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Uganda - Ethiopia - Cairo - itinerary advice



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 23rd, 2004, 10:58 PM
Eric Prebys
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Uganda - Ethiopia - Cairo - itinerary advice

Hi!

I am going on a first trip to Africa with a friend, Scott (who has
been to South Africa and Namibia).

here is our itinerary:
mar 29th - boston- Uganda
apr 7th - Addis Ababa
apr 30th - Cairo
may 6 - boston

We are planning this as primarily a wilderness trip with some history
and authentic interactions with local people. We don't have a strict
itinerary and intend to be pretty flexible. I really appreciate any
suggestions for must-see sights. Or if anyone wants to join up for a
bit to rent a car, hike, etc...

The highlights we really want to see in Uganda:
Rwenzori Mountains - The season may be too far off for this (too
rainy), but it sounds unbelievable. If we could quickly find guide,
porters for this, and it seems doable, we might push back our flight
into ethiopia.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest - I really want to see the jungle. It'd be
nice to see gorilla's, but I'm not sure the cost is worth it. If the
Rwenzori Mountains don't work out, Bwindi seems like a great fallback.
rafting the Nile - This seems like a real logistical difficulty given
how little time we'll be in Uganda, but it is exciting.

The highlights in Ethiopia:
Everything - Every picture in the Ethiopian guidebooks makes me gasp.
But we haven't been able to find a hiking book for ethiopia so we have
no idea what the good treks are.
Historical Circle - Everyone tells us to do this. But which specific
sections of it should we fly on or skip altogether?
Blue Nile Falls - wow!!

The highlights in Cairo:
The Pyramids - some people say they are a letdown, but i've gotta see
them myself.
shopping - I want to buy some great fabrics and bead work. I'm also
excited to buy some custom made clothes. but i hate shopping, so this
might get passed over. I do need some presents for friends back
home...

I've got some questions about planning. Here is what we're bringing:

- light colored 2 pair hiking pants, 3 pair shirts, sweater,
waterproof jacket/pants, 6 underwear, 6 socks (most everything cotton)
- complete med kit (doxycycline, ciprofloxin, epi-pen, muperacin,
nistatin, lotrimin, hydrocortizone, bacitracin, 2 3-4" ACE wraps,
gasex, pepto bismol, benadryl, ibuprofen, SAM splint (full&finger),
moleskin, bandaids)
- sewing kit
- whisperlite stove / fuel bottle / pot / spoon / bowl
- 3-4lb dehydrated food / cliff bars / spices (we're both vegan and i
think uganda will be tough)
- warm weather sleeping bags
- very light tent / space blanket (works great as a ground cloth)
- etrex legend gps loaded with uganda and ethiopia from mapsource
WorldMap
- plastic bags
- leatherman Juice S2
- jungle juice 100% deet
- 45 proof sun block
- iodine
- day pack with 3L hydration pack
- 3 1L nalgene bottles
- camp towels
- compass / 1:800,000 Uganda map / 1:2,000,000 Ethiopia
- whistle
- LonelyPlanet Ethiopia/Eritrea, East Africa and Cairo, trekking in
East Africa
- matches/lighter/candles
- head lamp
- camp soap / batteries / earplugs / clock / toothpaste/brush / floss
- website and paper copy of: passport / driver's license / cc number /
check card number / insurance / itinerary & all relevant phone numbers

question mark items:
- camera. I am really torn on this. The rest of our gear could tumble
down a hill and spend an hour underwater. And I've already spent a lot
on the trip. But it'll be hard to come back and not have a single
picture. If I bring a camera, I'll probably get the Cannon ELPH s400
($400 US) with 2 512 MB compact flash cards ($160 US). tiny and light.
someone should convince me to bring one, because i'm sure i'll regret
it if i don't.

- money. i have a visa cash card (international permission slip on
file). i have an emergency visa credit card. i have $250 US traveler's
checks. should i have more? how much US dollars should we bring? Any
other advice for money?

- water purifier. i'm butting up against a "this is insane" weight
limit. a water purifier doesn't make sense in the jungle (too much
silt). i think we can get by with just iodine / boiling for the whole
trip.

