Simien Mountains National Park

Simien Mountains National Park is located in the northern region of Ethiopia.  The national park encompasses an area of 85 square miles (220 sq km).

The Simien Mountains are part of the Ethiopian Highlands.  The mountains are comprised of plateaus that are split by valleys and pinnacles.  Ras Dejen is the tallest mountain in Ethiopia reaching a summit of 14,930 feet (4,550 m). 

The Ras Dejen mountain is the 10th tallest mountain in Africa.  The western summit of the mountain provides an enclosed observation deck.  It is a 360 deck offering visitors a panoramic view of the spectacular mountainous landscape.

The landscape across the plateau features jagged peaks, ridges, meadows, deep valleys, alpine forests, and steep precipices.  An unpaved road meanders across the park up to Buahit Pass at 14,534 feet (4,430 m).

Predator species include leopard, caracal, hyena, jackal, wild cat, and the rare Ethiopian wolf.  Other popular species include bushbuck, common duiker, klipspringer, hamadryas baboon, and the rare gelada baboon.  The endangered Walia ibex is a wild goat found only in this region.

There are around 400 species of birds with the lanner falcon, kestrels, and Verreaux’s eagle being some of the sought-after predators.  Of the 400 species, 63 species are endemic.

Simien Mountains Highlights

  • Ras Dejen

The plateau landscape blanketed with valleys, pinnacles, rugged mountains and more is what draws people to the park.  Ras Dejen is the tallest mountain in the park and the 10th tallest in Africa.

Trails of Simien Mountains National Park

Each and all hikes must be secured and confirmed by the national park office.  A scout is required for each trek and an additional guide is optional.  The summit of Ras Dejen is the objective of hiking in the national park.

You can drive close to the summit which leaves only a short trek to the peak.  That journey begins in Debark and meanders across the park and up the mountain.  In total, it is a 41-mile (66 km) journey.

Sources: 

Lonely Planet, Simien Mountains National Park, https://www.lonelyplanet.com/ethiopia/northern-ethiopia/simien-mountains-na…, retrieved October 2019.

Simien Park, Simien Mountains National Park, https://simienpark.org/, retrieved October 2019.

UNESCO, Simien National Park, https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/9/, retrieved October 2019.