Addis Ababa to Nairobi Overland
|BETWEEN||Addis Ababa and Nairobi|
|COUNTRIES VISITED – 2||Ethiopia and Kenya|
|MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE||22|
|WHATS NOT INCLUDED||
Africa’s Rift Valley is home to some remarkable tribal groups and visiting them is one of the biggest highlights of this adventurous trip. Ethiopia and Northern Kenya can be a challenging region to travel in and overlanding provides us with access to these often isolated communities. Getting deeper into the valleys and villages we get the opportunity to meet local people we may not otherwise get to meet and see wilderness regions very few travellers get to experience. This region is a fascinating part of Africa for the adventure traveller.
Please Note: Many of the Overland Expeditions in Africa have variations, shorter modules available or can be combined to make longer trips. Contact us for all variations and departure dates available.
Addis Ababa to Nairobi Overland
Overlanding is one of best ways to see East Africa! 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.
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Day 1: Addis Ababa
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.
The rest of the day before this meeting will be free to explore Addis Ababa and visit the city’s many museums – we recommend that you arrive early (or the night before) if you would like the chance to fully explore the sights of Addis Ababa. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Addis Ababa 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 Addis Ababa.
In Addis Ababa we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.
|Optional||Visit “Lucy”, one of the oldest complete hominid skeletons ever found, at the National Museum||ETB 10|
|Optional||Stroll through the Addis Ababa Mercato, one of the largest markets in Africa||Free|
|Optional||Visit Africa Hall, a symbol of African independence and optimism||Free|
|Optional||Visit the St. George’s Cathedral (Giorgis Cathedral), built to commemorate Ethiopia’s victory over the Italians in 1896||Free|
|Optional||Explore the fascinating Ethnological Museum, one of the best museums in Africa set in a former palace of Haile Selassie||ETB 100|
|Optional||Visit the Menelik Mausoleum, built to serve as the tombs of emperors and princes||Free|
Day 2: Lake Ziway
Today we will leave Addis Ababa and head to the small town of Ziway.
After lunch we will take an included boat trip 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 – 3-4 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors – flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
|Included||Take a boat trip across Lake Ziway to Tulu Gudo Island, and explore the old Coptic monastery on the island||Included in Kitty|
Day 3-5: Bale Mountains National Park
Today we will leave Ziway and drive to the stunning Bale Mountains National Park.
Estimated Drive Time – 5-7 hours.
We will enjoy 2 full days to explore the National Park. We will keep one day completely free to head out for optional 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 fourth-highest point in Ethiopia (the 4359m summit of Tulu Dimtu) to explore the primeval 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.
|Included||Head out on various walks through the forests, moors, and mountains of the beautiful Bale Mountains National Park||Included in Kitty|
|Included||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||Included in Kitty|
Day 6-7: Wendo Genet, Awassa
Today we will head north to the small town of Awassa, where we will have an included visit to 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 – 4-6 hours.
On the following day we will have a free day to explore the region, go on an optional walk to some nearby waterfalls, or take a dip in the nearby hot springs.
In Wendo Genet we will camp in the grounds of a small local hotel.
|Included||Relax in the hot springs at Wendo Genet||Included in Kitty|
|Optional||Head out on a short walk to the waterfalls near Wendo Genet||ETB 100|
|Included||Visit the Dragoman-supported Awassa Children’s Project, a home for orphaned children from the area||Included in Kitty|
Day 8-9: Arba Minch
The rest of the day before this meeting will be free to explore Arba Minch. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Arba Minch 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 Arba Minch.
In Arba Minch we will stay in a basic local hotel.
|Optional||Hire bicycles to explore the stunning surrounds of Arba Minch||ETB 200|
|Optional||Take a boat trip on Lake Chamo, a stunning lake with a dense population of crocodiles||ETB 450|
|Optional||Visit the fascinating village of Chincha to learn all about the culture of the Dorze people||ETB 100|
Day 10-12: Omo Valley Region
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.
In the Omo Valley we will camp in basic campsites on each night without the possibility of upgrades, and we will 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).
