibex and the Ethiopian wolf are all found within the national park, which is also home to over 182 species of bird, of which 7 are indigenous. The visitor can see endangered birds such as the Hooded Vulture, the impressive Lammergeyer, the Abyssinian long Claw, the Egyptian Vulture and many more.

For visitors interested in botany, the Simien Mountains do not disappoint; many rare and indigenous plants are found within the park, namely St. John's Wort (Hypericum), Giant Heather (Erica arborea), the Abyssinian Wild Rose (Rosa abyssinica), Giant Lobelia (Lobelia rhynchopetalum), Meskel Flower (Kniphofia foliosa) and Aloemacropetra.

The best time to visit the park is between October and January.