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Nairobi to Addis Ababa

Overlanding is the only way to see East Africa! Dragoman have been leading the way in African overland expeditions since 1981, so take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. Africa's Rift Valley is home to some remarkable tribal groups and visiting them is one of the biggest highlights of this adventurous trip. It's a challenging region to travel in, and overlanding provides the only real access to these isolated communities. You'll spend time on Lake Ziway exploring the beautiful Tulu Gudo island and learning about the unique culture of the Zay people, before trekking through the stunning scenery of the Bale Mountain National Park. We will then explore the remote tribal area of Ethiopia's Omo Valley, visit several villages and learn all about the traditional ways of life here - it is not for the faint hearted, but the rewards of visiting these rarely-visited areas are very worthwhile!. We will then cross into Kenya and take the challenging roads to the lands of the Samburu tribe, where we have a fascinating village stay and an incredible safari in Samburu National Park, home to some of Kenya's rarer wildlife such as the curious gerenuk and Grevy's zebra. We will head through the incredible wildlife area of Lake Nakuru en route to Kenya's bustling capital of Nairobi. Join us for an unforgettable and adventurous trip into some of the most fascinating and remote regions of East Africa!


Duration: 24 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Hiking, Parks & Nature Reserves, Local Culture & Cuisine, Community Project , Historical Sites, Trekking Physical rating: Demanding
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 157980
Starts: Nairobi, Kenya Finishes: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
You will visit
  • Nairobi
  • Naivasha
  • Nakuru National Park
  • Naro Moru
  • Samburu Village
  • Samburu National Reserve
  • Marsabit
  • Moyale
  • Konso
  • Omo Valley Region
  • Arba Minch
  • Awassa
  • Wendo Genet
  • Bale Mountains National Park
  • Lake Ziway
  • Addis Ababa

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Nairobi

Border Information: If joining in Nairobi, you will most likely enter Kenya at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA code: NBO).

There will be a group meeting at the joining hotel at 6:00pm. Please look out for a note from your tour leader at the reception when you arrive giving more details about this important meeting - your leader will need to check your Ethiopia visa (please see below for details).

If you would like to explore Nairobi fully, we advise you arrive a day earlier, or arrive early in the morning to give yourself a full day before the meeting in the evening. Possible activities include visiting the Karen Blixen Museum, the National Museum and the Langata Giraffe Centre. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Nairobi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Nairobi.

In Nairobi we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

02

Day 2: Naivasha

This morning our journey begins with a short drive to Lake Naivasha, a beautiful calm lake in the Great Rift Valley. Here we will have the chance to take an optional boat trip on the lake to spot hippos and African fish eagles, and also to visit the Elsamere Born Free Foundation at the old home of Joy Adamson.

In Naivasha we stay at a well equipped campsite on the lake shore.

Estimated Drive Time - 3 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

03

Day 3: Naivasha

This morning we will have some free time in Naivasha to relax at the lake, go on an optional early walk in the Crescent Lake Wildlife Sanctuary or hire bicycles to explore the nearby Hell's Gate National Park!

After lunch we will make our way to Nakuru, our base for tomorrow's excursion into Nakuru National Park. If we make good time on the drive we may have the opportunity to take a walk around the working dairy farm where our campsite is, and to visit a local women's knitting collective.

Tonight we will stay at a beautiful and well equipped campsite located on a dairy farm on the outskirts of Nakuru town.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

04

Day 4: Nakuru National Park

Today we head into Nakuru National Park for an included full-day game drive in local safari trucks. Nakuru is a beautiful park with a large lake and many forested areas - it is teeming with wildlife and there is an excellent chance to see both black and white rhinos!

We stay in the same campsite in Nakuru tonight.

05

Day 5-6: Naro Moru

Today we will head through the hills of central Kenya, through the area's beautiful scenery and tea plantations, to arrive at the small village of Naro Moru at the base of Mount Kenya.

Estimated Drive Time - 6 hours.

On the next day, we will have a free day in Naro Moru to take optional walks around the lower slopes of Mount Kenya, explore the nearby Mau Mau caves, or take an optional game drive in the nearby Sweetwaters National Reserve.

In Naro Moru we will stay at a well equipped campsite.

06

Day 7: Samburu Village

Today we will travel to the Samburu region near to the small town of Archer's Post, where we will visit a Samburu village. Here we will be shown around the village and their homes, play with the children and learn all about the way of life here for the Samburu people! 

We will camp in the village in the heart of the community tonight, where there are no toilet or washing facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

07

Day 8: Samburu National Reserve

Today we will get up early and enter the Samburu National Reserve, where we will head out for the entire day for game drives in the truck (breaking for a long lunch during the heat of the day). Samburu is a stunning National Reserve and is a great opportunity to spot big game such as cheetah, leopards, lions, and buffalo. The Reserve is also home to other animals rarely seen in the National Parks further south, such as Grevy's zebras, Somali ostriches and gerenuk ('giraffe-necked antelopes').

Tonight we will wild camp in a camping area in the National Reserve - facilities are very basic, but the area is a 5-10 minute walk from Samburu Lodge.

Please note that during very wet conditions we may need to use locally chartered 4x4 jeeps rather than our truck to get a good game drive in - in this instance we may make this option available at extra cost.

