Ethiopian Semien Mountain Trekking

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Tour code: TTT- T602
Duration: 14 Days /13 Nights/by Surface + Air
Destination: North/ Trekking
Addis/ADD -Semien Mountain -Addis/ADD

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Ethiopian Semien Mountain Trekking

  1. 1. Travel In Style Tour code: TTT- T602 Duration: 14 Days /13 Nights/by Surface + AirDestination: North/ TrekkingAddis/ADD -Semien Mountain-Addis/ADDDAY 01: Addis Ababa/ADD Arrive in Addis Ababa, and have a city tour. a city tour, first driving north up to Mount Entoto. In 1881 Emperor Menelik II made his permanent camp there, after remains of an old town (believed to have been the capital of 16th century monarch Lebna Dengel) were discovered, which Menelik took as a divine and auspicious sign. Addis Ababa, situated at an altitude of between 2300 – 2500 meters, is the third highest capital in the world and Entoto is a few hundred meters higher – as you drive up the hill there is an appreciable drop in temperature and the air is filled with the scent of the Eucalyptus trees which line the road. From the top, there are panoramic views of the capital and surrounding countryside. Entoto is an important watershed, to the north water flows to the Blue Nile, to the south to the Awash River. A visit is then paid the National Archaeological Museum. Here visitors can see exhibits ranging from the 3.5 million-year-old bones of Lucy, through the Axumite (200 BC –700 AD) and Gondarene (1700 to 1850) periods to the monarchs Tewodros and Menelik. This completes the city tour and you return to the hotel, where you can take dinner. O/n in Addis Ababa. Overnight Addis Ababa in a selected hotel.
  2. 2. DAY02: Addis/ADD- Gondar In the morning fly to Gondar, in the afternoon visit the castles and church. Overnight Gondar in a selected hotel. we will visit The Castles, which are still in good condition (some recently restored) and the bath of King Fasilides at Timkat (Ethiopian epiphany) has a nearby river diverted to fill an area the size of a small swimming pool. Worshippers plunge into the cold water undertaking a Reenactment of the baptism of Christ in the river Jordan. We drive 2 km to the north east of the Royal Enclosure to visit the Debre Berhane Selassie church, the only church that was saved from Mahdist invasion in the 1880s. According to legend, a swarm of bees routed the invaders. The walls and ceiling of this church are completely covered with murals - the angel’s faces on the ceiling have become a common motif in Ethiopian design. Continue to the ancient castles of Queen Mentowab and the church of Qusquam Mariam, situated on a hill just outside town or visit the local market. We will have the opportunity to visit the former Felasha (Ethiopian Jews) village at Wolleka. O/n in Gondar. DAY03: Gonder – Buyit Rass – We drive (approx 3 hours) to the bustling townof Debark, and enter the Simien Mountain Sankaber (3,200m)National Park. Now on foot, we set off aroundthe cliff face high on the plateau and glimpse thespectacular backdrop of the Simien Mountains forthe first time. We are likely to encounter geladababoons, endemic to Ethiopia, and the noisywattled ibis.Camp Sankaber (3200m).Walk approx 5 hrs DAY04: Sankaber – Geech (3,600m) A hearty breakfast sets us on our way as we head towards Geech abyss and the stunning Jin Bahir Falls. Dropping down to the viewpoint perched on a rocky spur opposite the falls, we enjoy a great view as the Jin Bahir river plunges over the cliff into the 1000m drop below. Leaving the falls, we have a sharp climb to rejoin the road before veering off into the valley and crossing the Jin Bahir River further upstream. The final stage of the day follows well-walked paths through cultivated terraces towards Geech village and our campsite nestled high above the village. Camp Geech 3600m.
  3. 3. DAY05: Geech (3600m)Today you set off for Geech,which will take between 7-8 DAY06: Geech - Mietgogo – Chenekhours. After about 2½ hours yousee the Jinbar waterfall, and you Leaving camp, we set off on a steadywill cross this river later in the climb across open moorland towardsday. After crossing the river, you Mietgogo, a rocky outcrop perchedascend for about an hour to the high above the canyons. The cliffs dropspacious campsite at Geech (3600 away 1500m below us, but the 360meters), which is full of Giant degree views of the surrounding areaLobelias. The scenery is are fabulous! Retracing our steps, wewonderful; there is good spring head east and drop down until we arewater nearby and even a cold just above the source of the river. Weshower for the hardy! then commence the steady climb toLammergeier, or Bearded vultures Inatye crest (4090m), following theare often seen here and if you are path over the top and down around thelucky you may see those carrying mountain, descending nearly 500m tobones to a great height and our campsite. We should be there indropping them to crack the bones time