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Beoordelingen van onze reizigers

Reisbegeleiding 9,0
Vervoer 7,9
Overnachtingen 8,2
Reisroute 8,4
9.3 36 beoordelingen
  • 10

    A fantastic and varied trek

    There is a great variety offered on this trek. Our November departure started in grazing land where we climbed to see some stunning views of the mountains. After the Ras Dashen ascent the landscape and vegetation changed to be more arid before dropping into the Lush and hot lowlands. As well as the walking and stunning views we had chance to see a great deal of wildlife (wolves, Ibex, Gelada and a good variety of birds). The start was on the tourist trail, we often shared with other groups and were in site of the "road". However, once we dropped into the lowlands we got a great feeling of being off the beaten track and a good chance to interact with the locals as we were camping on the outskirts of the various villages.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The welcoming atmosphere from staff and locals along with a stunning natural environment - not photo will ever do justice to the views.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leaders were excellent. Our local guide was knowledgeable and keen to share information on wildlife, nature and people. Our Exodus guide was great at organising and making sure things ran smoothly as well as providing practical help with trekking and giving an foreigners input.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need to treat all water so plan appropriately with filters or tablets. In several places you need to add double tablets so they can run out fast. We were treating around 3L of water per day while trekking. It may be useful to have 3x1L bottles not just 2 as refills were not available on all days. You may get away without river crossing shoes. We did as the water was low and we crossed in bare feet. After some rain you may not be so lucky. When it rains it pours and got cold, don't expect hot weather all the time. The nights can be very cold. Most of our group had light weight down jackets or thick fleeces. We had frosts on the higher campsites overnight. As with all trips of this type there is a chance of getting ill. Some of our group had mild stomach upsets and a well stocked first aid kit makes things more manageable. Come prepared with patience if you get the visa on arrival. It took us 3 hours to get the stamp. It is frustrating but then most of our group were in the same queue. Expect equally tedious processes every time you go through the airport. Do some research on what to do in Addis on your return. It is not the most interesting of cities for tourists and a bit of research may mean you get more out of the free day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This area will become increasingly popular over the coming years. Already camps are becoming more established and busy. The road is being built right into the mountains. For now it is relatively unspoilt but that will not last.

  • 10

    Simien trek

    The website describes this trek as at the harder end of challenging and I think that is absolutely spot on. It is also totally worthwhile with the astounding scenery, remarkable wild life and smiling locals.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Obviously getting to the top of Ras Dashen gave a real sense of achievement but it would have been a great trip even without that bonus. I hadnt expected so much contact with the locals and the enthusiasm of the children was totally infectious; And I certainly had never imagined that a large group of Gelada baboons would walk through our group as though we werent there!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The Sara/ Messi duo was unbeatable. With Messi I had total confidence in everything he did while Sara was the most efficient/ enthusiastic/ caring guide I have ever had the privilege of trekking with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for extremes of temperature. On two of the camp sites the temperature came down to zero in the tent (and was obviously much colder outside). But during the day the sun was also stronger and hotter than I had anticipated - in spite of the altitude I walked in shorts and short sleeved shirts almost every day. And dont feel the difficulties are over once you have completed the three very long days (including ras dashen)! Personally the hardest and most nerve racking day for me was the subsequent long descent on quite difficult paths from the Highlands to the Lowlands - a day described in the Trip Notes as 'much easier'. I suspect I had let my concentration slip - not a good idea!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 8

    Simian Mountain Trek

    The Simian Mountain trek conjures up images of hot dry mountains and dusty valleys but the reality is far from just this: Rugged mountain tops silhouetted against steel grey skies, lush green pasture leading to tall stands of eucalyptus and acacia. The trek is really a trip of two halves, the first involving scenery much as you might find in an exaggerated version of the English / Welsh uplands with unpredictable weather to match! The wild camping isn't a 'wild' as you might expect with established toilet blocks available in most and usually a flat pitch. Passing Gich the scenery changes to the dramatic spiky peaks and escarpments familiar to anyone who has Googled the trek beforehand! The weather also changes to arid and hot with a number of challenging ascents! Camp food was excellent and the guides first class. Book this if you are looking for a trek to somewhere where tourists are a novelty and life hasn't changed in eons for most of the rural community.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting a rural school that has been part funded by Exodus.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 10

