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Ethiopia Feb 2019 independent budget

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Old Tuesday 16th October 2018, 13:28   #1
halftwo
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Ethiopia Feb 2019 independent budget

Just putting feelers out to assess the feasibility of a shortish trip (c9 days).

Trying to see if a self-drive independent trip is possible and NOT doing 1,000s of kms.

This would miss some of the further flung places (& some endems) and concentrate on a handful of sites, still racking up a few hundred miles though.

Flights from Manchester direct to Addis are now available - and are only £323.
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Old Tuesday 16th October 2018, 20:00   #2
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Would be more attractive if you were doing a bit longer e.g 2 weeks and targeting more endemics I think, it would also be good to know which sites and thus which species, you'd be missing?

Why would you do what is a relatively short journey with so much to see?
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Old Tuesday 16th October 2018, 20:37   #3
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No idea about car rental possibilities (I hitch hiked), but I would say quite feasible even on a nine day trip - eg focus on the amazing Bale National Park and maybe part of nearby lowlands.
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Old Tuesday 16th October 2018, 21:20   #4
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Hi Andy,

Basically I'm time-constrained, so want to concentrate on a few sites: Awash, Bale, etc, without adding 3 or 4 times the distance for, say, twice the birds.
I've not gone into detail yet as I'm just putting feelers out. But there's a huge number of birds to see even on a shortened trip.
Also not having a driver and guide will keep costs down hugely, but sharing car hire with others will do too.
I've just come back from a very successful Brazil trip - self driving, no guides, no third party organisers.
With GPS and ebird, I think this could be possible in Ethiopia, with improved roads, hotels and more tourists going,
as it was in Brazil.

Jos, I read some of your report - I knew you'd have done your own thing - if I had more time I'd do similar.

Basically Ethiopia represents great value for new species for me - I think the whole trip could cost under £1,000 even without sharing costs, with a target of over 3 or 400 possibles. (I've been to Kenya)

Cheers,

H
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Old Tuesday 16th October 2018, 21:47   #5
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I could be interested when you put it together and I can see what's what, pm me with any developments.
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Old Tuesday 16th October 2018, 22:29   #6
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Will do, Andy.
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Old Wednesday 17th October 2018, 07:22   #7
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What dates?
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Old Wednesday 17th October 2018, 07:36   #8
Jos Stratford
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Originally Posted by halftwo View Post
I think the whole trip could cost under £1,000 even without sharing costs
I remember that for my last couple of weeks in Ethiopia I was desperately trying to spend my final few dozen dollars worth of local currency ...and I failed, eventually leaving with still some left :)
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Old Wednesday 17th October 2018, 09:28   #9
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What dates?
I'm a little flexible - anytime in February really.
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Old Wednesday 17th October 2018, 22:05   #10
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I may be interested as well. I had planned to do Ethiopia a few years ago but plans fell through. If bale mountains features then call me interested! I certainly don't need all the endemics and I am also rather short on time after brazil...
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Old Thursday 18th October 2018, 07:44   #11
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Unfortunately, I now remember that I have no spare time in Feb; good luck and enjoy.
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Old Thursday 18th October 2018, 09:37   #12
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OK, we have a few interested now - so I've had a look at my dates.
Basically, depending on which leave I take I can either do any NINE days between :

Jan 27th and Feb 17th, or
Feb 10th and Mar 2nd

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Old Thursday 18th October 2018, 10:07   #13
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Ok from my point of view if we are looking at 9 days it would obviously be good to start and finish around the weekends but a day or so either side should not be a problem. I am assuming that you are including travel from the UK inside that 9 day window?

Otherwise, probably the earlier the better for me if I can make it and could you please elaborate on the flights you found because I am not finding any as cheap as that direct from Manchester. From Heathrow, there are some around that price with stopovers and direct is around £500 Heathrow to Addis with Ethiopian air. No great options from Norwich by the look of it.

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Old Thursday 18th October 2018, 14:09   #14
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It's odd, I saw one at £323 the other day and £338 this morning, but the Ethiopian website won't work on phone or iPad!
Skyscanner is quoting £479 via Istanbul and 557 direct - frankly I'd rather pay extra for the direct flight.
I'm trying to contact Ethiopian direct.
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Old Thursday 18th October 2018, 21:40   #15
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OK, having done some more research: it appears that it isn't possible to self-drive in Ethiopia. It is illegal. But: hiring a 4x4 with driver between 3 or 4 might still be affordable.
And, it seems the £330 fares have evaporated, with £500+ more likely.
So, sharing costs would make the trip around the £1,000, perhaps more, mark (assuming four participants, apparently a Land Cruiser can accommodate 4 + driver.)
I'm flexible on sites - I'll do some more research on maximising species for the least amount of travel.
Yes, I'm expecting to include the travel out and back in the nine days - which is why I'd opt to fly direct. And the Manchester flight has great flight times - arriving at 06:45 if memory serves.
If a group is setting off from different points then we would need to co-ordinate dates and times.