to watch the usually-spectacularfrom which they extract the sunset over the cliffs around Chenek.marrow. Walking time approx 8 Camp Chenek 3600m.hrs. Geech (Camping). Walk approx: 9 hours From Geech to Chenek. DAY07: Chenek-Ambiko A challenging day takes you eventually to Ambiko, at the foot of Ras Dashen by crossing the Bwahit pass (4200 meters). You can divert slightly to climb Mount Bwahit (4430 meters), a steep ascent in places where again you may see Walya Ibex. You then leave the Park and descend a path popular with the locals to the village of Chiro Leba, before continuing on down to cross the River Mesheha, where there is a chance for a refreshing dip, temperature permitting! An hour’s ascent takes you up to the village of Ambiko (3200 meters) and its delightful church where you will camp for the night. Here you may be able to buy a beer or a soft drink from enterprising locals. Walking time approx 8 hrs Ambiquo (Camping).
  4. 4. The actual ascent of Ras Dashen is entirely optional, but it is the highest pint in Ethiopia and as you’re here …well…? A pre-dawn start is required as it is a lengthy day. A good path takes you up the valley through cultivated fields and villages, leading after two hours to an excellent viewpoint on a ridge DAY08: Ambiko above the cultivated hillsides. From here tracks cut across and around the grassy hillsides dotted again with giant lobelia, ascending finally, after another two hours, to a second ridge, topped with the remains of an ancient fortification. Gently sloping ground stretches ahead, but due to the altitude it is still hard work as you walk around the east side of Ras Dashen. The final ascent to the summit involves a short section of easy, but rather hair-raising with some exposure. You will almost certainly be put to shame by the local shepherd boys bounding up and down the rocks with relative ease. From the summit the views stretch out in all directions with not a single road or town in sight!! Ponder a while on this unique panorama. A hearty lunch is usually served once you have descended the steep section. Having refreshed yourself you can enjoy the three to four hour walk back to camp at Ambiko and await the greeting from your trekking staff on your return. Mules can go to within 30 minutes of the summit, so you will have support if needed. Walking time for Ras Dashen approx 9hrs. For those not choosing to ascend to the “Roof of Ethiopia”, then a rest day at camp is in order. Camp at Ambiko DAY09: Ambiko - Arkwasiye Today you follow the tough ridge route from Metelal and top several 4,000m peaks en route. Or, take the easier contour line route with the luggage mules to Arkwasiye. This is one of the most important days trekking exhausting but very memorable because of the wonderful scenery, not only the peaks but also Metelal PassDAY10: Arkwasiye - Lamo (2,000m) Today you trek for about 10hrs as you have to leave the 3,800m.Tonight you will have higher plateau and village of Arkwasiye, cross several dinner and camp at Altitude at substantial ridges and valleys, then climb down the near Arkwasiye (approx 3,600m) You vertical Devils staircase with a 900m descent. The reward will be trekking for for this effort is Lamo, one of the most beautiful locations in approximately 8 hrs. the Simiens. Overnight dinner and camp in Lamo (approx 2,00m). Your overall altitude loss will be around 1,600m. DAY11: Lamo - Awaza (2,000m) Lamo is also known as Mekarebya. If you look northeast across the valley to the circle of mountains around Amba Ton you will see the view illustrated on Ethiopian Airlines tickets. Today you have a day of ridge and valley treks through some spectacularly beautiful scenery to Awaza, where you camp at much the same altitude as Lamo. Altitude undulating approx 2,000m. Today you will trek for about 8hrs.
  5. 5. DAY12: Awaza - Axum This morning you will walk from Awaza located at around2,000m to the market town of Adi Arkay 1,700m withwonderful views to Amba Ton and the high Escarpments of theSimiens Plateau. The trekking time is approximately 3hrs. FromHawaza to Arkaya. Meet the vehicle and drive to Axum.Overnight Axum in a selected hotel.DAY13: Axum Slight, graceful and silent, Aksum is like an aristocrat whohas come down in the world. Pillage, vandalism, arson havedriven her to conceal her remaining treasures in differentcrannies of an old cupboard. Only the main steal park reignsover the middle of the town, testifying to the extent ofAksum’s suffering. Except for one obelisk tilted like the leaningtower of Pisa, none of these monoliths with their carvedsymbols remained upright through the ages. Even the famousobelisk just reinstalled in Aksum after forced exile in Italy since1937 was lying broken in five pieces when Mussolini’s troopsfound it But as for most of the uncarved steal, they are stillsticking straight up towards the sky. Overnight in Axum.DAY14: Fly back to Addis Ababa and departure.

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