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Simien Moutains

Simien Mountains National Park

SMNP has spectacular land features, endemic and endangered species of flora and fauna. As a result it receives international attention and listed as natural world heritage site in 1978 by UNESCO WHC due to its high, important biodiversity, numerous endemic species (criteria iv) and outstanding physical features and exceptional natural beauty (Criteria iii). SMNP in one of the most attractive tourist sites and is an essential economic base for the tourism industry which supports the livelihood of thousands of Ethiopians engaged in various tourist related activities.

Simien Mountains Natioanal Park - Location The SMNP is located, in the Amhara regional Government state, North Gondar Zonal, 886-km distance from the capital, Addis Ababa and 123 km from Gondar 13Nl,38 E lies between the altitudinal range of 1900 masl to 4430 masl at Bwahit in northern west of Ethiopia. More importantly, it is also located on the northern edge of the Great Rift Valley, which passes through Ethiopia and down to Mozambique, stretching over 6000 km. The mountain nature of the park together with its surrounding high peaks gives rise to the name theRoof of Africa The SMNP is endowed with unique landscape and endemic animals, plants found only in the Ethiopian Highlands.

Simien Mountains Natioanal Park - Climate The Climatic of SMNP is dependent on great altitudinal variation and mountains landscape categorized by6 wet, cool, and cold seasons. These climatic conditions are traditionally classified in four major climate zones as Woina Dega (1900-2400masl sub tropical climate) Dega (2400-3400masl temperate climate) High Dega (3400-3700masl cool climate) Wurch zone (>3700masl alpine).

Simien Mountains - Wildlife There are 22 large mammals, 13 small mammals and 182 bird species currently living in the mountains, of which 3 large mammals, 8 small mammals and 6 bird species are endemic to Ethiopia.

Simien Mountains - Walia ibex
The Walia Ibex is found solely in the Simien Mountains, usually between 2,500 and 3,000m. They tend to live in groups and they forage in opean spaces. The first record of the Walia was in 1835 by the explorer Rupell. Local legend states that the Walia came to the park with the saint Kidus Yared who used them to carry his holy books.

Simien Mountains - Ethiopian wolf
The Ethiopian wolf is one of the rarest animals in the world. It is also Africa?s most threatened carnivore. The closet living relatives of the Ethiopian wolf are grey wolves and coyotes. The Ethiopian wolf ancestor crossed over from Eurasia during the Pleistocene period about 100,000 years ago, when sea levels were lower and Africa / the Middle East were connected.

Simien Mountains Ethiopia - Gelada baboon
The Gelada is an old world monkey; not a baboon despite previous naming conventions. It is the only living member of the once widespread genus Theropithecus, and is only found in the highland of Ethiopia. The present day distribution of the gelada is limited to the steep escarpments and gorges that border the eastern side of the central highlands and the northwestern highlands of Ethiopia

Simien Mountains - Birds
Well known bird species include: Watt led libs (bostrychia carunculata) The thick -billed raven (corves crassirostris) The tawny eagle (Aquila rapax). Bearded vultures (Gypaetus barbatus)

Simien National Parks - Plants
Plant composition diversity refers to vegetation richness of the SMNP. More than 1,200 plant species with diversified floristic composition in wide range of altitudes are believed exist in SMNP. About 507 species are identified and described of which about 57 tree species are identified in and around SMNP and over 20 plant species estimated are endangered. Out of 52 species of grasses 10 are endemic to Ethiopia and only 3 are endemic to the Simien.

Simien National Parks - Rainfall
The type of rainfall in the park area is characterized as 1 long eight month rainy season and a ideal hiking condition four- month dry season. The big rains begin in June and last through to September, after decreases with sporadic rainfall and fog. In the SMNP there is a relationship between rainfall and altitude. Rain increases with altitude up to 3,500-m altitude and begins to fall again. This is because the condensation usually fails to ascend up to the highest peak.

Simien National Parks - Temperature
The maximum temperature in the mountains is 15C during the day and usually drops between -3 and 5C at night with the coldest months being October, November, December, and January. In the dry season temperatures can drop as low as -30C at night at the higher altitudes with occasional snowfalls. Between June and late September is considered rainy season in Ethiopia.

Simien Mountains National Park - What to bring whilest traveling?

From the beginning of December to the end of January, the temperature drops from -1 up to -3 during the night while during the day temperatures can reach as high as 25+; as a result, we recommend you bring: Sunscreen, Sleeping bag (three season at the very least), Gloves, A long jacket, Other warm clothing, Thermal layers, Head beanie The temperature during the rainy season of June and July is the other way round. It gets cold during the day because of the rain and fog, whereas during the night it gets warmer as clouds keep the temperature higher.Light and waterproof materials are recommended at this time of the year since rain is highly expected and besides this it is very important to have with you those individual kits which listed below: Torch with spare batteries, Small travel alarm/reliable watch, Earplugs, Dark sunglasses, Spare spectacles (or lens prescription), Detergent, Polythene bags Sewing kit/String (clothes line/repairs etc.), water purification tablets, and any Personal medication desired. Some hikers with minimal experience occasionally pack altitude sickness pills if they plan on summiting Ras Dashen.

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