Ethiopian Simien Mountains Explorer

Superb walking in the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia

13

days

Trek

From $2,580 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • Trek to the summit of Ras Dashen (4620m), Ethiopia`s highest peak
  • Extraordinary wildlife, up close, including Gelada Baboons
  • Gondar`s `African Camelot` & the rock hewn churches of Lalibela
  • Fantastic value with all meals included

Ethiopia is a very different destination for a trekking holiday in Africa. Known as 'The Roof of Africa', Ethiopia is a land of surprises, with a wealth of superb trekking and a rich cultural heritage to explore. 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 4000 metres, the highest being Ras Deshen, the fourth highest mountain in Africa. Geographically, the Simien 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 Simien Mountains 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 latter is a wonderful, historically important, city with an unusual collection of 17th century castles and churches. Six days of trekking takes us through a land of natural wonders and of rare wildlife, including the Simien Mountains red fox, the strikingly-maned Gelada baboon and the majestic lammergeier or bearded vulture. Trekking through several villages, notable for their carefully tended farmland and friendly people, our walking reaches its climax at the summit of Ras Deshen (4620m), where the views extend northwards to Eritrea. A 2-day visit to explore Lalibela, with its collection of amazing churches, carved out of solid rock, is a great way to end this exceptional walking adventure holiday to the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia. Providing a variety of completely new experiences, Ethiopia is an adventure travel destination for the trekking connoisseur to explore.

Is this holiday for you?

This trip 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. As there are several longer days of up to 8 hours trekking that include a considerable amount of ascent and/or descent (over 1500m) this a challenging trekking holiday. 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 some scrambling. You will need to ensure you are physically prepared for the trek. You should be comfortable with walking on good trails but with some steep ascents and descents for typically 5 or 6 hours each day (or more) 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, and even fit and active hikers may find this quite challenging.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Addis Ababa. A single transfer from Addis Ababa Airport is provided.
  • Transfer to Addis Ababa Airport. Fly to Gondar (2300m). Afternoon historical Gondar tour.
  • Transfer to Debark (2700m). Drive onto Senkaber. Optional afternoon walk.
  • Trek via the Michwahtis Valley with views of the Jinbar River to Geech Camp (3600m).
  • Day hike to the small peak of Imetgogo (3925m). Return to Geech.
  • Trek to the panoramic viewpoint of Inayte (4070m). Continue to Chenek (3600m).
  • Hike across the slopes of Amba Bhawit (4477m). Descend to the village of Ambiquo (3200m).
  • Dawn ascent of Ras Deshen (4620m), Ethiopia’s highest peak, return to Ambiquo camp (3200m).
  • Trek via Chiro Leba over the ridge of Amba Bhawit to camp (4000m).
  • Bid farewell to trek crew. Drive to Gondar for a well earned freshen up.
  • Fly to Lalibela. Sightseeing tour of the rock hewn churches including a visit to Bete Giyorgis.
  • Free day for further exploration of Lalibela and the UNESCO listed churches.
  • Fly to Addis Ababa. Use of hotel day room. A single transfer to Addis Ababa Airport is provided.
2016
Sun 07 Feb - Fri 19 Feb Code SIM /02/16/ Adult$2,580 Status Departed
More information
  • Ethiopian Simien Mountains Explorer
  • The departure reference for this tour is SIM /02/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 07 Feb and departs on Fri 19 Feb
  • This trip has already departed
  • Single Supplement $235 - All 5 group hotel nights (does not include single tent)
  • Single Tent $155
Sun 30 Oct - Fri 11 Nov Code SIM /03/16/ Adult$2,580 Status Guaranteed Book now
More information
  • Ethiopian Simien Mountains Explorer
  • The departure reference for this tour is SIM /03/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 30 Oct and departs on Fri 11 Nov
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - All 5 group hotel nights (does not include single tent)
  • Single Tent $155
Sun 20 Nov - Fri 02 Dec Code SIM /04/16/ Adult$2,580 Status Guaranteed Book now
More information
  • Ethiopian Simien Mountains Explorer
  • The departure reference for this tour is SIM /04/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 20 Nov and departs on Fri 02 Dec
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - All 5 group hotel nights (does not include single tent)
  • Single Tent $155
Sat 24 Dec - Thu 05 Jan Code SIM /05/16/ Adult$2,580 Status Guaranteed Book now
More information
  • Ethiopian Simien Mountains Explorer
  • The departure reference for this tour is SIM /05/16/
  • This tour begins on Sat 24 Dec and departs on Thu 05 Jan
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - All 5 group hotel nights (does not include single tent)
  • Single Tent $155
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Addis Ababa International airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' section in the trip dossier for further details.

