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Ethiopia Feb 2020 independent budget

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Old Friday 2nd August 2019, 14:40   #76
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If I’m in there might be two of us. Very possible. Can’t confirm until I’m back in UK. Accommodation flexible.
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Old Friday 2nd August 2019, 14:51   #77
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OK, great, I'll wait for a few more quotes.

A Landcruiser is a large 4x4 , but 4 plus driver might be too much.
If we can get six , then 3 per 4x4 would be ideal and flexible - obviously increases the cost by the difference in the maths.

Great. I'm with the rest of you (so far) on accommodation - sitting most important. And yes, a few hotels are a must - but I think accommodation will be v reasonable.

In view of Brexit it might be worth booking/paying for flights and accommodation before end Oct!

We need to agree dates fairly soon.

I'll get back with further details soon.
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Old Friday 2nd August 2019, 15:04   #78
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Dates are totally open right now so no issues there. I would tend to agree that if we are using the same vehicles throughout that 3 passengers plus a driver is optimal. In Brazil we were 4 and the person in the middle back seat was often very uncomfortable especially on long journeys and that was when we had a range of different transfers and drives / activities. Hope that helps.
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Old Friday 2nd August 2019, 15:24   #79
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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

Jo

Thank you Richard.

Re dates, I am completely flexible, at present on when and how long.

Re Jo's question above : " Is the driver just a driver or is your intention to get an experienced bird/wildlife guide to drive us? " - will you be getting comparative quotes for either ?

Re the Vehicle , is it open -sided or enclosed, with air con ? Is it the same vehicle for all travel or , say, different in Awash?


I can pay as soon as is necessary .


Kind regards, Carol

Last edited by Carol Rushton : Friday 2nd August 2019 at 15:26. Reason: Typo
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Old Friday 2nd August 2019, 17:22   #80
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The driver is just a driver, you would pay quite a bit more for a guide. I think they'll be enough expertise amongst us to make the extra expense unnecessary. And I'm not a big fan of guides - always feels like cheating!

I'll make sure the vehicle has aircon.

But, we need to get the sites nailed on and GPS co-ordinates sussed.

If anyone is very opposed to this, let me know.
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Old Sunday 4th August 2019, 08:15   #81
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The driver is just a driver, you would pay quite a bit more for a guide. I think they'll be enough expertise amongst us to make the extra expense unnecessary. And I'm not a big fan of guides - always feels like cheating!

I'll make sure the vehicle has aircon.

But, we need to get the sites nailed on and GPS co-ordinates sussed.

If anyone is very opposed to this, let me know.

Thanks Richard.

Re the vehicle : Given the long length of journeys ; what Jo has said about the lack of comfort of the person in the middle of three on the back seat on her Brazil trip ; and the ability for everyone to be sat next to a window - if the vehicle is a 4x4 Landcruiser ( which it seems it has to be from the advice that you have received), then, for me, if it were to be more than three plus driver, per vehicle, that would rule me out.

Kind regards, Carol
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Old Sunday 4th August 2019, 10:58   #82
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The driver is just a driver, you would pay quite a bit more for a guide. I think they'll be enough expertise amongst us to make the extra expense unnecessary. And I'm not a big fan of guides - always feels like cheating!

I'll make sure the vehicle has aircon.

But, we need to get the sites nailed on and GPS co-ordinates sussed.

If anyone is very opposed to this, let me know.
I guess it depends on the cost difference but I'd not consider myself as experienced enough to separate out confusion species, so given the potential large number of birds, if we really want to see as many of them as possible I'd think local knowledge would be invaluable.

I've been on a variety of trips in the past, some with very good wildlife guides, others self guiding and others where I've had a local guide assigned at each site and had a driver/fixer kind of thing.

Like you Richard I am also keen to keep the cost down (as I'm hoping to fit several shorter trips in next year) and I'm not opposed to just having a driver if others are confident that we'll be able to get by. I also wonder if it is possible to have a driver throughout and then hire local guides at key places where we think we may need a hand?

