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General Travel Info & Tips - Simien Mountains Tour | Simien Mountains Tour

General Travel Info & Tips

Here are very vital information that you need to know when you travel to Ethiopia. From weather  to currency, regulations to health and suggestions and our professional recommendations.

A recommended list of clothing and useful items might be something like:
– Bandanna or Head Scarf, Travel alarm clock
– Money Belt, Binoculars, small Compact Torch, hand Sanitizer, mosquito and Insect repellent
– Anti-diarrheal drug, compact mosquito Net (optional)
– High factor sunscreen, travel tissues and wet wipes
– Pens and small notepad, compact sewing kit
– Sunglass, eye Patch for sleeping, spare pair of spectacles if you wear them
– Pair of spectacles if you wear contact lenses. Climatic change and dust can cause irritation
– 3 T-shirts or cotton shirts, one with long sleeves, 3 pairs of cotton trousers or long skirts for women
– 3 pairs of shorts or zip convertible trousers, 2 lightweight jumpers or sweat shirts, 2 Warm sweaters
– 1 lightweight waterproof jacket, 1 Ski-style Jacket, 1 Pair Slip-on waterproof leggings
– 1 set of thermal underwear (for the mountain nights), 1 Tri-season sleeping bag, 1 pair of comfortable hiking boots, 1 pair of trainer type shoes
– Thick boot socks and general purpose light-weight socks, 1 backpack, rucksack or duffel bag (no suitcases), light-weight travel bag for camera, guide books
– 1 towel + Toiletries, 1 Water bottle, 1 Sun hat or Cap

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Travel Ideas
As with any other disability, successful travel depends greatly on advance planning. However, for those in the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities, the method and focus of their preparation is necessarily different.
Disabled travelers have the right to enjoy their holidays just like everyone else. Follow this useful advice and you are sure to find a holiday that’s right for you, whatever your disability.
The first thing to remember is that, in many cases, hearing impairment is an invisible disability, meaning that the people around you are likely unaware that you are disabled. It is important, at every step of your travels, to let key personnel know about your hearing impairment so that proper arrangements can be made.
Starting with ticketing and reservations, be sure to inform whomever you are dealing with, be it a travel agent, airline, or hotel representative, about your hearing disability. If possible, plans should be arranged in person. This allows for the opportunity of speech reading if needed, plus putting a face to a name often results in more conscientious service. Request a written confirmation of all reservations, preferably by fax, so that you can check their accuracy as quickly as possible.
Buy comprehensive travel insurance and tell your provider about your disability.
If you are blind or deaf and need to take a guide dog abroad, make sure your dog is vaccinated, micro-chipped and has a pet passport
On the day of your journey, make sure you arrive at the airport, train, or bus station early. At the boarding gate make the agents aware that you may not hear the boarding announcement and that you would like them to contact you when it’s time to board. Make certain you confirm the flight number and destination before boarding, as many times gate changes are announced only audibly.
Once aboard, tell the flight attendant, conductor, or driver that you are hearing impaired and request that any en-route announcements be communicated to you in person.
At the hotel, it is a good idea to inform the desk clerk that you’re hearing impaired, just in case an emergency arises. With your copy of the written confirmation in hand, go over your reservation to make sure you are getting what was agreed upon. Similar pre-arrangements should be made for any activities you plan on participating in during your trip.
For Hotel use, there are portable visual alert systems available for purchase from medical supply stores. These devices flash a light when the phone rings, a fire alarm sounds, or can vibrate a pillow when an alarm clock goes off.
At last, for those that have Hearing aids, be sure to bring extra Hearing Aid Batteries, or extra Hearing Aid equipment. They can be extremely handy in cases like these. I for one learned my lesson on that trip. Anyone with a disability, make sure you have extra supplies for whatever type of disability you have. This rule applies to anyone, if you have glasses or contact lenses, bring an extra one and put it in your backpack.
Shopping suggestion