- camp boots. it's the rainy season. and we are going to be in the
jungle. hiking during the day will be wet. i am hiking in light weight
hiking sneakers that will dry quickly. but i need a waterproof boot
for the evening. what should i get? where should i get it? all i've
found so far is a $130 US gortex pullover foot cover that i could wear
with a pair of sandles. this seems too expensive. but maybe it is
worht the cost?

- topo maps. i can't find any real topo maps, paper or digital, of the
areas we'll be hiking.

- good history book. i want a great, reasonably lightweight, overview
history book/s of ethiopia and uganda. i will pick something from LP's
list if i don't get a personal rec, but i'd love to hear a rave.

- presents/donations. is there anything i could bring to donate that'd
be better than cash? what about fun presents? needs to be very
lightweight and small.

- cleaning on the trail. is the fresh water as dangerous as my doctor
made it sound? can i wash off in the water? otherwise, how do i
prevent rashes/etc given the humidity?

- good hostels/hotels/areas to meet other tourists or guides?

If anyone wants to join us for some portion, please email me:


what am i forgetting??? (my girlfriend just reminded me to pay my
taxes. that would've been bad!)

thanks for any information!
Eric Prebys
  #2  
Old March 24th, 2004, 09:47 AM
richard b
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Uganda - Ethiopia - Cairo - itinerary advice


"Eric Prebys" wrote in message
om...
Hi!

I am going on a first trip to Africa with a friend, Scott (who has
been to South Africa and Namibia).

here is our itinerary:
mar 29th - boston- Uganda
apr 7th - Addis Ababa
apr 30th - Cairo
may 6 - boston

We are planning this as primarily a wilderness trip with some history
and authentic interactions with local people. We don't have a strict
itinerary and intend to be pretty flexible. I really appreciate any
suggestions for must-see sights. Or if anyone wants to join up for a
bit to rent a car, hike, etc...

The highlights we really want to see in Uganda:
Rwenzori Mountains - The season may be too far off for this (too
rainy), but it sounds unbelievable. If we could quickly find guide,
porters for this, and it seems doable, we might push back our flight
into ethiopia.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest - I really want to see the jungle. It'd be
nice to see gorilla's, but I'm not sure the cost is worth it. If the
Rwenzori Mountains don't work out, Bwindi seems like a great fallback.
rafting the Nile - This seems like a real logistical difficulty given
how little time we'll be in Uganda, but it is exciting.

The highlights in Ethiopia:
Everything - Every picture in the Ethiopian guidebooks makes me gasp.
But we haven't been able to find a hiking book for ethiopia so we have
no idea what the good treks are.
Historical Circle - Everyone tells us to do this. But which specific
sections of it should we fly on or skip altogether?
Blue Nile Falls - wow!!

The highlights in Cairo:
The Pyramids - some people say they are a letdown, but i've gotta see
them myself.
shopping - I want to buy some great fabrics and bead work. I'm also
excited to buy some custom made clothes. but i hate shopping, so this
might get passed over. I do need some presents for friends back
home...

I've got some questions about planning. Here is what we're bringing:

- light colored 2 pair hiking pants, 3 pair shirts, sweater,
waterproof jacket/pants, 6 underwear, 6 socks (most everything cotton)
- complete med kit (doxycycline, ciprofloxin, epi-pen, muperacin,
nistatin, lotrimin, hydrocortizone, bacitracin, 2 3-4" ACE wraps,
gasex, pepto bismol, benadryl, ibuprofen, SAM splint (full&finger),
moleskin, bandaids)
- sewing kit
- whisperlite stove / fuel bottle / pot / spoon / bowl
- 3-4lb dehydrated food / cliff bars / spices (we're both vegan and i
think uganda will be tough)
- warm weather sleeping bags
- very light tent / space blanket (works great as a ground cloth)
- etrex legend gps loaded with uganda and ethiopia from mapsource
WorldMap
- plastic bags
- leatherman Juice S2
- jungle juice 100% deet
- 45 proof sun block
- iodine
- day pack with 3L hydration pack
- 3 1L nalgene bottles
- camp towels
- compass / 1:800,000 Uganda map / 1:2,000,000 Ethiopia
- whistle
- LonelyPlanet Ethiopia/Eritrea, East Africa and Cairo, trekking in
East Africa
- matches/lighter/candles
- head lamp
- camp soap / batteries / earplugs / clock / toothpaste/brush / floss
- website and paper copy of: passport / driver's license / cc number /
check card number / insurance / itinerary & all relevant phone numbers

question mark items:
- camera. I am really torn on this. The rest of our gear could tumble
down a hill and spend an hour underwater. And I've already spent a lot
on the trip. But it'll be hard to come back and not have a single
picture. If I bring a camera, I'll probably get the Cannon ELPH s400
($400 US) with 2 512 MB compact flash cards ($160 US). tiny and light.
someone should convince me to bring one, because i'm sure i'll regret
it if i don't.