It might be worth getting some comparisons, so we can make an informed decision, for example this report mentions:

"My guide on the plateau was Awol Sultan ([email protected]) and I'd strongly recommend him for birding or general photography. My whole trip was arranged through Ayuba of Bale Mountains Eco Tours ([email protected]) and if you're looking for a low cost tour with plenty of excitment and great wildlife he'll certainly provide it".

Also this report could be worth a look.
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Old Monday 5th August 2019, 07:39   #83
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I'll have a look at the cost of one or guides - in some places you have to have a guide, in others there are local guides on site to be hired on the day.
But, generally I don't think a permanent one is necessary.
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Old Monday 5th August 2019, 10:35   #84
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Okay that approach of using on site guides worked well for me in Madagascar. Although in hindsight, I would have seen more if I'd have been more assertive about my list of targets at each site. You live and learn lol! Anyway that seems like a good way forward :)

All the best

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Old Tuesday 6th August 2019, 07:42   #85
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Like you Richard I am also keen to keep the cost down (as I'm hoping to fit several shorter trips in next year) and I'm not this report mentions:
This report starts with a worrying delay for photography equipment at the airport - the first I've heard - wonder if a one off?
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Old Tuesday 6th August 2019, 11:28   #86
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It's not a one off as far as I am aware as someone on Safaritalk.net also had some issues. Apparently he was told you are only allowed one camera body per person. He had 3 bodies and was encouraged to get around the problem by saying the other two bodies were for relatives that he was meeting in the country. He was let through with his equipment. Not sure if this policy is still in effect or not.
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Old Tuesday 6th August 2019, 11:54   #87
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Hi everyone,

Steve Curtis and I will be travelling up from Clevedon, Somerset and attending The Bird Fair, on Friday 16th August, if anyone wishes to say hi, there? We are staying in The Premier Inn in Boston, that night, then planning on doing some birding at Frampton Marsh, the next day, which is not a reserve that either of us have visited before . So there could be an option to meet up in Lincolnshire too, that day...

Let me know if anyone would like to ?

Best regards, Carol
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Old Tuesday 6th August 2019, 15:23   #88
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I'm away, Carol.
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Old Wednesday 7th August 2019, 01:40   #89
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I’m not at Bird Fair til Sunday.
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Old Wednesday 7th August 2019, 11:26   #90
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Thanks for replying Richard and Welsh Pergrine.

That's a pity that I don't overlap with you WP and that you are away, Richard.

It's always nice to put a face to the messages and it can sometimes present an opportunity to discuss trip options and Bird together etc, pre any shared overseas trips etc..

If either of you have any plans to come Gloucestershire or Somerset way, give me a shout.

Looking forward to hearing what your quotes are coming in at , Richard, when you are ready...

Best wishes, Carol
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Old Wednesday 7th August 2019, 19:29   #91
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Do your research on finding the right guide and learn from my experience: http://www.surfbirds.com/trip_report.php?id=2421

As a well travelled world birder I often do trips either by myself or independently with others. During recent trips, for example to Alaska and Taiwan, I saw all birds that were reasonably within scope, and much more. I'll gladly travel guide-free to keep costs down where I can but I just didn't think Ethiopia was one of those countries.

That said, birding in Ethiopia is certainly not difficult, mostly open birding, very little forest, and I'm in no doubt you will see more with a good local guide. Sites do change and some birds are nomadic. So whilst it is possible for very well organised birders do much of Ethiopia independently with a driver and 4x4, if it were me, on balance, I'd prefer to go with a decent guide.

Hope these musings help.

Mike
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Old Wednesday 7th August 2019, 22:17   #92
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Do your research on finding the right guide and learn from my experience: http://www.surfbirds.com/trip_report.php?id=2421

As a well travelled world birder I often do trips either by myself or independently with others. During recent trips, for example to Alaska and Taiwan, I saw all birds that were reasonably within scope, and much more. I'll gladly travel guide-free to keep costs down where I can but I just didn't think Ethiopia was one of those countries.

