The Semien Mountains are a must for all those interested in wildlife, scenery and spectacular landscapes, the Park has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. One hundred kilometers north-east of Gondar, the Simien Mountains National Park covers 179 square kilometers of highland area at an average elevation of 3,300 meters. Ras Dashen, at 4,520 meters the highest peak in Ethiopia, stands adjacent to the park. The Simien escarpments, which are often compared to the Grand Canyon in the United States
The Simien Mountain massif is a broad plateau, cut off to the north and west by an enormous single crag over 60 kilometers long. To the south, the tableland slopes gently down to 2,200 meters, divided by gorges 1,000 meters deep which can take more than two days to cross. Insufficient geological time has elapsed to smooth the contours of the crags and buttresses of hardened basalt.
Within this spectacular splendor live the Walia (Abyssinian) ibex, Ethiopia wolf and Gelada baboon – all endemic to Ethiopia – as well as the Hamadryas baboon, klipspringer and bushbuck. Birds such as the lammergeyer, augur buzzard, Verreaux’s eagle, kestrel and falcon also soar above this mountain retreat.
Maximum temperatures during the day are about 15o Centigrade (60o Fahrenheit). At night the temperature usually drops to 3 – 5 o C (35o -40o F)