08

Day 9-10: Marsabit

Over the next two days we will be travelling through the very rarely-visited region of northern Kenya, crossing the infamous Marsabit-Moyale road to the very northern border town of Moyale. Both days will be fairly long hard driving, and the road can be incredibly bumpy and challenging, but scenery makes up for this as we travel through the black lunar landscapes near Marsabit and pass mountain greenery, spectacular craters, watercourses, bush country and termite mounds.

On the first day of our journey, we will reach the town of Marsabit and will stay in a basic local hotel with shared bathrooms.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours (highly dependant on weather conditions).

On the second day of our journey, we will reach the town of Moyale where we will camp at the town's police station or in a local campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-12 hours (highly dependant on weather conditions).

Please note that due to security issues in this particular area, we will be accompanied by two armed police escorts.

09

Day 11: Konso

Border information: Exit Kenya at Moyale, enter Ethiopia at Moyale.

For those on a longer combination trip starting in Cape Town or Victoria Falls, please play special attention to the visa notes in the information below.

Today we will cross the border into Ethiopia and have a full day of travel to Konso, home to the local Konso people and our gateway to the very remote Omo Valley region of southern Ethiopia.

In Konso we will camp in the grounds of a basic lodge.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

10

Day 12-14: Omo Valley Region

Over the next 4 days/3 nights we will be exploring the remote and rarely-visited tribal areas of the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia.

We will keep these days on a flexible itinerary so that we can react to news of special events being hosted by particular villages or tribes; as such, we cannot provide an exact itinerary for these days. However, we will aim to visit various tribal villages in the area, such as villages of the Hamer, the Mursi and the Konso tribes.

We will camp in basic campsites on all these nights without possibility of upgrades, and we try to spend at least one of the nights camping in one of the tribal villages (this is not guaranteed to be possible on every trip).

Drive times - 4-9 hours each day.

Please note that we will be travelling through very remote areas with rough roads and basic conditions on these days. Please also note that it is absolutely vital that you follow your tour leader's directions regarding responsible tourism in these regions, especially with regards to giving things away for free and taking photographs of the locals.

11

Day 15-16: Arba Minch

Today we will exit the Omo Valley region and arrive in the town of Arba Minch, a small town overlooking Lake Chamo.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

On the next day, we will have a free day for some well-earned rest after the Omo Valley, or to take an optional boat trip on Lake Chamo to the view the crocodiles that reside there, or hire bicycles to explore the scenic area.

In Arba Minch we will stay in a basic local hotel.

12

Day 17-18: Awassa

Today we will head north to the small town of Awassa, where we will visit the Awassa Children's Project in the afternoon. This is a home for local children orphaned by the HIV epidemic, and we will be shown around and see how public donations and the support of Dragoman goes towards feeding, sheltering and educating the children.

After our visit we will head to Wendo Genet, a small town in the hills above Awassa, where we will stay for the 2 nights.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

On the next day, we will have a a free day to explore the region, go on an optional walk to some nearby waterfalls, and take a dip in the nearby hot springs.

In Wendo Genet we will camp in the grounds of a small local hotel.

13

Day 19-21: Bale Mountains National Park

Today we will leave Wendo Genet and drive to the stunning Bale Mountains National Park.

Estimated Drive Time - 7 hours.

We will enjoy 2 full days to explore the National Park. We will keep one day completely free to head out for guided walks - there are several possibilities for routes, including highland routes up the hills and moorlands searching for mountain nyalas, or lowland walks through the forest areas to look for Bale monkeys! On the other day we will drive in the truck up to the Sanetti Plateau, all the way to the second-highest point in Ethiopia (the summit of Tulu Dimtu) to explore the primodial landscape and search for Ethiopian wolves.

In the Bale Mountains we will stay in dorms in a basic lodge near the entrance to the National Park.

14

Day 22: Lake Ziway

Today we will leave the Bale Mountains and head to the small town of Ziway.

After lunch we will take a boat tour across Lake Ziway to Tulu Gudo Island, where we will have a short guided tour of the ancient monastery there and view some of the old religious manuscripts.

In Ziway we will stay in a small local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.

15

Day 23: Addis Ababa

Today we will travel to the bustling Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, where we will have a free afternoon to explore the city.

In Addis Ababa we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

16

Day 24: Addis Ababa

Border Information: if you are leaving in Addis Ababa, you will most likely exit Ethiopia from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (IATA code: ADD).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Addis Ababa. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Visit the Elsamere Born Free Foundation at the former house of the conservationists Joy and George Adamson
    • Visit and stay at the Samburu tribal community and cultural project, learning all about the culture of the Samburu people
    • Head out for a wildlife safari in our overland truck through the Samburu National Reserve, in search of local wildlife including gerenuk and Grevy's zebra
    • Journey through the remote Omo Valley, visiting several tribal communities along the way (possibly including the Hamer, Banna, Mursi, Ari, Konso or Danesesch tribes)
    • Visit the Dragoman-supported Awassa Children's Project, a home for orphaned children from the area
    • Relax in the hot springs at Wendo Genet
    • Head out on various walks through the forests, moors, and mountains of the beautiful Bale Mountains National Park
    • Head up to the incredible Sanetti Plateau on a day trip with our overland truck, stopping to explore the area on foot and search for Ethiopian Wolves
    • Take a boat trip across Lake Ziway to Tulu Gudo Island, and explore the old Coptic monastery on the island
    Tour Staff
    • 2 crew, local guides as necessary
    Accomodation
    • 65% Camping - 35% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • Adventure Activities
  • Community Project
  • Hiking & Trekking
  • History & Culture
  • Nature & Wildlife