This route begins in Debark where you will need to register, pay your entrance fees and meet your guide. (For up to date regulations about hiring guides and scouts please visit www.simienmountains.org). It is however highly recommended to take a guide, as they are well educated in the flora and fauna of the area and have knowledge of attractions off the beaten path. From Debark it is a one hour drive via the village of Sawri to the park boundary on a good gravel road that is steep only in the last section. On the way, you may choose to stop at the Kossoye Viewpoint or Felasha Village. See page 28 for more information. Accommodations 26 in the park include the Simien Lodge, LimaLimo EcoLodge and several campsites and community lodges. See the directory for more information.
Sankaber to Chennek: 2 - 3 hours
The 35km drive from Debark to Sankaber takes you through the escarpment, commanding stunning views over the landscape. Along the way, the chances of observing the gelada along the roadside are quite high. A further 24km takes you to the Chennek campsite, passing through the Kurbet Metaya viewpoint (500m before the campsite). Once you pass Kurbet Metaya keep your eyes peeled for the walia ibex. Continue 2km to one of the highest peaks in the Simien Massif: Mount Bwahit at 4,200m. Drive along the foothills through a valley crossed by wild streams. The road then descends from the plateau passing through spectacular scenery. Look for the walia ibex and Ethiopian wolf. During late afternoon, drive on the same road back to the Chennek campsite.
Imet Gogo Loop Trek: 3 - 4 hours
Ayna Meda is a scout outpost located between Sankaber and Chennek on the main road. It is an ideal spot to leave your car while you trek for 3 - 4 hours to the Imet Gogo summit – one of the most well-known viewpoints in the park. The first hour from the outpost takes you through pleasant undulating Afroalpine meadows. The next hour takes you on a more uphill climb until you reach the summit at 3,926m. From here you can return to your car, or alternatively you can trek an easy 2 hours to the Gich campsite where you can camp and return to the car in the morning.
Ras Dejen by Car:
A 2 - 3 hour undulating but scenic drive on a good gravel road takes you to Abbat Dejen (father of Dejen) which is as close as you can get by car to Ethiopia’s highest peak. From the car, a 2 hour trek through Afroalpine meadows and a final scramble will take you to the roof of Africa at 4,533m.