When is the best time to go to the Simien Mountains?

The best time to visit the Simien Mountains is between October and March, with the clearest skies and warmest weather.

December, January, and February is the peak travel season. During these months, you have the best weather conditions, but the campsites could be busy and the lodges will be booked well in advance.

The rainy season in the Simien Mountains is between June and August, with rains often creeping into the first half of September. During these months, rainfall increases significantly, temperatures drop, and skies are more likely to be overcast. Whilst it is still possible to do treks, we recommend visiting at a different time of year if possible. 

The shoulder season runs from April to the start of the rainy season in June. You won’t have any issues trekking in the Simiens during these months, but be prepared for cloudier skies and intermittent showers.  

Man sitting on cliff edge looking at view in Simien Mountains

Admiring the view in the Simien Mountains

Simien Mountains Seasonality

Best trekking conditions: October to March

From October, the rains have passed and the mountains are verdant and colourful. October marks the start of the dry season that runs until April. 

The Simiens are at their most beautiful in September, October, and November, as the grasses and flora are in full bloom following the rainy season.

Peak visitor numbers are between December and February as these months have the best conditions for trekking in the Simiens.

All campsites will be open for business, as will the two lodges in the park: Simien Lodge and Limalimo Lodge.

People looking at views in the Simien Mountains with blue skies

View from Imet Gogo - day 2 of the Simien trek.

Shoulder season: April - May

April is the start of the transition from the dry season to the rainy season. 

You can expect cloudier skies and intermittent (sometimes heavy) showers in the mornings and afternoons. These showers become more frequent as you head into May and get closer to the start of the rainy season in June. 

It is still possible to visit during this time, and conditions usually hold up for trekking. Campsites and lodges are still open for business. There will be fewer visitors around during these months. 

Landscape in the Simien Mountains

Princess stop and the views around Limalimo Lodge.

Rainy season: June - September

As global climate patterns change, rigid seasonality is becoming less and less clear. Typically, the rainy season in the Simien Mountains runs from June to August, but the rains sometimes come in May, and can extend into the first half of September. 

You should be prepared for showers at any time.

From June to August, all campsites will be closed. Limalimo Lodge is closed from mid-July until the end of August (but remains open in June). Simien Lodge remains open year-round. 

If you’re visiting during these months, be prepared for heavy showers and overcast skies. Mists can often obscure the views.

Landscape in the Simien Mountains

The sprawling, jagged, epic Simien landscape.

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Which season is best for wildlife?

The wildlife in the Simien Mountains can be seen year-round. The park has an impressive number of endemic species, so there are no migratory patterns to worry about. 

The Gelada Monkeys in the Simiens have become accustomed to human presence, so you are all but guaranteed to see them no matter when you visit. Walia Ibex are harder to find, particularly during misty days in the rainy season.

Bird life in the Simiens is abundant, but of course clearer skies make for better sightings

The endemic Ethiopian Wolf is rarely spotted in the Simiens. The park is simply too big and population numbers too small. If you want to see Ethiopian Wolves, your best bet is to take a trip to the Bale Mountains National Park in the south of the country.

Gelada Monkey in the Simien Mountains

The 'bleeding heart' Gelada Monkeys - symbol of the Simiens.

Seasonal Rates

When you choose to visit the Simiens will have an impact on costs. 

Campsites, lodges, scouts, guides, support staff and vehicle costs all have seasonal prices, and these are reviewed every season.

Costs are highest during the peak travel season (October to March), and lower in the shoulder season and rainy season (April to September). 

All told you will likely pay $150-300 USD more if you are travelling during peak season, depending on your accommodation choices and length of stay.  

Landscape in the Simien Mountains

The incredible view from the Imet Gogo viewpoint.

Temperatures and Rainfall by season

Average daytime temperatures are very mild in the Simien Mountains, typically between 15-20°C during the warmer months of December to March, and between 10-15°C in the colder months of June to November. 

Nighttime temperatures can fall below freezing, so pack warm clothes no matter when you travel. If you are camping, we recommend bringing a sleeping bag as the ones provided won't do a great job of keeping you warm!

The Simiens receives the highest rainfall (300mm) in June and July, and the lowest in December and January (10-10mm). 

From June to September, there are on average 10 or more rainy days in the Simiens. Outside these months, there are (on average) fewer than 10 rainy days. 

Man sitting on ledge looking at landscape in the Simien Mountains

Imet Gogo is a stunning viewpoint in the Simiens.

When is the best time to visit the Simien Mountains?

When is the best time to visit the Simien Mountains?

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