Geladas in the Simien Mountains

In October, we took a short trip to the Simien Mountains. I can’t believe it took us more than a year to get up here. It was absolutely breath-taking. We arrived very close to sunset and went in search of the gelada- a primate endemic to Ethiopia. Many people call it a baboon but according to my science teacher husband, it is neither an ape nor a monkey but rather falls in it’s own unique category. Geladas live in large families and spend their days eating grass and chattering to each other. Yes, indeed! They have their own unique language and are very chattery.

We found them going down a mountain and followed them down. I was able to get right into the group and they came all around me, not minding me at all. The sun was setting with the jagged peaks of the Simien mountains in the background while the groups of geladas were all hanging out and retreating into the ancient trees. Well, it took my breath away!


The next day, we took a short hike to the waterfalls. We did find lots of gelada groups and spent some time interacting with them in the early morning sunshine. With the meskel flowers in bloom, the scenery was transformed into greens and yellows and the endless views were just phenomenal. We were very sad to leave and will definitely be going back for a much longer trek soon!

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