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Ethiopia Feb 2020 independent budget

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Old Saturday 13th July 2019, 07:01   #51
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Thanks, BBB,

Good to know - I had the impression that the wolves weren't too difficult - I guess, though, like all things trip-wise, nothing is guaranteed.

I too, like the idea of spotlighting - always up for maximising the day/night!

I'd like very much like to do the Bushcrow/Swallow/Turaco sites around Yabella - easily doable on a 2 week trip, and not very distant from the Wolves site anyway.

There are, probably, 1 or 2 endems which aren't worth the extra travel/effort, but most are reachable, if not necessarily nailed on.

We'll have to keep a eye on the unrest in the north, and perhaps compromise around that area, though again, I wasn't planning on extensive travelling there anyway, rather concentrating on 2 or 3 sites, if memory serves.

I think the different interests of various parties can be accommodated, I've done a few shared trips now to know that. We all should say what would be a deal-breaker and what would be a must.

I just want to see as much of everything as possible, within reason.

H
Which ones?
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Old Saturday 13th July 2019, 08:06   #52
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I think allowing three days for the wolf would be over-cautious. But of course there are other things to see.
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Old Saturday 13th July 2019, 09:20   #53
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I think allowing three days for the wolf would be over-cautious. But of course there are other things to see.
That's what gave me the impression that they're tricky.
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Old Saturday 13th July 2019, 12:44   #54
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We were hiking in the Bale Mountains and saw 15 in two days. We also saw one in the Simien mountains but they are hard there.
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Old Saturday 13th July 2019, 12:46   #55
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Just to be clear, I was wanting 3 days minimum in the Bale area not because the wolf is difficult as such but because I wanted to be able to savour the time there. I'd rather do a few sites in depth than race round places toget a bigger list. :)
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Old Saturday 13th July 2019, 12:58   #56
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Just to be clear, I was wanting 3 days minimum in the Bale area not because the wolf is difficult as such but because I wanted to be able to savour the time there. I'd rather do a few sites in depth than race round places toget a bigger list. :)
And this is where I fear, there may be a clash of idealogies, it is then, not really a 'birding trip' but as long as people are fully aware when they commit, there should be no issue though that would rule me out I'm afraid.

I want to see as much as possible of a country, it's birds and other wildlife, when I know that I almost certainly, won't return.
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Old Saturday 13th July 2019, 14:07   #57
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I feel 3 days at Bale is a lot of time: this is a high altitude area and because of the altitude, there are few birds and few other wildlife to savour. It can be a bit misty though.
So if you have a good morning, you can see about everything (birdwise and mammalwise) and move on.
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Old Saturday 13th July 2019, 18:23   #58
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Which ones?
Well, with more research:

Juba Weaver
Heuglin's Bustard
Collared Lark
White-headed Babbled
Somali Wheatear

are all remote species, which would add massively to the distances for their sake.

However:

Stressman's Bushcrow
Ruspoli's Turaco and possibly
White-tailed Swallow (getting more remote)

I'd like to have a crack at,
though
Liben/Archer's/Sidamo Lark might be a stretch too far for a lbj.

What's the most you're prepared to not see, Andy?!

KittyKat: rather than spend 3 days at Bale itself, there are sites nearby that are well worth doing (Harenna, Gaysay, Sanetti, eg) with good mammals.

What's your default must-haves?

Like Andy, I'm not likely to return to Ethiopia, so would like to see as much as possible.
There are 340+ ticks for me, and I've been to Africa a few times!

H
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Old Sunday 14th July 2019, 08:35   #59
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Well, with more research:

Juba Weaver
Heuglin's Bustard
Collared Lark
White-headed Babbled
Somali Wheatear

are all remote species, which would add massively to the distances for their sake.

However:

Stressman's Bushcrow
Ruspoli's Turaco and possibly
White-tailed Swallow (getting more remote)

I'd like to have a crack at,
though
Liben/Archer's/Sidamo Lark might be a stretch too far for a lbj.

What's the most you're prepared to not see, Andy?!

KittyKat: rather than spend 3 days at Bale itself, there are sites nearby that are well worth doing (Harenna, Gaysay, Sanetti, eg) with good mammals.

What's your default must-haves?

Like Andy, I'm not likely to return to Ethiopia, so would like to see as much as possible.
There are 340+ ticks for me, and I've been to Africa a few times!

H

Bushcrow and Turaco would be must see.

As a birder, the priorities are the species that you have no chance of anywhere else either for logistical or endemic reasons. The Swalllow would clearly fall in to that category as would Juba Weaver, White-headed Babbler, Somali Wheatear and Liben/Archer's/Sidamo Lark which otherwise require a trip in to war zones.

