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“Day hike in Simiens” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Simien National Park

Simien National Park
Debark, Ethiopia
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Ranked #1 of 2 attractions in Debark
Type: National Parks
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Attraction Details
Owner description: An area of outstanding rugged scenery and extremely rare wildlife has some interesting trekking routes.
Pacific Palisades
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Day hike in Simiens”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

I had a wonderful guide for a day trek in the Simien Mountains in November, 2012, and wished I'd planned a few days more days in the National Park. The scenery is spectacular and the gelada baboons very friendly with plenty of photo ops. My licensed guide was Beka Alebachew with five years of experience in guiding and organizing hikes and trekking.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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173 reviews from our community

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“Spectacular Simien! Incredible Scenery and Great Wildlife”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

The trek I did in the Simien mountains was the highlight of my visit to Ethiopia. We had a wonderful guide Teshagar of www.treksimien who was not only very knowledgeable about all the birds, plants and mammals but also told us about life in the mountains (he was born there and now lives in Debark) and was just really good fun with a good sense of humour. His love for the mountains is evident. I highly recommend him to organise your trek.

Right at the start of the trek we had incredible views and very soon came across a troop of gelada baboons. We were amazed to get so close to so many of these wild, but unthreatening, animals (see photos on the treksimien.com website of how close it’s possible to get to them) and we saw many more as the trek went on. We also saw 14 different species of birds, some of them only found in this area. My favourites were the huge thick billed ravens and the lammergeyers. We were lucky enough to get close to a herd of around 25 walia ibex, some were grazing, some mock fighting and others just lounging about on rocks in the sun. Among them were a few gelada baboons. A wildlife dream!

I can’t speak highly enough of the Simien mountains, I’ve trekked in quite a few countries in beautiful locations but the Simien is my favourite. It not only has the most spectacular scenery but I got so close to wildlife and also learned a bit about the lives of the local people. For an all round trekking destination it’s fantastic and well worth a visit even if you only have a short time. I also highly recommend Teshagar, he will arrange everything for you with efficiency and professionalism and can also organise tours on the historical circuit.

(I’ve done a fuller trip report on the Ethiopia forum for anybody interested in more details.)

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Ethiopia And Simien Mountains Trek”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

We also used Alex Alebachew after seeing his name in here and other forums. We had planned a trip to addis, gondar, simien (6 days), lalibela, axum and then hawassa. We worked out the cost to sort this trip out ourselves and the got a quote from alex and the difference in price made it significantly worthwhile to have him organise the trip. We were so glad we did because he made the whole trip run like clockwork with guides to meet us from each internal flight and guide us each day. We are not people who tend to use guides but were were conscious that we avoided a lot of unnecessary hassle otherwise.

His email is alebachew_2005 at yahoo dot com

He was extremely trusting of us (we paid half up front and then half when we returned to england). He is very professional and clearly has an eye for the growing tourism industry in ethiopia.

Things we loved - trekking in the simens, walking around the gondar, a pre-sunrise walk around the churches and early services in the laliela churches, the undiscovered archaeoligy in axum, the one night of luxury in the haile selassi resort in hawassa, the coffee shop in the piazza area of addis..

One thing which we found was a big problem was the amount of tips that the mule men and guides expected at the ond of our simen trek. We had read the usual guidebooks and daily rate pulished in the park office but it seems that large professional groups have raied the expectations of the mule men. We had not wanted to carry sugnificant sums with us during the mountain trek and prepared accordlingly. We ended up tipping the mule men what we beleived to be a days' rate only to nave it thrown back and the local heavies surround us (we are aware of this prctice as a baraining stragegy but in this instance, there was a genuine misunderstanding between our respective expecqtqtions) . It left a sour taste following our wonderful moutnain trek. The money was not a problem, simply we would recommend that travellers get clear guidance from their guides or local experts as to what the current expectations are as to tips before they head off into the mountains.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Simien Mountains”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

This was one of the most outstanding treks that I have ever been on. The scenery is absolutely stunning and I would unreservedly recommend it to anyone who loves the mountains. Our local guide, Meles Yemata, was superb and if you are trekking in this area he is the man to get hold of. His English is excellent and he has all the local knowledge that you could ever need. Added to that, he is a charming young man who will do everything that he can to make your trek a memorable one.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“Most spectacular”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

Most fantastic trip I ever had to a National Park - Views, Wildlife and Flora and Fauna are breathtaking!

Visited December 2012
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