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Ways to Experience Simien Mountains National Park
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Reviewed May 29, 2018

We were in Ethiopia in April, 2018, and we wanted to see the gelada monkeys at Simien Mountains National Park. We did - and so much more. It was one of the most spectacular trips of my life. First, I don't think Ethiopia is the place for a DIY experience. I travel guide can smooth out so many potential trouble spots. We used Bini Wolday of Simien Experience Tour and Travel. He grew up in the park, but is now based in Gondar, where we were staying, Bini was recommended to us by faculty at the University of Gondar and also by a research group studying the gelada monkeys, but there are also many other tour operators. There are so many reasons this trip was great. 1) the drive from Gondar to the park, and the drive through the park, were both comfortable and safe in Bini's Toyota Land Cruiser. We talked to another couple who had been forced to turn around because the road is absolutely terrible and their rental vehicle couldn't make it. But we had enough clearance to be able to make it all the way up to the pass at 14,000 feet, and we were rewarded by close sightings of the rare Walia Ibex. 2) You have to hire a "scout" and Bini took care of that. 3) We stayed at the Simien Lodge and all he details were taken care of there also. In fact he secretly arranged with the head chef to have a delicious cake made to celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary. 4) He knew exactly where to go to see the gelada. We hiked to a meadow to see them as they came over the cliff in the morning, and he brought us to another set of cliffs where we watched them return down the cliffs to find a ledge to spend the night, safe from predators. 3) He knows a lot about the flowers and fauna and wildlife and birds in the park, so on our hikes we learned much more than I had been able to find out by reading my guide books. 4) He stopped to talk to the people who live in the park, so through him we met many people who told us how it was to live in the mountains. The people were unfailingly cheerful and friendly. Bini said that they were gratified that tourists took an interest in their country (and he said that they didn't see the beauty of their mountains, because, to them, they were just something they had to climb up and down). We also met the rangers who try to prevent deforestation and overgrazing. In short, by being with Bini, we were able to understand so much more about the dynamics of the park than if we relied simply on our books.

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank Mary R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2018

We stayed 4 days in the Simen (4 days trek) and it was amazing ! Landscapes are beautiful and we saw a lot of wildlife (geladas, wolf, leopard).
Our trek was organized by Sammy Kassaw (you can look for his website) who we highly recommend : the organization was perfect. Our team (driver, cook, guide) was very professional and helpful (and the food excellent, pancakes every morning !). Sammy even took into consideration our constraints (we had an early flight from Gonder and he managed that we stayed one more night in the park instead of going back to Gonder).

Date of experience: May 2018
Thank jlmbger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2018

While it took a long time to get there, we enjoyed hiking along the cliffs and seeing the valley below, although this is still largely farmland and has yet to be reforested. A special treat was seeing a large troop of baboons and being able to get out of the car and watch them feed and move without them bothering us - or even seeming to care that we were there. A benefit that accrues only when tourists don't feed the animals so animals are not conditioned to come and beg for food.

Date of experience: May 2018
Thank WandereringWayfarers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2018

I was in Ethiopia travelling alone 20 days in March/April 2018 and had 3 days trek in the Simien Mountains which was fantastic guided by DAWIT who knows perfectly these mountains as he was borned in AMBAS. Educated in tourism, honest, helpfull. Can talk about plants, animals seen in the National Park and ethiopian life. He has a minibus (+ 2 four weels cars in october) is able to organize all your trip in ETHIOPIA. (Can rent 4 wheels car meanwhile if necessary)). I am giving you the address of my mountain guide very helpfull - DAWIT YOHANNES - you can communicate by WhatsApp or email. He can give you all information you need for your trip and help you to organize it. He can take you from the airport in GONDAR or elsewhere..
DAWIT YOHANNES located in DEBARK
email: daveyohannes@yahoo.com
whatsapp: +251913644690

Though alone as a lady it was quite safe to travel in Ethiopia - i did it in an economic way using guesthouses or small hotels which i booked in advance along my itinerary which was : ADDIS ABEBA, Lalibela (wonderful churches and place), BAHER DAR and its lake Tana, GONER and its royal castles, DEBARK and Simien mountains for 3 days trek meeting the baboons and beautiful landscapes, AXOUM and its stellas, HAWZEN for one day trek and beautiful scenary climing up to visit a church, 2 nights in MEKELE to visit a Royal Palace and back to ADDIS.
Have a good experience in Ethiopia !
JOHELEN

Date of experience: March 2018
2  Thank johelen p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2018

March 26 2018, we started a trekking expedition with Hiking Simien Mountains outfit run by Desalgn Gebire (dizzysimien@gmail.com). We were on a joining group, 2 for 3 days, 2 for 5 days and 2 of us for 6 days.
We enjoyed the entire hiking, David our guide adding the much needed information about the history flora and fauna of the "Roof Of Ethiopia". The whole organization was well done, tents were good and comfortable mattresses were provided. I highly recommend anyone to these guys.

Date of experience: March 2018
1  Thank TrasAfrica tour... S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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