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Appendix 1: Itineraries

Full length Ethiopian trip for the person who wants to see everything.

KEY: Route gives a very brief description of the route.

Roads gives a brief, generalized description of the road.

Excellent tar - no obstructions to be expected, can drive at the speed limit.

Good tar - generally no limit on the speed, but occasional potholes or other obstructions may occur which require you to slow down to walking pace to navigate, so an average speed of 80 km/h is usually possible.

Poor tar - regular potholes, many of which cannot be avoided, so an average speed of 50 km/h is usually possible.

Bad tar - in places, potholes so bad that driving next to the road is necessary - if possible. An average speed of 30 km is usually possible.

Good gravel - well graded, with a surface that actually is predominantly gravel.  Occasional bad sections require one to drive carefully.  An average speed of 60 km/h is usually possible.

Medium gravel - well made, but composed of rock, so very wearing on the tyres, springs & driver so an average speed of 40 km/h is usually the maximum achievable, but the slower the better.

Poor gravel - Not only is the road made of rock, but is quite rough, requiring many areas to be taken at walking pace, so an average speed of 20-30 km/h is to be expected.

Bad gravel - The type of road that has never been maintained.  All the drivers concentration must be spent finding the best route to avoid rocks, potholes, etc.  Exceedingly tiring to drive, and an average speed of 20 km/h is the upper limit.

Disaster area - Seriously consider walking. This requires low gears in low ratio, and very careful selection of the route, as bouncing the wheels up steps of lava, rock, etc is normal.  An average speed of 5 to 8 km/h is to be expected, but remember that that is an average!

Off-road driving - I didn't try any, but can be expected to be worse than any of the above - so basically forget it!

Birding  gives a very brief indication of the species that are likely to be of interest to the southern African birder that might occur.

Acc. gives an indication of whether you should camp (preferred) or would need to stay in a hotel.  It is not always easy to camp in the bush, partly due to the topography and the population density of Ethiopia.

Location gives the name of the hotel / campsite.  There are only 3 "official" campsites that I found in the whole of Ethiopia (Lake Langano, Awash & Nechisar), with only the first having ANY facilities.  Otherwise, many "government" hotels permit you to camp in their grounds at between 10% and 30% of the cheapest room rate, but do provide access to toilet & whatever shower facilities are available to other guests (which are often minimal anyway).

Information in red italics indicates that I did not travel to these areas, or - in the case of hotels - did not even see it.

An Ethiopian trip: 27/11/1999 to 17/01/2000Giles Mulholland 31 January 2000

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