Heuglin's Bustard, though I'd like to see it, is also found in Kenya as is Collared Lark.

In order to see all the birds and all the mammals, maybe a trip could be extended to three weeks which I'd have no problem with but hanging around just to 'savour' the place, is a luxury that most don't have with such limited time, I've never known a group trip do that, not a commercial one anyway.

I just have the feeling that the interested parties so far, are not totally compatible, I'd hate for one person or more, to feel that they weren't allowed to satisfy their own aims so I think it needs to be either a bird trip with a few good mammals or a mammal trip with some good birds, at the moment, it's neither?
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Old Sunday 14th July 2019, 09:43   #60
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I get where you're coming from, Andy, but there are a lot of endems/near endems to see, as well as a long list of birds to see otherwise.
I've yet to do a trip where more than, say, two- thirds of the entire list is seen.
So, for me, travelling extra hundreds of miles for the chance of a few extras, while missing out on dozens of other goodies makes little sense - on a return mop-up maybe, an expensive luxury I'd rather spend doing another country entirely on anyway.
So, the Babbler, Wheatear and Weaver are a big push just for their sites, which could mean not seeing other stuff.
There could be a problem with one or two others, if tensions in the north continue - Somali Bulbul, Ab. Black Wheatear?
Perhaps, if enough people are interested, a third week extension for some could be a possibility, though more difficult logistically.
I suppose, putting my cards on the table, I'm not as hard core as you, and we might never reach a compromise. Though I'm no longer time-constrained I do have budget restrictions, and my world list has a long way to go yet, so I tend to go for big lists rather than getting every last species from any one country (I've been to Thailand many times, and am still far from wiping up there!)

All the best.

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Old Sunday 14th July 2019, 10:35   #61
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Well, with more research:


KittyKat: rather than spend 3 days at Bale itself, there are sites nearby that are well worth doing (Harenna, Gaysay, Sanetti, eg) with good mammals.

What's your default must-haves?

Like Andy, I'm not likely to return to Ethiopia, so would like to see as much as possible.
There are 340+ ticks for me, and I've been to Africa a few times!

H
My must haves just to spend some time with the wolves, starck's hare and hopefully see a giant mole rat and get some good views of geladas. That's really it as far as must haves. Everything else is just gravy. When I was planning the trip in 2015 I was looking at around 3 weeks but I can't do more than 2 this side of april. After April I could do longer

So for Bale area as Richard said there's other good habitat there and what I had hoped to do was have a night in the dinsho area and 3 nights based in Goba , from there we would cover senetti plateau and Harenna forest etc

The other sites I hoped to fit in were Awash specifically to have one evening to watch all the Hyenas emerge from local caves, but there's good birding there too..

The rift valley lakes and surrounds so Debre zeit, Ziway and Langano on the way up and awassa on the way back down plus stopping at Debre libanos for the geladas.

That already takes us over the 2 weeks and I had also planned to include a few other sites. But obviously for a shorter tour there would need to be some cutting down.

It was being planned out with both birds and mammals as a focus. The details of a 16 night version of the tour are here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...95145931489350
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Old Monday 15th July 2019, 18:39   #62
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Things look a little unsettled in Ethiopia at the moment, there is a possibility that a bid for autonomy for the (?) Sidamo region/state could spark turmoil on the 18th. There are displaced ethnic groups in Awassa already.
Watch this space.
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Old Monday 15th July 2019, 18:59   #63
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Things look a little unsettled in Ethiopia at the moment, there is a possibility that a bid for autonomy for the (?) Sidamo region/state could spark turmoil on the 18th. There are displaced ethnic groups in Awassa already.
Watch this space.
Things are always a little unsettled in Ethiopia :)
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Old Monday 29th July 2019, 10:57   #64
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OK, I've been working on an itinerary, & I'm going to set out an approximation for discussion.

I'm not going to name every site and endem specifically - and I'm still open to suggestions.

Looking at the logistics and endems important to most people, the following gives us a chance at every endem except two. These are: White-headed Babbler and Somali Wheatear. The former is too far NW, & the second too far NE.
However: the second is easy near Dire Dawa - and if some want to add on a short flight after the two weeks from Addis, I think this would be a solution. I haven't looked at the logistics for a Babbler side trip.

So, here is my idea:

1) Addis to Portuguese Bridge (this assumes everyone is ready for an early start day 1, which might mean some turning up the day/evening before for a rendezvous)

2) Jemma Valley & Escarpment

3) Jemma again onto Ankober region

4) Gemesa Gedel area to Doho area.