    Simien Mountains Trek

    This was a challenging but excellent trip with so much to see and experience . For someone like myself who has suffered with altitude sickness in the past this has got to be the ideal trip as you have time to acclimatise during the course of the journey and I had no problems at any stage.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day after the main accent was particularly challenging but towards the end of the day we reached the ridge before the decent into the valley and were able to look back and forward and see all the area were had covered over the previous week and it was incredible to think what we have achieved .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The support was excellent and the trek leader Sarah has got to be the best person I have ever come across in this role. Her medical knowledge and experience as a leader is excellent and her style and approach helped facilitate the group and brought the best out in people.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do go for this trip as its a great experience and something you will never forget.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 10

    Simien Mountains Trek

    I would highly recommend this trek to anyone who is looking for a challenging 10 day trek. The sstunning cenery and potential to observe in close contact the local wild life makes this a truly once in a life time experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The great sense of achievement and wonder you feel at the end of each day. Reflecting back on what you have seen and achieved either in height changes and distance trekked.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sarah was superb - keeping us together as a group and looking after our individual needs. Sarah's leadership enhanced the overall pleasure of the trek - much appreciated by all members of the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I appreciate the luggage limitations but do try and bring some equipment, eg pens, for the school and some old trekking clothing etc for the trek helpers. These items mean so much to them and are appreciated as they are expensive for the helpers to buy. Ensure you bring water purifying tablets, high factor sun cream, nail brush and deodorant as there are few opportunities to wash.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 10

    Simien Mountains - Spectacular, Amazing, Tough

    This is a challenging trek but very rewarding. It's challenging because of the many ascents and descents every day. The trip notes are accurate and there are some long 10 hour days - in the heat - which means the sight of the camp site is the best feeling ever! The trails are very rocky with many loose stones which means going down can be difficult - so you need to be sure footed. Very enjoyable. Loved it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many moments - every day brought something new when passing through the small villages. But getting to the top of Ras Dashen was probably the highlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Messi, our local guide, was very good. He knows every step of the trek. He gives encouragement when needed and I always felt safe with him. Messi knows the local community and is clearly well respected. You'll be very lucky if you have Messi as your guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are fit for this trip. Take water purification tablets and/or Steripen - you must treat all water yourself. Try and pack light - but include good thermals, down jacket and a good sleeping bag. It gets very cold and windy at night when high up - as soon as the sun goes down at 6pm. Walking poles for the downhills help with staying on your feet - and help the knees. The trip notes say to take extra snacks - we were supplied with plenty of nuts and other snacks during the day. Other food is plentiful and good. Tents are good - but you must take a sleeping mat.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you enjoy trekking then you must do this trip. You see very few other people trekking on the trip. It was just our group that climbed Ras Dashen on the day we did it. But you do see lots of locals along the trek - and sometimes camp just outside villages. Ras Dashen is definitely achievable- you leave at 4.30am and we got to the top at 9.30am - but pace yourself the day before. Hotel in Addis Ababa is basic - don't expect too much. Hotel in Gondar is very nice.

