School Trek - In the Simien Mountains

Ethiopia, School Expeditions, 14 days - from $2,740 (land only)

School Expeditions
School Adventure - Ethiopia - The Simien Mountains and LalibelaSchool Adventure - Ethiopia - Lalibela

  • Full days of trekking with some easy scrambling on Ras Deshen
  • History Lessons outside the classroom
  • Trekking through the Simien Mountains National Park
  • Lalibela – the ‘Eight Wonder of the World’
  • Gondar - an `African Camelot` for School Adventures in Ethiopia

A School Adventure in Ethiopia is a very different African destination. Known as 'The Roof of Africa', this is a land of surprises, with a wealth of superb trekking, walking and a rich cultural heritage. Ethiopia includes some of the finest mountain scenery in Africa, notably in the Simien Mountains which have been designated a World Heritage Site. This highland area in the northern part of Ethiopia includes many summits over 4000m, the highest being Ras Deshen, the fourth highest mountain in Africa. Geographically, the mountains comprise several major plateaux, which are underlain by basalt lavas thousands of metres thick. It is the erosion of these lavas that has created the dramatic escarpments and freestanding pinnacles which are characteristic of the range and which are comparable in terms of spectacle to the Grand Canyon. We access this northern region by way of a short internal flight from Addis Ababa to the ancient capital of Gondar. This is a wonderful, historically important, city with an unusual collection of 17th century castles and churches. Six days of walking takes us through a land of natural wonders and of rare wildlife, including the Simien red fox, the strikingly-maned Gelada baboon and the majestic lammergeier or bearded vulture. Passing several villages, notable for their carefully tended farmland and friendly people, the trek reaches its climax at the summit of Ras Deshen (4620m), where the views extend northwards to Eritrea. A 2-day visit to Lalibela, with its collection of amazing churches, carved out of solid rock, is a great way to end this exceptional Ethiopian adventure. Providing a variety of completely new experiences, this is a great School Adventure itinerary. This tried and tested KE Schools itinerary can be adjusted to better fit the needs of your group - please call and speak to a KE School Groups Coordinator or email

Is this holiday for you?

This School Adventure in Ethiopia involves straightforward trekking on good trails which are the paths used by local people as they travel between their villages. We head west to east on the high escarpment of the Simien Mountains. There are a number of longer days of 7 to 8 hours and a couple of them include a considerable amount of ascent and/or descent (something of the order of 1000m). The optional ascent of Ras Deshen provides a challenging climb, particularly because of its reasonably high altitude, and the walking day here will be 10 to 12 hours long. The upper part of the climb includes scrambling on loose scree and rock. Students should be comfortable with walking on good trails but with some steep ascents and descents on scree as described, for typically 5 or 6 hours each day, with the occasional longer day, and for several days continuously. The optional ascent of Ras Deshen although a longer day, presents no technical difficulty but trekking at altitudes above 3000m does make greater demands on the body than similar terrain at lower elevations. We recommend a minimum age of 15 years.

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