This photo shows gelada baboons in our camp in the Simien Mountains National Park. Our distinctive orange and white Dragoman truck is in the background.

This photo shows a troop of Gelada baboons coming up over a ridge in the Simien Mountains National park, Ethiopia
A troop of baboons coming over the ridge

The Simien Mountains National Park in Ethiopia is particularly noted for its troops of gelada baboons, mistakenly called enchilada baboons by one of our group, a misnomer which stuck – hence the title of this post!  Our first encounter with these fascinating creatures came shortly after we entered the park.  Alerted by a strange noise, which turned out to be the exhaust falling off our truck, the crew had stopped.  While they were fixing it, we took the opportunity to take some photos of the stunning scenery.  Suddenly, a huge troop of baboons came over the ridge and across the field in front of us.  What a spectacle!  They weren’t at all fazed by our presence and continued on their way as if we weren’t there.  We had plenty of chances to photograph them as they paused to groom each other.

Bini, our guide from Simien Experience, told us that there are five troops of gelada baboons in the part of the park we were

This picture shows Mark standing very close to a troop of baboons in the Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia
Mark with the baboons

in, each of which consists of around 350 baboons, made up of 20 – 25 families or bachelor groups.  They sleep on the cliff faces to escape their predators (hyenas, jackals and leopards) and emerge onto flat ground in the day.  They are creatures of habit – out and about between 7.30am and 6pm, roaming up to 5km, and returning to the same sleep site each night.

When we resumed our journey on our newly repaired truck, we came across a group of international scientists who were tracking the baboons as part of a 45-day project.
A couple of days later, a troop came through the middle of our camp.  It was wonderful to be able to sit on the grass in the middle of them, just observing and taking photos.
This photo shows gelada baboons in our camp in the Simien Mountains National Park. Our distinctive orange and white Dragoman truck is in the background.
Baboons in our camp
 
 
 
During our camping trip, we had fleeting encounters with other indigenous wildlife.  One morning, we were lucky to see the rare Walia Ibex on a mountain top.  It was at a distance and there was no time to get my monopole, so the resulting photo is very blurred – it proves we saw it though!
This picture shows a rare Walia Ibex standing on top of a ridge in the Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia
Walia Ibex
 
 
 
We also had a couple of sightings of Ethiopian wolves, a rarity as there are said to be only 80 of them remaining in the park.  We saw a pair of them briefly as we were driving one day.  There was no time to take a photo, but we were struck by their beautiful light brown coats.  Later the same morning, we spotted another one and, this time, we did catch it on camera.
An Ethiopian Wolf in the Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia
Ethiopian Wolf

 

The wildlife is not generally a primary reason for visiting Ethiopia, but, yet, our encounters with them certainly gave us some of our best memories of the country.

, , , , , ,
Similar Posts
Latest Posts from Happy Days Travel Blog

Leave a Reply