Simien Mountains ET

waliagroupsimien11-compressed
ETHIOPIA’s Simien Mountains National Park, lying at the center of a triangle between Gondar (110km), Lalibela and Aksum, 870km north of Addis Ababa in northern Ethiopia overlooking the Tekeze River valley in the Amhara region. The national park encompasses the northwestern side of the Simien Mountains, a unique massif ranging from 1,900m to the Ras Dashen peak, at 4,533m the highest in Ethiopia. They are remarkable as one of the few spots in interior Africa where snow regularly falls. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, her 412km² of wild and stunning undulating plateaus, precipitous cliffs, deep valleys and steep gorges often dubbed the Grand Canyon of Africa are home to some very rare, unique and endemic wildlife species such as the Ethiopian Wolf (the rarest canid in the world and Africa’s most threatened carnivore), the  Gelada (also called the bleeding heart Baboon), the Caracal (a unique wild cat) and the rare Walia Ibex of which only 500 members remain in the world; over 180 species of birds including 5 endemic to Ethiopia and a further 12 endemic to Ethiopia and Eritrea; the remarkable red-billed chough, many raptors and vultures including the endangered Lammergeier; Pallid Harrier, Augur Buzzard, the Wahlberg’s, Verreaux, African Hawk Eagle, Rufous-Breasted Sparrow-hawk, Fox Kestrel, Cape Eagle Owl, the Martial Eagle, Abyssinian Owl and the Bearded Vulture, one of the largest and most spectacular birds in the world with an over 2.5m wingspan which can often be seen soaring alone at staggering heights and high speeds (over 130kph) along the cliffs and rocky outcrops. The park is also renowned for her incredible biodiversity with over 1,200 species of plants 3 of which are endemic to the Simien Mountains as well as stunning scenery; the Buyit Ras section of the mountains is considered the wildest and most magnificent landscape and stunning scenery; they are also Ethiopia’s foremost hiking and trekking destination.

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