  • 10

    Beautiful Ethiopia

    Those epic views come at a price - lots of steep ascents and descents - but The Simiens are achingly beautiful and worth the effort.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I have so many memories. Mesi made us all keep quiet for 5 mins so we could take in the view on day 2 and it was quite overwhelming. The shower at Chenek camp wouldn't work so Liz and Mesi poured freezing cold water over us as we squealed, amidst much laughter. Being surrounded by kids wanting to practice their English. Having my hair braided (and subsequently losing a handful!!!) by a little girl who was fascinated by blonde hair. The list is endless.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mesi and Liz made the holiday for us. We could not have asked for more attentive, fun and knowledgeable guides. Half of our group had an ailment of some kind and Liz took care of every one brilliantly while Mesi managed the local crew impeccably.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a tough trek. We had very long ascents and descents, which are difficult at altitude. The crew were so patient and supportive but be prepared for this. One person in the group had a reaction to doxycycline - photosensitivity which meant she had to be blind-folded and make use of Vanessa the ambulance mule. A few of us didn't bother with anti-malarials. There is a risk-benefit that needs to be discussed with a healthcare professional prior to travel. Buy double the wet wipes you think you need, it is very dusty in the dry season. Don't under-estimate the sun. The temperature is pleasant much of the time but you need a lot of protection. Take rehydrating salts to flavour the water and replace sweat. Dioralyte tastes horrible! Some campsites need 2 chlorine tabs per litre so budget for this Take moisturiser. I didn't bother and ended up all dried up like a raisin! If you have space in your bag, take kit that you are happy to donate to the crew at the end of the week I didn't need most of my snacks as the guides always had biscuits, nuts etc, although some of the men were glad of extra. The food is excellent. Chef produces wonders every day….but most of us wished that two sheep hadn't been slaughtered because this meant lamb on 4 nights out of 9 and we didn't really want it. Some groups might love this but if not, tell the guides early in the week.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There were a number of moments on trek that I wished I had booked a beach holiday because my knees hurt so much, but it was a truly wonderful experience. The crew didn't just do their jobs, they looked after us. Be warned, Ethiopia will get under your skin!

  • 10

    A world class trek in a cultural haven

    The Simien mountains is a world class trek - not too challenging, but challenging enough for most able hillwalkers - the three toughest days are days 5, 6 and 7 - our group was strong and we managed them well within daylight with a couple of hours to spare. Ethiopia is unusual for most African countries, as it has many archeological/ historical sites - Gondor (part of this trip), Lalibela, Axium and Bahir Dar, all worth a visit.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Simien mountains did not disappoint - each of the ten days were different, and each day was peppered with stunning unforgettable views. The remoter sections away from the highway were the best, with the local people at their most friendly. Summit day on Ethiopia's highest mountain Rasdashen, was a high point in all senses of the words. An unexpected pleasure was how good the coffee was - everywhere. The 3 day extension to Lalibela was well worth doing (bit pricey though) - the visit to the mountain monastery and the 8 rock churches in the town, each hewn from one piece of rock, all dating back nearly 1000 years are incredible [more stunning than Petra for me].

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Messi was first class - and the team he lead was excellent. A lot of effort was put into to ensure our safety and well being - no-one fell ill on the trip. The cook was amazing - the food on the trip was probably the best I have ever had over more than 20 similar Exodus trips.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack as light as possible - wear and gift old clothes/equipment at end of trip. Don't overdo the snacks - biscuits/nuts are always on offer. The sun is unrelenting - high factor lip balm a must.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Apart from a few pre-teen children pickpockets outside the hotel in Addis, the country is incredibly safe and in this respect reminded me of walking around Asia rather than Africa.

  • 10

    Simen Mountains Ethiopia - 10days Camping

    Just back from a seriously good trekking &amp; camping holiday taking in the Simen Mountains in Northern Ethiopian. Filled all my expectation of a cultural trekking holiday. To enjoy the trek you must be physically fit and used to a multy day regime with early starts hot days and possibly cold nights for this Challenging graded holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The fantastic changing views of the mountains as we travelled around the area, together with the wildlife and flora.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sarah was 100% committed to the group going away from the experience fully satisfied, nothing was too much trouble for her, where she got the endless energy to multy task amazed me.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You are going to be away from mass tourism, in wild country, away from the comforts of home, accept this and take home with you some excellent memories to amaze your friends and family.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go for it now before these wild places become full of tourist hotels and fully surfaced roads, enjoy the present conditions and take yourself back to nature.

