Simien Mountains, Ethiopia
Limalimo Lodge is a new luxury boutique hotel opening in Spring 2016 located in Ethiopia's stunning Simien Mountains National Park. Limalimo has just 14 rooms offering spectacular views and the chance to trek and observe the local wildlife.
At a Glance
Due to open in September 2015 and located in the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia
The first truly luxurious lodge in Northern Ethiopia
Just 14 rooms, blending Ethiopian design with a contemporary finish
Range of activities on offer from treks in the Simiens, to wildlife viewing, mountain biking and seeing the local communities
The lodge very much believes in sustainable tourism, ensuring the local community benefits from the lodge, and also in conservation of the natural habitat
Limalimo Lodge is perched on the edge of an escapement with spell-binding views over the Simien Mountains and the lowlands below. Local architecture and influences have been used in the design, such as using quintessential rammed earth walls and thatch with interiors featuring exposed local wood with a minimalist and chic feel, blending style and comfort in perfect harmony. Along with Bale Mountain Lodge in the south of Ethiopia, Limalimo is unique in being a new breed of luxury lodges in a destination that isn't known for good standards of accommodation.
The main restaurant and bar at located at the top of the hill with the 14 rooms scattered throughout the 10 hectare site amongst the newly planted trees. The restaurant and bar have been cleverly designed to maximize the views; maybe wander out and sit out on the terrace or head indoors and snuggle up next to the fire with a good book and a glass of wine after a day out and about in the Simiens.
All bedrooms are designed to showcase the Simien Mountains with floor to ceiling windows from which you can wake up and look out at the view and the sunrise. There are twin, double, triple and family rooms, so ideal for all parties of all sizes.
Limalimo Lodge has brought a definite touch of luxury to this corner of Ethiopia, but what we love even more is that it has come about with sustainable tourism in mind. The local community will benefit from the lodge, both being employed to construct it, gain employment and be fully involved in the guest activities showcasing what the Simien Mountains have to offer, and let's be honest, the local community are far better at showing off their patch than anyone else! Most food will be sourced from local suppliers, waste will be minimized, electricity supplied from renewable sources and waste water used to water the grounds. Add to that Limalimo will heavily promote a conservation program in the park to ensure the Simien Mountains remain as wonderful as they are today.
This magical corner of Ethiopia just begs to be explored. Limalimo Lodge is just 10-minutes from the main park headquarters of the Simien National Park at Debark. As well as walking through the stunning natural landscape there is a great deal of wildlife on offer. From a large population of Gelada monkeys, you can possibly see the Walia ibex, the Ethiopian wolf, Simien fox, leopards and hyenas. Bird life includes lammergeier vultures, tawny eagles and thick-billed ravens. With the local staff, you can head off on short or long treks and this is tailored depending on whether you want to soak up the natural beauty or spot wildlife. We can arrange for you to have an amazing picnic lunch en route. For those more adventurous we can arrange overnight treks where you can camp out in the mountains, under the stars, before returning to the lodge, complete with mules which take your luggage. There are also opportunities to visit the local communities (maybe for a local lunch in a traditional home) and mountain biking. Such are their connections with the local community, they can even hook you up with an Ethiopian to run with you (and see why they win so many gold medals!). If you want to see a more authentic side to your stay, we suggest visiting the nearby Ethiopian village, then where you can experience a traditional coffee ceremony, see how they cook, visit the markets or meet the local farmers.
Back in the lodge, you can return to a soothing Ethiopian foot-massage, or maybe try your hand at yoga with Julia, the General Manager. We really rather like the idea of just sitting on the terrace, the views all to yourself, drink in hand.
You can read more about the building on Limalimo Lodge on our blog which was written by Julia, the General Manager, for Scott Dunn about the concept and the construction of the lodge.
In short, Limalimo Lodge is a wonderful addition to Ethiopia, both in terms of offering a superb place to stay, but also in terms of how they have done this in a sustainable way to ensure the local community benefits from tourism - the perfect blend of what travel should all be about, in our humble opinion.
Limalimo Lodge offers 14 rooms, all en-suite and scattered throughout the 10 hectare site. The rooms feature floor to ceiling windows, all with superb views.
There is a restaurant and bar with a terrace overlooking the Simien Mountains complete with a fire-pit. The meals all use ingredients sourced from local suppliers (where possible). Yoga and foot massages are also available.
There is a great deal on offer in terms of activities at Limalimo Lodge. Take either a half or full day trek in the Simien Mountains with a private guide, or take a longer trek into the park where you can camp out under the stars, being fully support by a team of guides, cooks and porters. For families, they can provide mules to help with the walking. The birding is superb, with the best time from October to December. There is also horse and mule riding on offer. We love getting into the villages, and you can see how local life is in this part of Ethiopia. There are champagne breakfasts on offer, as well as picnic lunches in remote locations.
Many thanks to www.glancingshots.co.uk for the kind use of their imagery.
Location & Directions
Simien Mountains, Ethiopia
Limalimo Lodge is located about 10-minutes from Debark which is the main entrance to the Simien Mountains National Park in Ethiopia. Many guests tie this together with Gondar (about a 1.5-hour drive away) or Aksum to the north. There are also flights to Lalibela from Gondar.
When to go
The best time to visit Ethiopia is from mid to late October until May. During this time the highlands are ideal for hiking especially after the rainy season has just finished as the landscape bursts into life.
Due to the high altitude of the country in comparison to its location conditions get quite cool at night. Temperatures generally can reach above 30°C in lowland areas, whereas the highland temperature can dip below 20°C. Addis Ababa has a relatively even temperature year-round.