Trek Ethiopia: The Simien Mountains

10 Days from $2,600

START: Addis Ababa

FINISH: Gondar

AGES: 15 - 99

THEME: Walking & Trekking

Overviewicon readmoreicon minus

Description

Experience the geological beauty of Ethiopia on a trekking adventure through one of the most dramatic landscapes in Africa. Observe the remnants of a once prosperous civilisation on a visit to Gondar before tackling the challenging terrain of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Simien Mountains National Park. As you traverse the rugged peaks and valleys of this ever-changing trail, witness how millions of years of erosion has created an elaborate network of gorges, canyons and escarpments, flourishing with endemic wildlife and traditional civilisations. Keep an eye out for the endangered walia ibex jousting along the rocky ledges, learn about village life and agricultural rituals in Geech camp and sit among groups of gelada monkeys while you watch the sun set in Chenek. Stop by key lookouts en route to soak up scenery that will leave you speechless and have your breath (literally) taken away by unbeatable views at the summit of Ras Dashen – Ethiopia’s highest peak.

Start: Addis Ababa

Finish: Gondar

Ages: 15 - 99

Theme: Walking & Trekking

Accommodation: Camping with no facilities (6 nights), Hotel (3 nights)

Destination: Gondar

Highlights

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Trek the majestic series of undulating amethyst peaks that make up the Simien Mountains on this hiking adventure through some of the world’s most unique and remote landscapes.
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Explore the medieval architecture of Gondar, including the elaborate Royal Enclosure – a World Heritage site home to dramatic Emperor-built castles unlike any other in Africa.
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Camp within the escarpment of the Simien Mountains and experience true African wilderness as you begin and end your trekking days with incredible sunrises and sunsets.
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Keep your eyes peeled for troops of red-hearted gelada playing along the slopes as you traverse through the mountains – a distinctive breed of baboon, endemic to Ethiopia.
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Tackle the challenging ascent to the summit of Ras Dashen, the highest peak in Ethiopia, and be rewarded with breathtaking views that span over 10,000 square kilometres.

Itineraryicon readmoreicon minus

icon check Day 1 : Addis Ababa

Welcome to Ethiopia! A beautiful country blessed with boundless landscapes of lush highlands, dramatic canyons, sweeping deserts and the spectacular Simien Mountains. On arrival in Addis Ababa, meet your Intrepid representative and transfer to your starting hotel. Your important welcome meeting begins at 6 pm this evening. If you arrive early, perhaps visit the National Museum, which contains the fossilised remains of ‘Lucy’, a female hominoid that lived some 3.2 million years ago, and a key discovery on the origin of early mankind. This evening, why not head out with the group for your first taste of Ethiopian cuisine.

icon check Day 2 : Gondar

This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Gondar, a city famed for its medieval castles and churches. Often referred to as Ethiopia’s Camelot, Gondar has always been of major importance to Ethiopia’s historical trading routes, and in 1632, Emperor Fasillades made it his capital and it remained so for over 20 years. This afternoon explore the city's unique Royal Enclosure, a World Heritage site home to dramatic Emperor-built castles unlike any other in Africa. The 70,000 square meter compound contains palaces, banquet halls, a chancellery and library, stables, lion cages and even Turkish steam baths. The architecture shows the richness of Axumite traditions as well as the prosperity of Ethiopia in those two centuries. Afterwards, stop by the famous church of Debre Berhan Selassie, one of the finest in Ethiopia, with walls and ceilings covered stunning in ancient murals.

icon check Day 3 : Sankaber (3250m / 10660 ft)

Leaving Gondar, take a 2-hour drive north to Debark, the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Simien Mountains National Park – an exotic place with unique wildlife, breathtaking views and a captivating combination of endemic wildlife species, superb scenery and traditional village life. After registering, drive the short distance to Buyit Ras and the official park gates, then begin your trek along the northern escarpment, through a landscape of rugged peaks and valleys, making your way to your first campsite, Sankaber. Keep your eyes peeled for troops of gelada baboons playing along the slopes as you traverse through the mountains. These baboons, only found in Ethiopia, are often referred to as the 'bleeding heart baboon' or the 'lion monkey' – their shaggy coat gives them a lion-like appearance, whilst their chest has a marking similar to a red heart or patch. Arrive in Sankaber and enjoy your first evening camping in the Simien wilderness.

