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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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  #1  
Old 3 Mar 2007
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Road conditions Ethiopia now?

Hi there,

according to the Rain-in-Africa Excel Sheet, rain season is about to begin now.

How are the roads like during that time? Are there any tar roads or do I have to ride on muddy dirttracks?

regards

Lars
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  #2  
Old 3 Mar 2007
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Kidnappings in Ethiopia

Hi Lars
If you're going that way, keep an eye on this story.
BBC NEWS | Africa | Search for kidnapped UK tourists
Stay safe. Stephan
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  #3  
Old 3 Mar 2007
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weather

Hi Lars, I'm in Addis now. The weather is great- and expected to be the same for some time now. I was rained on coming up from Moyale, but it was the kind of rain a person enjoys after so much dust, heat, etc. Many sealed roads here. I'm impressed with the roads at this point. I'll be heading north this week to visit Axum and several other places. I'm aware of the kidnappings in Afar, and don't plan to go there. Let me know if you have more questions about Ethiopia- a country that makes Kenya look downright ugly if you ask me....too many tourists down there!!!
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  #4  
Old 6 Mar 2007
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HI Again hook

youre busy

like i said I will be starting from cape town on 1st July and plan to reach Tel Aviv via Cairo inside 35 days...

I hear you.......... Slow down.... I know but its kind of the way the trip has to be done I have kids , business etc

anyway it would be great to get real info from you on travelling through Ethiopia.
Everyone is going crazy here about the kidnappings etc but I plan to stick to relatively main routes because of the time.
Any info on Addis ( where to stay etc ) would be great and If you recommend any place we should not miss in Ethiopia let me know too if you could

thanks
Gary
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  #5  
Old 6 Mar 2007
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I hear you.......... Slow down.... I know but its kind of the way the trip has to be done I have kids , business etc

Hi Gary, I never said "slow down." Ride like the wind if you have to! There is a 40km stretch north of Addis that will slow you down for a bit. I'll ride it in the next week and let you know how it looks. The road from Isiolo to Moyale (Kenya) is over-rated, though ugly indeed. Just go slow and bring plenty of water, it's hot (I mean 40-45c) there. In Sololo I had to pay an armed guard to accompany me to Moyale. People had been robbed at gunpoint less than a week before. Northern Kenya can be a bit dodgy. You should know this is an area that is somewhat notorious for bandit activity. The heat seems to bother me the most though. Know that the roads heading north in Etiopia are tarred and in fine shape. Your goal should be Moyale. Once in Ethiopia you'll be rockin.' Ride safe, H/
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Last edited by hook; 23 Mar 2007 at 08:54.
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  #6  
Old 22 Mar 2007
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Hey Hook how are you doing

any news for me on the road ahead of me.
Hadnt thought about trouble in Kenya, I was more worried about Sudan.
Let me know how are you getting on

Gary
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  #7  
Old 23 Mar 2007
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Hi Gary, I'm still in Addis waiting for a visa from Sudan. Went to the embassy today (info for all: they are only open monday/wednesday/friday from 0800-1230). They were closed- the guards told me to try again on monday. Oh well- another weekend to spend with the most beautiful and friendly women in Africa (that I've seen so far anyway)!! Atlas hotel and Bole hotel are both nice, good location, secure parking, etc. Spent a night at the Sheraton, they were full after my night- $400usd though. The road north of Addis is also tarred and in great shape. There is very little traffic on the roads here- except in the cities where the drivers are scary. I kicked my first car in Ethiopia today. I also kicked cars in Uganda and 1 in Kenya. I'm putting Sudan visa info on the paperwork section- I just got my visa today! H.
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Last edited by hook; 26 Mar 2007 at 13:33. Reason: new info
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  #8  
Old 26 Mar 2007
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Hey Hook

Thats great news about your visa.
I am going to apply for mine in London and they say that it will be valid for 90 days and for a 30 day stay once you enter ... we will see !!

€400 for the sheraton..... crazy man.. its not even that dear here in Ireland where everything is four prices...
when you get a chance maybe you could tell me what route you took to Addis ( can wait to get there to meet all those beautiful friendly women )
I have 14 weeks left to go and starting to map out a more definite route now.

Stay in touch

Gary
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  #9  
Old 4 May 2007
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Ethiopian road conditions- and more

This post is from Khartoum. The road from Moyale to Addis is paved and in very good condition. From Addis to Debre Merkos there are a few areas that will slow you down, including the descent into a canyon along the way. The canyon road is unpaved and has a few rough sections- it's hot down there. It took 1.5 hours to cross it. From Bahir Dar to Gonder the road is paved and in very good condition. From Gonder to Metema the road is gravel and hard-packed dirt. 40-70kph is doable here. IMPORTANT!: most of your paperwork will be taken care of at Metema, however, your carnet must be stamped in Shehendi. If you fail to do this you will have to ride the 40kms back to Shehendi to get the stamp (luckily this didn't happen to me). One more thing: I rode from Gonder to Khartoum over a 2 day period on May 2/3. The high temps really punished me, and I was just getting over a chest cold. The temperature rose above 45C both days- in Dongola the temps are already above 50C. I arrived in my hotel each night with a headache, feeling sick to my stomach and having to force myself to eat. Try to find a lightweight thermos to carry cool water. Bottles of water I purchased along the way became too hot to drink after several hours. Every 70-80kms on the road to Khartoum there are open faced thatched huts offering 2 things you won't find anywhere else along the way: 1) shade 2) cool bottles of mineral water. I stopped at virtually every one of these places to remove my jacket/helmet and let the sweat evaporate as I sipped on the cool water. Despite this, I still got dehydrated. For those of you crossing Sudan in July, take great care!
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  #10  
Old 8 Nov 2008
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Metema to Gonder

They are in the process of improving and tarmaccing this road (25 Oct 2008), however at this time, it still has some fairly abysmal sections with deep ruts. It is about 150km and it took us best part of a day in a double decker bus (albiet we had 5 breakdowns). It is hilly in many places, especially the Gonder end of the road. There are also a number of roadworks as they try to widen the roads as they go along cliffs, etc.
The road from Gonder to Bahir Dar was paved and fine. the road south of Bahir Dar was all paved, but there were holes and rough patches where it had worn away.
The road in to and out of the Nile Gorge is still not completely tarmacced, there are gravelly sections. None of it is particularly steep, but it is a long way down and a long way up. The figure of about 40kmh rings a bell for the distance from the start of the descent to the top of the ascent on the other side.
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