• Menu
  • Menu
Traumhafter Ausblick im Simien Nationalpark, Bild: WitR / shutterstock

The Simien National Park in Ethiopia


In northeast Africa lies the state of Ethiopia, which is the most populous landlocked country in the world with over 112 million inhabitants. Ethiopia is one of the highest countries in Africa. For this reason, there are often extensive high mountains to see here.
In the north of Ethiopia lies the Simien National Park, which was founded in 1969. This 179 square kilometer park is particularly known for its spectacular and unique mountain landscapes. The mountains can reach altitudes of 1,900 to 4,500 meters above sea level. The highest mountain there and also in the entire state of Ethiopia is the “Ras Daschän”. This reaches a height of 4,533 meters, making it the seventh highest mountain in all of Africa. The national park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The flora in Simien National Park

Due to the rather remote location of the mountains in Simien National Park, there are some unknown but native plant species. Below 3,000 meters above sea level, you can find some edible plant species, such as African olive trees, East African junipers and water pears, where both fruit and leaves are edible. The steep slopes in the park are mainly overgrown with tussock grass and numerous herbs. From an altitude of about 3,800 metres, the landscape is overgrown with subalpine grasslands. Abyssinian rose, African immortelle, tree heather, torch lily, various nightshade species and other plants can be found here.

Wildlife in Simien National Park

Wildlife Simien National Park
Image: Endless Traveller / shutterstock

The northern Ethiopian national park was founded, among other things, because of various endangered animal species, all of which should be able to move freely in their natural habitat here. For example, djeladas (blood-breasted baboons) live in the national park. This is only found in the Ethiopian highlands and it is the last surviving monkey species that feeds mainly on grass, which is why it is harmless to humans. The most striking feature of these baboons is a red, hairless spot on the chest, which gives it its name. In addition, the males have an impressive mane and sharp canines.

About 3,000 specimens still live in the shelter of Simien National Park and can move freely and unhindered here. But there are also other animals in the national park: The Ethiopian ibex, for example, feels extremely at home on the cliffs of the rocky slopes in the north. He lives very withdrawn. The Ethiopian wolf and jackal also live in the park and are only found in Ethiopia. It is one of the rarest greyhounds in the world and depends on the tufted grassy areas of the mountains. Other animals include leopards. Several bird species are also native to the park: Klunkeribis, Taranta parrot, Abyssinian rock pigeon, lamb vulture, raven and mirror wheatear and many more can be found in the highlands and in the cliff area.

Stunning Accommodations in Simien National Park

Jelada, Simien National Park
Jelada, Image: Endless Traveller / shutterstock

Since you can be wonderfully on the road in Simien National Park for a few days, there are also a few accommodations to be comfortable and warm at night. For example, Africa’s highest hotel is located in Simien National Park. The “Simien Lodge” is located on the edge of a steep slope at an altitude of almost 3,300 meters. It consists of a total of ten spacious round huts with 20 rooms. These have either a double bed or two large single beds.

Bathrooms are of course also included. All rooms are equipped with underfloor heating and have a balcony that offers fantastic views. A restaurant and a bar are also part of the complex. The restaurant has a beautiful, cosy log fire and serves both international and Ethiopian dishes. The bar stands out as the tallest bar in Africa and closes when the last guest has left. To drink there are various Ethiopian beers, South African and Ethiopian wines as well as some other drinks. Due to its unique location, the hotel complex offers a breathtaking view of the varied landscapes of the Ethiopian mountains.

The lodge offers its guests various activities, excursions and safe transport options, about which they can find out the best information on site.
Another place to stay is the “Limalimo Lodge”, which has existed since 2016. There are 14 rooms here as well as a bar, a restaurant and a spacious terrace that offers a unique view of the mountains. Here, too, both international and local dishes are served.

The old imperial city of Gondar

At the foot of the mountains of the Simien National Park lies the old imperial city of Gondar (also spelled Gonder) at an altitude of about 2,133 meters. If you are on holiday in Ethiopia, you should definitely include Gondar in your daily programme. Historical buildings and legacies such as old churches and an impressive castle complex are extremely worth seeing.