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Ras Dashen Trek in Ethiopia's Simien Mountains
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Ras Dashen Trek in Ethiopia's Simien Mountains

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 6 - 7 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 20 people
Destination(s): Ethiopia  
Specialty Categories: Hiking & Trekking   National Parks  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 700 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1400 US Dollar (USD)

On this 6 day trek through the Simien National Park, you’ll see the most beautiful areas of the park and summit the highest mountain in Ethiopia, Ras Dashen (4620m)!
(Extra acclimatization day is available at no extra charge)

Day 1: Buit Ras town (3150) to Sankaber camp (3240m)
Length: 4 hours. Distance: ~12km.
We’ll pick you up from the airport in Gondar and drop you off inside the gates of Simien National Park. It is a relatively easy day trekking along the escarpment with awesome views into the lowlands for most of the way to Sankaber camp. This is a really nice camp and has two campers huts to cook in and plenty of camping space. Spend the evening sharing cultures and stories while getting to know your guide, scout, and mule man. Camp out with the Gelada Baboons and Thick-billed Ravens that frequent camp.

Day 2: Sankaber camp (3240m) to Geech camp (3600m)
Length: ~6 hours. Distance: ~10km.
As you sip on coffee while the sun floods Sankaber camp in the morning, look around for where your scouts slept. More often than not they spend the night around the fire telling stories and laughing at the cold. Today’s trek starts off spectacularly with the escarpment next to you from the beginning. Climb up a rock and balance your way to a very worthy lookout spot - Jinbar Waterfall gushes (Sept-Oct) over the cliff and far down the escarpment. The wise birds of the Simiens seem to appreciate this spot as much as trekkers and can be spotted soaring on air-currents above and below your vantage point. Trek up to the road from here and across a small river while keeping your eyes open for Gelada Baboons, Klipspringer, and a variety of birds. The trail will take you through the small village of Geech where you will be offered coffee ceremonies and the chance to buy chickens and goats or for the less adventurous eggs and bread. You can spend an optional acclimatization day here with day-hike opportunities abundant.

Day 3: Geech camp (3600m) to Chenek camp (3620m)
Length: ~7.5 hours. Distance: ~12km.
Today is an epic trek – within the first hour or so you’ll be on top of Imet Gogo (3926m). This summit offers some of the best views in the Simien Mountains and beats the view from Ras Dashen any day of the year. It’s a fun scramble to the top of this mountain and a great place to have a morning snack as the Thick-billed Ravens land nearby with neck cocked and one eye on your prized Snickers bar. You’ll head down into a valley and then up-up-up to the Northeastern escarpment which is a good place to get some pictures with the Giant Lobelia. By late afternoon you’ll descend to Chenek camp. Look out for Walia Ibex on the cliffs nearby camp and sometimes they’ll come all the way into camp for a drink in the stream. Eat a well deserved hot dinner prepared by our chef, drink a couple of beers and enjoy a beautiful sunset over the Simien Mountains knowing Ras Dashen is that much closer.

Day 4: Chenek camp (3620m) to Ambiko camp (3200m)
Length: ~9 hours. Distance: ~14km.
Lowest point: 2800m. Highest point: 4200m.
Most trekkers agree – today is a challenge! Notice the lowest and highest point stats above? Skip the coffee this morning, the hike up to Bawhit Pass (4200m) will be enough to wake you up. The good news is that this is a great place to see all of the Simien’s big 3: Walia Ibex, Gelada Baboons, and Ethiopian Wolf. Once you reach the pass, it’s a long hike down to the Mesheha valley.
You trek through some beautiful fields with farmers usually hard at work. The more you go down, the hotter it gets. It’s actually very cool to pay attention to the flora/fauna change as you descend into different climate zones. Once you’re at valley bottom, cool off while you cross the river and make a final push up to Ambiko camp. This camp is less developed than others and is very close to the actual village of Ambiko. Get excited and get ready for summit day tomorrow!

Day 5: Ambiko camp (3200m) to Ras Dashen (4533m) and back to Ambiko camp
Length: ~5.5 hours. Distance: ~8km.
Wake up and get moving early – around 5:00 am. You start on a tight trail trudging up through the various huts surrounding Ambiko with the tunnel of light produced from your headlamp illuminating the way.
The skyline is visible if the moon is full and you can literally feel the mountains towering above you. You’ll make it up to a pass at sunrise and take a short break with the summit still high above you. Follow sheep trails and notice the very remote huts scattered on the mountainsides. You’ll make it up to the ridge where an old wall was constructed as a strategic point in previous battles. You trek around and up some scree with Ras Dashen’s summit in sight. It is a very easy climb with little to no exposure to the summit proper. Take your fill of summit photos and ask the scout to hold the gun for one! Trek back to Ambiko camp stopping to chat with the shepherd children on the way.

Day 6: Ambiko camp (3200m) to Chiro Leba (3400m) or Chenek camp (3620)

Length: ~4 hours or ~6 hours. Distance: ~7km or ~14km.
If you remember what you trekked down all day on day 4, then you won’t be too excited to wake up early and start hiking. You’re vehicle will be waiting at Chenek and will drive you back to Gondar to the Goha Hotel. Enjoy the fantastic views of the city as you sip on beers and celebrate your successful trek!

We’re on a mission to connect travelers to culture! We specialize in the Simien Mountains and Northern Historic Route including Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Gondar, Lalibela, and Axum. We contribute to small community projects and encourage our clients to volunteer. 10% of our profits goes directly to projects in Ethiopia.
PS. Our guides are the best in the business – experts on the Simien’s flora and fauna, charming English speakers, and great community members in Ethiopia.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:

Private vehicle transportation from Gondar to and from the Simien National Park
Hotel accomodation in Gondar
Simien National Park fees
Guide, scout, cook, mule, and mule-man
Sleeping Tent, Dining Tent, Tables, Chairs
All Meals

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Africa   Ethiopia   Outdoor: Land Rambler   Hiking & Trekking   National Parks