Lodging Type: Lodge
Dining: Ethiopian, A la carte: Good selection of dishes from around the world, Set menu
Eco & Green: Eco Policies, Community Development Projects
Styling itself the highest hotel in Africa, at 3,260m, Simien Lodge sits on the edge of the escarpment with views that have to be seen to be believed.
The 26 en-suite rooms and 2 family rooms are divided between the tukuls – traditional Ethiopian circular buildings – and the main building. All rooms have under-floor solar heating, fibreglass insulation, and balcony. The restaurant centres on a fireplace, and its walls are adorned with Ethiopian art. Breakfast and lunch are a la carte, and dinner is a set menu. Champagne lunch can be arranged in advance.
The most popular thing to do in the Simien Mountains is trekking. It’s possible to walk for hundreds of miles on the escarpment; the walks here are spectacular and the views extraordinary. Highlights include the waterfall, referred to both as Simien Waterfall and Jimber Waterfall, Imetgogo peak (3,926m), and Enateye peak (4,070m). Expect to see wildlife like Gelada Baboon, Bushbuck, Klipspringer and Rock Hyrax. The lodge has camping equipment and mountain bikes for hire.
Adventure sports here include canyoning, mountaineering and base jumping. Other activities include bird watching, visiting local villages, and entering into local daily experiences such as traditional cooking, beer making, farming, and visiting local markets. The walk down to the Saddique Amba Monastery, built by a monk named Welde Saddiqu in 1640, from the lodge is also a highlight. Simien lodge sponsors a number of projects for the local community including providing a well, school furniture and local buses, and initiating a 10km fun-run. In 2016, the lodge won the gold award for rural accommodation at the Skal Sustainable Tourism Awards, and the silver award for poverty reduction at the African Sustainable Tourism Awards.
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Formed before the formation of the Rift Valley, the Simian Mountains were created by an outpouring of lava after a volcanic eruption between 40 and 25 million years ago, while the dramatic escarpment was created by an extended up-thrust that could have happened as much as 75 million years ago. The mountains are ...