Welcome to the Simien Mountains

Welcome to Sammy Kassaw’s website! Sammy is an official tour guide for the Simien Mountains National Park in Ethiopia based in Debark. He has worked for the National Park as an independent tour guide in the mountains since 2009, leading many treks with people from all over the world. The national park offers some of the most stunning landscape and views in Africa, being a World Heritage Site it is well protected and is home to some unique species such as the Gelada Monkeys, Ethiopian wolf and Wallia Ibex.

There are many ways to see the mountains, however all visitors must be accompanied by a tour guide when in the National park as part of the strict rules set up to protect the beautiful and complex ecology of the mountains. Sammy offers many different trekking / sightseeing options to suit your individual needs. From this website you can view previous hikes, information about the Simien mountains, tours that are offered, and of course Sammy’s contact information to organise tours.

You can see my recommendations on Trip Advisor here

Please note: This website is run by a former client of Sammy’s and is not checked frequently, to ask questions or enquire about tours it is best to contact Sammy directly, see the contact page for details.

 

See a video from one of my clients on the link below:

Video from October

22 comments for “Welcome to the Simien Mountains

  1. Geraldine Tew
    30th October 2019 at 5:50 am

    Sammy organised a 3 day/ 2 night trip for a group of 4 in the Simien mountains. We all had an amazing experience and our tour guides, cooks, guards were all amazing. Our guide provided lots of information about the national park, its history, people, animals, flora & fauna. It was a truly incredible life experience and I would recommend it to others. Sammy was professional, respectful and organised.

  2. 21st October 2019 at 8:11 pm

    We (two friends from the USA and South Africa), spent 4 days and 3 nights with Sammy and the team he arranged trekking in the Simien mountains. He was really wonderful to communicate with, extremely organized and flexible in planning. He arranged a team with a chef and assistant chef, driver and scout. He picked us up in Gondar and dropped us off again, and arranged a hotel in Debark as well on route. We ate really delicious food every night, many nights a three course meal in the middle of the mountains. We especially loved the home made soups.
    He was an excellent guide, and very enthusiastic about the mountains as well as all the animals and plants. We saw Ibex, Gelada monkeys, and many many birds. He knew many of the paths very well, and we always felt very safe, even when the bad weather and clouds rolled in and one couldn’t see anything. I would recommend bringing warm clothes as it can get very cold at the top of the peaks.
    We would HIGHLY recommend traveling with Sammy, and anytime we would be back in Ethiopia we will give him a call.
    His number is +251 91 821 1005.

  3. Friedhelm Kirchhofer
    16th March 2019 at 2:48 pm

    We, a couple from Germany, spent seventeen days in the north of Ethiopia in February 2019.
    For the organization of our trip by a local agent/guide we got a recommendation from the German Embassy for „Sammy“, Samuel Kasaw. So we wrote him our plans and he organized the whole trip according to our individual wishes:
    * flight from Addis to Bahir Dar, visit of the monasteries in the lake of Tana and the waterfall of the Blue Nil
    * trip to Gondar, visiting the palace of King Fasilidas
    * 6-days-hiking through the Semien Mountains
    * trip to Axum, visiting the great steles and the palace of Queen Judith
    * trip to Mekelle with stop in Yeha and climbing up to the monastery of Debre Damo,
    * 3-days-trip in the Danakil-Desert to the salt-fields, the geysir-fields of Dallol, climbing on the vulcano Erta Ale and swimming in Lake Afdera
    *trip from Mekelle to Lalibela, visiting the famous rock-churches
    * flight from Lalibela to Addis.

    Sammy picked us up at the airport in Bahir Dar, accompanied us for the next three days until we left into the Semien Montains and back in Debark he handed us over to the driver for the next eight days.

    During the trip we had very fascinating experiences and the days were always filled with new impressions. Because of the perfect organization there was nothing we missed or what disturbed us (except the poor hygienic conditions in the Semien Mountains and the waste situation on Erta Ale). It was always possible to change the program according to our actual needs or physical condition.
    During the whole trip, Sammy stayed in contact with us by phone calls and cares for our well-being. He booked nice hotels for us and did everything for our satisfaction. The fair price he gave us included all costs except tips and personal expenses. The drivers and the guides were very friendly, competent and attentive.
    – For us it was the best decision to travel with Sammy.
    – Thank you so much, Sammy!!!

  4. Jeff N.
    3rd December 2018 at 11:28 am

    My girlfriebd and I had been wanting to visit the Simien Mountains ever since we saw pictures of the Gelada Monkeys.

    We arrived in Gonder and Sammy arrived a pickup, hotel, and transfer to the mountains. He was on time and we were happy with how easy arranging the trek was.

