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Exodus: Ethiopia ‘The Simien Mountains Trek’ 13 days $5,649

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Exodus: Ethiopia ‘The Simien Mountains Trek’ 13 days $5,649

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Product Description

Trek through Ethiopia’s dramatic Simien Mountains.

The dramatic skyline of peaks and jagged volcanic plugs which tower over the highland plateaux of the Simien Mountains compete with rugged gorges and deep gullies to form what is, arguably, the most awe-inspiring landscape in Africa. As we trek through this distant mountain range we pass small hamlets where villagers eke out an existence from the limited arable land. We may come across large troops of Gelada baboons foraging on the escarpment; and, with luck, spot Walia ibex and Ethiopian wolves. In January we have a special Timkat Festival departure (TYES) which is one day longer, please see the trip notes for more details.

Highlights

  • Castles of Gondar
  • Trekking through dramatic scenery
  • Endemic flora & fauna
  • Remote mountain communities
  • Led by an experienced Ethiopian guide and a UK trekking leader

Key information

  • 9 nights wild camping, 3 nights standard hotels with en suite facilities
  • 10 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
  • Good fitness required
  • Altitude maximum 4543m, average 3300m
  • Harar and Lalibela extensions available
  • Special Timkat Festival Departure in January (one day longer)

Exodus: Ethiopia 'The Simien Mountains Trek' 13 days $5,649 1 Exodus: Ethiopia 'The Simien Mountains Trek' 13 days $5,649 2Exodus: Ethiopia 'The Simien Mountains Trek' 13 days $5,649 3 Exodus: Ethiopia 'The Simien Mountains Trek' 13 days $5,649 4 Exodus: Ethiopia 'The Simien Mountains Trek' 13 days $5,649 5 Exodus: Ethiopia 'The Simien Mountains Trek' 13 days $5,649 6 Exodus: Ethiopia 'The Simien Mountains Trek' 13 days $5,649 7

Start Date End Date
05 Oct 2020 24 Oct 2020
  • DAY 1

    Arrive Addis Ababa; half-day city tour.

    The group flight arrives in the morning. Please note that if you are being picked up at the airport (either on the group transfer or private transfer) you will have to exit the terminal to find our representative with the Exodus board. You may see people with signs inside the terminal but they are generally people with special permission such as the UN, Government or hotels with desks inside the terminal. In the afternoon we go on a sightseeing tour that takes us to the Ethnographic Museum and the Church of the Trinity where Haile Selassies’ remains now lie.
    Ghion Hotel or similar

  • DAY 2

    Fly to Gondar; tour castles and Debre Birhan Selassie church.

    We have a spectacular flight to Gondar. From the air we see the extraordinary nature of the Ethiopian plateau, cut again and again by immensely deep gorges. Gondar was once the capital of Ethiopia and in the afternoon we visit the castles, which were built in the 17th and 18th centuries by several generations of Ethiopia’s kings. Nearby is the Debre Birhan Selassie church with its sensational angelic ceiling, and the bathhouse of Fasil at which thousands of Ethiopians celebrate Timkat festival every January. Our hotel is up on a cliff top with wonderful views overlooking the town. Depending on time we will also visit the centre of The Kindu Trust, a local charity which Exodus supports.

    (On the Timkat Festival departure in January we spend a full extra day in Gondar to experience the festival. We join the Ethiopian crowds at Fasilides’ Baths whose water has been blessed by priests. Young men dive into the water to symbolise the baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan. The festival has been described as one of the greatest shows on Earth.)
    Goha Hotel or similar

  • DAY 3

    Drive to Debark; start trekking to Sankaber Camp.

    We travel by road the 105 kilometres to the small town of Debark, the nearest town to the Simien National Park. There is a little time to explore the area while the guides prepare the equipment and mules for the trek.

    From Debark the landscape suddenly opens onto a picturesque valley dotted with mud huts, horses and livestock. We start our walk at Buyit Ras, entrance to the park, and head towards Sankaber where we have our first night’s camp. There are spectacular views across the range from here. 3 hours walking, 9kms.
    Sankaber Camp or similar

    Meals included: breakfast  lunch  dinner
  • DAY 4

    Trek to Geech via Jinbar Waterfall.

    Walking near small settlements and villages we have fine views across the lowlands and the Simien plateau as we continue our trek heading towards Geech (3,600m). En route we see a stunning waterfall; cascading through a hole in the rock, it falls 500 metres to the bottom of the gorge and is particularly impressive after the rainy season (by Christmas the waterfall may not be visible). The last 2 hours of the day involve a steep climb up to our campsite, where we stay for two nights. 7 hours walking, 12 kms.
    Geech Camp or similar

    Meals included: breakfast  lunch  dinner
  • DAY 5

    Day walk to Imetgogo.

