ETHIO-SIMIEN MOUNTAINS TOURS
M Bernard, December 2018
We took a the 3 day tour with Simien Mountains Tours in mid-OCtober 2018, the trip was excellent. Dawoud met with us the day before in Gonder and the next day to make sure that everything was OK. The driver arrived on time and brought us to Debark were we met our guide and the Cook sous-cook and scout. The 4x4 and the tent was excellent, keep us dry during the afternoon and evening rain showers. Our guide was really good and he really enjoyed being in the mountains away from the busy city. His english was not perfect but we had no problem communicating and understanding each other. The food was really good but don't expect any meat. Everything was really well planned and we had no issues. Every evening before dinner, the guide was bringing us to pre-dinner walk to see amazing sunsets, we did not see any other groups doing this. I highly recommend Simien Mountains Tours.
K Seda London, April 2018
Dawoud organised a 3/4 day trek for three friends and me, we had the best time and noticeably the best guide. We were delighted to have the best prepared trek. We had great laughs, Dawoud shared with us lots of interesting facts about the mountains and Ethiopia. We all had fun at dinner together and team Dawoud were great at catering for dietary requirements etc.... All the timings were perfect, Dawoud was helpful, Dawoud’s English is perfect (and much better than many other guides) and he is ace. Plus his company is Ethiopian led and run which is fabulous in Ethiopia! I couldn’t recommend him and his team enough.
I contacted, Dawoud this time as he had previously organised a trek for my parents and I and he was excellent then and careful to ensure the trek was possible for everyone.
The trip we did the second time was really different but still excellent and my friends kept saying ‘Dawoud is the best guide’.
H Lindi, April 2018
A friend recommended Dawoud who had taken her and friends and family on several trips. He is really well informed and very willing to give a fascinating perspective of his experience of life in Ethiopia, and there is almost nothing that he doesn’t know about the Simien mountains, from the habits of the gelada monkeys to the history of the national park’s human inhabitants, birds, geology etc. He was entertaining, attentive and well organized for our trip. He since organised a fantastic trip for myself and friends in the Gheralta area of Ethiopia in March 2018. I would really recommend a trip with Dawoud, and I will no doubt be in touch with him to organise another trip before too long!
Frances Lanze, March 2018
An unforgettable week
Dawoud was recommend to us by friends and relatives living in Ethiopia, when we wanted to plan a week's trip to the historic sights of northern Ethiopia, taking in the Simiens. From our first email contact with him, Dawoud was helpful, professional, and attentive to our wishes. In person, he is charming and good humoured. With him, we had an utterly unforgettable week: from the sight of the tankwa on Lake Tana, to the thrill of being in the Timkat crowds in Gondar, to the majesty of the mountains and close encounter with a troop of gelada baboons; to the magnificent and perplexing Axum stelae, and the sound of morning worship echoing up from the Lalibela churches....Dawoud organised a full schedule of visits, entry tickets, local guides (all excellent), hotel accommodation, transport, plus the people and gear needed for a night in the Simiens ( where we feasted royally in the cooking hut before huddling contentedly round the fire pit). Dawoud's love for, and intimate knowledge of, the mountains, and their flora and fauna, was evident. He was great company - as interested in hearing about our lives as telling us about his own country. He was attentive to our safety, tolerant of my lack of fitness, and above all, the possessor of a fine sense of humour. We must also mention our driver, Birhan,in whose excellent hands we travelled safely the reputedly most dangerous ( switchback) roads in Ethiopia. They made a great team; and we would recommend Dawoud wholeheartedly to anyone, of any age or fitness level, who is considering a tailor made guided trip in Ethiopia.
Roisin Dignan Laois Ireland, 2016
My friend and I booked our trek in the Simien Mountains with Dawoud. We found his web site on line and made contact via e-mail. The responses were clear and prompt, and the English excellent.
We corresponded about the trek for the year leading upto our arrival in Gondar.
Everything was organised for us , from our pick up at the airport to the final day of our visit, when we were dropped back to the airport. Our hotel in Gondar was very good and the trip, with our guide Abdullah was great.
We found the walking tough, but the scenery beautiful and I would definately recommend a rest day before climbing Ras Dashen.
I summited Ras Dashen and with lots of encouragement from Abdullah, and a lot of laughs , made it down the mountain in one piece!!
We took a local bus back to our pick up point in the national park. This was one of the highlights of the trip. that and the meal and coffee ceremony we had in one of the village 'hotels'. We had a lot of fun and the walking was exceptional.
I highly recommentd this trip. I will go back.
Hope Soley, UK August 2013
We spent an unforgettable week trekking in the Simeon mountains, trekking between Gondar, Sankaber, Geech and Chenek, summiting at Buhayet (the tip of Mount Janamora), where we also took in great views of Ras Dejen, the highest peak in Ethiopia. Dawoud designed the itinerary to suit our needs perfectly and ensured we had a very pleasant (yet still tough!) week of trekking.
While we were supported in our trek, at no point did we feel part of a 'generic' tour like experience - it was more like having an old friend show you the way. Just perfect. The scenery was stunningly beautiful and we were lucky enough to share the experience with the Gelada baboons and Walia ibex that peppered the route. On our final day we also saw the infamous Simien fox. A truly wonderful experience and I would recommend Dawoud and his team to anyone who wants to explore the Simeon mountains."
David Fulton - England, 2013
Thanks a million for organising the trip to the Simiens for the 5 of us. It was for me the holiday of a lifetine. It was great not to have to think about anything, having been picked up from and returned to Gonda. The group of guys who went with us were so caring and considerate and couldn't do enough for us and always with a smile. It was so good to arrive to a plate of steaming homemade soup and lovely food generally after the effort of the day. We were treated like kings!
