Simien Mountains

Situated within the world heritage site of the Simien Mountains National Park, the Simien Mountains are located in northern region of Ethiopia, north east of Gondar. The mountains consist of plateau separated by valleys and rising to pinnacles.

The Simien Mountain massif is one of the major highlands of Africa: at 4620 metres Ras Dejen rises to the highest point in Ethiopia, the fourth highest peak on the African continent. The dramatic landscape of the Simien Mountains is the result of massive seismic activity in the area about 40 million years ago. Despite their ruggedness and altitude, the mountains are dotted with villages linked by small tracks. The mountains are home to three of Ethiopia's larger endemic mammals, the walia ibex, the more common gelada baboons and the very rarely seen Ethiopian wolves.

The park itself offers spectacular views and a large variety of wildlife, including baboons, ibexes, Ethiopian wolves and birds of prey such as the rare lammergeyer, a huge vulture. The national park has three general botanical regions. The lower slopes have been cultivated and grazed, while the alpine regions are forested. The higher lands are mountain grasslands with fescue grasses as well as heathers, splendid Red Hot Pokers and Giant Lobelia. The park was created primarily to protect the unfamiliar Walia Ibex, a type of wild goat native to Ethiopia. Also in the park are families of the Gelada Baboon and the rare Simien fox. Over 50 species of birds have been reported in the Simien Mountains.

The Simiens are a remarkable area of natural beauty, accommodation within the national park is limited, but what is available allows complete uninhibited access of the park itself and all it has to offer.

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