Walking Since 1939

Our new committee member’s Ethiopian adventure

Simien National park – up close and personal with a Gelada baboon


The Simien Mountains in Ethiopia had long held a fascination for me, both as a seemingly exotic destination and as the unique home of the Gelada baboon.


In 2014 I joined a 15-day hiking trip in the Simien Mountain National Park, which I look back on as one of the most fantastic hikes I have ever done.


Declared a world heritage site in 1918, the landscape in the park is a spectacular combination of soaring cliffs, deep canyons and gentle highland ridges dotted with giant Lobelias, making for varied and often challenging walking and breathtaking views.


Along the way we were fortunate to encounter large families of grazing Geladas, with their magnificent, thick coats and bright red chests; Walya ibex negotiating their precipitous cliff homes with graceful ease; and even a rare Simien wolf, hoping to snatch a baby Gelada for dinner.


Camping conditions were pretty basic (not at all like a Nepalese experience), but the group was a lot of fun and every day our efforts were rewarded with some awesome panorama or wildlife encounter.


At altitudes over 3600m, there were days that sapped our energy and called on all our reserves and willpower to get us to the next camp, but every step was worth it.


For anyone looking for an adventure on a “road less travelled”, I would highly recommend this ancient land, with its gentle, welcoming people, extraordinary history and natural wonders.


Simien Mountain National Park – world heritage site, challenging walking, breathtaking views