Siemen Mountain

Senait Ethiopia Tours

TOUR CODE: SET008

TOUR TYPE: HISTORIC AND NATURE

DURATION: 13 DAYS/ 12 NIGHTS

MEANS OF TRANSPORT: DRIVE, TREKKING & FLIGHT

PROGRAM

TRIP OVERVIEW

The Simien mountains massif is one of Africa’s principal highlands, rising to Ras Deshan (4,535m),the fourth highest peak on the continent. Situated 100km north of Gondar, the mountains provide an excellent trekking area, with defined paths and spectacular scenery. There is a good variety of wildlife including baboons, ibex, the Ethiopian wolf and a variety of birds and prey such as the lammergeyer. The National Park is made up of a rocky massif - cut by streams and gorges - which slopes down to grasslands It comprises of three general botanical regions.

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    Day 1: Flight to Gonder/Sankaber
    Morning flight to Gonder. We will meet you in the morning at Gonder Airport or your hotel in Gonder. Drive to the first camp (Sankaber) via Debark (the small town) you will be rewarded with very impressive views of the low land areas to the north and west. You will most certainly encounter troops of the endemic gelada baboons. The gelada baboon, only found in Ethiopia, is often referred to as the bleeding heart baboon or the lion monkey because their coat is shaggy resembling a lion, whilst their chest has a marked red heart or patch. The gelada baboon can be found in good numbers is quite easy to approach. Sankaber camp is situated at an altitude of 3250 meters on an impressive view point between the northern escarpment and the southern wazla. Before you arrive the camp you have about 2hrs. Camping.

    Day 2: Sankaber - Geech
    From Sankaber Camp the path to Geech Camp will stretch for approximately ten kilometers.(5-6hrs). The initial stages of this path lead through extensive areas of highland grasslands and forests.

    This path offers some of the most impressive views of the escarpement. One of the best views is of the Jinbar Wenz waterfall which plummets down the Geech Abyss. After descending down to the Jinbar Wenz River a short ascent remains to Geech village. In this area, cultivation is done in a two-year cycle. One side of the valley is planted whilst the other side lies fallow. You will notice extensive soil erosion in this area as a result of the combination of such factors as slope steepness, cultivation, overgrazing, erosive rainfall and limited land resources. We pause in Geech village as we are invited into one of the local houses for a coffee ceremony. Here you will participate in this very important social tradition of Ethiopia as well as gain an insight into the traditional lifestyle. Just above Geech village is the campsite which will serve as your base for two nights. The campsite has great views of the mountains and is characterized by giant Lobelia plants. These plants can grow up to 10 meters in height and may live for as long as twenty years, at which point they first flower before dying. Camping

    Day 3: Geech- Chenek
    This day we will be waking to the best viewpoints in the National park. First we walk to Imetegogo, the view here enables one to look 360 to all directions this one of the best view in the national park. We trek to Chenek, we will be walking through the Giant lobelia trees and under these trees African field Rats are common. After picnic lunch we walk on the edge of Enatye escarpments (4000m. above sea level), which is another breathtaking view in the national park; finally we descend to Chenek. Chenek is the best place to see the endemic Waliya Ibex and more Gelada Baboon. It takes 6 - 7 hours walk. O/n Camping at Chenek.- (3600m). Camping

    Day 4: Chenek- Ambiquo
    We walk to Ambiquo climbing Buhit (14530ft/4430m) Mountain the 2nd highest peak next to Ras Dashen in Semien Mountain ranges, giving excellent views over the whole area. After refreshment at the summit, you descend towards Chero Laba crossing the Mesheha River, we will reach to Ambiquo and resting for the night here, before the big day on Ras Dashen. The walk of this day takes 7- 8 hours. O/n Camping at Ambiquo - (10496ft/3200m). Camping

