This morning you will rise early for a magical excursion in the Simien Mountains. After a sunrise breakfast, meet your guide and begin a hike through this breathtaking mountain range, of which the highest peak – Ras Dashen – stands at nearly 15,000 feet. Although you are at high altitudes, the trekking is moderate and incredibly picturesque. Treks vary in length and difficulty and your guide will qualify you in advance. Sweeping views of the dramatic and jagged cliffs greet you at every turn of the trail. Unique flora, endemic birds and, of course, the endemic gelada baboons. The species, really a monkey rather than a baboon, is only found in Ethiopia and the Simien Mountains are considered one of the best areas to view them. Sleeping in the cliffs in small caves at night, the gelada is diurnal and emerges to dine on grasses that he pulls with his hands and passes into his mouth. Staying at the Simien Lodge allows us closest proximity to the baboon troops and the luxury of being some of the first visitors for the morning. Our hike ends with a visit to observe the baboons. Our time is not limited with these fascinating creatures, making it one of the most relaxed and accessible primate experiences in Africa. Mid-day we return to the Lodge for lunch and a siesta. The high elevation can be tiring. Optional hikes are available for those who want to head out in the afternoon.
On Day 4 we can chose a morning hike before returning for our next visit to observe the gelada baboons. This afternoon a community visit is planned. The Simien Mountains are a UNESCO World Heritage site and a National Park, but they are also home to a significant population of Ethiopians. We will visit a local community and see what life in this extreme climate is like. Return to the Lodge for dinner and overnight.