icon check Day 4 : Geech (3600 m / 11810 ft)

Fuel up on breakfast then begin the hike to your second camp. The initial stages of this path lead through extensive areas of highland grasslands and heather forests and along the way you can enjoy impressive views of the escarpment, including the stunning Jinbar Wenz Waterfall which plummets 500 metres down the Geech Abyss. After descending to the Jinbar Wenz River, a short ascent leads you to Geech village: a combination of slope steepness, overgrazing and rainfall combined with the limited resources in this area has caused noticeable soil erosion, therefore cultivation is completed in a two-year cycle, resulting in one side of the valley being lush with crops while the other lies fallow. Walk the short distance to a campsite situated above the village.. This site has breathtaking views of the mountains and is surrounded by giant lobelia plants which can grow up to 10 metres in height and live for as long as 20 years.

icon check Day 5 : Chenek (3650 m / 11975 ft)

Prepare for a spectacular day of hiking as you begin your trek by walking to Imetgogo, an incredible viewpoint situated at the end of a long ridge, 3926 metres above sea level, and offering outstanding views over the gorge and surrounding mountain ranges. After soaking up the epic vistas across this breathtaking landscape, it’s easy to understand why the striking formations have been described as 'the chess pieces of the Gods'. Next, follow a path along the edge of the escarpment before encountering a second viewpoint, Kurbet Metaya, located at 4070 metres. This lookout sits in a gap between the cliffs and reveals impressive views of the steep mountain faces, vast lowlands and tightly clustered houses (tukuls) that form the village of Dihwara. Continue to Chenek campsite, spectacularly located in a beautiful valley at the foot of Bwahit Peak. On arrival, rest on one of the strategically placed benches and keep an eye out for a troop of gelada baboons as you take in the expansive views back toward Imetgogo, which is most striking at dawn and at dusk. If you’re lucky, you may even spot one of the most endangered mammals in the world – the Walia ibex. This mountain goat, endemic to Ethiopia, lives on the steep slopes and grassy ledges of the escarpment and are often spotted along the rocky edges.

icon check Day 6 : Ambiko (3200 m / 10500 ft)

Today is the longest trekking day so far (approximately 10 hours) as you make your way to Ambiko. Leave Chenek (3650 metres) this morning and begin a 2-hour ascent to the top of Bwahit Pass (4200 metres), where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views over Mesheha Valley and the Dashen mountain range. Looking back, find yourself under the cover of the impressive rock formations of Imet Gogo, which you were admiring from Chenek camp the day before. If you’re feeling energetic, you may like to hike up to the summit of Bwahit at (4430 metres, an additional 1-hour round-trip trek) otherwise, sit back, relax and enjoy the sweeping views. From Bwahit Pass, follow the steep path down and across the Mesheha Valley, notice the increase in temperature as you descend to the Mesheha River (2800 metres) before a short climb to your camp for the night, Ambiko (3200 metres). Once freshened up, venture into the village with your leader to strike up a conversation with the locals and sit down for some Ethiopian coffee.

icon check Day 7 : Abiko (Ras Dashen summit 4543 m / 14904 ft )

Today is a summit day involving a 16-kilometre trek (10-11 hours) as you ascend 1400 to Ras Dashen. Begin by climbing the steep trail through barley fields and fallow land before reaching the mountain steppe (3700 metres). From here, the terrain flattens as it traverses ridges in the shadows of Ras Dashen. Just below Dashen Pass (4250 metres), an impressive moraine can be seen. A moraine is an accumulation of glacial debris (soil and rock) which occurs in formerly glaciated regions. This moraine was formed 20,000 to 14,000 years ago in the last Ice Age, when the Simien Mountain tops had small ice caps. The final stretch involves an exhilarating climb and scramble up and over large boulders, before finally reaching the summit. From the top of Ras Dashen (4543 metres), you’re sure to be mesmerised by the incredible views which span more than 10,000 square kilometres. To the west, the steep faces of peaks in the national park are visible, whilst the Tekeze Valley is visible to the north and the east. Take a moment to soak up the breathtaking views before beginning the decent along the same path back to your camp at Ambiko.

icon check Day 8 : Chenek (3650 m / 11975 ft)

