DAY 1: GONDAR – DEBARK – SANKABER CAMP (3,200M)
4-5hrs driving, 7km 2/3 hours walking
You’ll be picked up from your hotel in Gonder around 7.30am for the 2 ½ hr drive to Debark in a 4x4. The road is rough and very dusty, but if you haven’t left the built up areas in Ethiopia yet, it is a real eye opener into the life of the rural majority. At Debark you will sign in at the park headquarters, pick up your guide and scout and head up into the mountains (by 4x4). The road continues all the way to the first camp at Sankaber, but you’ll be dropped off on the way for a leisurely three hour acclimatisation hike. The stunning views hit you as soon as you get out of the vehicle as you walk along the ridge. There will be time to stop for a picnic lunch and after a short but demanding climb (at this altitude) to Sankaber you’ll be met as every day on this trek with a tray of fresh coffee, tea and snacks. (L,D)
DAY 2: SANKABER (3,200M) – GEECH CAMP (3,600M)
Walking 7-8hrs / 15km
After a hearty breakfast, you’ll set off trekking along the ridge with stunning views over the foothills 800m below. For the first two hours the trail passes through low bush of Giant Heather, soda apple, Abyssinian rose, St John’s Wort and Globe thistle. The highlight of the trek from Sankaber to Geech is Genbar Falls, an incredible 500m sheer drop. From the viewpoint opposite, you can watch the falcons, augur buzzard and lammergeier bearded vulture soar on the thermals below. From the Genbar falls, the trail passes drier dustier land, broken by lunch at a somewhat less intimidating and more peaceful waterffall. Klipspringer and bush buck may be seen in the steep rocky and wooded slopes, whilst troops of Gelada Baboons roam the dusty fields for roots. Just before you reach Geech camp site, there is a wonderful opportunity to visit one of the traditional village houses for home roasted coffee and injurra. Geech Camp itself is set on a grassy plateau with stunning sunset views. (B,L,D)
DAY 3: GEECH (3,600M) – IMET GOGO (3,926M) – SIHA GORGE – KEDAR DIT – GEECH (3,600M)
Walking 5-6 hrs / 13km
After breakfast you’ll trek for 2 hours along the grass plateau past countless bizarre outsized Giant Lobelia plants. The destination is Imet Gogo, an incredible rocky promontory that grants 360 degree views over the Simien Range. At an altitude of 3,926m you can see West back along the ridge towards Sankaber and Geech and South East across a deep gully towards the tomorrow’s ridge walk to Inatye and Cheneck Camp. The views here are arguably the best in the Simien Mountains and the drop is terrifying. From Imet Gogo, you’ll return to camp via the Siha Gorge for lunch. Afternoon at leisure before heading out for a short optional sunset trek to KedaDit (3760m). Overnight at Geech Camp again. (B,L,D)
DAY 4: GEECH (3600M) – INNATYE (4070M) - CHENNEK (3,600M)
Walking 7 hours / 15km
Today is the longest and arguably most spectacular passing close to the ridge most of its length. After breakfast you will head back on the path towards Imet Gogo before detouring SE towards Inatye. The path drops into a forest of Giant Hazel before following the ridge on open grassland. The climb to Inatye (4,070m) rewards with stunning views. Inatye roughly translates as “mamma mia” and the terrifying vertical drop here justly warrants the name! After a picnic lunch the path follows mostly downhill through open grassland and gian lobelia towards Chenek with a number of stunning viewpoints along the way. Chenek camp is superb for wildlife with both Gelada Baboons and Wallia Ibex common here. (B,L,D)
DAY 5: CHENNEK (3600M) – AMBIKO (3200M)
Walking 10 hours
This is the longest day of the trek, with up to 10 hours of trekking. After breakfast you will set out from camp for a steady 2 hour climb up to Buahit Pass (4,200m). From the pass there are stunning views over towards Ras Dashen. From the pass, the path leads down across the Meseha Valley crossing the river at 2,750m before climbing back up to the Ambiko Campsite at 3,200m.
DAY 6: AMBIKO (3200M) – RAS DASHEN SUMMIT (4620M) – AMBIKO (3200M)
Walking 8 hours
Today is summit day, with a long climb of over 1200m and a brutal series of false peaks. After five hours of climbing you finally reach the steeper rocky ground leading up to the summit cairn. There is plenty of time to enjoy the expansive views from the highest mountain in Ethiopia before returning the same way to Ambiko
DAY 7: AMBIKO (3200M) – SONAR (3500M)
Walking 9 hours
Another long day that takes you back from Ambiko down to the Meseha River at 2,750m, before ascending again to the small village of Arkwazye. From Arkwazye it is down again to the wonderfully situated campsite at Sonar, which has fantastic views over the first section of the trek.
DAY 8 SONAR (3500M) TO MEKAREBYA (2150M)
Walking 5-6 hours
Setting out from Sonar you soon reach the Incya Valley which you descend for 2-3 hours down to the lowlands. You’ll enjoy a picnic lunch on the banks of the Incya river where there is a lovely spot for a refreshing swim. After lunch there is a further 2 hour walk along the banks of the river to Mekarbra where you camp in the village.
DAY 9: MERKARBRA (2150M) TO MULET (2150M)
The walk today passes along the dry river bed of the Incya River. The bird life is incredible, pin-tailed waders, village indigo, paradise monarchs and tropical bobu are all frequently spotted. Luch at Derkwenth pool, where you can rest and swim. From the pools there is a 2 hour climb to Awazza Villgae at the foot of the striking Awazza Table Mountain. There will be time for a refreshment stop in the village before a final hours trek up to the last camp at Mulet.
DAY 10: MULET – GONDER
After breakfast, it is a 3 hour walk to Adi Arkaye, where you’ll be picked up and transferred back to Gonder (5 hour drive).