    We started the trek and were in awe of the beauty. The mountains were 10x more beautiful than we thought. The landscape and diversity of botany was inspiring.

    We trekked to seven days and summited Ras Dashen. The experience was wonderful. The staff Sammy picked were amazing. The guide, scout, and cooks were great!

    On returning I was sick and Sammy helped me and made sure I was ok. We wanted to visit other parts of Ethiopia and Sammy arranged it all.

    Before our trek we wish we brought wipes and hand sanitizer. It was colder than we expected on the fifth day and could have brought more layers.

    Expect that you are in the middle of no where and facilities accommodate that. They are caring people and want you to love ethiopia. Drink plenty of water and take pictures!

    Contact Sammy:
    WhatsApp: +251 91 821 1005
    Samuel.kassaw@gmail.com

  5. marie
    18th November 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Just arrived from 3 days trekking in the Siemens mountains! We had the chance to climb Ras Bawit (2nd highest mountain!) … such a great trek, if you love the mountain, don’t miss this adventure !
    Wonderfull experience : walking in altitude, beautiful landscape, amazing animals, plants…
    We flew from Addis to Gondar (1st flight at 7 am).
    Our great guide was waiting for us and has organised everything. He has a very good knowledge in his mountains : we get a lot of explanation of the faune, flore.. even stories about Ethiopia.
    He has arranged for us all the equipement (tent, sleeping bag, mattress), and also the scout and cook. He is very reliable. A friend of us, working at the french ambassy in Addis has recommanded him to us…
    If you look for a guide, I highlty recommand Sammy :
    Samuel.kassaw@gmail.com

  6. Sally
    6th September 2018 at 1:44 pm

    We recently went on a 5 day hike arranged by Sammy and Simien Eco Trekking in August this year. It was a truly unforgettable experience. We were there in the rainy season but despite sometime inclement weather we were guided expertly through the mountains by our local guide Birara and scout Amarah. While hiking we saw the Gelada money, walia ibex, and the elusive Ethiopian wolf as well as many other more common mammals.. The food was amazing and we stayed in the local community huts along the way due to the rain and it being the off season. Sammy was quick to respond to all communication, and organised everything without hassle or delay. An excellent experience; we would highly recommend organsiing your trip through Sammy! http://www.simienecotrekking.com

  7. Sally
    6th September 2018 at 1:43 pm

    My partner and i went on a 5 day hike arranged by Sammy and Simien Eco Trekking in August this year. It was a truly unforgettable experience. We were there in the rainy season but despite sometime inclement weather we were guided expertly through the mountains by our local guide Birara and scout Amarah. Birara timed the trip perfectly so we didn’t get too wet and also got to see the most breath taking parts of the Simiens. While hiking we saw the Gelada money, walia ibex, and the elusive Ethiopian wolf as well as many other more common mammals.. The food was amazing and we stayed in the local community huts along the way due to the rain and it being the off season. Sammy was quick to respond to all communication, and organised everything without hassle or delay. An excellent experience; we would highly recommend organsiing your trip through Sammy! http://www.simienecotrekking.com

  8. Toby
    1st March 2018 at 4:23 pm

    ,,Hello Everybody …Before I start I d like to say that Sammy is TOP bloke to go with all around Ethiopia . Yesterday I just back from my second trip (Bale Mountains & Harar)with Sammy as my senior guide and super companion . 1 st time When I cam to Ethiopia was in November 2017 . Mainly for Simien Mountains and Northern Circle including TANA , AKSUM , TIGRAY , LALIBELA . It was absolutely best trip my life . Thanks to Sammy off course . I was lucky to meet him and spend 8 nights i Simien Mountains . I ve been lucky to see everything and climb almost every Summit . ( West-East North Direction) . The photos are mind blowing including lots of Gelada Monkeys . 9 Walia , Ethiopian Wolf in 30m Distance close to Chenneeck Camp. I felt very happy after Simien so we have Continued to AKSUM , TIGRAY and Finish at LALIBELA . Thanks to Sammy it was most amazing tri in my life .He s a Bloke with lots of Contacts all around Country . He s able to do almost impossible to satisfy his client and make him/her happy . I’m planning to go back to Simien in blooming season, hike in opposite Direction (NORTH-EAST-WEST until Debark ).