You have another challenging day ahead, although not as difficult as the previous one! Leave behind your campsite at Ambiko and trek back to Chenek, the superbly positioned camp site, then descend a further 350 metres to Meshah River. From here, you’ll tackle the challenging climb to Buwuhit pass (4200 metres) before descending back to Chenek camp site.

icon check Day 9 : Gondar

This morning, drive along the dirt road that runs from Chenek to Sankaber, leaving behind Simien Mountains National Park, then continue to Debark (approximately 2-3 hours). Stop at Debark to finalize all trekking formalities before taking the 105-kilometre journey back to Gondar, where you’ll check into your hotel and enjoy a welcome shower.

icon check Day 10 : Gondar

This trip comes to an end today after breakfast. There are no activities planned and you are free to leave at any time.

What's Included?icon readmoreicon minus

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Meals

9 Breakfasts, 6 Dinners
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Transport

Private vehicle, Plane
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Accommodation

Camping with no facilities (6 nights), Hotel (3 nights)
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Included Activities

  • Ambiko - Coffee ceremony

Availabilityicon readmoreicon minus

Starts
Ends
Price
Availability
Oct 20, 2020
Oct 29, 2020
$2,600
Available
Nov 15, 2020
Nov 24, 2020
$2,600
Available
Jan 05, 2021
Jan 14, 2021
$2,600
Available
Feb 06, 2021
Feb 15, 2021
$2,600
Available
Oct 18, 2021
Oct 27, 2021
$2,600
Available
Nov 23, 2021
Dec 02, 2021
$2,600
Available
Dec 18, 2021
Dec 27, 2021
$2,600
Available

Important Detailsicon readmoreicon minus

icon readmoreicon minusJoining Point

Sheger Royal Hotel

Woreda 03, House number 2043 100m in front of Tele Medhane Alem towards UNHCR office

Bole

Addis Ababa

ETHIOPIA

Phone: +251 903182555

icon readmoreicon minusFinishing Point

Gondar

Gondar

ETHIOPIA

icon readmoreicon minusPhysical preparation

Although no mountaineering experience is required a good level of physical fitness is necessary. You must be comfortable walking 6-8 hours a day. This is certainly a strenuous climb so the better prepared you are, the more you should enjoy it.

Plenty of time is available each day to get between the camps so you do not need to rush and you are in fact far better off going slowly and enjoying the changing scenery and views. That way you acclimatize better and are in better shape for the summit day.

We recommend that in the months leading up to your climb you increase your physical fitness with aerobic exercise. Walking, running, gym training and stair-climbing will all strengthen your legs and improve your stamina.

icon readmoreicon minusImportant information

1. Passenger Self Assessment Form required for this trip.

2. A single supplement is available on all nights of this trip, subject to availability. Please see your booking agent for further information.

3. Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude.

icon readmoreicon minusGroup leader

This trip is led by an experienced guide with the support of trekking scouts. Sufficient mules and porters are employed to carry the group’s equipment.

icon readmoreicon minusSafety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field: www.intrepidtravel.com/safety

FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. BALCONIES: Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts. PICK POCKETING & PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking at night and encourage you to walk in groups and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. WATER SAFETY: Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water. TRAVEL ADVICE & TRAVEL INSURANCE We recommend that you check your government's advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.

CLIMBING SIMIEN MOUNTAINS WITH INTREPID Hiking in altitude can also be a dangerous environment if the right precautions aren’t taken – and that’s why our number one priority is your safety. While trekking we provide one trekking guide plus 2 to 3 scouts, depending on group size, to ensure that you are looked after, encouraged and informed about the trek and life of the local communities. Our trekking guides are trained in first aid and carry first aid kits on the treks.

icon readmoreicon minusVisas

PASSPORT

As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

VISAS

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

ETHIOPIA:

All nationalities require a visa for entry to Ethiopia. If you are flying into Addis Ababa you can obtain a 90-day visa can be purchased on arrival. You will need two passport photos and approximately USD50 in cash. You may be asked for proof of a return ticket - please carry your Essential Trip Information if you are leaving overland. If you are entering at any border other than Addis Ababa airport you MUST obtain your visa in advance.

For more information, please contact your closest Ethiopian embassy or consulate as this information may change.

icon readmoreicon minusWhy we love it

Trek the majestic series of undulating amethyst peaks that make up the Simien Mountains on this hiking adventure through some of the world’s most unique and remote landscapes.