Shopping in Ethiopia has a multitude of indigenous handicrafts and arts that are both religious and secular.
If you plan to go to on the Historic route or else tour the other touristic site of Ethiopia, try to buy items en route in their specialty area where the price are usually better than in Addis Ababa plus you will find authentic products or materials. However, the large Mercato and Shiro Meda, have vast quantities of Ethiopian items you might desire.
List of Banned Souvenirs in Ethiopia
Generally: – Objects that are now denied export permits
• Animal and plant fossils and any prehistoric items such as stone tools, bones or pottery
• Anything with an ancient inscription on it
• Anything of outstanding anthropological or ethnographical interest
• Old processional or hand crosses that bear the names of Kings or religious leaders or any currently in use at churches or monasteries
• Any items(including manuscripts, books, documents or religious objects such as Chalices, crosses and incense burners ) currently servicing in churches
• Any old wooden items
• Coins and paper money not currently in circulation
• Wild life products including all Ivory
• Any items of exceptional artistic interest whether old or modern
• Art with outstanding historical value, such as engravings with historical figures
• Any items formerly belonging to the Emperor, his family or to Ethiopian nobles.

For more details please contact:-
Souvenir and Clearance permit bureau at National Museum of Ethiopia
Phone No: – 0111113684
Or visit: – http://www.erca.gov.et/restricted_goods.php
Hunting Tips
Did you know,
– That you are not allowed to kill any animals or collect bird’s eggs with out a license?
– That some animals are protected from all hunting?
– That you are not allowed to shoot from a motor vehicle or at night?
– That you cannot keep wild animals as pets?
– That you are not allowed to buy animal skins unless sold by an authorized dealer?
– That if you report any illegally kept skins or wild animals the wildlife conservation will pay you 30% of their value?

Any Person who:
• Commits an act of illegal wildlife hunting or trade;
• Carries out unauthorized activities within wildlife conservation areas or causes, in whatever way, damage thereto; or
• Is found in possession of wildlife or wildlife products without having a permit;
Shall be punished with fine not less than Birr 5000 and not exceeding Birr 30,000 or with imprisonment not less than one year and not exceeding five years or with both such fine and imprisonment.

Find out more about how the law protects wildlife by reading Federal Negarit Gazeta (The Official Journal); Proclamation No. 575/2008

Equipment require for climbing:
What it takes climbing gear
– The equipment, a lot of shiny metal, brightly colored webbing, nylon ropes, wired aluminum wedges, rubber, foam, plastic and tape.
– Shoes covered in special sticky rubber (for extra friction on the rock), hands that are taped to keep skin from being cut by the stone.
– Skill and proficiency; reach up, twist, step up, hold on, find the right piece of gear, make it fit, clip in the rope and keep going. It’s about knowing what to trust and what to test. The rock in Ethiopia is sometimes brittle and weak.
– In this part of Ethiopia, there are no hospitals near by and only basic medical care.

Equipment requires for RAFTING:
Rafting is not recommended during the months May to October.
Here is a general list of items we highly recommend you bring on your trip.

River Fashion:
• A pair of Chacos or similar sandals. Trainers are also okay.
• A pair of River shorts or swimming costume.
• Three t-shirts to wear under your life jacket.
• A baseball cap for under the helmet to keep sun off.
• Wide brimmed sunhat.
• Sunglasses.
• Chums for fastening your sunglasses to your head.
• Water bottle.
• Karabiner for fastening water bottle to your boat.
• Thermal Top for cooler destinations. Medium weight – Heavyweight Capilene or polypropylene is the best.
• Waterproof sunscreen and lip balm SPF15 minimum.

For evenings and around camp
• Lightweight long trousers.
• Lightweight Long Sleeved shirt.
• Fleece jacket.
• Ladies should bring a long skirt or sarong to cover your legs whilst in the company of locals.
• Underwear.
• Glasses or Contact lenses. Disposable lenses are ideal.
• Toiletries. Toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soap and shampoo.
• Forget the cosmetics and hair dryer! But we do suggest moisturizer.
• Hand wipes
• A 3-season sleeping bag.
• Travel Pillow.
• Small pack towel.
• Headlamp or head torch and spare batteries.
• Shoes or boots for wearing around camp and on hikes.
• Insect Repellent.
• Any medication you may be taking.
Optional Items
• Your favorite book or a journal for recording your river memories.
• Sketchpad.
• Photographic or video equipment. On most expeditions we provide a waterproof case for these items. We recommend a cleaning kit as sand gets everywhere. Bring a spare memory card or plenty of film. Also bring spare batteries for your camera.
• Waterproof disposable for the “action” on the raft shots.
• Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman.
• An extra bag to bring back a wooden hippo, a carpet, or anything else you may purchase on your holiday.

Basically, we advise you to keep things as light as possible, without skiping on the necessities. It is great to bring back a load of goodies for everybody back at home.

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