Simien Mountains National Park is one of the only significant wildlife refuges left in the Horn of Africa. Tucked away high in the mountains, this tiny park is home to several species that have been on the brink of extinction for centuries. Because of human encroachments, and because of its location near the volatile frontier between Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan, Simien Mountains has become increasingly endangered and an increasingly rare treasure for visitors to discover.
Ethiopia has been inhabited since time immemorial, and its native wildlife pressured for the better part of three thousand years. Although it remained effectively independent of colonial control, Ethiopia’s animal population had many factors working against it. In the 20th century, overhunting and drought pushed many species to the brink of extinction. In 1969 a small park was established in the Simien Mountains to protect survivors. Pressure on this beautiful environment continues to grow to the present day.
The Simien Mountains are one of the natural waorld’s nearly forgotten treasures. It is home to a variety of desert bird species, including the massive Bearded Vulture. Other rare wildlife here includes a strange mix of species including the Gelada Baboon, Ethiopian Wolf and Walia Ibex. The only cat species here is the Caracal.
Simien Mountains National Park is located at the northern end of Ethiopia, approximately 300 miles from Addis Abbaba. It is only seventy miles south of Aksum, but access to the park is extremely limited. It is open year round. There is no cost of admission. Web: http://simienpark.org (official website).