    Day 5: Ambiquo - Ras Dashen – Ambiquo- Chiroleba
    Very early morning start walking toward mount Ras Dashen.You get up in the pre dawn chill for what will be the most challenging day of the Trek. To reach the summit can take up to 6 hrs. You will head up the valley from campsite to the small village of Mizma, from where you will climb steeply up wards, eventually reaching an impressive amphitheatre made up of three major buttresses of expanded rock, one of which is your goal, Ras Dashen. It is then an easy scramble to the summit, Ras Dashen, which is the fourth highest peak in Africa (14901ft/4543m). After taking in the impressive views descend back to Ambiquo for an overnight. The whole round trek takes from 8-10 hours .O/n Camping at Chiro leba. Camping

    Day 6: Chiroleba- Chenek
    Morning start to trek to Chenek. You will arrive at Chenek. This is the best scenic place in the semien and see the Endemic animals of Waliy Ibex, Seimine Fox and the different flora. Overnight in Chenek with special camp fire and dinner party. Camping

    Day 7: Drive to Gonder
    Morning you will have the last day scenery viewing, admire the landscape with marvelous view. Drive back to Gonder and afternoon visit the castle compound where you can see the Medieval castle of king Fasilidas, King Yohannes, King Eyasu, Kind Dawit, King Bakaffa and Queen Mentewab. Further visit of the churches of Debre Birihan Silassie with awesome wall paintings and the bath of King Fasilidas before proceeding to the visit of the Qusqwam monastery that was being built by Queen Mentewab and Gondar city tour.

    Day 8: Flight to Axum
    Early morning flight to Axum. The most striking relics here are the giant obelisks that are believed to be thousands of years old. They are carved from single blocks of granite and the tallest was more than 100 feet high. Axum is also the centre for Ethiopia's Orthodox Christians. Ethiopia is one of the oldest Christian countries in the world, and you visit the remains of a church dating from the fourth century. Nearby is a 16th century church where the crowns of the Ethiopian emperors are stored. The Ark of the Covenant is reputed to be here, and some of the ruins are associated with the Queen of Sheba. There's plenty of time to see these fascinating sights, and you'll have a local guide to show you around.

    Day 9: Flight to Lalibela
    Morning flight to Lalibela, the world heritage city. After 40 minutes flight, you will arrive at Shimshaha ( Lalibela Airport),transfer to hotel and start to visit the 1st group churches which are included Bieta Medhanialem (Chapel of Holy Savior) which is the biggest and Bieta Mariam (Chapel of Mary): three aisled with mural paintings and a covered pillar containing inscriptions about the end of the world according to the gadl (act )of saintly king. Further visit of Bieta Denagel (Chapel of the Virgins), Bieta Meskel (Chapel of the cross) and finally, the “double – church” of Debre Sina and Bieta Golghotha (women are not allowed in the latter since it’s where the remains of King Lalibela are and also because it contains the tabernacle of the Holy Trinity). PM Visit of the second group of rock-hewn churches that are namely: Bieta Gabriel and Raphael, Bieta Merquorios, Bieta Emmanuel with unprecedented Axumite style and the Bieta Abaa Libanos (said to have been built by King Lalibela’s consort Meskal Kebra and visit the Bieta Ghiorghis which is the cruciform chapel of St. George.

    Day 10: Lalibela
    Today we will have different experience to Lalibela Hudad, Surrounding the sacred Ethiopian town of Lalibela is a mountainous territory steeped in an ancient and biblical culture, where traces of a millenary mythology still mark the territory, and social practices are as alive today as they were 2000 years ago. WE use mule for trekking and it takes about 3 hours.
    The Hudad, or "the Big Farm" was named this way by the King Lalibela – the builder of Lalibela’s famed churches when he first travelled towards the town in the 11th century. He chose to join the local communities and to farm the land and tied his mule to a stone on the Hudad which is still visible today. The plateau, a secluded, ten hectare natural balcony, is now no longer herded and is in many ways an island, teaming with wildlife, and a precious and vibrant example of the montane grassland ecology. Here, as far as anyone can remember, lonely cattle herders have sat and idly gazed across the valley beyond, enjoying the mild and idyllic climate of their homeland. The Hudad is an ideal resting place for weary travellers, made private surrounding cliff faces and by a single entry point.
    Around the Lalibela Hudad you will be able to view some of this interesting wildlife, most obviously the Gelada baboons (Theropitecus gelada). The animals are easy to recognize, they have thick brown fur and a distinctive hourglass shaped red patch of skin on their chest. Rare visitors to the area are the Hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas), these differ from the larger geladas in their coloring. The area is also rich in rock hyraxes. Then we will have lunch in the Eco lodge, play foot ball and take rest in the beautiful grassland ground. Then late afternoon descend back to Lalibela.

