Simien Lodge is the self-proclaimed highest lodge in Africa, sitting at 3,300 meters above sea level. Located on the edge of an escarpment just inside the boundary of the Simien Mountains National Park, the lodge boasts incredible scenic views as well as easy access into the Park. Herds of geladas and thick-billed ravens often frequent the lodge grounds and can be very approachable here.
Rooms are in traditional Ethiopian style Tukels – meaning house.
The round buildings have thatched rooves and each contain two rooms and two ensuite bathrooms. Main rooms can be arranged with double or twin beds and have enough space for an extra bed if required. Being at high altitude, temperatures can be quite cold at times. Therefore, the Tukels have solar powered underfloor heating to take the edge off the cold and hot water bottles can be provided. Extra blankets are also available to ensure guests comfort as there are often power cuts up here.
The restaurant in the main building serves mostly international dishes in buffet format during busy times and as a set menu at quieter times. Traditional Ethiopian cuisine can also be requested and there is a wide selection of wines and other drinks, although the stocks are not always available. Packed lunches can be prepared for guests embarking on a day’s trekking or visits to other parts of the park such as the Chennek Valley as well. The bar is proud to be the highest place to get a drink in Africa and is comfortably furnished for a warm and inviting atmosphere.
They remain open until the last guests have left, and there will often be some sort of evening entertainment occurring, such as a film about the local area or wildlife. Please note that electricity supply can be very hit and miss at this location and torches are very useful to have for the evenings. Please also be aware that the paths between the Tukels can be a little uneven and you will likely feel the effects of the altitude. The lodge has also been long involved with the local community and supports many projects such as school initiatives, monastery restoration, transportation for the local village and mostly recently a community health centre.
Rooms have ensuite bathrooms with showers and required amenities, underfloor solar powered heating and extra blankets and hot water bottles can be provided for cold nights. The main lodge has a spacious restaurant and bar area. There is no Wi-Fi or reliable phone reception at the lodge and power cuts are frequent due to the remote location.
The wonderfully expressive geladas are usually the highlight of a visit to the Simien Mountains. Sitting in amongst a herd of geladas provides a fascinating and intimate wildlife experience as these wonderful, endemic primates graze, groom and chatter around you. The highly endangered Walia ibex is another key species that is most often seen in the remote Chennek Valley of the Park. Other wildlife includes the agile Ethiopian klipspringer, Menelik's bushbuck and a small population of Ethiopian (Simien) wolf, leopard and golden jackal, although these species are rare to see here. The birdlife is very impressive including the aptly named thick-billed raven, lammergeier, tawny and steppe eagles, Ruppell’s, white-backed and Egyptian vultures, Erckel’s francolin, greater blue-eared starling, Abyssinian Longclaw, moorland chat and Abyssinian wheatear.
Exploring the Simien Mountains National Park to see its exciting wildlife and landscapes. There is a wide range of treks to choose from and mountain bikes can also be hired. For those interested in culture visits to local churches and villages can also be arranged.
If you have any questions regarding our Ethiopia tours, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965