Domestic Flight Update
Included in the land only cost are 3 domestic Ethiopian Airlines flights. Please note, that clients not travelling with Ethiopian Airlines internationally will incur a surcharge on the domestic flights of approximately £150-£200, which will be confirmed at the time of booking. As this surcharge, imposed by Ethiopian Airlines, is beyond our control we strongly advise travelling with Ethiopian Airlines internationally to avoid any extra charges.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

domestic  flights

Included in the land only package are 2 domestic Ethiopian Airlines flights. These domestic flights are priced against the international carrier of arrival into Addis Ababa. If you are not arriving into Addis Ababa with Ethiopian Airlines, the domestic flights included in the land only itinerary will be subject to a surcharge of approximately £150 imposed by Ethiopian Airlines. To avoid this surcharge we strongly suggest that you choose to fly with Ethiopian Airlines internationally. If you have any further questions about international flights or prices, please contact the KE office.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • trek
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Addis Ababa. A single transfer from Addis Ababa Airport is provided.

    Meet at the group hotel in Addis Ababa. (Complimentary airport transfers are provided for clients travelling on the preferred group flight - see flights panel in this dossier). KE Land Only services begin with lunch and afterwards we set off on a city tour which includes its museums, churches and the 'mercato'. Addis’s central produce market is the largest in East Africa and has an array of fascinating goods and colourful people. It is a perfect place for exploration and people watching. At an altitude of over 2200 metres, in the foothills of Mount Entoto, Addis Ababa is one of the highest capital cities in the world. On account of the need to acclimatise, we will take it easy on our first day in the country. Overnight at the group hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals ld

  • Transfer to Addis Ababa Airport. Fly to Gondar (2300m). Afternoon historical Gondar tour.

    We make a reasonably early start today and return to the airport for the internal flight to Gondar, which was formerly the capital of Ethiopia. On arrival, we make the short transfer to the hotel for lunch. Gondar, founded by Emperor Fasilidas around 1635, has become one of Ethiopia's largest and most impressive cities, with its walled Royal Enclosure which contains several well-preserved and very medieval-looking castles, dating from as early as 1650. The castles are unusual for the Horn Of Africa, deriving their architectural style from the Moors and the Portuguese. Additionally, Gondar has dozens of churches, the most important being Debre Berhan Selassie (Trinity Church of the Mountain of Light), which has an impressive hilltop location. The yellow-robed priest there will explain the story of the many paintings and carvings inside the church…the interior of the church was covered in paintings by a famous artist called Haile Meskel and the famous ceiling is covered with the winged heads of 80 Ethiopian cherubs. Gondar is well-placed, watered by mountain torrents and sitting at an altitude of 2300 metres. There are views from the city which extend across the surrounding farmland to Lake Tana, 35 kilometers (20 miles) to the south. This is an historic settlement with an atmosphere of mystery. In the afternoon, we will make a sightseeing tour of Gondar to include a visit to the Royal Enclosure. Our trek crew will make their final arrangements and food purchases in preparation for the trek.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Transfer to Debark (2700m). Drive onto Senkaber. Optional afternoon walk.

    In the cool of the morning, we make the scenic 2 to 3-hour drive from Gondar to Debark. Debark is a small market town at an altitude of 2700 metres close to the boundary of the Simien Mountains National Park. Its colourful and busy market area is surrounded by corrugated-iron-roofed buildings and an odd, small lighthouse-like structure, the minaret of the local mosque. Before entering the park, we have to register at the park headquarters just outside town. Here we are joined by our park guide and armed scouts – one of the park regulations. We have time for some last-minute buying of provisions and then complete our drive to Senkaber where we camp for the night. En route, we pass through pretty country, the foothills of the Simien Mountains, with carefully tended fields, open pasture with grazing horses, stands of trees and distant rocky peaks. At the high-point of the road, there are superb views across the weirdly eroded foothills of the range and we may also be lucky enough to spot our first lammergeiers and gelada baboons of the trip.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Trek via the Michwahtis Valley with views of the Jinbar River to Geech Camp (3600m).

