Words by Dain Zaffke
Images by Dan Milner and Dain Zaffke
AN EIGHT-DAY EXPEDITION THROUGH THE SIMIEN HIGHLANDS
Ethiopia has really big mountains. So it must have really great mountain biking, right? No one really knew, because no one had ever really brought mountain bikes into Ethiopia’s Simien highlands.
We went on an expedition—with pro riders Sarah Leishman and Kamil Tatarkovic—to find out whether the land famous for being the “cradle of mankind” could someday be a mountain bike paradise.
Our route explored the Simien national park, an environment so stunningly unique that it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We spent eight days circumnavigating the park, skirting a 6,000-foot-deep canyon, summiting a 14,930-foot peak. For the most part there were no roads and we traveled rugged, rocky footpaths (some built in the sixth century).