Wildlife Holiday on the Roof of Africa-Simien Mountains National Park 6 days
- Trip Type Wildlife
- Tour Code GHET-N05
- Private Journey
- 6 Days
- The Simien Mountains present the most dramatic mountain scenery in Africa. In addition to the breathtaking scenery and hiking opportunities, this park is a haven to many endemic species of wildlife and flora, including the Gelada Baboon, Walia Ibex, the sacred animal for ancient Ethiopians, the rare Ethiopian Wolf and many endemic bird specious.
Wildlife holiday on the Roof of Africa-Simien Mountains National Park
The Simien Mountains present the most dramatic mountain scenery in Africa: Great volcanic plugs, formed some 40 million years ago and eroded over the ages into fantastic crags, pinnacles and flat topped mountains, " the chess pieces of the Gods" as one writer described them, tower over precipitous gorges, river valleys and plains stretching all the way to Eritrea. There are many peaks over 4000 meters, and above.
This tour leads through landscapes covered by deep gorges, jagged plugs and striking rock towers. In addition to the breathtaking scenery and hiking opportunities, this park is a haven to many endemic species of wildlife and flora, including the Gelada Baboon, Walia Ibex, the sacred animal for ancient Ethiopians, the rare Ethiopian Wolf and many endemic bird specious. The Park has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.
- Enjoy a unique wildlife holiday amidst the spectacular Simien Mountains UNESCO
- Watch the Gelada Baboon, the last surviving species of ancient grazing primates
- Spot the magnificent Walia Ibex which is only found in the Simien Mountains
- Sample unmatched endemic bird watching
- Luckily watch the last surviving African Wolf, Ethiopian Red Wolf
- Visit the ancient city of Gondar, UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Enjoy city tour of Addis Ababa
Ethiopian Endemic Wildlife Holiday on the Roof of Africa The endemic wildlife of Simien Mountains National Park
Day 1: Arrive Addis Ababa
Arrive in Addis Ababa (ADD), Ethiopia. Welcome to Ethiopia! Upon arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, you will be welcomed and assisted by your tour guide and driver for the transfer to Kaleb Hotel (4 star). There will be a short drive to your hotel.
Addis Ababa, founded in 1886 by Menelik II, is situated at 2,500 meters (8000 ft) above sea level. It is the highest capital city in the world, after La Paz and Quito in South America. The city enjoys an excellent climate all year round, with an average temperature of 25C (77F). With multiethnic population of over 5 million, Addis Ababa is a pleasant city with wide avenues of jacarandas, interesting museums, and one of the largest open-air markets in Africa, known as the "Mercato".
Overnight: Jupiter Hotel-Addis Ababa.
Day 2: Addis Ababa -Gondar-Sankaber
Early in the morning, transfer to Addis Ababa airport for the flight to Gondar. 50 minutes flight takes you to Gondar.
Upon arrival at Gondar airport, we will meet our driver for the drive to the Simien mountains National park.
Driving from Gondar up to Simien Mountains National Park, nothing prepares you for the spectacular scenery that awaits at the top of the massif. The rolling grassy plateau comes to an abrupt stop, and sheer cliffs plunge almost vertically for 1,000m (3280 ft) to the plains below. The massif itself has been sculpted by 30 million years of up thrust and erosion into a wonderland of jagged ridges, pinnacles and strangely cropped conical mountains, so that looking out over the heart-stopping precipice; you feel you might just be at the edge of the world.
After check in to the highest lodge, Simien Lodge and having lunch there, we will relax a bit and get ready for the afternoon photo-shoot with the endemic ‘bleeding heart baboon’, Gelada baboon around Sankaber.
Overnight: Simien Lodge-Buyit Ras (3200 m)
Day 3: Sankaber- The Gelada Baboon Territory
In the morning, we will drive/walk around Sankaber. This is the territory of Gelada Baboon where we can find them in great numbers as they come out to graze on the plains of Sankaber. The endemic Gelada Baboon is the last surviving species of ancient grazing primates that were once numerous. Geladas spend most of their day sitting down, plucking and munching on grasses. They have fatty rear ends, much like human buttocks, which seem well adapted to this activity.
Theropithecus Gelada live in small family units of one male and three to six females. Though males are larger and more colorful, females dominate gelada societies. When an aging male begins to decline, the females in his family decide when he will be replaced by a younger rival—though the male will do all he can do to drive off such competition. Gelada family units often combine to form large foraging bands of 30 to 350 animals.
Spend the morning photographing the Gelada Baboon around the plains and further down the hills. In the afternoon, we will walk around the lodge for more photographing opportunity of the Gelada Baboon with the late afternoon light in different locations.
Overnight: Simien Lodge-Buyit Ras (3260 m)
Day 4: Cheneck-Walia Ibex territory
Today, we will rise early in the morning with the sun and drive to Cheneck through Sankaber and other beautiful parts of the park. This will give you a unique opportunity to photograph the Gelada baboon and other endemic wildlife as they graze and hunt around the plains.
Around Cheneck, you will also have a chance to photograph the endemic Mountain Nyala with the beautiful morning sun around some of the most spectacular pars of the park. After spending the morning time exploring around Checnk, we will drive back to lodge. Late in the Afternoon, we will go out around Cheneck and surrounding area to spend more time among the Geladas with the golden light of late afternoon.
Overnight: Simien Lodge-Buyit Ras (3200 m)
Day 5: Buit Ras - Gondar
Drive from Buit Ras to Gondar with stops in some picturesque points. After check in to Goha Hotel and having lunch there, we will start city tour of Gondar. Gondar, founded by Emperor Fasiledas around 1635 is famous for its many medieval castles and the design and decoration of its churches-in particular, Debre Birhan Selassie represents a masterpiece of unique Ethiopian School of traditional art.
Today you will visit the Royal Enclosure, a walled compound having 6 different castles built from 17th century by different kings who ruled in different times, the pool of King Fasiledas which still serves as a baptismal pool during Ethiopian Epiphany and we will also visit the famous Debreberhan Selassie adorned with brilliant frescos from inside.
Overnight: Goha Hotel-Gondar.
Day 6: Gondar-Addis Ababa-End of tour
In the morning, transfer to Gondar airport for the flight to Addis Ababa. The rest of the day you will have city tour of Addis Ababa which includes: National Museum, Merkato, Piassa and other parts of the city.
After check in to hotel we will drive to The National Museum to meet with your ancestor LUCY. The National Museum. The National Museum of Ethiopia: This is one of the best museums in quality and diversity of the exhibits. Archeological exhibits include the 3.5 million-year-old fossil of Lucy (or Dinkinesh – ‘thou art wonderful’- in the native language), a hominoid woman of the specious of Australopithecus Afarensis. The discovery of Lucy’s fossil in 1974 forced a complete rethink of human genealogy, providing that our ancestors were walking 2.5 million years earlier than had been supposed. The National Museum also contains many wonderful artifacts dating back to pre-Axumite civilization.
After our visit to the museum, we will continue our city tour of Addis Ababa with Merkato, the largest open-air market in Africa, other part of the city including Piassa and Churchill Avenue to make souvenirs shopping.
In the evening, there will be a special Ethiopian farewell dinner party with traditional buffet and local drinks. There will also be a live cultural dance show of the different ethnic groups living in the country. There will not be any better way of ending a trip. After the farewell dinner, transfer to Addis Ababa Airport for the flight back home. End of the tour.