5) Aledeghi Plains to Awash

6) Awash

7) to Awassa via Lake Besaka

8) Wondo Genet to Bale

9) Bale

10) Bale/Harenna

11) to Negele region onto Yabello

12) Yabello

13) Rift lakes

14) back to Addis


Let me know how this sounds, I'll fill in some specific sights and hotels later. This depends on logistics and possibilities for overnight stays, travel times etc.
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Old Tuesday 30th July 2019, 06:57   #65
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Balanced, “Classic” schedule, can’t go wrong with that one!
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Old Tuesday 30th July 2019, 12:53   #66
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Looks good. Have you yet got an idea of cost and travel times between sites?
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Old Tuesday 30th July 2019, 16:26   #67
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Interested, I’m overseas until 11 August but keep me in mind. Kelvin
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Old Wednesday 31st July 2019, 12:53   #68
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Hi

It seems I made an error with my leave and actually have a few more days available than I thought. What are people's views on making this a slightly longer trip to allow for an extra day or two in Bale?

All the best

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Old Wednesday 31st July 2019, 15:10   #69
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Should work for me.
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Old Wednesday 31st July 2019, 17:53   #70
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Hi

It seems I made an error with my leave and actually have a few more days available than I thought. What are people's views on making this a slightly longer trip to allow for an extra day or two in Bale?

All the best

Jo
None of my business now really as I pretty much ruled myself out but there are already 3 nights scheduled at Bale.

Have you considered the possibility of being left there by the group and picked up a few days later, not sure if that could work or not but 4-5 nights there is possibly going to rule more people out than in unless this becomes more of a dedicated mammal trip?
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Old Friday 2nd August 2019, 09:05   #71
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Hi Richard,

I hope things go well with you?

We were in touch with each other, some time ago, about this trip. I have just sent you a further e-mail, following your last one to me.

Ethiopia still remains of keen interest to me.

You were previously very happy to consider me for your trip.

If you are still happy to do so, then I remain very interested.

Please could you let me know ?

Kind regards, Carol
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Old Friday 2nd August 2019, 10:21   #72
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Hi, all.

(Hope you got my pm reply, Carol?)

As people are asking for further details re costs I'm going to start getting quotes today. But see upthread for earlier estimates.

It would be very useful to know numbers, as this is the single most cost-affecting aspect.

If we have over 4 people there is an option for a second vehicle, or perhaps a minibus rather than, say, a Landcruiser.

So, say 2 4x4s each with 3 might be ideal, giving us greater flexibility for anyone who might wish to extend the trip (assuming those that might all agree on what's going to happen on those extra days!)

Further: accommodation: would people prefer the more "luxurious" end of the hotel spectrum, where possible - or prefer to cut costs and put up with cheaper options (some sites don't give us much option, however)?

So, if those who've expressed an interest could give me conditional commitment - and preferences or, "yes, ifs" this would help.

Thanks all.

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Old Friday 2nd August 2019, 13:34   #73
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I've had a reply for driver & 4x4 (he says some roads not suitable for a van) works out at $160 per day inc drivers accommodation & fuel - so multiply by 14 and divide by 4 per vehicle...= $560 each.
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Old Friday 2nd August 2019, 14:06   #74
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Accommodation, to me being in the right location is most important. There may be some sites where a particular lodge has been favoured for the reason of certain desirable wildlife being seen on the premises (would need to check trip reports etc). Other than that I have no real preference. I would even consider mobile camping but I think rooms would probably be preferable.

Is the driver just a driver or is your intention to get an experienced bird/wildlife guide to drive us?

Cheers

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Old Friday 2nd August 2019, 14:37   #75
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Re Accommodation. Agree with Jo re the location of the accommodation.

I have mobile camped before, in Botswana and The Gambia and am used to a basic level of camping, but in each case there was a ( bucket ) shower and toilet ( long drop or flushing ) and the tents were put up and down by others. I wouldn't want to be having to dig a hole and put tents up and down myself , ideally.

I agree with Jo that rooms would probably be preferable.

I have no problems with bush stops.


Vehicle

Shame that a minivan isn't an option.

I suspect 4 in a landcruiser, plus driver / guide, luggage and camping gear ?? would be quite a squeeze, so feel that, like you, Richard, 3 might be better, although I am not entirely clear how large a Landcruiser is there ?

Do the vehicles come with air conditioning?

Dates . I am very flexible about length of trip. Longer trips or add ons are possibles for me.

I am keen on both birds and mammals. In Africa I have previously visited South Africa, twice; Swaziland; The Gambia ; Botswana and small bits of Namibia and Zambia.

Last edited by Carol Rushton : Friday 2nd August 2019 at 14:45. Reason: Typos / extra info
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