    Day 11: Lalibela/Bahairdar
    Morning drive 330 km to Bahirdar via Gashena and Debretabour. Bahirdar is one of the lake shore town. On the way admire the beautiful landscape, the Amhara people’s way of life. Late afternoon enjoy the sun set near to lake Tana.

    Day 12: Bahirdar
    In the morning, take a boat trip on Lake Tana and visit the old island monasteries of Ura Kidane-Mihret, and Kebran Gabriel (closed for women). Most of the monasteries decorated with frescoes and staffed with religious as well as historical treasures. There are 37 islands scattered about on the 3000 square kilometer lake which is the source of the Blue Nile. About 20 of these islands house the churches and monasteries that are of immense historical and cultural interest. On the lake, be sure to notice the Tankwa boat, little papyrus boats that appear so flimsy yet are capable of carrying passengers and their goods around the lake as they have done for many centuries. Late afternoondrive 70KM round trip to visit Tississat named after the water falls of the Blue NileRiver (the life blood for the Sudanese and Egyptians). Be informed that clients will walk about 30 minutes to arrive near to the water falls on Blue Nile. So they are expected to wear appropriate clothes that match with hot weather and good shoes.

    Day 13: Flight Bahirdar/Addis
    Moring after breakfast flight back to Addis. Morning after having breakfast, Addis Ababa city tour including a drive to Mount Entoto for panoramic view of the city, national Museum which is the resting place of our ancestor LUCY, Ethnological museum to see the different tribes culture, Merkato the biggest open Market in Africa, Museum. Then attend farewell dinner in the famous Ethiopian traditional restaurant at Habesha 2000 with live music and delicious meal, you will be transfer to Bole International airport for the night flight that depart at after mid night and it will be the end of the tour.

  • DAY 1: Flight to Gonder/Sankaber

    Morning flight to Gonder. We will meet you in the morning at Gonder Airport or your hotel in Gonder. Drive to the first camp (Sankaber) via Debark (the small town) you will be rewarded with very impressive views of the low land areas to the north and west. You will most certainly encounter troops of the endemic gelada baboons. The gelada baboon, only found in Ethiopia, is often referred to as the bleeding heart baboon or the lion monkey because their coat is shaggy resembling a lion, whilst their chest has a marked red heart or patch. The gelada baboon can be  found in good numbers is quite easy to approach. Sankaber camp is situated at an altitude of 3250 meters on an impressive view point between the northern 

    escarpment and the southern wazla. Before you arrive the camp you have about 2hrs. Camping

  • DAY 2: Sankaber - Geech

    From Sankaber Camp the path to Geech Camp will stretch for approximately ten kilometers.(5-6hrs). The initial stages of this path lead through extensive areas of highland grasslands and forests. 

    This path offers some of the most impressive views of the escarpement. One of the best views is of the Jinbar Wenz waterfall which plummets down the Geech Abyss. After descending down to the Jinbar Wenz River a short ascent remains to Geech village. In this area, cultivation is done in a two-year cycle. One side of the valley is planted whilst the other side lies fallow. You will notice extensive soil erosion in this area as a result of the combination of such factors as slope steepness, cultivation, overgrazing, erosive rainfall and limited land resources. We pause in Geech village as we are invited into one of the local houses for a coffee ceremony. Here you will participate in this very important social tradition of Ethiopia as well as gain an insight into the traditional lifestyle. Just above Geech village is the campsite which will serve as your base for two nights. The campsite has great views of the mountains and is characterized by giant Lobelia plants. These plants can grow up to 10 meters in height and may live for as long as twenty years, at which point they first flower before dying. Camping