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Old Friday 19th October 2018, 06:30   #16
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Ok. Feeding back my own recent experience of 4+driver. We had 4 participants plus driver on our tour in landcruiser style vehicles and if the vehicle has just 2 rows of seats it then becomes rather cramped for those in the back as you would have three to the row. May be okay for transfers but not ideal for birdwatching from the vehicle, which is what we were doing.
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Old Friday 19th October 2018, 15:41   #17
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While I can't commit to joining your trip, I'm really interested in how you get on. I usually travel with 2or 3 birding mates from home and have mostly done trips where we independently book a local guide and driver for our group. Manchester airport is right on our doorstep and none of us has done Ethiopia. As you need a driver, have you considered a guide who can also drive ?
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Old Friday 19th October 2018, 16:16   #18
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I can dig out all the planning I did for the trip that never happened if that helps. It was for a longer trip though and wasn't on such a tight budget.
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Old Friday 19th October 2018, 18:22   #19
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I can dig out all the planning I did for the trip that never happened if that helps. It was for a longer trip though and wasn't on such a tight budget.
Sure: it all helps.

Lots of mammals to see: noticed Lion is on the Awash list - which surprised me.
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Old Friday 19th October 2018, 18:35   #20
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Although it was published some time ago, I would thoroughly recommend getting a copy of "Where to watch bird in Ethiopia" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ethiopia-Ga.../dp/1408130750. This is possibly the best birding site guide I have ever used.

Along the lines suggested by cheshirebirder, you might look into hiring a vehicle either with a guide as driver, or at least a driver who knows the birding sites. Ethiopian Quadrants should be able to organise this.
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Old Friday 19th October 2018, 21:18   #21
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Thanks, DMW.
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Old Sunday 21st October 2018, 09:21   #22
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Although it was published some time ago, I would thoroughly recommend getting a copy of "Where to watch bird in Ethiopia" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ethiopia-Ga.../dp/1408130750. This is possibly the best birding site guide I have ever used.

Along the lines suggested by cheshirebirder, you might look into hiring a vehicle either with a guide as driver, or at least a driver who knows the birding sites. Ethiopian Quadrants should be able to organise this.
In my experience, guides, even if they can drive, aren't that keen as it adds another aspect to their job. They like to relax in a vehicle between sites and often, farm the driving out to a mate.
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Old Tuesday 23rd October 2018, 14:41   #23
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Right, I think I'm reluctantly going to postpone this trip until the next February: ie 2020.

Air fares seem to be on the up - and Ethiopian's direct Manchester - Addis have seemingly sold out.

I've looked into logistics a bit more: and I think 8 days on the ground is pushing it to do even the sites I wanted to do.

So, I'll put this out again earlier next year (c. August) for the following February, and for two weeks.

Road improvements continue apace - and it will be possible to do Ankober-Awash without returning to Addis.

Two weeks will be enough to do the Jemma Valley areas, Awash, Bale via the Rift Valley lakes, and further south to Yabello.

This would mean almost every endemic and most near endemics, and mean less stressful travel.

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Old Tuesday 23rd October 2018, 22:10   #24
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Right, I think I'm reluctantly going to postpone this trip until the next February: ie 2020.

Air fares seem to be on the up - and Ethiopian's direct Manchester - Addis have seemingly sold out.

I've looked into logistics a bit more: and I think 8 days on the ground is pushing it to do even the sites I wanted to do.

So, I'll put this out again earlier next year (c. August) for the following February, and for two weeks.

Road improvements continue apace - and it will be possible to do Ankober-Awash without returning to Addis.

Two weeks will be enough to do the Jemma Valley areas, Awash, Bale via the Rift Valley lakes, and further south to Yabello.

This would mean almost every endemic and most near endemics, and mean less stressful travel.

H
Sounds like a plan, keep me informed.
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Old Tuesday 23rd October 2018, 23:30   #25
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A Feb trip sounds very appealing, and I'd certainly be interested....
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