Semien Mountain National park
The national Park has been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site 1978. It is found in the northern parts of the country about 120 km from Gondar. Semien means ‘North’ in Amharic. Six hundred million years ago, the mountains were an enormous volcanic massif, then rain and ice have carved deep fissures into it and rivers have continued the work of erosion, creating an incredible landscape: high peaks and deep gorges. The Semien Mountain massif is a broad plateau, cut off to the north and west by an enormous single crag over 60 kilometers long. To the south, the tableland slopes gently down to 2,200 meters divided by gorges 1,000 meters deep which can take more than two days to cross.
The Semien Mountains host a unique flora and fauna. On the steep slopes the Walia-Ibex, Gelada baboons, Ethiopian Wolf, Hamadryas baboon, Klipspringer, Bushbuck and other endemic mountain animals may be seen. The National Park extends over the entire mountain massif of the Semien. The Semien Mountains are a good place to do a short trekking excursion or a trekking tour of several days. It can easily be reached in 3-4 hours from Gondar. The fascinating panoramic views, the very special environment and the clear sky are worth a visit and a stay.The Semien Mountains are known for their dramatic and spectacular scenery; jagged mountain peaks flank deep valleys and high altitude plains where only grasses, junipers and giant lobelias grow. This is one of the major mountain regions of Africa, home to mountain Ras Dejen (4543m), the fourth highest peak in the continent. Standing on top of a sharp precipice and gazing out over the magnificent landscape here will take your breath away, so it's definitely worth taking a bit of time to explore.
- The Walia ibex was held sacred by the pre-Aksumite cultures of northern Ethiopia and is depicted on several 2,500 plus year old artefacts unearthed at Yeha and other sites of similar vintage.
- The gelada is something of a living fossil: the only surviving member of a once wide-ranging African genus of grazing money ancestral both a baboons and to the drills of the western rainforests.