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Lost in the Simiens

This unspoilt region is wild, beautiful and home to several endemic species, such as gelada baboons and Ethiopian wolves. Malee Oot sets off on an adventure on foot

Experience a remote trek

I did a lot of remote trips when I lived here, but the Simiens were impossible to reach back then,” says Andy Haines, my friend and travel companion. The road is lined with vibrant market stalls, and donkey-drawn carts wobble past precariously. We’re sitting outside the Simien Mountains National Park headquarters in Debark, waiting for our guide Dejen and our government-mandated, guncarrying scout, a grandfather-like fellow named Tafere. The pair will accompany us on a three-night, forty-kilometre hike in northern Ethiopia’s 412sq-km Simien Mountains National Park. For Andy, our journey is something of an anniversary: having lived in Addis Ababa in the early 1990s, while serving on the board of the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society, he is returning for the first time in two decades.

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