That said, birding in Ethiopia is certainly not difficult, mostly open birding, very little forest, and I'm in no doubt you will see more with a good local guide. Sites do change and some birds are nomadic. So whilst it is possible for very well organised birders do much of Ethiopia independently with a driver and 4x4, if it were me, on balance, I'd prefer to go with a decent guide.

Hope these musings help.

Mike
Thank you, so much, Mike.

I recall reading your Ethiopian trip report in 2015, several times and feeling then how incredibly useful and informative it was ... and my view is very much the same, now.

It contains a lot of food for thought.....

Personally, I am very happy to go with a decent guide.
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Old Thursday 8th August 2019, 06:18   #93
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Albeit many years ago, I travelled Ethiopia independently and found it pretty easy to see all the desired birds without a guide (or indeed a vehicle), so I would say both ways are doable, just comes down to personal preference (I personally don't like guides and think the finding is one of the key elements of the fun for me). However you do it, some great birds and mammals there - you will have a good time.
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Old Thursday 8th August 2019, 08:17   #94
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Thanks both. Mike, I had another read of your report, I'd read it before but it was good to get a refresher. Sorry to hear the trip did not live up to your expectations. I also had a terrible guiding experience in South Africa, and that was meant to be through a supposedly reputable safari company but I think it was on level way beyond what you experienced with your guide as ours was simply not qualified at all as a wildlife guide, let alone as a birding specialist. Detailed report here:
http://www.safaritalk.net/topic/1823...comment-242045

All the best

Jo
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Old Thursday 8th August 2019, 12:43   #95
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Hi, All,

Thanks, Mike. I'll read that when I get a moment, in the meantime I've been researching like mad, reading reports, liaising with ground agents.

I now have sites, with GPS co-ordinates for all the endems, and many, many more; plus GPS for almost unmarked roads which will allow us short cuts here & there.
I've also just received my copy of 'Where to Watch Birds In Ethiopia', which has a vast amount of info on sites, accommodation, etc.

So, I'm happy to go along without guides, except where they are compulsory, and where, eg. roosts sites for owls and nightjars are known to local guides, payable on site.

I'll soon hone the itinerary & get some idea of cost, except that I still don't know how many we are!!

R
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Old Thursday 8th August 2019, 13:25   #96
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Do we have dates?
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Old Thursday 8th August 2019, 15:25   #97
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Any time in feb works for me, preferably starting and ending on a weekend. I think Richard has some constraints and can't go beyond March 2nd.

Also I mentioned up thread that my leave is not so constrained as I previously thought. However, Richard said to me that he can't go beyond 15 days.

So that limits us a bit, because the route we have proposed is quite circular and the places where I would have proposed to add a day or two are close to the middle of the trip.

Might just have to save those for another time.
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Old Thursday 8th August 2019, 16:31   #98
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Do we have dates?
As I suggested, if people want to get to Addis on the previous day, so we all can get going very early day1,
then, choices are:

7th for 8th of Feb - to 22nd/23rd
14th for 15th - to 29th/1st March

Waiting to hear from one person interested who would rather not do the first two weeks, otherwise:

31st Jan for 1st Feb - to 15th/16th.

is the 3rd alternative.

The two end dates for each fortnight merely there to represent differing flight times/dates to give us maximum time in country. Flight availability obviously constrains.

What are your thoughts?
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Old Friday 9th August 2019, 07:27   #99
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My preference would be for 14/15 feb to 29 feb/1 march.
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Old Friday 9th August 2019, 07:53   #100
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Price-wise: assuming 3 in a 4x4 and a mix of budget and lodge type accommodation, then a ball-park figure of around 1,000, plus spending money.
And, your flights.

Currently the best flight for me would get me (442) to Addis at 0:55 hrs on Saturday, giving me Saturday to start right away.
Return would be 01:50 hrs on the Sunday, giving me all day Sat on the last day - a full 15 days in country.
If everyone could do similar, it maximises time on the ground for time away.
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