The Simien Mountains, north of the former Ethiopian capital of Gondar, are like no other mountain range in the world. Formed by unique geological movements and explosions 40 million years ago, they rise and fall sharply, creating a dramatic landscape of sharp cliffs and deep valleys. Ras Dasheen, at a height of 4,543metres, is one of Africa's tallest and most impressive peaks.
The Simien Mountain National Park, also a UNESCO World Heritage site, is home to a lively ecosystem that supports some special wildlife. Animals to be seen here include caracal - a lynx-like cat - Walia ibex, bearded vultures and Gelada baboons, which graze in the high grasslands of this Ethiopian plateau and nowhere else on earth. A popular sport for trekkers is Geech, close to the centre of the mountain range and near to the point where the Jinbar River plummets into the Geech Abyss.