To give you a taste of what you can expect, below is an example itinerary for an extensive 10 day trek through the mountains.

10 day trek Itinerary into the Simien Mountains National Park

  • Day 1 You will be picked up either from Gondar Airport or your hotel. There is then a drive of about 102 km north to the small town of Debark, where the park headquarters are located. Here we will employ a scout, cook and pay for entry into the park.

    After a drive of 27 km, we will start the first day's trek of about 2-3 hours to Sankaber, the first camp site, arriving in time for a beautiful sunset and delicious evening meal around an open fire.
  • Day 2 After hiking for an hour and a half along the escarpment, we arrive at a stunning waterfall, cascading 500 metres through a hole in the rock into the bottom of an impressive gorge. It is particularly spectacular following the rainy season (September-November).

    Lunch will be by the Ginbar river, which is the source of the waterfall.

    From the lunch spot, we will ascend to the camp site and also possibly to Geech Village to experience a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony, a key part of the culture and a good moment to observe how rural people live.

    The day's trek is about 6-7 hours.
  • Day 3 offers some of the most spectacular sights of the whole trip. The views in all directions are dramatic and ever changing as the sun moves through the day. In the morning, we walk along the crest of a broad ridge to Imet Gogo. Here we should get our first glimpse of Ras Dashen, the highest peak in the country. There is also a good chance of seeing the indigenous Gelada baboon.

    After a morning of 3-4 hours trekking, we have a lunch break at the head of the Inatey Valley (4,070m) before continuing along the Belegez Valley to our final destination - Camp Chennek. From Chennek you can see over the escarpment edge and across the foothills. This is a good place to spot Walia ibex and more Gelada baboons.

    Total trekking time for the day is 8-9 hours.
  • Day 4 Another wonderful walk. Heading in the same direction as the previous day, we soon branch off to reach the edge of the escarpment, which we follow to the top, Enatye (4,070m). The dramatic views continue all the way down to Chennek Camp 3,620m.

    Trekking time: 6-7 hours.
  • Day 5 This is a challenging day's trekking of ascents and descents as we make our way from Chennek to Ambiko. We have a high chance of seeing the rare and endangered mountain goat (Walia ibex), unique to the Simien.

    From Chenek, we climb to a pass at 4,200m and from the pass we have a big drop down to Mesha River (2,850m), via the village of Chiro Leba. From the river, we then ascend 350m to the base camp of Mount Ras Dashen, Ambiko.

    Trekking time: 8-9 hours.
  • Day 6 We complete an ascent of Ras Dashen (4,543m) before returning to Ambiko.

    Ras Dashen has three peaks and we climb to the middle peak, which is the highest. The view from this peak is breathtaking.
  • Day 7 From Ambiko (3,200m), we trek to Sona Camp (3,150m) with plenty of ups and downs. Lunch is at a village called Arkwhziye, a place where local inhabitants sell us refreshing drinks.

    Trekking time: 8-9 hours.
  • Day 8 We descend into the lowlands begining with an 1,100m descent into the Ensiya Valley where we have a relaxed lunch break. We then move onto our camp, near the village of Mekarebya.

    This is an excellent day for seeing birds and there are very good views up to the Simien Mountains.
  • Day 9 From Mekarebya camp, we drop 350m followed by a hot 400m ascent. We will have a lunch stop and after having our lunch, will hike for about an hour on a gentle slope to the last camp site of the Simien Mountains, namely Mulit (2,150m).

    Trekking time: 6-7 hours.
  • Day 10 The final day's walking leads to Adi Arkay (1,800m) and from there, a drive either to Gondar or to Axum via Debark.