The Simien Mountains

Luckily the border between Sudan and Ethiopia reopened after a week of intense tribe fighting, so we could cross according to plan. After two hours of paperwork, fingerprints and changing money we were in Ethiopia! And what a difference! It’s so green! We stayed three days in Gonder to recharge and resupply, before we took off to the Simien Mountains.

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We arranged our stay in the Simien Mountains in Debark. At the NP office we picked up Fanta, our obligatory scout. The scout (a local with a gun) should protect you from dangerous animals and farmers, which is total nonsense. It’s just a way to earn some money. We have to admit that we are not really guide type of people, we like to explore on our own, and having a scout around 24/7 is definitely stretching our comfort zone. But without a scout no Simien Mountains, so we placed Fanta on the passenger seat. He does not say much, the only English he knows is yes, no and thank you.

IMG_5620IMG_6044Driving into the mountains was absolutely amazing, the views just kept getting better. After one hour we spotted the first geladas, monkeys only found in the Ethiopian Highlands. During the day we could get closer and closer to them, as we were being part of their group. An unforgettable experience. At night we stayed at Sankabar, at 3400 meters. A rough campsite: no shower, dirty long drops, freezing temperatures, rain and thunder. Oh, and awkward Fanta hanging around. But you know it’s worth it when you wake up.IMG_6120IMG_6288IMG_6153The next day we went up to 4200 km, which was high enough for us because we felt the pressure in our body and it was getting harder to breath. On our way up we spotted a Ethiopian wolf, which was really exciting, as there are only 600 left in the world! We also saw the lammergyer and bushbucks, but unfortunately no walia ibex. After a day of driving, with more amazing views, we went back to Sankabar for a cold night sleep.

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