  • 10

    Memorable trekking over 'Ethiopian flat'

    A gentle 2 day cultural introduction to Ethiopia via the museums, churches and castles before some serious trekking in the mountains, or as out guide called it - Ethiopian flat! A well thought out trekking itinerary, with a few easy days to begin with to help us get used to altitude. Tougher days followed but everyone coped and the support from our guide, Messi, and the local crew was excellent. For our efforts we were rewarded with fantastic views over the mountains, including a good sunset, and a 4000m peak or two (optional). Also some great chances to see the local plant and wildlife.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many. I loved all the Mountains and the 4 Sisters Restaurant in Gondar but the school visit was special. The children had so little equipment compared to what we're used to but they were so enthusiastic and friendly. The tip I learnt is bring pens but also bring balloons.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Messi was excellent. Leading from the front but happy to fall back to help out those at the back of the group. Had plenty of information on Ethiopia and the area we were trekking in and always seemed happy to educate us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's quite a tough trek but get fit before you go, hydrate when your there, and pack to cope with the basic camp facilities (lots of wet wipes, and loo roll) and you'll love it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The group I travelled with was just as important as the itinerary and support staff in making the holiday as memorable as it was. A superb experience.

  • 10

    Excellent Adventure

    This trip takes you off the beaten path into the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia. It is a national park with a single road going through it providing a connection to the outside world for the 2,000 families still living in the villages there. The trek takes you through the high-, mid- and low-lands with terrific and varied scenery. You will see plenty of Geladas (up close) and if you're lucky, also the Walia Ibex and Ethiopian Wolf. The trip is long (140+ kms and 10 days) and the hiking is quite tough. I would rate this trip to be more like a "6" rather than a "5" due to the distance traveled and the steep ascents and descents with difficult footing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking through the troop of Geladas on the very first day. There were literally hundreds of them in that group and you can get very close to them before they get nervous and bounce away.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mesi is an outstanding guide. He is very knowledgeable and makes sure everyone is taken care of.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. Take money (Birr) into the park with you so that you can buy soft drinks on the trail from the kids who sell them (you'll need the fluids and the sugar), and also so that you can buy drinks (beer and soft drinks) from the camp sites. You can also buy souvenirs from the villagers as you pass through the villages. 2. Bring plenty of high energy snacks, especially snacks with lots of sugar in it. 3. Bring plenty of water purification tablets. You'll need to carry 3L of water per day with you. 4. The sun is VERY bright - prepare accordingly. The temperature fluctuates greatly from day to night and from highlands to lowlands. In the highlands, the temperature will drop below freezing at night. It will get up over 30C during the day in the lowlands.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 10

    ETHIOPIA: SIMIEN MOUNTAINS TREK

    Ethiopia was totally not what I expected, it's lush and green and full of happy smiling faces, an absolutely wonderful experience I will never forget

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    To be welcomed constantly, I felt part of a very large extended family After a very long day hiking and seeing some of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen, the welcome back to camp We had some quite diverse weather conditions, hail torrential rain, but this made it more of an adventure Seeing the Gelades was fantastic, I could of spent hours sitting with them

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Messi, was our local guide... who was excellent his knowledge was outstanding He went above and beyond his duties, we also had a UK group leader Suzie again very knowledgeable and very nice

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I can't stress how beautiful the country and people are. You do see a lot of poverty, and clothes are very much needed so I would stress if you can carry extra to leave please do. It does get cold due to the altitude, but very warm during the day so you do need to be prepared for all weather conditions

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Ethiopia is probable the most beautiful country I have ever been, and I have been to a few.... It's not just the outstanding scenery but the people to.  I loved every minute of this trip and I would definatly go back without a doubt I was pleased to leave Addis, as this is just another city... but as soon as you hit Gondar I felt at home and welcomed I honestly can't imagine anyone not enjoying this trip 

  • 8

    ETHIOPIA: SIMIEN MOUNTAINS TREK

    quite a tough trek,through stunning scenary and in a country as old as time

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    summiting ras dashen (the main reason i booked the trip) the friendly, smily ethiopian people and children running up to shake your hand  the scenary, which changed all the time, always with something new to see