    About 9 weeks later I decided to go back in Ethiopia ….. With Sammy off course . Objective was easier DODOLA , BALE , HARAR with Lots of Nice pics Especially Nyala and Ethiopian Wolf …… Sounds easier but it wasn’t. Sammy show his guiding and leadership skills even during the hard time in Country during anti -government manifestation we get trough to DODOLA. 2 nights 3 days in Dodola was lovey lots of nice time awesome landscapes and Wildlife . Afterwards we went to BMNP (Bale Mountains National Park) . As always SAMMY did his job and everything went Lovely except the Weather :):):) . However … As usually we Climb 3 Summits with lots of nice pics . We ve been super spoiled with Mountain Nyala , Birds , we saw 20 Ethiopian Wolfs . We ve been able to approach until 10 m to 3 of them ( Shots are mind blowing ) Job was done even more then that . After Bale we went to Harar . Special place to City very unique and different absolutely worth to see and explore with Cherry on the top .. Hyenas feeding . We had a real fun together I like have a trip with Sammy with one simple reason . I know that job will be done , Client will be satisfied and spoiled . For this reason I plan to Back to Ethiopia for Simien and Bale again . I can highly recommend Sammy as a Multitask Man for Entire Ethiopian Highlands and Historical Places . He is not working a lot off course the Entire Team are cool guys who really care about tourists , they put their best to make other people Happy .

  9. Taylor Janney
    24th January 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Sammy provided our 7 person group with a fantastic trekking experience through the Simien Mountains! I highly recommend booking Sammy even if there are other guides out there. He is from the area and can give you all the information you need about baboons, local culture, and trekking. No doubt, you will have a great experience!

  10. Matthew Howard
    10th November 2017 at 10:35 am

    Sammy really is a fantastic guide! A group of four of us recently went hiking with him and he organised the trip of a lifetime.

    Sammy went far beyond what was expected during the trip and constantly put in extra effort to make our trip even better. We are so grateful for helping not only plan the Simien hike but helped us plan our whole trip in Ethiopia, bringing local knowledge and expertise.

    For anyone considering hiking the Simien Mountains, I highly recommend it and Sammy as your guide.

  11. Heinz
    19th October 2017 at 5:32 am

    We have done an 8 day hike with Sammy in the Simien Mountains, I have found Sammy through the internet on good luck. Sammy is a great guy and we couldn’t be happier with his service and top organization.
    We can highly recommend the Simien Tour and Sammy, you will sure have a trip of your life time, similar to us.
    Thanks Sammy and team

  12. Clint Brimson
    8th October 2017 at 10:30 am

    4D3N Trek in the SMNP in September 2017 with Sammy
    The SMNP is one of the most amazing places on this planet and to truly extract every detail from the NP you should choose to trek with Sammy Kasaw, owner of Hike Ethiopia.
    Sammy grew up in the mountains and maintains a very strong connection to the NP and its flora and fauna.
    Sammy had thought through every detail of our trek and the experience from picking us up in Gondar to dropping us back at the Gondar airport was seamless. Some people who use other operators have concerns of poorly maintained or low quality equipment or guides that are bored with their jobs but you won’t have a thing to worry about when trekking with Sammy.
    Sammy rotates two groups of support staff and the group we had was completely on board with Sammy’s desire to make our tour as enriching as possible.
    The food was delicious, varied and plentiful, the sleeping bags kept us warm at night and there was plenty of water, coffee, tea and snacks provided. In fact is difficult to think of something that Sammy hadn’t thought of or if there could be any improvements to his trekking company.
    If you trek in the SMNP, it should certainly be with Sammy.
    Thank you Sammy!!!

  13. Julio
    14th September 2017 at 6:39 pm

    My partner and I took a 12 day tour of south and north Ethiopia. It was a very pleasant experience getting to know the country and Sammy. He took great care of us and chose nice hotels for us to stay in. We laughed and had a wonderful time hiking and driving all over.
    Thank you my friend Sammy!

  14. Gabriel Turner
    12th June 2017 at 10:06 am

    I went hiking with Sammie for 3 days in the simien mountains. His knowlege of the natural landscape and wildlife are encyclopedic, and his enthusiasm for his work makes the hike a real pleasure. His english is very good so you will be able to ask lots of questions about the national park. I highly recommend arranging your trip with Sammie!

  15. Pekka
    25th November 2016 at 9:59 am

    I’ve done two treks in the Simiens with Sammy, and if I do a third one, he’ll be my guide of choice. Friendly, flexible and knowledgeable. When one of our group couldn’t go through with the original plan, Sammy quickly came up with an Option B which turned out to be just as amazing. Sammy can also spot a motionless walia at about 5 km with his naked eye. Highly recommended!

  16. 8th October 2016 at 9:01 am

    Hi
    I have done trek with Sammy was fantastic and I enjoyed very much!

  17. Damien
    14th May 2016 at 7:29 am

    J’ai effectué un trek de 10 jours en avril 2016, en solo. Samuel a organisé l’ensemble du séjour départ et retour à l’aéroport de Gondar, guide, scout, cuisinier, mules, etc.
    J’ai beaucoup apprécié sa souplesse et réactivité lorsque mon vol Addis-Abeba vers Gondar a été reporté d’un jour pour cause de mauvaise visibilité à Gondar.
    Pas de mauvaise surprise comme cela peut parfois arriver avec d’autres guides (j’ai entendu dire que certains découvraient en cours que la nourriture du staff n’avait pas été prévue). Bref, vous pouvez avoir confiance.