Explore the medieval architecture of Gondar, including the elaborate Royal Enclosure – a World Heritage site home to dramatic Emperor-built castles unlike any other in Africa.

Camp within the escarpment of the Simien Mountains and experience true African wilderness as you begin and end your trekking days with incredible sunrises and sunsets.

Keep your eyes peeled for troops of red-hearted gelada playing along the slopes as you traverse through the mountains – a distinctive breed of baboon, endemic to Ethiopia.

Tackle the challenging ascent to the summit of Ras Dashen, the highest peak in Ethiopia, and be rewarded with breathtaking views that span over 10,000 square kilometres.

icon readmoreicon minusIs this trip right for you

A good level of fitness is required to join this tour. The effects of altitude will make it much harder than the usual trek over the same distances.

To allow for your body to adjust to the altitude the going will be slow. The speed of the hiking may be much slower than you are use too. However, we have found that this slow speed allows your body’s reserve levels to remain higher plus also allows for your body to adjust to the altitude as you walk.

Tried and tested all-purpose hiking equipment is required. Night-time temperatures can get very cold above 3000m so warm clothing and sleeping bag is essential.

Be prepared for dusty and therefore dirty conditions. It can be tough going hiking for continuous days without a shower. A dust mask, wet wipes and face washer may become your best friends.

icon readmoreicon minusHealth

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip.

YELLOW FEVER:

A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.

It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.

DRINKING WATER:

As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about three litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies. While on the trek your guides will boil and cool 3 litres of water for you per day. This will ensure the water is safe to drink and you stay hydrated on the trek.

WARNING - HIGH ALTITUDE TRIPS (sleeping over 3500m):

This trip includes one or more overnight stays over 3500 metres/11500ft, where there is a genuine risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). If left untreated AMS can be life-threatening. We would expect the majority of a group to notice the effects of being at high altitude, and while most will only feel discomfort, it is not uncommon for a small number of people to need extra care which will be provided by our leaders and local staff. All our trips that spend time at High Altitude follow our standard altitude safety measures.

A number of medical conditions or medications can also reduce your body's ability to acclimatise, and thus will affect your performance at altitude and make you more susceptible to AMS. If you are worried about any pre-existing condition (e.g. heart problems), or unsure of your physical ability, you must seek medical advice prior to booking. You may also wish to discuss medication such as Diamox that may help aid acclimatisation.

Please note that while we endeavour to assist all our clients in achieving their goals, there may be times your leader makes the decision to either delay or stop your ascent based on your medical conditions and AMS symptoms.

On some days this trip may ascend faster than commonly published recommended ascent rates at altitude. However, based upon an assessment by our external safety and medical advisors, and in conjunction with our own risk assessments we consider that the ascent rate is acceptable due to the additional safety measures that are in place for our customers. If you have concerns about this, please speak to your booking representative.

Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com//altitude-sickness

icon readmoreicon minusFood and dietary requirements

Local food is traditionally eaten with the hands and sometimes can be spicy. The sour bread known as injera is used as a scoop for the casserole dishes known as wat. Vegetarians can be catered for, though you may find the diet somewhat limited. Please notify of us of any dietary requirements prior to the start of your trip.

SNACKS:

While all meals are provided while on the mountain you may want to bring some extra snacks from home. Perhaps some nutritional muesli or protein bars, or your favourite chocolate snack to keep the energy levels up on the harder sections of your trek.

icon readmoreicon minusMoney matters

When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need.

Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).

Please note: all recommendations for additional costs, tipping etc. are in USD. You will need to convert these into the relevant local currency.

MEALS NOT INCLUDED

For lunches not included, a budget of USD10 to USD15 per meal will be more than sufficient.

For dinners not included, your leader will normally recommend options and restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main.

These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget or are happy to try local food, you can eat cheaper than this.

If you want to try just the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries.

TIPPING

Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. If you are happy with the services provided, a tip is an appropriate way to thank them. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.

Usually the equivalent of around USD7 to USD14 per person, per day to cover tips is fine.

TIPPING GUIDE

To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground.

- Your crew (including leaders, drivers and cooks where applicable) – The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline USD2 to USD4 per staff member, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

- Local guides – Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest around USD2 per person, per day for local guides.

- Basic restaurants – When checking the bill, if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.

TIPPING KITTY

Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, your leader might raise the idea of a group tipping kitty. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running this kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips as you go. The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This kitty does not include tips for your leader and crew.

EMERGENCY FUNDS

We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.

CREDIT CARDS, ATMS AND MONEY EXCHANGE:

Credit cards are generally accepted in tourist shops and some restaurants across Africa. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only. Foreign currency is easily changed at exchange bureaus and they generally offer the best rates.

With ATMs being increasingly available in the many major towns and cities and even some campsites, credit or debit cards are a convenient way to access money. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. Throughout Africa, cards with the Visa logo are most readily recognised, although MasterCard is also accepted in most places. A charge is made for each international transaction - please check with your bank how much this fee will be. Check with your bank before leaving home that your card can be used as a debit card in Africa. You may also want to notify your bank that you are visiting Africa as it's not unknown for banks to freeze cards which show sudden transactions in other countries. If you're on a multi-country tour, your tour leader will be able to give you an approximate idea of how much money you may need for your stay in each country.

PLEASE NOTE: Many businesses and banks in Africa, especially East Africa, do not accept US dollar notes older than 2006. If you are bringing USD, we strongly recommend large bills in good condition, 2006 series onwards only. Any old or damaged notes may not be accepted.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

US Dollars are required for optional activities listed in this currency.

icon readmoreicon minusWhat to take

PACKING FOR TREKKING SIMIEN MOUNTAINS:

On this trip we use mules to carry the equipment. It is therefore important you carefully pack your smaller day pack. Anything you need during the course of the day should be in your day pack including, most importantly, something warm and something waterproof. Your maximum gear allowance is 9kg / 20lb.

Light clothing is generally sufficient until you reach the 3000 metre/10,000 feet altitude range provided you always have something warm and waterproof in your daypack. Beyond these altitudes, even if the mornings are glorious, you must always be ready for dramatic changes in the weather, including snow storms. You must have clothing with you in your daypack adequate to the conditions. Please ensure your day pack is large enough to carry these clothes, your lunch box, 3 litres of water and any other items such as camera equipment.

Note: the bag the mules carry for you should not exceed 9 kg/20 lbs. If bags are too heavy items may have to be removed and left with your main luggage in Gondar.

PACKING LIST:

• Anorak/parka with hood (waterproof)

• Down or warm jacket

• Sweater/fleece

• Thermal top

• T-shirts, long sleeve shirts

• Waterproof trousers or ski pants

• Warm trousers

• Hiking shorts/trousers

• Long thermal pants

• Thermal underwear

• Socks thin and thick

• Hiking boots

• Gaiters

• Comfortable closed shoes (for around camp)

• Mittens and ski gloves

• Balaclava and woollen hat

• Sunglasses

• Scarf

• Sun hat

• Day pack, approximately 30 litres

• Refillable water bottles - 3 x 1 litre

• Good quality, super-warm 4-season sleeping bag

• Small first aid kit

• Headache tablets

• Imodium (loperamide)

• Hikers may like to consult their physicians about azetazolomide (Diamox), a drug that many find mitigates the ill effects of altitude, headache, diarrhoea & vomiting.

• Hand towel

• Wet wipes

• Toiletries

• Head torch and flashlight with spare batteries (needed for summit night)

• Sunblock and high SPF lip balm

• Camera, film, extra batteries - you will not be able to recharge on the mountain but can at the hotel before and after the climb.

icon readmoreicon minusA couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.

If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

icon readmoreicon minusFeedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

icon readmoreicon minusEmergency contact

GENERAL ISSUES ON YOUR TRIP

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below:

Intrepid's Local Operator: +251 ( 911) 457 196

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Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers and staff are trained on these principles, and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel.

Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

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As a developing nation hot water is not always available at the accommodations.

On the mountain you’ll be camping out under the stars with a full-service camping experience. Please bring your own sleeping bag, while mattresses are provided. Our two-person tents are ideal for expedition trips and  ensure you stay warm and dry even in difficult conditions.

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Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

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SINGLE TRAVELLERS:

Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

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ITINERARY CHANGES:

Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

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Camping with no facilities (6 nights),Hotel (3 nights)

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