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Sundowner and Divewop traveling to Ethiopia with the pied Piper

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Apr 18th, 2011, 12:27 PM
  #1
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Sundowner and Divewop traveling to Ethiopia with the pied Piper

Sandy (divewop) and I have signed up for a trip to Ethiopia with Piper Mackay in September. Woohoo! We'll be doing some camping with/ and photography of the Omo tribes.

I have been told that it won't be luxury camping but we will have a cook (that's good). I haven't heard a word about showers (hoping there's good news about that!). Sandy told me about this trip and since I had seen photos taken on a similar trip I knew I wanted to go. Luckily we were the first to sign up because it's limited to 3 participants.

Of course, we can't be that close to the wildlife, and in this case the migration, without stopping in to visit so we are going early to spend 5 days at Governor's Camp in the Mara. I think Andy will be there with a group then and although we live 200 miles apart I may be able to finally meet him 9000 miles from home.

This trip may make some good stories.
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Apr 18th, 2011, 02:28 PM
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Cindy, I look forward to *finally* meeting you and Sandy! We have crossed paths too many times, and this time will be the ace in the hole. I know that you are going to have a great time with Piper, and I am 110% confident that Ethiopia will be a positive trip for you and your group.
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Apr 18th, 2011, 09:10 PM
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Sounds wonderful! You two have a great time!
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Apr 18th, 2011, 11:10 PM
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We will have showers except when we are "Bush Camping" and then I am bringing a bucket shower, it will all be part of the adventure..... I will be running a regular tour next year, but this year you have the chance to work right beside me, which is usually much rougher conditions but unbelievable photographic opportunities that I cannot offer on a regular tour with more peole.
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Apr 29th, 2011, 01:40 PM
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It will be a blast! Looking forward to traveling with Sundowner again and finally meeting Andy (in person)for the first time even though it feels like we've been good friends for years...thanks to internet technology.

Got a text message from Samuel (my regular guide at Gov's) yesterday wondering when I was coming back so I let him know Cindy and I were on the way in Sept. (Sorry, Andy!;-))

And Piper and I talked last night (via phone) for almost 2.5 hours (mainly about Africa and photography)and probably could have waxed even longer if time permitted so I think this is going to make for one helluva trip!

Counting down the days...
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Apr 29th, 2011, 02:23 PM
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What's your itinerary. I was in Ethiopia in '96. Did 4x4 camping/mixed accommodation trip to the Omo, and also did the Northern Circuit. As usual, without a guide. Fabulous people and country. The Polaroid was a great gimmick, as few people in the countryside where I went had ever had their own photos back then.
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Apr 29th, 2011, 03:01 PM
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LB, here it is...

25 September 2011; (1 night)
We drive south toward the Omo river, stopping in route to visit the Sheka people. Accommodations are at the Mizan Tefari Salayish Hotel

26-28 September 2011; (3 nights)
We depart for Kibish, the very heart of the Surma tribe, cousins of the Mursi, whose men are famous for their stick-fighting and the women wear lip plates. This is one of most ornate tribes on our planet.

29 September; (1 night)
Drive to Mui Omo National Park) visiting en-route more Surma villages. Bush Camping with a village.

30 September 2011 (2 nights)
We will drive up to the Omo River and cross the river by boat where we will have cars waiting for us on the other side to drive us a Mursi Village, cousins to the Surma.

02 October 2011 (2 nights)
We leave this morning to drive through Jinka on our way to Turmi, home of the Hamer tribe. We will check into our oasis at Buska Lodge. We will arrange an evening shoot with the Hamer tribe.

04-05 October 2011 (2 nights)
We drive to Murulle to stay with the Kara Tribe. We may bush camp or stay at the Murulle camp ground, depending on the distance to the tribes in this area.

06 October 2011 (1 night)
We leave this morning and drive to Yabello with a possible photo stop at Konso.

07 October 2011 (1 night)
We get up very early and head out to the salt mine where we will pick up our local guide who will lead us to the most amazing thing I have every witnessed, the singing wells.
We then drive onto Yirgalem. Accommodations Yirgalem Aregash Lodge

08 October 2011 (1 night)
We drive back to Addis Abba by way of Hawassa. Overnight at the Tina Hotel.

09 October 2011
Our Return flight home.
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Apr 29th, 2011, 03:50 PM
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Looks like a great plan. I also stayed at Murulle lodge a couple days right on the Omo. There is a Greek - Nassos Roussos - that owns the concession. A real nice guy. Wilber Smith mentioned him in one of his books. If you happen to meet him, I am the Yank that gave him the gps coordinates of his airstrip. The Kara Village is not to far from the Murulle lodge.

Sounds like the road infrastructure is in better shape now. Back then, it was a challenging 4x4 safari and without a doubt remote. We had to ford rivers, dig the vehicle out of deep mud when it got stuck(often) and navigate through Omo and Mago National Parks to get to Jinka without a real track to follow. We didn't exactly zip from place to place like what your itinerary is set out. I hope you get the opportunity to visit a village during market day. It can be a worthwhile experience.
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Apr 29th, 2011, 05:14 PM
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Yeah, we are doing the village thing and a lot more. I cut out the details of the itinerary to put it on here otherwise it would have been a lot longer and more detailed than what I have showing.
The itinerary is supposed to be flexible...just in case.
And we are crossing the countryside in a 4X4. This is really a scouting type of trip, a no frills kinda thing. Piper has been before and from my chat with her last night I think it will still be kinda rugged...which is fine with me!

Next year she's planning a more upscale type of tour with more folks and nicer places to stay (and more expensive) which is totally not me. That's why this appealed to me more.
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Apr 29th, 2011, 08:38 PM
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Can't wait to hear all about it when you get back!
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