Travels

How to do the trekking of the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia on your own and cheaper

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The giant lobelias of the Simien landscape

Green upholstered mountains, during the rainy season, and yellow, when the sun burns the fields and people pray for the months of the dry season to pass. Dozens of tops of more than 4,000 meters above sea level, with aggressive forms, opposed to the character of the people that populate this wonderful country. Monkeys Gelada, Wallia ibex (Abyssinian goat) and Ethiopian wolves They roam these lands, one of the closest to heaven we can find in Africa.

Is the Simien Mountains National Park, in English used in Ethiopia almost as official language.

Although Ethiopia is not a country of the so-called "tourist", it is true that there are more and more numerous groups of accidental tourists who come to enjoy its natural, historical, architectural and cultural treasures. It is a country that surprises the traveler, because the fact of being the only one in all of Africa that was never colonized by the European powers, gives an idiosyncrasy and culture very different from others.

One of the most visited places by these tourists is the Simien Mountains National Park.

When the time comes to decide how we are going to explore it, how much it will cost us, what logistics we should contemplate, and other things that can worry us about any other trip, we discover that we have hardly any information on the network, except for agencies that will They organize everything for a fairly high price. It is very difficult to find 3 or 4 day tours for less than 300 USD per person. A small fortune in a country where you can travel, independently, with a budget close to 20 euros per day.

Here I leave some information that may come in handy at the time of explore the Simien at much lower cost:

Going through the park in the box of a truck

When should we go

The best time to visit the Simien Mountains National Park is during the dry season, from October-November to April-May. During the rains, the area is flooded and the roads become impracticable. Just when they finish, the earth is covered with green and the view is more than spectacular. This is the best time to go.

The guide is not mandatory

When you get to Debark or Gondar, places used as a base camp for the Simien expedition, any agency will tell you that you have to hire a guide to enter the park. That is not true. Any group can enter the Simien, paying the entrance fee and ready to walk on their own with a map or asking whoever they want.

What yes It is mandatory to bring a scout or what is the same, an armed person who accompanies you during the days you are walking through the park. The price you must pay (per group) daily to the scout is around 15th ETB (about 7 euros at the current exchange rate). There is no real danger, because the animals in the park do not attack man, but this is stipulated by its rules.

Likewise, it must be said that a guide can always explain many more things about the flora and fauna of the place, know how to find the elusive mammals, and perhaps tell you some good stories. It depends on you. The price of the guide is usually around 300-400 ETB per group and day.

What should we wear clothes?

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