The trek itself was mind-blowing. The scenery was quite amazing. I haven't seen anything quite like it before. The spectacular viewpoints, vast panoramas and shear drops took one's breath away. Having the mule to help me on occasions when out of breath, was just great!
Thank you again and every best wish in the future with you business and give my regards to the 'team'.
Emmanuelle Azria France, 2011
We followed your advice in the lonely planet guide book about Ethiopia and went on a trip in the Simien National Park with this guide Dawoud Sulayman and we would like to testify and confirm it was an excellent quality tour. First of all, Dawoud speaks a perfect English that he has learned in Chichester. Then, he is very well organized, he took care of all the logistic : the car transfer from Gondar to the park, all the camping material, the scoot, the cook and assistant...Along the trip the food was really good which is very important after a long trekking day. We appreciated the fact that he knows how to adapt to your walking capacities: he can slow down an even modify the itinerary if it is getting to tiring. Dawoud is attentive and the trip never gets too hard and always remains a pleasure. Lastly, Dawoud knows very well his country, his history, the small villages, the animals and the plants and he always has a very interesting speech about it. We really had a wonderful time and we highly recommend him. Emmanuelle Azria
Emily Kalah Gade USA, 2011
"We had an excellent time in Simien Mountains National Park , and Dawoud was an incredibly knowledgeable and accommodating host and tour guide. He worked within our tight budget and limited time frame to create a trip which we will cherish for years to come. We would recommend his services to anyone!"
Sonja Feurer from Switzerland, 2011
"My friend Aline and I met Dawoud at the fire-place in Chenneck in April 2010 when we did a 7 day trekk to the Simien Mountains . We had been in the Simien mountains for 5 days already with our scout and guide. We met Dawoud after dinner around the fireplace and he made us regret immediately not having HIM as our guide. his excellent education, excellent language skills, friendliness and open-mindedness Were KEY factors. We discussed the Simien Mountains , Ethiopian economy, challenges and opportunities, local and international commerce, trade, and the potential promotion opportunities of Ethiopia etc. People like Dawoud will make THE DIFFERENCE and help his beautiful and highly interesting country progress And I wish Dawoud every success that he deserves so much. Ethiopia as a whole has so much to offer, its beauty and history is immense. By the way for all people interested, I received the DVD done by BBC called “planet Earth” and one full chapter is devoted to the Simien Mountains, the Gelaba Baboons and the Ibex and the success of the Simien Mountains to preserve the and increase its Ibex population which was threatened after the war. This is BY FAR not all the potential that Ethiopia and peope like Dawoud have to offer to the outside world and the tourists. Dawoud has marked our memory, our experience of this trip to Simien in particular and Ethiopia in general."
Andre Holzinger, 2011
"If you are planning a trip to Ethiopia's magnificent Simien Mountains and need a guide then Dawoud is your man. As soon as we contacted him (he was recommended in the Lonely Planet guide book) we were immediately struck by his efficiency and professionalism. Once we let him know how long we wanted our trek to be the rest was taken care of; picking us up from Gondar airport, driving to the National Park, the food, the tents, the personnel (all extremely friendly), everything!
The trek was far better organised then we could ever have imagined and Dawoud was always ensuring that our experience was the best it could be. Even though we only had time for a short trek (3 days, 2 nights) Dawoud led us to some of the most breathtaking views, like the spectacular 360 degree view from Imet Gogo! Having grown up in the mountains Dawoud is extremely knowledgable and had an answer for any question we had, but he was also very mindful to give my girlfriend and I space to enjoy and the experience as a couple. Our trek in the Simien Mountains was an unforgettable one and we have to thank Dawoud for the wonderful memories."
Alice Gilbert (London), 2010
I spent an amazing week in the Simiens with Dawoud as our guide. A fantastic guide, really respectful and knowledgeable of the local cultures and lots of interesting conversations throughout the week. If you’re going to Ethiopia, trekking in the Simiens is a must and if you’re going to the Simiens trekking with Dawoud is also a must!
Henry Wismayer, 2010
"As dilemmas go, this was a good one: Watch 50-odd monkeys cavorting across an escarpment studded with giant lobelias or keep drinking in the scene beyond the crags around Chenek camp, where the rising sun was peeling back the shadows to reveal an endless expanse of buttes and mesas. In the end I went with the monkeys. Plenty more opportunity to gawp at the lowlands, I thought.
I had spent the last few days discovering what happens when geothermal explosions and erosion conspire to sculpt a precipice more than 37 miles long. Conclusion: If the natural world took to getting jacked-up on steroids, the result would look something like the Simien Mountains National Park in northern Ethiopia.
The Gich Abyss is a showstopper we encounter within an hour of Dawoud Sulayman, the park’s preeminent guide, leading us away from the Sankaber trailhead. At the time, standing above a horseshoe of giant, dun-colored cliffs, watching a slender cone of water vaporize into mist as it tumbled into a chasm so deep we could not see the bottom, I would have said the abyss alone was worth the journey. It turned out we were just getting started ... [read more in The Boston Globe article]"
Rob Bailey (Chichester), 2004
"Our memories of the Simiens and the day we met Dawoud will stay with my wife and I forever. As our smartly dressed, smiling tour guide climbed on the bus in Gondar, little did we know that how Dawoud’s kindness, knowledge and sunny disposition would win over our hearts and minds forever. So much so, that he stayed with us for a year whilst studying for his Tourist exams in England…..and had a similar effect on our family and friends! Dawoud is a special person."
Bridget Juniper (London), 2004
"We spent an amazing 10 days walking the Simiens with Dawoud as our group leader. He was FANTASTIC - his knowledge of the mountains, together with his attention to detail and outstanding care for his guests were second to none. A really memorable experience. We would recommend Dawoud to everyone."