Conservationist Getachew Assefa points across the valley. “It started close to the mist over there, by the most spectacular viewpoint,” he says. “Almost all the grassland was burnt. All of that plateau and the steep cliff over there.”
Six months after wildfires torched this part of Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains, the scars are healing: heather and grass have returned to carpet the hilltop, brightened by the yellow daisies which bloom after the long rains. On the near side of the valley lie barley fields, rippling in the wind.
The scene is bucolic. But, as Assefa explains, these montane grasslands and the rare wildlife they host are under threat.