semine mountain national park
The Simien Mountains massif is one of the major highlands of Africa, rising to the highest point in Ethiopia, Ras Dejen (aka Ras Dashen) 4620m, which is the fourth highest peak on the continent. The park was formed mainly to protect the Waliya Ibex, a type of indigenous wild goat. Approximately over a thousand Waliya Ibex are said to live in the sanctuary of the park. The park is also home to Gelada Baboons and the illusive Simien fox. The Simien fox, although named after the mountains, is rarely seen by visitors. It is reported that over 50 species of birds are found in the park. The national park has three botanical regions, the lower slopes, the alpine region and the higher lands. The lower slopes have been cultivated and grazed, while the alpine regions (up to 3600m) were forested, although much has now disappeared. The higher lands are mountain grasslands with fescue grasses as well as heathers, splendid Red Hot Pokers and Giant Lobelia. A natural event which took place millions of years ago created an extraordinary landscape, deep gorges and peaks providing the Semien Mountains the most magnificent view ideal for trekking. Here it is possible to trek for several days encountering Gelada Baboons, Waliya Ibex, an assortment of birds and if lucky the illusive Semien fox.