Simien Mountains

Ethiopia is a very different African destination. Known as “The Roof of Africa,” this is a land of surprises, with a wealth of superb trekking and a rich cultural heritage. Ethiopia includes some of the finest mountain scenery in Africa, most notably in the Simien Mountains which have been designated a World Heritage Site. This highland area in the northern part of Ethiopia includes many summits over 4000 meters, the highest being RasDeshen, at 15154 feet/4620 meters, the fourth highest mountain in Africa.

Geographically, the mountains comprise several major plateau, which are underlain by basalt lavas thousands of meters thick. It is the erosion of these lavas that have created the dramatic escarpments and freestanding pinnacles which are characteristic of the range and which are comparable in terms of spectacle to the Grand Canyon.

The Simien: is an area of highland country in the northern part of Ethiopia in the Administrative of North Gondar. Rosita Forbes says, the Simien massif is a “volcanic pile now bounded by gigantic erosional precipices on almost all sides.” In addition to spectacular scenery, the region contains a number of unusual botanical phenomena and some of the rarest animals in the world. The walia ibex has its citadel among the peaks of the Simien;The Simien fox, also very rare, is found nowhere else but in these mountains and in the highlands of southern Ethiopia . The Gelada, a primate which looks like a cross between a baboon and a lion, is another exclusively Ethiopian species which lives in this habitat. Birds which are endemic to Ethiopia are found in the Simien. In 1969, the wildest part of this region was gazetted as a national park.