Ethiopia :: Ethiopia
Category: Protected Areas :: Protected Area
The Simien Mountains National Park hosts some of the most exquisite and highest mountains (the tallest peak is 4 550m) in Ethiopia and is a World Heritage Site. The landscape, formed by massive erosion over eons, is quite spectacular, with jagged mountain peaks, deep valleys, sharp precipices dropping 1 500m and beautiful waterfalls.
The park has a rich fauna and flora and is home to colourful flowers, natural herbs, over 130 bird species (of which a number are endemic), rare animals like the Gelada baboon, Simien fox and Walia ibex as well as jackal, klipspringer and bushbuck.
Visitors should, however, not expect an untouched natural area as land tenure pre-dated the proclamation of the park and thus a large part of the park is still inhabited and farmed. Many hectares are covered with barley and donkeys, horses, sheep and cattle can be seen when driving through the park.
Visitors have to report at and get permits at the National Park’s office in Debark first. The park offers camping and lodging but has no other facilities and no cell phone reception. They do allow day visitors.
|Fee/s :||Park entry fee: 90ETB pp; Vehicle fee: 20ETB; Scout fee: 150ETB per day; Guide fee: 300ETB per day (Aug-2015)|
If you enter the park, taking an armed scout with you is obligatory (even for a day trip) and the parks office strongly advise visitors to take a guide as well. You have to make room in your vehicle for them and although you don’t have to feed them, it seems that you often end up having to feed so as they don’t bring enough or any food along. This measure is mostly to create jobs and secure an income for the local community. (Aug-2015).
You have get an entry permit for the park at National Parks Office in Debark.
Scout mandatory they will try and sell you guide too. Seating in an overland bakkie difficult. We reached an agreement: scout came with tuc tuc accompanied as far as Simien Lodge.
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