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Thoughts on our potential Ethiopia/Uganda/Rwanda Itinerary?

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My wife and I are in the final stages of planning our second trip to Africa. Our first time (Sept. 2003), we did a luxury camping safari in Botswana, followed by almost a week in Cape Town with Selwyn. Now, we're contemplating one that I regard as far more daring. However, our plans aren't yet final, so I thought I would put our proposed itinerary out for comment.

Our planned departure date is December 23, arriving in Addis Ababa December 24. After staying one night at the Addis Sheraton, we fly to Bahar Dar to tour the island monasteries on Lake Tana, then head to the Blue Nile Falls. After an overnight at the Tana Hotel, we fly to Gonder to see the various castles and palaces there. Following that, we fly to Lalibela for 2 days to thoroughly tour the various rock-hewn churches there. From there, it's off to Axum to see the stelae field and other monuments there. Then we return to Addis Ababa and prepare for phase 2 of the trip.

From Addis, we'd fly to Entebbe on New Year's Eve and head out to Ngamba Island on Lake Victoria to ring in the new year with the chimps, including the forest walk with the baby chimps. The next day, we'd fly to Kigali and have a bit of free time to tour the city.

Following that, we would do the 8-day Volcanoes gorilla-trekking trip that does 2 gorilla treks in PNV, one in either Mgahinga or Nkuringo, and one in Bwindi. After returning to Kigali, we'd return home via Addis Ababa, probably quite tired!

We've been wanting to go gorilla trekking for years, and now we believe that Rwanda and Uganda are sufficiently safe to allow us to visit PNV/Mgahinga/Bwindi with confidence. The Ethiopia part was an add-on, but one that I think will be enchanting and unique.

Any thoughts from the Fodorite community on our plans? We'll probably make our final decisions later this week.


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