The following books were used by myself in researching the trip, and many were taken along for the trip itself. This list is not comprehensive as to what is available in the market, but I found to be more than adequate for my purposes. The ones high-lighted by were considered absolutely essential, and any traveller should take these along as a minimum.
If a keen birder, I cannot recommend too strongly taking along the heavyweight Birds of Africa. Having access to that wealth of information in the field is invaluable – but obviously this will only apply to people taking their own vehicle. I had considered scanning the information onto a small laptop, but I am certain that no laptop would have survived the trip – the vibrations and bumps would have been too much for any but highly specialized industrial instruments.
The list of books used for planning is not restricted to Ethiopia, as my original plans included Sudan. I am also a realist, so I had planned for problems in northern Kenya or Ethiopia that would lead to me having to abandon the trip as planned, and then restrict my trip to Kenya, Tanzania & Uganda. Hence, some key books for these areas are included in this list.
Guide to Ethiopia, Philip Briggs
1995, Bradt Publications, ISBN 1-56440-814-0
an excellent guide that has hardly dated. Has information on virtually every town or village that I passed through. Indispensable.
Spectrum Guide to Ethiopia, Camerapix
1995, Camerapix Publishers International, ISBN 086190-535-0
contains excellent photographs and some useful information. In my case, my attitude was that I was unlikely to take better photographs, so I didn't take a camera, rather showing friends this book.
Guide to Eritrea, Edward Paice
1996, Bradt Publications, ISBN 1-56440-951-1
Since I was unable to get to Eritrea, I am comment on its accuracy, but the information seems to be up to the usual Bradt guide standard.
Visitors' Guide to Kenya and East Africa, Philip Briggs
1995, Southern Book Publishers, ISBN 1-86812-533-5
A brief light-weight guide, suitable for a quick visit to Kenya (with short sections on Tanzania and Uganda) on the way to (or from) Ethiopia, but a better guide could, I am sure, be found for a more extensive trip to these countries.
Kenya, Hugh Finlay & Geoff Crowther.
1994, Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit, ISBN 0-86442-202-4
I find the Lonely Planet guides to be much less informative than the Bradt guides, and this one seems to have aged badly, with all the information on Moyale (the only place I needed it) to be out-of-date, and so useless.
Guide to Tanzania, Philip Briggs
1993, Bradt Publications, ISBN 094-698-3-99-2
Not required unless serious excursions are going to be undertaken in Tanzania, in which case it is essential reading.
Collins Illustrated Checklist of East African Birds – Ber van Perlo
1995, Collins, ISBN 0-00-219937-8
illustrates every species, but not always accurately, with minimal text, and with maps that are all too often inaccurate. However, there is no alternative.
An Ethiopian trip: 27/11/1999 to 17/01/2000Giles Mulholland 31 January 2000