sorry, trip tentatively hold off to later dates (not decided when yet) as i'll be going portugal in jan instead. corrected as of 2010/10/24
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Here's another co-planning trip. While the general itinerary is pre-settled, most probably with flights pre-booked online, flexibility is allowed within frames and if the group is more than 3, split modes is possible within frames. Targetting at least 3 person, capping at 5, no issues with girls, old or young, but girls are advised to have own rooms. while this is a photographic trip, non-photographers may still join, but photographers (esp the tripoders) are slower in moving and may venture out at weird times, understandings are expected. Group trips are cheaper and safer, but discussion, compromise and group work are required. as time is tight, i dun think will have time to do trekking at simien mountains. depending on the number of ppl joining, will separate into different limbs for further research.
for the optional southern route, will have to look for agency and 4 wheel drive. as the flights are only on weds and sunday, we have only up to 8 days (weds-weds) on this route.
- Christian Epiphany / Timkat festival, at Gonder, 18-19th Jan
- Startrek-like and rock-sewn churches at Lalibella
- Lake monasteries and Blue nile waterfalls at Bahir Dar
- Ethiopian Gerada Baboons and other wild-life, either near gonder or addis ababa.
- Lip-plated Mursi tribe and other tribes at Omo Valley (require extended leave and cost, optional)
see pics below.
Budgetted cost (subjectable to differences)
overall + northern route (not optional)
S$232 - sg to-fro bangkok, tax included (jetstar, tiger air also possible)
S$1647 - bangkok to-fro addis ababa, tax included (ethiopian air)
S$372 - addis ababa-gonder / bahar dar-lalibella (multiple trips option / ethiopian air)
S$224 - lalibella-addis (ethiopian air, somehow multiple trips option is more expensive)
quotable costs above - S$2500
if southern route (optional) included
flights to/fro arba minch: cannot be done online, US$300 = S$450 (2way), only fly weds/sun
4wheel drive for 6 days - US150/day/jeep (optional) = S$1350, divide by 3-5 = S$270-450/pax/6days
estimate cost of southern route above - S$500 without discount, without jeep
cost above are full price. if we take ethiopian airline, we can have 50% off domestic flights, which may save S$300 (northern route) to S$500 (north and south). that is still true for last year, but require verification for current trip. other flights from sg to addis ababa (no direct) cost about 2000-2400+ (w tax), on kenya, emirates or turkish air. this is about S$150-550 more without taking jetstar/ethiopian airline, plus no discount for ethiopian air domestic flights, so i won't be considering this. my experiences with many trips is that accomodations and food are usually neglieable at this kind of places, which is too tedious to calculate before setting out. ration additional S$400-700 depending on your luxury level.
quotable estimates: S$2200 - S$2500 for northern trip plus/minus southern trip, both using ethiopian air
other costs: S$400 - S$700 (smaller transports, guides, accom, food, personal expenses)
total estimates: S$2900 my guess (north and south included)
if only northern route: total estimate: S$2600
Duration & leave required
Northern trip alone
14th - 29th Jan, (fri 1920hrs to sat 2035hrs), Day 0 to Day 15.
without going south, more days can be given to the north, hence returning addis on 28th (fri) instead of 26th, and returning sg on 29th (sat), rest one day on sun.
can also return and reach on sunday night, work on monday.
required days of leave (mon-fri work week) = 10 days (+3 sats)
North + Southern trip
14th - 5th Feb, (fri to sat), Day 0 to Day 22.
can also return and reach on sun night, work on mon after CNY.
required days of leave (mon-fri work week) = 13 days (+4 sats)
leaving friday early night, 1920hrs, 14th Jan (Day 0)
targeting arriving gonder (Day 3, a day prior to Timkat)
flying back addis ababa by 1100hrs, 26th Jan (Day 12) if going southern route.
flying back addis on 27-28th if not going south, reaching sg 29th nite (sat, Day 15)
returning sg on 5th Feb (sat), reaching 2035hrs, rest a day on sunday, then start working 7th
North + Southern route Itinerary, assuming going south as well.
14th Day 0 ..... sg to bangkok, 1920-2035hrs, jetstar, total w tax S$232
15th Day 1 ..... bkk to addis, 0140-0640hrs, ethiopian air, total w tax S$1647
...................... rest of day, free/easy addis ababa, no excursion, stay over addis.
16th Day 2 ..... addis ababa full day 1, can do excursion to muger to see baboons, 1.5hrs x 2
17th Day 3 ..... wake up early, fly addis to gondar, 0640-0740hrs, alternative 0700-0830hrs
..................... cost see above
..................... settle in, street shoot.
18th Day 4 ..... gondar full day 1, timkat festival
19th Day 5 ..... gondar full day 2, timkat festival
20th Day 6 ..... bus to bahir dar, 3-4hrs, rest over, venture around locally.
21th Day 7 ..... adjacent lake tana + miscellaenous, stay over bahir dar
22th Day 8 ..... excursion to blue nile falls, 1.5hrs x 2 drive stay over bahir dar
23th Day 9 ..... fly to lalibela, 0810-0920hrs
24th Day 10 .... lalibela full day 1
25th Day 11 .... lalibela full day 2
26th Day 12 .... fly back addis, & fly arba minch (weds) same day, 3.5hrs drive konso, stay over
27th Day 13 .... 2+1.5hrs via weyto, see key afar market (every thurs), stay over
28th Day 14 .... 2hrs from key afar to jinka
29th Day 15 .... jinka market (every sat)
30th Day 16 .... visit lip plated mursi village, rest over mursi
31th Day 17 .... jinka back to arba 8hrs
1st Day 18 ...... arba full day 1
2nd Day 19 ..... fly from arba (weds) to addis
3rd Day 20 ..... addis ababa full day 2
4th Day 21 ..... addis ababa full day 3
5th Day 22 ..... fly back to bangkok (sat) 0025-1320hrs KIV outing at bangkok, alternative 0230-1530hrs
..................... bangkok to sg 1920-2035hrs (sat), alternative 1345-1700hrs
6th................. rest in sg (sun)
7th................. work in sg (mon)
* if going into simien mountains, need at least 2 day more (3.5hrs x 2)
Pictures from googles.
these are not my pictures, so i won't be shrinking them or loading from my photobucket.
and more pictures here (got to scroll down) http://artmundus.wordpress.com/
(left to right) Mursi woman / lalibella church / timkat / baboon
(left to right)