One of the most spectacular places I’ve ever visited, the Simien Mountains were a highlight of my time in Ethiopia, for the scenery, wildlife and lodge we stayed in. It may be the smallest of Ethiopia’s 24 national parks but is arguably the most stunning,
We stayed at Limalimo Lodge, one of the highest lodges in Africa. It opened in 2016, developed and staffed by the local community. This was one of the best places I’ve ever stayed, for the views, facilities, service and food. It was a bit overwhelming really, I was glad we had two nights here.
A fifteen minute walk from the lodge brings you to a viewpoint with epic views of the surrounding landscape, the escarpment, lowlands, and Limalimo Abo village. I sat here for half an hour just taking in the view, there was a lot to take in!
In the afternoon we headed out with our mandatory local guide and pair of scouts with guns, more for local employment than for any real risk.
First we visited a few more lookouts, with more stunning views.
As we took photos of the scenery from one of the lookouts a family of Gelada baboons climbed up the hillside behind us.
Further along the track we passed a large group of them busy eating grass and ignoring us.
This baboon gave me a bit of fright when I turned a corner to come across it. It was pretty special to only be a few metres away. It was chatting away to other baboons nearby.
There was also a lot of bird life, circling on the thermals.
We headed into the bush, with tall eucalyptus trees introduced from Australia, and completed the loop returning to the lodge after a couple of hours.
I headed back out to catch the sunset, heading toward the lookout, to find it blocked by at least 50 baboons. Little frustrating as I’m more interested in landscapes than wildlife but it was a pretty memorable sight.
I headed back toward the lodge as the sun went down, quite spectacular on a landscape like this.
I’d been trying to find the best spot to see the actual sun set and failed until I returned to the lodge, which had the perfect view, which I just caught the end of.
Returning to my cabin I found an even better view. Rather than wandering around the escarpment I should have just stayed in my room!
Sunrise the next morning justified the rather cold and windy start. At over 3,000m above sea level it gets pretty cold here overnight, but the sun is hot during the day.