Community Trekking in Janamora & the Simiens

Trekking around the Simien Mountains National Park.

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Community Trekking in Janamora & the Simiens

Janamora Woreda is one of the five administrative districts in the Simien National Park, but a large swathe of the Woreda is outside of the park, following the highlands south from the peak of Bwahit in the centre of the park.

Life is hard, as in many rural parts of Ethiopia, and as part of the work being done to conserve the park, African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) in conjunction with Village Ways, funded the construction of simple guesthouses in three Janamora villages. The objective is to create economic and especially tourism revenues to flow into local communities for activities that do not add further pressure to the park, and give the villagers a stake in conserving the park.

The topography is of undulating uplands dropping off to the south and ending in abrupt escarpments and gorges.  Village life is a typical of the Amhara region, with life going on around the ancient agricultural systems and the Orthodox church. Your days will be spent walking through this landscape, dropping into peoples houses and seeing the rural life.



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The Routes

The area is accessed either by driving along a recently constructed road to a point just below the escarpment and the main woreda settlement called Mekhane Berhan, or by driving through the National park and down south to Mekhane Berhan. If time allows in Mekhane Berhan you can visit the historical church of Deresge Mariam, which has some remarkable treasures.

The first guesthouse – Taga Mariam is some 3hr walk from Mekhane Berhan. It is set beside a gorge and wiuth lovely views.

From Taga Mariam the trail goes on to Khalid Abo,  about 6 hours walk away. Khalid is on top of a hill, itself on the escarpment above the huge gorge that is carved out between Ras Dashen to the east and the highlands coming south from Bwahit. This is the most dramatic location. Its a great place to spend two nights and to make a visit to the market town of Wossen to the south (market days on Thursday and Sunday).

From Khalid Abo the trek follow the gorge heading north on a ridge top walk , but with ups and downs. Its a lovely 6 hour walk to Sakba. Here you enter the national park, and either can camp here, or take a vehicle to drive you back through the park. You could either camnp at Chenek in the core of the park or carry on to one of the lodges – Limalimo or Simien Mountain Lodge.

( Click on site names for more details )

Janamora Sites

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Length: Between 3 and 7 days
  • Altitude: < 3,000 meters

Map Key



Route Description - Khalid Abo

The guest house at Khalid Abo is set above the village, so its a short 15minute walk up to them. When you will arrive in time for a local lunch of enjara and wot, with coffee and local bread. In the afternoon you will be taken to explore the village below the bluff starting with the church dedicated to Abuna Gebre Menfes Kiddus (Abo for short)

Route Description - Taga Mariam

Set among Olive trees sloping off to the east with a growing gorge below, this is a very picturesque village.

Route Description - Timbala

The Timbala guesthouses are on the bluff of the hill nestled as they are into the flank of the ridge overlooking the farmsteads. Great views of Ras Dashen across the gorge.

Trek Prices

This payment includes accommodation, food: breakfast, simple picnic lunch (or where developed, a lunch stop with another community), snacks on arrival and dinner, local beverages (tea and coffee), guide and pack animals or porters to carry luggage (a reasonable amount only – max 20kgs- in soft bags if possible).

Payment excludes bottled drinks (bottled water, soft drinks, beers, wine etc), entry fees to local churches (if you wish to enter) and transport to the start of the trek and back from the end where it is required.

On the mountain trek it is advisable to bring good energy snack food for the high altitude days.

Charges in Ethiopian Birr (ETB) – From 11 Sept 2016 until 10 Sept 2017.

Category From Sep ’17 (till 10 Sep ’18) Note
Adults (16yrs+) 1650 + 49.5 (15% VAT on TT 20% ) = 1,699.5 Per 24 hours or part of
Children (12-15yrs) 75%  = 1,275 Per 24 hours or part of, with adult accompanying
Children (3-11yrs) 50%  = 850
Children under 3 Free


Extra charges in Ethiopian Birr (ETB)

Charge Amount How charged Note
Late booking fee 60 ETB Per group per night Booked with < 3 working days notice
Personal guide supplement 250 ETB Own guide for small group < 4
Solo guest supplement 250 ETB Per guest per night when 1 person on trek

Where does the Community Tourism tours money go?

See examples of our community tourism tours ⇒

Administration Costs


The Guiding Enterprise


The Community

Still not convinced by our community treks?

Watch this video about the TESFA trekking.

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