Visit Ethiopia

Female Gelada and baby, Simien Mountains (Photo:
Female Gelada and baby, Simien Mountains (Photo:

By Annabel

Following the recent David Attenborough series ‘Africa’ where the memorable gelada monkey was featured, Africa Product Manager Louise Stanion follows the route of our 14-Day tour, Ethiopian Odyssey, that takes in the northern highlights and adds on a Rift Valley extension in the south.

I sat there on the grass holding my breath, camera balanced on knees.  I had long since forgotten my companion, Nick Crane, owner of the Simien Mountain Lodge, Africa’s highest hotel.  I was fully absorbed in an impromptu wildlife encounter of the primate kind. 

The gelada monkey is an extraordinary animal with a peculiar appearance.  It is known as the ‘monkey of the bleeding heart’ because of the red patch of skin on its chest.  The monkeys have small, black turned up noses and a four leaf-clover pattern on their behinds.  The males sport a mantle of long thick golden hair on their heads and shoulders.  From the back, one might be forgiven for mistaking monkey for lion.


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