    Our first day of trekking. We meet our muleteers and the trek equipment is loaded onto their mules. Starting out, we descend in to the Michwahtis Valley and begin the climb up the other side, making a short diversion to see one of the most impressive sights in the Simien Mountains, where the Jinbar River plummets into the Geech Abyss. On our left-hand side the land rises up steeply to a high plateau and there are eroded pinnacles and steep cliffs, the home of gelada baboons, ibex and Egyptian vultures. There is, however, a good trail and we are likely to be sharing it with groups of local people travelling between their villages. After a couple of kilometres, we have to ford the chilly Jinbar River and then climb through fields of barley to reach Geech Village (3600m), a cluster of thatched-roofed huts and thorny enclosures, situated on an open hillside with scattered groups of giant lobelias. There may be time to stop off at one of the village houses to enjoy the traditional Ethiopian serving of coffee, known as the 'Coffee Ceremony'. The camping place is above the village and close to the stone hut of the park scouts. As an optional afternoon stroll, the viewpoint at Kadadit (hole in the rock) is 20 minutes away to the north. We can expect to be visited at our camp by curious bands of children and (in the night) by hyenas.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 900m

    • Distance 11km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 500m

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs trekking

  • Day hike to the small peak of Imetgogo (3925m). Return to Geech.

    We will leave our camp set up at Geech and make a day hike to one of the finest viewpoints in the area, the promontory and small peak known as Imetgogo (3925m). This is actually a spur protruding from the escarpment and is reached after a couple of hours’ pleasant walking. The last part of the ridge is quite airy and leads by way of an easy scramble to the summit. Here, the views are spectacular indeed, stretching across to the lowlands and including the jagged summits of the escarpment edge. This is a great place for watching lammergeiers and we may even be lucky enough to see them going about their business (dropping bones amongst the rocks to break them and so reveal the marrow – their preferred food). Today is a good day to take things steadily, which will help the acclimatisation process, whilst enjoying one the most dramatic trekking days imaginable, as we return to camp by following the edge of the escarpment. We will also see gelada baboons today. These remarkable creatures, with their lion-like manes can be quite approachable.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 500m

    • Distance 11km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 500m

    • Time 8 hrs trekking

  • Trek to the panoramic viewpoint of Inayte (4070m). Continue to Chenek (3600m).

    Our route today takes us along the edge of the escarpment, descending at one point into an open, grassy valley absolutely filled with 3 and 4-metre tall giant lobelias. At all times, the cliff edge is close on our left-hand side and there are ever-changing views and glimpses of the valley below, often through narrow clefts between spurs. The high point of our walk is at Inatye (4070m) and we continue across tussocky moorland to the camping place at Chenek, which is bounded by a semicircular ring of cliffs. The Chenek campsite offers superb views across to the opposite escarpment.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 750m

    • Distance 13km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 700m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Hike across the slopes of Amba Bhawit (4477m). Descend to the village of Ambiquo (3200m).

    To reach the village of Ambiquo at the foot of Ras Deshen, we must initially climb up above our camp towards Amba Bwahit (4477m), the second highest mountain in the range. The route follows a pleasant valley with a clear stream and lots of lobelias and provides us with great views back to our camp of the night before. After 1½ hours we reach a rocky ridge and a viewpoint which looks across the vast valley of the Meshawa River. We may be lucky enough to spot the Walia Ibex here. We then have our first sighting of Ras Deshen, the highest point in a wall of cliffs and peaks on the skyline at the far side of the valley. We then take a well-trodden path down into this intensively farmed valley, where oxen are still used to draw the plough. After passing through the village of Chiro Leba and crossing the Meshawa River we climb steeply to the village of Ambiquo (3200m) where we will camp for the night. With over 1000 metres of descent, followed by another 500 metres of ascent to Ambiquo, today will be a long day.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 1100m

    • Distance 16km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1600m

    • Time 8 hrs trekking

  • Dawn ascent of Ras Deshen (4620m), Ethiopia’s highest peak, return to Ambiquo camp (3200m).

    Today's optional climb to the highest point in Ethiopia, the summit of Ras Deshen, requires a dawn start. We climb slowly and steadily through giant lobelia forests, passing the tiny, perched village of Mizma and gaining an area of open pasture where there are herds of cattle and goats with their attendant herdsmen. The triple-summited bulk of Ras Deshen looms above and it is far from obvious which of these is the highest. Finally, after 7 to 8 hours of ascent, we reach steeper, rocky ground and make the short and easy scramble to the cairned summit. We will take an hour’s rest on top to enjoy the views which, in clear weather, extend to Eritrea. A 3 hour descent takes us back to the campsite in Ambiquo.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 1600m

    • Distance 23km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1600m

    • Time 10 -11 hrs trekking

  • Trek via Chiro Leba over the ridge of Amba Bhawit to camp (4000m).

