The Imet Gogo summit (3926 m) is the best observation point in the Simien Mountains as it offers spectacular views in all directions. This is a good place to spot Walia Ibex, we saw some on the cliffs below. Imet Gogo is about an hour walk from the Gich camp.
Just before reaching the promontory we came out of the bushes and had this special view at the steep escarpment just in front of us.
Here must be the waterfall... and it was the place, but there was no water coming down at the moment of our visit.
You can recognize, where the water normally is falling down. Though there was no water, it was very worthwhile to make the walk because of the fantastic surroundings, the steep escarpments and the promontory nearby.
Back at the dirt track there is a path leading back to Sankaber along the escarpments. You can walk this route within a few hours.
We started our trek a few hours walk east of Sankaber. First we walked to promontory and waterfall. We took a shaded rather easy going path descending a bit from the dirt track. The views from the promomtory were breathtaking. We had splendid views in several directions. Maybe it can be a problem for people having fear of heights.
You have to take the same path back in the direction of the dirt track. This climbing path was a bit more tiring during the hottest time of the day. You can do this walk, both ways in one or two hours, depending your speed and the duration of your stay at the promontory.
On our way to the starting point of the trek we had allready so many fantastic views from the plateau into the valleys. So even when you don't make a trek it's allready fantastic and worthwhile to go up by car and find yourself some beautiful places to spend your time, enjoying the views.
Also at the plateau it can be very hot during the day, so look for some shade. At night it can be very cold.
I was not only interested in the fauna of the Simien Mountains, like the walia ibex and the gelada baboon, but also in the flora.
The most striking for me at the plateau were the heather trees. In my home country I live in an area with a lot of heather fields. You can walk on the heather there, but here in the Simien Mountains you can walk under the heather. I experienced this before on Madeira island and the Canaries islands, but it's still amazing.
I didn't see the Abyssinian rose, an ivory-coloured endemic flower, you can find along the way in the park.
At our first stop in the Simien Mountains National Park we could allready experience how steep the escarpments were, by walking to the edge. Here we saw allready the first ''bleeding heart'' baboons, the so-called geladas with the red chest.
I was excited, finally I reached this park, where I had allready liked to go for years. And of course I was not disappointed at all.
The massive erosion over the years on the Ethiopian plateau has created one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world. The dramatic landscape of the Simien Mountains is consisting of several plateaus separated by wide valleys. The jagged peaks, the deep valleys, the steep escarpments of about 1500 M, the views at the pinnacles make the landscape breathtaking. The Simien Mountains are an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Before we reached Sankaber we made a stop to enjoy the first long distance views to the north.
We visited the Simien Mountains with our own transport. There is a gravel road from Debark to Sankaber. At Sankaber you can camp and there are basic dormitories, a toilet, a generator, but no cooking facilities.
From Debark you can also walk to Sankaber in one or two days. If you have only one day or a few days, it is advisable to hire a car to go up in a few hours and to start your trek at the plateau.
On our way from Debark to Sankaber in the highlands we had a flat tyre. We decided to have our lunchbreak there. First a boy herding some cows came to have a look at us from some distance. Later more kids came walking from different corners over the fields in our direction. First they were a bit shy, but after a few minutes they were curious enough to come closer and to meet us. At the end everyboby liked to be photographed. For the pictures of these kids have a look in my travelogue.
In the Simien Mountains you can find three of the Ethiopian endemic mammals. The Ethiopian wolf, rarely been seen, the walia ibex and the gelada baboon. The walia ibex I have not seen myself, but some fellowtravellers did. It must be very impressive.
I saw two times large groups of gelada baboons, meaning ''bleeding heart'' baboons in the local language. They told us, there live about 8.000 to 10.000 of these mammals in the Simien Mountains. In fact the geladas are not a baboon at all, but an own genius of monkeys. The gelada is theatened to become extinct because its habitat is disappearing by the climatic changes and global warming.
The most striking physical feature of the geladas is the bare patch of skin on the chest of the males. The colour of the patch indicates the sexual condition of the male. His virility and the fertility of his harem are like a communal sexual barometer.