Semian National Forest – A Travel Blog

by | July 10, 2018 |

Semian National Forest was a highlight for me in Ethiopia. Why? The title image tells the story.

I identify with primates. Feet on the ground, grunting, lumbering primates. Other people identify with dogs, cats, horses, you-name-it. But for me it’s apes and gorillas … and then there’s me communing with a baboon in Ethiopia. Happy!

I have long thought that the history of Western philosophy would have been very different if other primates had been in our midst. I can’t fault philosophers from the Greeks to the 19th century who looked around, saw squirrels and bears and foxes and thought, “Hmm, humans are all together different. They are unique.”

Cue: Darwin.

Semian National Forest

He went to the Galápagos. I got my evolutionary fix in Ethiopia.

Semian National Forest: Baboons

As we were driving up the side of a mountain in the forest the air turned both moist and cool. I had the passing thought, “I could live here.” I didn’t realize we were entering baboon territory. I guess I got my natural habitat right.


Semian National Forest


Ssemian National Forest

More baboons:Semian National Forest

I have bunches more pictures. But they’re all pretty much the same.

Semian National Forest: The Landscape

The forest is huge. We went up to an elevation that was only half of the highest elevation, and we were plenty high. The landscape is amazing:

Semian National Forest

It was one spectacular vista:

Semian National Forest

after the next:

Semian National Forest

I could keep going with these photos, just as I could with the baboons, but you get the idea.

So it was baboon watching, mild hiking, grandiose scenery and great air.

At the top of our part of the forest was something that looked like a place tourists could stay. We were staying outside the forest.

Semian National Forest

By the way semian means ‘north’ in Amharic and has nothing to do with simians (monkeys and apes), which I originally thought.

Because Amharic is transliterated from a syllabary (see my blog post on Ge’ez), spellings vary, so the vowels in Semian National Forest come out sometimes as ‘e’ or ‘i’ or ‘a’.

See: All Africa Blogs

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This post was written by Julie Tetel Andresen

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