    Today we return to Chenek, back through the village of Chiro Leba and over the summit of Amba Bwahit. The camp site at Chenek is at the end of the Gondar-Sanakaber road and here we will say goodbye to our trek crew. This is another tough day with a considerable amount of ascent and descent (over 1500m). We overnight at the thyme covered campsite at Chenek, where we have one last chance to see lammergeier, gelada baboon and walia ibex.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 1600m

    • Distance 16km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1000m

    • Time 8 hrs trekking

  • Bid farewell to trek crew. Drive to Gondar for a well earned freshen up.

    From Chenek it is a 4 - 5 hour drive out of the Simien Mountains back to Gondar where we check back into the comfortable and friendly Goha Hotel. There is another opportunity to look around this fascinating city of castles and churches.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Fly to Lalibela. Sightseeing tour of the rock hewn churches including a visit to Bete Giyorgis.

    We take a morning flight to the ancient city of Lalibela. Lalibela is one of Ethiopia's holiest cities and a centre of pilgrimage for much of the country. It was built in the 12th century to be the ‘New Jerusalem’ following the capture of Jerusalem by Saladin, and was laid out to resemble that city. Lalibela is most famous for its rock-hewn churches which are literally carved out of the surrounding rock, and which date back to the 12th century. In all there are 11 ‘rock churches’, assembled in four groups. Bete Giyorgis (the Church of Saint George) in the Western group is the best known and most impressive. Described as the eighth wonder of the world the church is carved in the shape of the cross and stands 12m high in a square cut ‘hole’ in the rock outcrop from which it is carved.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Free day for further exploration of Lalibela and the UNESCO listed churches.

    It is impossible to see all that Lalibela has to offer in a single day and we have scheduled a second day for sightseeing in and around this fascinating town.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Fly to Addis Ababa. Use of hotel day room. A single transfer to Addis Ababa Airport is provided.

    After breakfast, we transfer to the airport and take the short flight back to Addis Ababa where, we have the use of day-rooms at the group hotel. KE Land Only services end with a celebratory dinner in the Hotel’s excellent Ethiopian restaurant. A single, timed group airport transfer is provided for clients in the evening.

    • Meals bld

Holiday Information

  • An experienced professional English speaking local guide
  • Internal flights and associated airport transfers
  • Addis Ababa Airport transfers as described
  • Accommodation as described
  • All meals
  • Once on trek a full service including food and all equipment
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • Travel Insurance
  • Ethiopian Visa cost
  • Tips for staff
  • Airport transfers other than those described
  • Departure tax on leaving Addis Ababa Airport
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

Food on trek is prepared for us by our trained cooks. Breakfasts consist of bread and jam, porridge, omelette or pancake, tea and excellent Ethiopian coffee. We normally eat a packed lunch of sandwiches (cheese, egg or ham) and fresh fruit. Dinner is a 3-course meal of soup followed by pasta, rice or potatoes with vegetables or meat, and a tasty sauce. A local speciality is Injura, a flat bread made from a grain grown in the highlands called Tef. It's served in a big basket, and eaten with an array of different lentil and meat curries.

All meals are included in the trip price from lunch on Day 1 until dinner on Day 13.
A single group transfer will be arranged to meet the preferred group flight on arrival at Addis Ababa Airport. This transfer will normally be around 7.00 am on Day 1 of the trip itinerary. At the end of the trip there will be a single group transfer from the group hotel to Addis Ababa Airport in the late evening of the last day of the trip itinerary. The trip leader or a representative of our local agent will assist with the transfers between the airport and group hotel. If you cannot take advantage of these group transfers, you will need to make your own transfer arrangements at Addis Ababa Airport. Ethiopian Airlines run a free shuttle bus into the city. Metered and fixed-price taxis are also available. Private airport transfers each way can be arranged at an additional cost through the KE office. Clients booking a Land Only Package MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights.
During this trip the group will spend 1 night in Addis Ababa, 2 nights in Gondar and 2 nights in Lalibela. We use comfortable but simple tourist class hotels. All accommodation is based on twin sharing. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. It is possible to hire a single tent while on trek for an additional cost. Please note single tent hire does not include single rooms in hotels. Depending on availability, it may also be possible to book a single room for the hotel nights. For Hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

A typical day starts with an early morning cup of tea or coffee served in your tent at around 6.30 a.m.. After breakfast, during which camp will be struck and the pack-animals will be given their loads, we start walking in the pleasant cool of the morning. After 3 to 4 hours walking, we will find a scenic spot to stop for a picnic lunch – packed lunches are provided. During the day you are free to walk at your own pace and to take as many photographs as you wish. We aim to reach the next overnight halt by mid-afternoon. Shortly after arrival in camp we will take some tea and biscuits while the cooks busy themselves to prepare the evening meal. Dinner is a 3-course meal served in the mess tent. This is a great time of day for reliving the events of the trek so far and for general socialising. After dark, the temperature quickly falls and everyone will soon be tucked up in their sleeping bags.

