A Trekker’s Paradise: Simien Mountains

gelada-red-breasted baboons
A gelada baboon enjoys the last few rays of sunshine in the Simien Mountain National Park. Shutterstock Photography

With its stupendous rock-hewn churches and medieval castles, northern Ethiopia’s rich cultural heritage has long attracted tourists from around the world. But visitors to the area are also increasingly being drawn to the spectacular Simien Mountains, a natural marvel where several jagged peaks of solidified lava are separated by deep valleys to form an overwhelming landscape.

The Simien Mountain National Park is a 50 square mile stretch of land that is home to rare Ethiopian wolves, walia ibex, and gelada (red-breasted baboons) as well as hundreds of other species of animals and plants. Since 1978, the region’s national park has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The highest point is Ras Dejen, at 4,533 meters.

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