I’m not sure what happened, but sometime between buying the plane ticket and today, I hit the warp-speed button and things are just moving along at a slightly-too-fast clip.
So, yet again, let me catch you up. (Do I hear a new catch phrase? Something to rival “I’m not wearing pants” maybe?)
First thing to happen: I emailed the Rwanda tourism office to see about a permit to go gorilla tracking. They issue 56 permits per day (note: they don’t only issue 56 permits a day, as in they work slowly, but for each date there are only 56 permits available.) So they are incredibly hard to get, and they go incredibly quickly. You need to book months in advance. Why? Because gorillas are endangered, you’re in a protected park, and they don’t want humans bothering/scaring/stressing the animals. Each permit is $500US, but is, I have been told, completely worth it.
So I emailed them, and it turns out there are permits available for the 23, 24, and the 25 of August. Which works out incredibly well with my schedule. It allows me time to acclimatize in Addis (we’re getting to this point), climb Kili and do a safari.
Second thing to happen: Originally I was planning on doing the safari first, then Kili. I thought, on the safari, I could climb Mount Meru to help with the acclimatization. It’s a three-day climb- 2 up, 1 down. But with the gorilla trek, it makes more sense to climb Kili, then do the safari, and let my legs rest before doing the gorilla tracking (which could include up to 8 or 9 hours of hiking). So I won’t be able to acclimatize on Mount Meru. Then, while doing some researching on Ethiopia, and Addis, I found out that the elevation of Addis is 2300-2400 metres above sea level (I have found differing numbers between those two points.) That will do nicely to help me acclimatize to higher altitudes!
So that’s where things are. I have my gorilla permit booked, and I’ve emailed two companies about Kili. I still need to do some research into the safari, pick the company I want to trek with (and hopefully do a safari with, as that usually ensures a slightly better rate.) and research things to do in/around Addis and Kigali.