  • DAY 3: Geech- Chenek

    This day we will be waking to the best viewpoints in the National park. First we walk to Imetegogo, the view here enables one to look 360 to all directions this one of the best view in the national park. We trek to Chenek, we will be walking through the Giant lobelia trees and under these trees African field Rats are common. After picnic lunch we walk on the edge of Enatye escarpments (4000m. above sea level), which is another breathtaking view in the national park; finally we descend to Chenek. Chenek is the best place to see the endemic Waliya Ibex and more Gelada Baboon. It takes 6 - 7 hours walk.  O/n Camping at Chenek.- (3600m). Camping

  • DAY 4: Chenek- Ambiquo

    We walk to Ambiquo climbing Buhit  (14530ft/4430m) Mountain the 2nd highest peak next to Ras Dashen in Semien Mountain ranges, giving excellent views over the whole area. After refreshment at the summit, you descend towards Chero Laba crossing the Mesheha River, we will reach to Ambiquo and resting for the night here, before the big day on Ras Dashen. The walk of this day takes 7- 8 hours. O/n Camping at Ambiquo - (10496ft/3200m). Camping.

  • DAY 5: Ambiquo - Ras Dashen – Ambiquo- Chiroleba

    Very early morning start walking toward mount  Ras Dashen.You get up in the pre dawn chill for what will be the most challenging day of the Trek. To reach the summit can take up to 6 hrs. You will head up the valley from campsite to the small village of Mizma, from where you will climb steeply up wards, eventually reaching an impressive amphitheatre made up of three major buttresses of  expanded rock, one of which is your goal, Ras Dashen. It is then an easy scramble to the summit, Ras Dashen, which is the fourth highest peak in Africa (14901ft/4543m). After taking in the impressive views descend back to Ambiquo for an overnight. The whole round trek takes from 8-10 hours .O/n Camping at Chiro leba. Camping

  • DAY 6: Chiroleba- Chenek

    Morning start to trek to Chenek. You will arrive at Chenek. This is the best scenic place in the semien and see the Endemic animals of Waliy Ibex, Seimine Fox and the different flora. Overnight in Chenek with special camp fire and dinner party. Camping

  • DAY 7: Drive to Gonder

    Morning you will have the last day scenery viewing, admire the landscape with marvelous view. Drive back to Gonder and afternoon visit the castle compound where you can see the Medieval castle of king Fasilidas, King Yohannes, King Eyasu, Kind Dawit, King Bakaffa and Queen Mentewab.  Further visit of the churches of Debre Birihan Silassie with awesome wall paintings and the bath of King Fasilidas before proceeding to the visit of the Qusqwam monastery that was being built by Queen Mentewab and Gondar city tour.

  • DAY 8: Flight to Axum

    Early morning flight to Axum. The most striking relics here are the giant obelisks that are believed to be thousands of years old. They are carved from single blocks of granite and the tallest was more than 100 feet high. Axum is also the centre for Ethiopia's Orthodox Christians. Ethiopia is one of the oldest Christian countries in the world, and you visit the remains of a church dating from the fourth century. Nearby is a 16th century church where the crowns of the Ethiopian emperors are stored. The Ark of the Covenant is reputed to be here, and some of the ruins are associated with the Queen of Sheba. There's plenty of time to see these fascinating sights, and you'll have a local guide to show you around.

