Simien tour agency recommendation

Allan Wickens writes:

I have just been with Addis Yimer of Ethiopia Eco Tour and Trek for what turned out to be a 9 day trek in the Simien Mountains. I had originally planned on 10 days but two days were easily combined at one stage.

What an amazing trip. Excellent organisation, great company, the food was nourishing and varied for a start. I had a problem in my one and only (debit) card wouldn’t work. Behind the scenes Addis arranged a transfer of funds from my daughter in New Zealand.

My guide Malese was great company, spoke very good English and could even understand my Kiwi jokes.

Even though I had to bear all the cost of the trip myself (3 mules, two horsemen, cook and assistant, scout and guide) I feel it was money well spent and made for one of the most enjoyable mountain adventures I have had (Ethiopia made country number 33 I have walked/climbed in and I’m off to Morocco tomorrow for Mount Toubkal – so I feel like I am qualified to give advice on this matter).

We managed to summit Ras Dashen in the trip – not so bad going up starting at 0400 but punishing on the legs coming down).

The countryside is quite dry now and getting drier. We included 3 days trekking in the lowlands, which means trekking in anything around or under 2000 metres. Paradoxically it was quite warm down lower and on the rim it got down to minus 2 overnight.

The highlights? My 1000 baboon day, the views from the rim and at Sonar, our last night festivities. The weather was clear each day with some dust haze in the distance from desert sandstorms.

Today I celebrated Orthodox Christian Xmas with Addis and his family.

I’ll enlarge more when I get home. By the way, their is very good cellphone coverage when up on the higher points (which includes virtually all of the popular 1-6 day area from Debark.

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