- money. i have a visa cash card (international permission slip on
file). i have an emergency visa credit card. i have $250 US traveler's
checks. should i have more? how much US dollars should we bring? Any
other advice for money?

- water purifier. i'm butting up against a "this is insane" weight
limit. a water purifier doesn't make sense in the jungle (too much
silt). i think we can get by with just iodine / boiling for the whole
trip.

- camp boots. it's the rainy season. and we are going to be in the
jungle. hiking during the day will be wet. i am hiking in light weight
hiking sneakers that will dry quickly. but i need a waterproof boot
for the evening. what should i get? where should i get it? all i've
found so far is a $130 US gortex pullover foot cover that i could wear
with a pair of sandles. this seems too expensive. but maybe it is
worht the cost?

- topo maps. i can't find any real topo maps, paper or digital, of the
areas we'll be hiking.

- good history book. i want a great, reasonably lightweight, overview
history book/s of ethiopia and uganda. i will pick something from LP's
list if i don't get a personal rec, but i'd love to hear a rave.

- presents/donations. is there anything i could bring to donate that'd
be better than cash? what about fun presents? needs to be very
lightweight and small.

- cleaning on the trail. is the fresh water as dangerous as my doctor
made it sound? can i wash off in the water? otherwise, how do i
prevent rashes/etc given the humidity?

- good hostels/hotels/areas to meet other tourists or guides?

If anyone wants to join us for some portion, please email me:


what am i forgetting??? (my girlfriend just reminded me to pay my
taxes. that would've been bad!)

thanks for any information!
Eric Prebys

Eric
You look like the most prepared chap I've ever seen asking for info,
are you going to get all that gear on the plane? I don't know about
Ethiopia, but Uganda has plenty of cheap fresh fruit and vegetables so
eating is not going to be a problem. Bottled water can be bought in most
major towns, and the beer is excellent. There is all types of accommodation
in Kampala and the hostels can fix you up with guides, some who have
very old cars for transport. The going rate a couple of years ago was
between 25
and $30 US a day plus petrol. The source of the Nile is quite a site and the
bush
trekking is great, although I've never seen the gorillas. The people are
amounst the
most friendly in Africa but stay away from the Northern provinces as there
is still
a lot of problems there. Do not go into remote areas without a local guide
as
problems can and do occur. I don't want to sound alarmist, but caution is
always
advised. I have traveled in all parts of Africa over many years without a
single
problem, but always be sensible and a local who knows the area and language
is
well worth the money. The hotels and hostels will get you an honest and
reliable
person, their reputation is at stake. One word of caution never try to do
anything in a hurry in
Africa, the people here have there own pace and usually it's not fast,
itineries get
changed, planes get cancelled and flights changed, even International ones.
The biggest problems medically are malaria, and hepatitis, and if you're
going to really
remote areas even consider bringing your own syringe. In the rural areas it
is not unknown
for disposible syringes to be reused many times, and sometimes cleanliness
at the clinics
is not what it should be.
Eygypt is another country, where no one does anything for nothing, even if
they tell you
it's free there will be a catch to it. The Pyramids, The Valley of the
Kings, and Cairo
Museaum are all worth the effort, and although touristy everyone visiting
there should
make the effort. If you're going to buy presents go to the "Kalil
Kalie"(Spelling) it is
the market in Cairo and it ir really an education. One last tip, haggle
prices everywhere
especially in Eygypt a rough guide when they set a price offer 30 to 40% of
their asking
price and if they don't drop significatly walk away. Nine times out of ten
they will run after
you, the Eygytians are the best salesmen in the world.
I envy you you're trip is going to be such fun, enjoy your first visit to
Africa, I'm sure it will
be the first of many.
Richard.



 




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