    What did you think of your group leader?

    we had 2 leaders. messi, the ethiopian guide and suzie from the UK messi is a lovely, sweet natured guy. when the group was together, he walked slowly, as you should at altitude and was calm and relaxed but on 2 days the group split into 2 and messi seemed not to trust suzie with her group and both days he left us to walk by ourselves while he joined suzies group. im not sure why he felt he had to be responsible for both groups. he seemed very nervous of the weather as we had heavy rain and thunder the first few afternoons. the ascent of ras dashen he did at a ridiculouly fast pace. again im not sure why. one guy couldnt manage and dropped out and the rest of us couldnt keep up with him. he seemed focused on getting up there as fast as he could and never looked back to see how we were doing. i found his behaviour very strange. maybe it was a bit of lack of experience too. im not sure suzie didnt give us much information and always had to be asked the programme for the next day. she often contradicted messis timings but he was spot on. suzie also got very worked up about the weather. i have never known such a fuss about a bit of rain. we had waterproofs, but there were such dramas and she probably didnt help to calm messi down. she didnt tell us much about the country either and i was surprised that she didnt say anything about not giving money to people begging. one lady was going to give money to a man begging and i said she shouldnt but that should have come from suzie. messi was very strict about not giving handouts    

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    try to learn a bit about the history of the country before you go. dont underestimate this trek.make sure you are fit as there are some  long days and that you are happy walking on rough, rocky ground. the last 100m to ras dashen is an easy scramble if you are used to moving on rock, but if not do some easy scrambles in the UK before you go. you will enjoy the summit a lot more! the tents are pitched quite close together so take ear plugs as you can hear every sound 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    dont take any notice of people who say there is nothing to see in addis ababa. true, its a building site at the moment but it is a developing city. try to wander down churchill avenue/ gambia street and see the lion of judah and derg monuments and the red terror museum is meskel square is a must see. forget the bad publicity the country got from live aid and which has stuck for 20 odd years. just go and see it all for yourself there were 18 in our group which was far too many as people were different fitnesses/ confidences and on 2 days we split into 2 groups, which i think was the problem with messi trying to be responsible for both groups

  • 10

    ETHIOPIA: SIMIEN MOUNTAINS TREK

    Staggeringly sensational!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Everyday brought a new inspirational moment, the scenery is mind blowing

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Messi was excellent, very attentive and knowledgeable

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are 4 very long days on this trip, of 10 hours, with summit day having the potential to push up towards 12. You need to be in good physical condition. Take your own snacks with you, once on trek there are no opportunities to get anything like crips/choc. However beer will arrive at the mess tent every evening along with coke for you to buy from the local villagers

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a must do....it was my 11th trek with Exodus, and I have to say one of my favourites. Enjoy

  • 10

    ETHIOPIA: SIMIEN MOUNTAINS TREK

    I though my last trip with exodus was amazing, this trip far exceeded my expectations. Ethiopia Simien mountains are the most beautiful place i have been and i have visited alot of places.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The whole trip was inspirational. The scenery was amazing, the group were fantastic and the guids brilliant. The trip was very tough at times but worth the long days for the scenic campsites and surroundings.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Alex and Melese were brilliant. Alex always had every thing planned and well organised which made the trip run smoothly. He was also very helpful and was happy to spend time with you showing you how to use you kit properly and checking that you were ok. Melese was clearly very passionate about Ethiopia and Simens and had a great level of knowledg, which he is happy to share

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure that you are fit before you go. The trip is challenging.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 8

