Simien Mountains National Park is located in the Semien Gondar part of the Amhara Region, its territory covers the Simien Mountains and includes Ras Dashan, the highest point in Ethiopia. With its undulating plateau and deep valleys is often dubbed the Grand Canyon of Africa, the park also features the giant Erica forest. This magnificent park is one of 13 national parks in Ethiopia, and many find this to be the most magnificent. There is a single unpaved road that runs across the park from the south east to the west crossing over Buahit Pass at 4,200 meters. The park headquarters are located in Debarq on the western side of the park.
The Park was one of the first four sites to be inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1978. Massive erosion of the Ethiopian plateau has created one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world: jagged mountain peaks, deep valleys and precipices sheer for 1,500 meters.
The Simien Mountains National Park is of global significance for biodiversity conservation because it is home to globally threatened species, including the iconic Walia ibex, a rare wild mountain goat unique to Ethiopia. The Park is also the refuge of the extremely rare Ethiopian wolf, and Gelada baboon and a tour here will often yield several opportunities to experience these magnificent animals in there natural habitat. Other wildlife you may encounter includes the Caracal, a sleek, streamlined cat with a short reddish gold coat and dramatic markings on the face that make this cat unique and beautiful.
After the site’s management was transferred from Addis Abeba to the Amhara region in 1997, a committee for the Park’s rehabilitation was set up, the budget and staff increased, there was local participation in decisions, resettlement of farmers, excision of villages and extension of the Park.