The group will be accompanied by an experienced English-speaking local guide. There will also be a full trek crew to cater to the group's needs.

Approximately $300 should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses which will include approximately $100 - $150 for local trek staff tips and a tip for your local guide, and a US$50 airport tax payable on departure from Addis Ababa, you may also want to allow some money for a tip for your local guide. If you expect to buy considerable quantities of soft drinks or beer, you should make an allowance for this. It is not necessary to purchase local currency (Ethiopian birr) prior to travel and sterling, euros and US dollars are readily exchanged in Addis Ababa. If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly. Credit cards can be used to purchase goods and services and it is a good idea to carry one in case of emergency.

For your trek crew we recommend that you give a tip if you feel that their services have met your satisfaction. As a rough guide we suggest a tip of $100 per person (in Ethiopian birr). Your KE guide will assist with the collecting and distributing of these. You may also want to tip your tour guide at the end of your holiday and should allow some additional money for this.

Your baggage on trek will be carried by pack animals. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15 kgs / 33 lbs. It is possible to leave your travel clothes and any other items not required on trek with the group’s support vehicle.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 3500 metres. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

 

The packed weight of your trek bag while trekking should be no more than 15 kgs.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots

  • Trainers

  • Socks

  • Walking socks (2 or 3 pairs)

  • Spare laces

  • Trekking trousers

  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers

  • Underwear

  • Thermal baselayer shirts

  • T-shirts and/or casual shirts

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Lightweight waterproof jacket

  • Down jacket

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Thermal gloves

  • Water bottles 1 Litre (x2)

  • Sleeping bag (comfort rating -5°C)

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

  • Daypack 30 - 40 litres

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

The following items are optional:

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Selection of dry bags (to keep contents of trek bag dry)

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Sleeping bag liner

  • Thermarest (note: foam camping mats are provided)

  • Small towel

  • Trekking poles

  • Insect repellant– (DEET)

  • Camera

  • Pen-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Travel clothes

  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)

  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)

Equipment hire

We regret that it is not possible to hire equipment through KE for this trip.

Note:

Night time temperatures can drop to below freezing, so you need to ensure your sleeping bag and clothing are adequate for these conditions.

 

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Ethiopia

UK and USA passport holders do require a visa. The visa fee is $50 and is obtainable on arrival at Addis Ababa Airport and there may be a queue. Payment must be in cash. If you prefer you can obtain your visa prior to departure. Currently passport photos are not required, however we recommend taking along 2 passport photos just in case.

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you specific require any vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella), along with hepatitis A and typhoid. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required if travelling from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited for more than 12 hrs through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The Ethiopian unit of currency is the Birr.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking trip getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. We suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime. Regular hiking in hill country is the best preparation. Jogging, squash and swimming are also good for developing cardio-vascular fitness as well as improving stamina. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country. There is little you can do to prepare for the altitude other than having previous altitude experience but if you have a good level of fitness this will help.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

Ethiopia has a wet season from June to September and a dry season for the rest of the year. Following the wet season, the country is lush and green, with lots of flowers and growing crops. Thereafter, the country dries out progressively until the next rains. The climate of the Simien Mountains has been likened to the perfect English summer day. At altitudes of around 3000m and above, we can expect temperatures of around 15°C to 20°C, falling close to freezing point at night and with frosty mornings a possibility. As we descend to the lowlands we will find daytime temperatures of 25°C to 35°C.

  • Guide to Ethiopia. Phillip Briggs.

  • Ethiopia. The Bradt Travel Guide.

  • Lonely Planet. Trekking in East Africa.

  • In Ethiopia with a Mule. Dervla Murphy

  • The Sign & The Seal. Graham Hancock

Simen Mountains Trekking Map. 1.100,000. University of Berne.

Detailed topographic map with contours at 100m intervals and hill shading to show relief. Hiking trails are shown and symbols denote spectacular viewpoints etc. Coverage includes the town of Debark and the peak Ras Dejen. On the reverse are photographs and notes on the local geography, flora & fauna. Also, trekking route descriptions, illustrated with vertical profile diagrams.

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