Simien Mountains


Information pictures and diagrams from "East Africa Mountains".
Copyright © 2000, EWP and West Col Productions.

More Information | Map of Simien Mountains | Gondar and Ethiopia

1. Debark to Sankaber. A 4WD vehicle track winds from Debark for 30km to Sankaber Camp. It may be possible to hire a vehicle (best in Gondar) to cover this rather dull section of the trip. Walking this stretch is only 18km. First take the road E through the market and out of town for 1km to a turn off L. After 4km the Lamma Wenz stream is reached (poor campsites). This is followed by a long climb back to the main road which is followed for about 2km before another short cut. Possible campsites - poor water. The main road is crossed again to reach meadows and better camping (4h30). From here a gentle climb leads back to the main road; good viewpoint over Wazla Wenz Gorge. The road Is followed to Sankaber Park Post, 3200m (6h from Debark, 5h in reverse). Campsites, fine viewpoints, erica woodland. Limited good water from spring.

2. Sankaber to Chennek. The road drops to a col at 3100m then climbs eastward mainly across cultivated land to 3700m overlooking the village of Ambaras. It now deteriorates, becoming impassable to vehicles and traverses the upper slopes of the Beleges Wenz stream valley to Chennek Camp, 3700m. Near Ambaras it crosses several good streams (15km from Sankaber, 5h30, 5h in reverse). Ruins of old park post, numerous fine campsites, excellent water - a fine location offering spectacular views.

3. Sankaber to Gich. From Col 3100m (see 2) follow the road for 1km then traverse into the Jinbar Wenz gorge. Cross this river and follow the path to Gich village and hence Gich Camp, 3600m (9km, 4h from Sankaber, 3h In reverse). This is a manned park post with a commanding view over the well preserved forests of the Jinbar Wenz valley (mainly erica). Water from nearby stream.

4. Gich to Chennek (mules). Descend to the Jinbar Wenz then climb to the main road overlooking Ambaras (cf. section 2), 4h.

5. Gich to Chennek (scenic route). ENE of Gich Camp lies Imet Gogo (3926m), the finest viewpoint in the area (1h). The scarp edge can now be followed to lnatye (4070m) and hence Chennek (5h from Gich, same time in reverse, 4h if l met Gogo is omitted). Superb scenic walk.

6. Chennek to Ambikwa. Take the old road E and leave it where it swings away from the edge of the precipices. Follow the edge to cross the N ridge of Bwahlt at c4200m (2h30). Descend steeply to Chiro Leba clinic and school (1h). Down pleasant stream gorges to the Mesheha Wenz which could be difficult to cross after heavy rain (2800m, 45 min). Now up a side valley to Ambikwa village at 3200m (1h), 13km in total. The village is tiny, has a small church and a little meadow can be used for camping.

7. Ambikwa to Ras Dejen. Follow up the main valley then take a side valley NE, passing Mizma to reach a ridge crest and open grassy slopes (3700m, 1h30). The path gains height traversing round ridges (fine stands of lobelia and fresh streams) and finally climbs more steeply to a broad col at 4250m. Take an initially indistinct path going round the S side of Ras Dejen till the main summit appears to the NE up gentle grass and scree slopes. The last section involves an easy rock scramble up the L skyline ridge. A fine mountain and viewpoint (4543m). 5h, 3h30 in descent. The first European ascent was probably made by Ferret and Galiner in 1841.

Other routes. There are numerous other walking routes in the area. An attractive alternative for returning to Debark is to walk out via Arkwasiye to Adi Arkay to the N of the park (allow 3 days from Ambikwa). From here there are early morning buses to Debark along the spectacular road over the Wulfarit Pass.

Many other paths traverse below the scarp itself. The higher paths pass through some beautiful scenery. The going is slow, so allow at least 3 days to walk from Ambikwa to Adarmaz by the low level way.

Dihwara Villagers


At DiwaraSunday, December 25, 2005

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The material here comes either from the existing "East Africa International Mountain Guide" of from "East Africa Mountains" to be published in 2000 by West Col Productions. Any suggestions or comments about the content are most welcome. Andrew Wielochowski 12/12/99