The simien mountain
massif is one of the major highlands of Africa, rising to the highest
point in Ethiopia, Ras Dejen (4620m), which is the fourth highest peak in
the continent. Although in Africa and not too far from the equator, snow
and ice appear on the highest points and night temperatures often fall
The national park has three
general botanical regions. The lower slopes have been cultivated and
grazed, while the alpine regions ( up to 3600m) were forested, although
much has now disappeared. The higher lands are mountain grasslands with
fescue grasses as well as heathers, splendid Red Hot Pokers and Giant
The park was created
primarily to protect the Walia Ibex, a type of wild goat, and over 1000
are said to live in the park. Also in the park are families of the Gelada
Baboon and the rare Simien fox. The Simien fox, although named after the
mountains, is rarely seen by the visitor. Over 50 species of birds have
been reported in the Simien mountains.
Access to the park is
from Debark, 101 km from Gonder, where riding & pack animals may be hired.
This should be arranged in advance through your local tour operator or the
Office of the Wildlife Conservation Department.
Ethiopia Tourism commission