Friday, January 8, 2010

Last Missive from Cairo

I've been doing a little homework on my trip to Ethiopia. I've looked at a few countries where communication was tricky, but if my guidebook is to believed, this could be one of the toughest I've faced. Telephone service is such that even with a full cell signal, calling is often impossible. Post service is reliable, if slow. Internet service in the capital, Addis Ababa, takes “five minutes for a two line text email.”

This means I can't guarantee any updates after this one for some time. If and when they do come, they will likely be without photos. My email access will be limited. Also those of you who know how to reach me by phone will have a harder time doing so.


I've had warnings like this before and sometimes found them completely overblown. There's still a chance I'll be able to find broadband internet access and plenty of cell service. But it doesn't look likely.

In the unlikely even I am cut off completely, I'm leaving my plan up here: I am headed south. My ideal plan would be to spend time exploring southern Ethiopia on my way to the border crossing into Kenya at Moyale. However, this border crossing is a bit risky and sometimes gets shut down. I will not proceed across unless I am satisfied that I can do so safely (possibly with a convoy). If I cannot cross via Moyale, I will most likely get a flight into either Kampala, Uganda, or Nairobi, Kenya, whichever is more convenient/affordable.

Transport in this region of the world can be very slow. If nobody hears from me for a long time, please don't be too concerned, I am probably happy and healthy, just sitting on a slow bus in the Omo valley playing cards with an Ethiopian family and wondering when my stop is coming. Infrastructure is poor, but the country is very safe. The national airline is one of the best in the continent, and I'm traveling in the most cool, dry season there is to travel.

In the meantime, I'm posting a few more photos from Cairo and the Pyramids. Enjoy!

Check out this entry's Photos.


  1. I can tell you from personal experience Ethiopia had the worst Internet access of any place I have EVER been.

    I stayed in Addis for a week and had a hard time getting text only blog posts up. Forget about uploading pics. They have these little shacks where you can dial VoIP calls. It is cheap but the service and quality of calls is sketchy.

  2. Watch out for land mines...or something like that.

  3. Be safe, and enjoy the amazing! food.
    And we'd better see a loooongg post when you get re-connected. :)