  18. Jess
    21st April 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Myself and four friends spent 3 incredible days hiking through the Simien Mountains in late March 2016. We had been connected with Sammy through a friend who had highly recommended him, and we were not disappointed. Sammy was efficient, professional, knowledgeable and flexible. He listened to what we asked and catered accordingly. The food was delicious, our equipment was moved from campsite to campsite by our group of porters before we even realised where it had gone, and we enjoyed evening meals together with Sammy and some of his other guide friends. I would not hesitate to recommend Sammy as a friendly, professional and very competent guide for your Simien Mountain hiking trip. THANK YOU SAMMY!!

  19. Daria & Anders
    1st March 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Wir machten eine kurze zweitägige Reise nach Simien Naturpark und wir wünschten uns länger bleiben zu können. Die Landschaft ist atemberaubend. In jedem Fall, ohne unseren tollen Führer Sammy wäre unsere Reise unmöglich. Er hat die volle Tour für uns gebucht, den Fahrer, den Scout und den Koch organisiert, und, natürlich, uns mit der Flora und Fauna dieses spektakulären Naturparks vertraut gemacht.

  20. Anna & Ben
    2nd February 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Ben and I trekked with Sammy over Christmas 2015 for a 5 night/6 day trek that took us to the top of Mt Buhait, with 1 night at Sankaber, 2 nights at Geech, and 2 nights at Chennek campsite. It was an incredible experience. The Simien Mountains are an absolute must see for anyone visiting Ethiopia, the magnitude of the landscape, its beauty is vast, the wildlife – and your proximity to it, fantastic. And we truly felt like we were in the best hands.

    Sammy was full of respect for how precious our time in the mountains was, and went beyond expectations to make it feel truly special. He tailored his guiding to what we wanted on our trip, recognising that each traveller is an individual who may want specific things from their journey. He prioritised our comfort, enjoyment, safety, security and privacy at all times. The kit was excellent, and Sammy managed all logistical aspects with efficiency, speed and flexibility, even mustering up a beer for Ben at 4,000m! I have to follow a gluten and dairy free diet, which we made Sammy aware of at the time of booking – and he made sure everything was ready for me, with lots of communication throughout the trip to make sure that I was happy with what I was eating – I was! The food was unbelievably good, and this is just one example of going that extra mile to make sure his guests are always happy which we felt set him apart and above as a guide.

    We spoke to many other guests on our trek, Sammy also helped sort out anything that they needed – so many times we were told that we were lucky, and we felt it. Nothing was a problem. We also appreciated the kindness he showed in managing the whole team, the cooks, our scout, the mule men – being kind and fair and ensuring that everyone is looked after, including the animals, was really important to us.

    There are many reasons why we felt genuinely grateful to have Sammy as our guide, but I think I will echo what Eoin and Veronica have said – we just felt like Sammy was a truly genuine guy, with remarkable energy and a great passion for the place where he was born and raised, and absolutely committed to making sure that anyone who chooses him as a guide in the Simien Mountains will have a fantastic time. We had a wonderful time on our trip, and that was facilitated by Sammy. We left feeling inspired. We would wholeheartedly recommend Sammy to anyone, individual or group, as the best guide for any trip to the Simien Mountains.

  21. Eoin & Veronica
    30th January 2016 at 10:58 am

    We recently went on a 4 night/5 day trekking trip with Sammy through the Simien Mountains! Sammy is an amazing guide and he ensured that we were totally informed about all the flora & fauna along the trek. He even altered the “traditional routes” to ensure that we got to see ALL the endemic wildlife in the Simiens. We arranged everything by email and messenger from Ireland. Everything as discussed was provided to the last detail. The tents and other equipment were as described and the food was amazing! No ordinary task cooking in the mountains for someone with a specific diet!! We even had mountain pizza for lunch one day! Sammy is a really nice, genuine guy with a true passion for his homeland (he was born and grew up in the mountains). He is extremely knowledgeable and kind. He treats his staff with respect. This is reflected by how other tour guides etc gravitate towards his group in the camps. I’ve trekked throughout the world and cannot recommend the Simiens highly enough! and Sammy is one of the nicest, capable and knowledgeable guides I’ve ever had the pleasure to trek with! – አመሰግናለሁ
    Eóin & Vee

  22. Brian and Eva
    28th January 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Sammy is an amazing guide. We went on the 4 day/ 3 night trip through the Simiens and it was very nice. I cannot suggest Sammy enough!

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