    ETHIOPIA: SIMIEN MOUNTAINS TREK

    This is a trip I have wanted to do for a number of years and it didn't disappoint!  Ethiopia is a fantastic country, and we were made to feel very welcome by the staff and locals alike.  The scenery is some of the most spectacular I have seen and the trekking was great fun, challenging but manageable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We saw an Ethiopian wolf (very rare), Walia Ibex (quite rare) and Gelada baboons (breeding like rabbits it seems), together with loads of eagles/lammageyer/falcons, so that was fantastic.  Some of the sunrises and sunsets.  The views from the escarpment to the valley floor below were out of this world.  There are some long days but the feeling of achievement at the end is great.  The greeting from the camp crew when you get down from Ras Dashen (dancing and making garlands for you) is unbelievable, as is the last night camp party.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two group leaders: Alex, a guide from Romania and Melese, a local guide, and together they were a good team.  Alex is extremely competent and hard-working, prioritising the safety and security of the group at all times; his advice was good and his timings accurate.  I always felt he had things under control, that he wanted the group to have a good time, and that he worked hard to achieve this.  My only slight criticism might be that he was great for those of us at the front/middle of the group but for those at the back he wasn't as empathetic and encouraging as other leaders I have encountered.....but Melese was both of these things and so together they were great.  Melese is extremely passionate about his country and coveyed this to us, a really excellent guide whom we all enjoyed getting to know.  Alex and Melese both clearly care deeply about their charity work in Ethiopia and this is a real testament to both of them.  I would happily go on trips led by either of them again.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If going in October, you really must have good breathable waterproofs: the rainy season was extended this year and it rained at some point almost every day.  Gaiters are useful. The advice in the trip notes to take energy bars, sandals for river crossings and water treatment tablets is spot on: unlike some other trips where it is a back-up/nice-to-have, on this trip you do need all of them.  Take some old clothes to leave at the end of the trip: hats, gloves and socks are particularly valuable to the trekking crew.  Make sure you take plenty of hand disinfectant as the money is filthy and we were advised to wash our hands every time after handling it, and this was good advice! On this trip, your main bag is transported by mule so use the Exodus kitbags and pack your stuff in drybags for the rain - and keep it light! We would have liked to go to Lalibela so think about the extension - it is a shame it isn't part of the itinerary.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food, accomodation, transport and camping equipment on this trip was very good.  The organisation was great and we had a really good time.  Having done a lot of high altitude trekking, I would say that the altitude on this trip is pretty gentle in that you have plenty of time to acclimatise, so don't let it put you off.  You do need to be experienced in walking for long periods, and they are absolutely right to consider carefully whether to go if you have vertigo as there are some pretty exciting drops, but it really is a great trip and I would recommend it.

  • 10

    ETHIOPIA: SIMIEN MOUNTAINS TREK

    Incredible trek. Loved being so remote and having such a contrast to life back home. A real eye opener into the Ethiopian lifestyle too. The scenery was truly breath taking - too much to take in and capture on a photo!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking through a stunning tiny village and letting the village children listen to my ipod headphones.... the children were amazed.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic - we were lucky to have both a local guide and a UK guide and they complemented each other tremedously well. Meles (the local guide) was superb at explaining local culture and the background of Ethiopia - he was very protective of the culture and sought to ensure tourism benefitted and not destroyed their heritage - great to see. Suzie (the UK guide) was a true professional at building the group caramaderie and ensuring we were all getting what we wanted out of the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some tough, long days but absolutely worth every minute of it for the scenery and culture we were able to experience as a result of being so remote. Not for a first time trekker.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Well done Exodus (again) for such a well organised, interesting and remote trip where the locals truly welcomed our prescence.

  • 10

    ETHIOPIA: SIMIEN MOUNTAINS TREK

    A fantastic and extremely memorable trek. The days are long and the walking is tough; however the scenery and the many local people that you meet make it all worthwhile. The scenery is amazing and surprisingly varied. A real bonus was that at the end of November the terrain was remarkably lush green. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The main thing was the people. They appear remarkably content with their life - despite the obvious poverty - mud huts, no electricity, no running water (except rivers), no sanitation and little food. It was amazing to walk along paths in the middle of nowhere and see children running, often bare footed, from half a mile away to greet you on the path. Their smiling faces, and their sense of fun when they saw digital images of themselves was a joy. It was also great to go into a school room - again a mud hut - and see how the children were being taught - complete with Exodus benches! For me, the one thing that wasn't inspirational was summiting Ras Dashen - and not just because I didn't quite make it. The reality is that this trip isn't about summitting, it is about the journey and what you see along the way. You go well above 4,000m on a number of occasions, and so there is nothing particularly special about the summit, and the scenery from some of the other slightly lesser summits is better. Finally, the campsites - out of the 7 sites that we stayed on, we were on our own (other than for curious locals looking on) on 5 of them. They are generally in beautiful, remote locations and to wake up and see the sunrises was fantsatic.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The trek had two leaders - Meles, a local Ethiopian leader, and Suzie from the UK. Both were superb. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to organise a trek through such difficult terrain, and with such a lack of local infrastructure. However, everything on the trek worked like clockwork - apart from my muscles sometimes! It was particularly good having the two leaders with Meles being able to sort out all of the local and language issues; and Suzie handling the broader issues. They both have incredible experience and worked perfectly together. Well done.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Believe what it says in the trip notes about this being at the top end of C (probably more like C/D) - this is quite a tough trip, particularly the 3 days of back to back 10/12 hour climbing and descent. There are plenty of steep drops and the trips notes are right to warn that anyone who suffers from vertigo should think carefully about going on this. That said, I never felt in any danger, and it was possible to stay away from the edge if you needed to. Also, the drops added significantly to the drama of the scenery. The local people and children in particular are great. We took plenty of small gifts to give out, but we were rapidly, and rightly, advised not to give them to the locals because to do so tends to encourage a begging mentality. Instead we gave the gifts to the Ethiopian leader (Meles), who in turn gave them to a school - which worked out well. The country, and its people, are clearly extremely poor and if you do have any space/weight limit available please do take some old clothes. They don't even need to be walking gear - it was surprising how many people we saw wearing old suits - and so anything that you can spare will be very much appreciated. The country's roads are being developed quickly by the Chinese. I can't imagine that it will be as busy as Nepal for many years, but if you are thinking of going on this trek, the sooner the better. Enjoy the peace and the solitude - we didn't see another trekker, or 'Westerner', for a week.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I think that I have already said it all. This was at the top end of my capabilities - or just beyond; but as the good things stay in the memory, and the not so good bits start to fade; I am certain that the memories from the trek will stay with me forever. The people on the trek were also fantastic and amazingly supportive of anyone who was struggling. Thank you.

  • 10

    ETHIOPIA: SIMIEN MOUNTAINS TREK

    A fantastic trip to a vastly under-rated country -  recommended for those who enjoy beautiful scenerey but dont mind the tough walking - plenty of culture and wildlife to enjoy too.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery people and wildlife

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Exceelent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel in November to avoid the searing heat of January and February

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip shouldnt be underestimated - you need to be fit and active to enjoy it.

  • 10

    ETHIOPIA: SIMIEN MOUNTAINS TREK

    Stunning scenery. Walking definitely at the upper end of the challenging grade.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking along the paths at the top of the escarpment, looking at the great views out over the lowlands 1-2000m below you.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both international and local leaders were good.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the small print (i.e. the what to take section of the dossier, including the optional items).  On other trips I've done this has been a 'nice to have' list, but for this trip when it says essential it means essential. Temperatures varied from sub-zero at night to mid 30s in the daytime sunshine. Water purification tablets and toilet paper are essential, and a big pack of wet wipes proved a welcome addition to my pack on numerous occasions. When it rains, its a tropical downpour - decent waterproofs are a godsend if the heavens open. Remember a $20 bill to pay for your visa on arrival. The embassy website said bring 2 passport photos, but we didn't need these as they took digital pictures as part of the process. Practice your dancing and singing for the last night social with the trek team. There's got to be something better than the hokey cokey......

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Really enjoyable trip, though physically demanding, with three very long days in the middle with lots of up and down. Sona is the best located camp - right on the edge! I would definitely recommend this trip.

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