Semien Mountains, Ethiopia (Summer 1973)
The Semien (a.k.a. Simien) mountains are a spectacular mix of unusual rock formations, deep valleys, and gently sloped high plateau. They were established as a National Park in 1969. In 1973, they were still mostly inhabited by (Falashas), who had withdrawn from other regions of Ethiopia during the 15th century after attacks by Christian Ethiopian Emperors. In the 1990s most Ethiopian Jews (all?) were moved to Israel and the population in the Semien mountains declined dramatically. The highest summit in Ethiopia, Ras Dashen (4550m), is located in these mountains.
I did a one-week trek in the Semien mountains at the end of my 1973 trip to Ethiopia. I traveled to Debark by bus, where I hired a local guide, as I had almost no information about these mountains. Nowadays they are a major destination for international trekkers, but during my 1973 trek I saw no other outsider.
View of the rim of Ras Dashen (4550m) covered by a thin layer of snow.
Click the following links to see other photos of my 1973 trip to Ethiopia: