Tours start at Debark where the Simien Mountains National Park Headquarters is located (3,000m). Here you will need to register, pay your entrance fees and meet your trekking guide from the Walia Local Guides Association.
You are free to walk or ride a mule through the scenic Afroalpine habitat. However, it is recommended to take along riding mules as a precaution as climbing to an altitude of 4,000m can be tiring.
The highland campsites are situated at an altitude between 3,250 and 3,600m, while the lowland campsites are between 1,990 and 1,655m. Each camp is located between 15 and 25km from each other and can be reached between 5-8 hours. This allows you to spend every night in a different campsite. If you do not have time for all campsites, the following itinerary will help you to select the ones you prefer. It is also possible to reach some of the campsites by car.
The most common way to start the trek is to drive into the national park (1.5 hours on the main road from Debark) to the escarpment near Michibiny (3,203m) where you will start the trek. From there it is a 2-3 hour trek to the first camp Sankaber. Such short trekking is designed to help you prepare for the upcoming days and will also assist you with acclimatization. It is also possible to drive straight to the Sankaber campsite.
Highlights of Simien Mountain trekking
- Dramatic mountain landscapes
- Ascent of Ras Dejen –summit Ethiopia’s highest mountain
- Stunning views, unique animals and birds of prey
- Views from the escarpment
- Highland and lowland experiences
- Welcoming villages