    A spectacular day – in the morning we walk to Imetgogo (3,926m). Situated at the end of a long ridge, which disappears on either side to the lowlands below, there are outstanding views of the gorge and mountain range and it is easy to understand why the striking formations have been described as ‘the chess pieces of the Gods’. We should get our first glimpse of Ras Dashen from here and we can see clearly our route for the coming days. If we haven’t already encountered them, there is a good chance of seeing the indigenous Gelada, also known as the ‘bleeding heart’ baboon or Lion monkey. The Gelada is in fact neither baboon nor monkey but the last remaining species of a branch of high altitude, grass eating primates that have all but vanished. We return to the same camp and enjoy an afternoon at rest. 4 hours walking, 10kms, ascent 325m, descent 325m.
    Geech Camp or similar

    Meals included: breakfast  lunch  dinner
  • DAY 6

    Trek to Chennek via Enatyie Escarpment.

    Another wonderful walk – heading in the same direction as yesterday we soon branch off to reach the edge of the escarpment which we follow to the top, Inatye (4070m). The dramatic views continue all the way down to our camp at Chennek. 7 hours walking, 13kms, ascent 650m, descent 570m.
    Chenneck camp or similar

    Meals included: breakfast  lunch  dinner
  • DAY 7

    Trek to Ambiko; ascend Bwuhit.

    A memorable but hard day’s trekking of ascents and descents as we make our way from Chennek to Ambiko. We should see birds like the Ground Scraper Thrush, Siskins, Falcons and Kestrel. Today is also our best chance of seeing the rare and endangered Walia Ibex, a species that can only be found in the Simien National Park. From Chennek we climb to a pass at 4,200m and from here the fit and energetic may like to continue on a further hour up to the summit of Bwuhit at 4,430m. Otherwise from the pass we have a big drop down to the Meshah River at 2850m, via the village of Chiro Leba, where we may be able to visit the school and small clinic (if open). From the river we ascend 350m to our camp, where we spend 2 nights at Ambiko. 10 hours walking, 17km, ascent 1105m, descent 1570m.
    Ambiko Camp or similar

    Meals included: breakfast  lunch  dinner
  • DAY 8

    Ascent of Ras Dashen, highest point in Ethiopia.

    We ascend Ras Dashen before returning to Ambiko. This day is the longest day of the trek. It may take up to twelve hours climbing 1350m to the summit. Ras Dashen has 3 peaks and we climb to the middle highest peak – the roof of Ethiopia. Our efforts are rewarded with incredible views from the summit. 12 hours walking, 21km, ascent 1345m, descent 1345m.
    Ambiko Camp or similar

    Meals included: breakfast  lunch  dinner
  • DAY 9

    Trek to Sona via Arkwasiye.

    Another challenging day, although not as difficult as the previous one! From Ambiko we trek to the superbly positioned camp at Sona. After plenty of ups and downs we might be able to stop for some local coffee in the small village of Arquaziye before continuing for another hour and half to our camping site at Sona. 10 hours walking, 21kms, ascent 965m, descent 1055.
    Sona Camp or similar

    Meals included: breakfast  lunch  dinner
  • DAY 10

    Descend to Ansiya Wenz River and on to Lamo Camp.

    A much easier day! We descend into the lowlands. Our day begins with a 1,100m descent into the Ansiya 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. We can look back with pride upon the areas we have recently trekked. 5 hours walking time, 10kms, ascent 65m, descent 1120m.
    Mekarebya Camp or similar

    Meals included: breakfast  lunch  dinner
  • DAY 11

    Continue to Mulit Camp.

    From our camp we drop 350m, to where we have another long idyllic lunch spot. The final 2 hours of the day involve a hot 400m of ascent, to our final campsite at Mulit. Here we are completely surrounded by fantastic views all around us. 5 hours walking, 17kms, ascent 515m, descent 425m.
    Mulit Camp or similar

    Meals included: breakfast  lunch  dinner
  • DAY 12

    Short walk to Adi Arkay where the trek finishes; drive to Gondar.

    Our final day’s walking takes us to Adi Arkay from where we drive, via Debark to Gondar (approx 6 hours driving), for a much deserved wash and rest! 2.5 hours walking, 7kms, ascent 50m, descent 440m.
    Goha Hotel or similar

    Meals included: breakfast
  • DAY 13

    Fly to Addis Ababa; evening depart.

    Depending on flight times there may be time to relax and explore Gondar before we fly back to Addis. On our return to Addis day rooms will be provided for clients on the late flight, departing after midnight on day 14 (day 15 ex London). The trip ends in the evening in Addis

    (please note the January Timkat Festival departure is one day longer as we spend 2 nights in Gondar before the trek).

    Meals included: breakfast

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TRIP NOTES

SUMMIT MAP

TRIP OVERVIEW

Trip Code: Exodus

Group Size: 16

Start: 05 Oct 2020

End: 24 Oct 2020

Duration: 13 days

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