Trekking in the Simien Mountains, Ethiopia [Video]

Catch up with the Trekking the Planet team as they cover their time in Ethiopia. In this video, you will see the Blue Nile, gaze on the ancient monasteries around Lake Tana as well as witness the historic sights of Gonder. In the Simien Mountains you will see Gelada Baboons, Klipspringer Antelope and something unique to this park – Walia Ibex. You will also hear traditional Ethiopian music.

Guide Services provided by Birhan Asmamaw (

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0:23 Ethiopia occupies an area of slightly less than twice the size of the US State of Texas
0:28 or approximately the size of the country of Bolivia.
0:31 It has been on our bucket list for some time. So, we made sure to include it on our itinerary
0:37 early in the planning process. Because of the country’s sheer size, we
0:42 decided to fly from Addis Ababa to our first stop – Bahir Dar.
0:47 This is where we met our guide — Birhan — and our driver — Alex.
0:52 On the same day we arrived, we made a visit to our first site together — the falls of
0:56 the Blue Nile. On the following day, we visited three of
1:16 the dozen or so Ethiopian Orthodox monasteries in the Lake Tana area.
1:21 Many monasteries date from the late 16th or early 17th century, though most were founded
1:27 much earlier. We had the opportunity to visit the Azwa Mariam
1:59 Religious School, where boys were being trained to become monks.
2:12 We also met briefly with a monk who attended the same religious school 15 years earlier.
2:20 Our next stop was Gonder were we visited several sites.
2:23 The first was the Debre Berhan Selassie Church. This structure is one of the most stunning
2:29 churches in the nation. On the ceiling, you can find rows and rows of winged cherubs.
2:36 Next, we visited the Royal Enclosure. The entire compound contains numerous castles
2:44 and palaces. It was almost completely restored with the
2:47 aid of Unesco and was made a World Heritage Site in 1979.
2:52 Finally, we took a horse-drawn carriage to the Fasiladas’ Bath.
2:58 Once a year, the Bath is filled with water for the Timkat celebration.
3:09 On the following day, we departed for Debark – the jumping off point to our trek in the
3:13 Simien Mountains. After getting some last minute supplies, we
3:17 started up the long, arduous dirt road. Massive erosion over the years has created
3:22 one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world, with jagged mountain peaks, deep
3:27 valleys and sharp cliffs dropping some 4,900 feet (or 1,500 meters).
3:33 Almost immediately, we were treated to sightings of Gelada Baboons.
3:38 It was just so much fun to watch them. We saw several hundred while we were in the
3:59 park. Not too much later we saw several Klipspringer
4:12 Antelope. We continued trekking until we reached the
4:28 Jinbar Waterfall. Because the terrain is so extreme, establishing
4:34 an accurate height of these falls has been difficult. One estimate puts the height at
4:39 1,600 feet or 488 meters. We came across these two young sheppards on
4:49 the third day. The Walia Ibex is a type of goat found nowhere
4:58 else in the world. Here, a male is seen eating his favorite food
5:08 — the leaves of the Lobelia plant. On our last full day in the park, we had the
5:19 opportunity to pay a visit to the Argin Jona School.
5:23 This is one of the most remote schools we have visited on our journey so far.
5:28 It is located about 36 miles (or 58 kilometers) from Debark and is at an altitude of 11,155
5:35 feet (or 3,400 meters).

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One thought on “Trekking in the Simien Mountains, Ethiopia [Video]

  1. Kathy Harkness Reply

    This was one of the best videos. It is really great to learn about a country that I knew very little about. The baboons were fun to watch.

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