  • DAY 9: Flight to Lalibela

    Morning flight to Lalibela,  the world heritage city. After 40 minutes flight, you will arrive at Shimshaha ( Lalibela Airport),transfer to hotel and start to visit the 1st group churches which are included Bieta Medhanialem (Chapel of Holy Savior) which is the biggest and Bieta Mariam (Chapel of Mary): three aisled with mural paintings and a covered pillar containing inscriptions about the end of the world according to the gadl (act )of  saintly king.  Further visit of Bieta Denagel

    (Chapel of the Virgins), Bieta Meskel (Chapel of the cross) and finally, the “double

    – church” of Debre Sina and Bieta Golghotha (women are not allowed in the latter since it’s where the remains of King Lalibela are and also because it contains the tabernacle of the Holy Trinity). PM Visit of the second group of rock-hewn churches that are namely: Bieta Gabriel and Raphael, Bieta Merquorios, Bieta Emmanuel with unprecedented Axumite style and the Bieta Abaa Libanos (said to have been built by King Lalibela’s consort Meskal Kebra and visit the Bieta Ghiorghis which is the cruciform chapel of St. George.

  • DAY 10: Lalibela

    Today we will have different experience to Lalibela Hudad, Surrounding the sacred Ethiopian town of Lalibela is a mountainous territory steeped in an ancient and biblical culture, where traces of a millenary mythology still mark the territory, and social practices are as alive today as they were 2000 years ago. WE use mule for trekking and it takes about 3 hours.

    The Hudad, or "the Big Farm" was named this way by the King Lalibela – the builder of Lalibela’s famed churches when he first travelled towards the town in the 11th century.  He chose to join the local communities and to farm the land and tied his mule to a stone on the Hudad which is still visible today. The plateau, a secluded, ten hectare natural balcony, is now no longer herded and is in many ways an island, teaming with wildlife, and a precious and vibrant example of the montane grassland ecology. Here, as far as anyone can remember, lonely cattle herders have sat and idly gazed across the  valley beyond, enjoying the mild and idyllic climate of their homeland.  The Hudad is an ideal resting place for weary travellers, made private surrounding cliff faces and by a single entry point. 

    Around the Lalibela Hudad you will be able to view some of this interesting wildlife, most obviously the Gelada baboons (Theropitecus gelada). The animals are easy to recognize, they have thick brown fur and a distinctive hourglass shaped red patch of skin on their chest. Rare visitors to the area are the Hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas), these differ from the larger geladas in their coloring. The area is also rich in rock hyraxes. Then we will have lunch in the Eco lodge, play foot ball and take rest in the beautiful grassland ground. Then late afternoon descend back to Lalibela.

  • DAY 11: Lalibela/Bahairdar

    Morning drive 330 km to Bahirdar via Gashena and Debretabour. Bahirdar is one of the lake shore town. On the way admire the beautiful landscape, the Amhara people’s way of life.  Late afternoon enjoy the sun set near to lake Tana Back to hotel.

  • DAY 12: Bahirdar

    In the morning, take a boat trip on Lake Tana and visit the old island monasteries of Ura Kidane-Mihret, and Kebran Gabriel (closed for women). Most of the monasteries decorated with frescoes and staffed with religious as well as historical treasures. There are 37 islands scattered about on the 3000 square kilometer lake which is the source of the Blue Nile. About 20 of these islands house the churches and monasteries that are of immense historical and cultural interest. On the lake, be sure to notice the Tankwa boat, little papyrus boats that appear so flimsy yet are capable of carrying passengers and their goods around the lake as they have done for many centuries. Late afternoondrive 70KM round trip to visit Tississat named after the water falls of the Blue NileRiver (the life blood for the Sudanese and Egyptians). Be informed that clients will walk about 30 minutes to arrive near to the water falls on Blue Nile. So they are expected to wear appropriate clothes that match with hot weather and good shoes.

  • DAY 13: Flight Bahirdar/Addis

    Moring after breakfast flight back to Addis. Morning after having breakfast, Addis Ababa city tour including a drive to Mount Entoto for panoramic view of the city, national Museum which is the resting place of our ancestor LUCY, Ethnological museum to see the different tribes culture, Merkato the biggest open Market in Africa, Museum. Then attend farewell dinner in the famous Ethiopian traditional restaurant at Habesha 2000 with live music and delicious meal, you will be transfer to Bole International airport for the night flight that depart at after mid night and it will be the end of the tour.

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CONTACT WITH US

+251 116 294039

info@senaitethiopia.com