Estimated Drive Times – between 4-9 hours each day (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors – flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
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.
|Included||Journey through the remote Omo Valley, visiting several tribal communities along the way (possibly including the Hamer, Banna, Mursi, Ari, Konso or Danesesch tribes)||Included in Kitty|
Day 13: Konso
Today we will arrive in the town of Konso, marking the end of our time in the Omo Valley region.
In Konso we will camp in the grounds of a basic lodge.
Day 14: Moyale
Border Information: Exit Ethiopia at Moyale, enter Kenya at Moyale.
Today we have a full drive day across the Kenyan border to Moyale, where we will stay in a basic local hotel or camp in a local campsite.
Estimated Drive Time – 8-10 hours.
Day 15: Samburu Village
Today we will have an early start and travel through the very rarely-visited region of northern Kenya, crossing the infamous Moyale-Marsabit road to the central Samburu region. The scenery along this route is spectacular, as you travel through the black lunar landscapes near Marsabit and pass mountain greenery, spectacular craters, watercourses, bush country and termite mounds.
We will reach the Samburu region near to the small town of Archer’s Post this evening, where we will visit a Samburu village – this evening there will be fantastic display of traditional singing and dancing from the Samburu villagers, and a chat around the camp fire with the locals to ask them all about their way of life.
We will camp in the village in the heart of the community tonight, where there are no toilet or washing facilities.
Estimated Drive Time – 10-12 hours.
Please note that due to security issues in this particular area, we will sometimes be accompanied by two armed police escorts between Moyale and Archer’s Post.
|Included||Visit and stay at the Samburu tribal community and cultural project, learning all about the culture of the Samburu people||Included in Kitty|
Day 16: Samburu National Reserve
This morning we will be shown around the Samburu village by our hosts – we will be shown around their homes, play with the children and learn all about the way of life here for the Samburu people! We will then enter the Samburu National Reserve, where we will enjoy 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 4×4 jeeps rather than our truck to get a good game drive in – in this instance we may make this option available at extra cost.
|Included||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||Included in Kitty|
Day 17-18: Naro Moru
Today we will get up early to spend the morning enjoying some more excellent game driving in our truck through the Samburu National Reserve. When the animals start to take shelter from the heat of the midday, we will exit the reserve and drive to the small village of Naro Moru at the base of Mount Kenya.
Estimated Drive Time – 4-5 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.
|Optional||Visit the spectacular Thomson Falls at Nyahururu||Free|
|Optional||Guided walk to the Nayaroi Caves in the foothills of Mt. Kenya, used by the Mau Mau during the rebellion against British colonial rule||KES 1000|
|Optional||Head out horse riding in the forests around Naro Moru||KES 1000|
|Optional||Nature walks around the base of Mt. Kenya, searching for birdlife and Colobus monkeys||USD 15|
Day 19-20: Nakuru National Park
Today we will head through the hills of central Kenya, through the area’s beautiful scenery and tea plantations, to arrive at Nakuru.
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.
Estimated Drive Time – 4-6 hours.
On the next day, 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!
In Nakuru we will stay at a beautiful and well equipped campsite located on a dairy farm on the outskirts of the town.
|Included||Take a safari in 4×4 vans in the beautiful Lake Nakuru National Park||Included in Kitty|
|Optional||Walk to explore a colonial dairy farm and visit a local women’s knitting collective||USD 5|
Day 21-22: Naivasha
Today we make our way to Naivasha, on the edge of 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.
Estimated Drive Time – 2-3 hours.
On the following day we will have free time to enjoy some excellent optional activities around Naivasha. Naivasha is the base for exploring the Crater Lake Game Sanctuary and the Hell’s Gate National Park, two scenic areas that are some of the only places in East Africa where you can safely explore and look for wildlife on foot.
In Naivasha we will stay at a well equipped campsite on the lake shore.
|Optional||Boat trip on the beautiful and serene Lake Naivasha (price for the whole boat)||KES 7000|
|Optional||Walking safari in the wildlife-rich Crater Lake Game Sanctuary||USD 40|
|Included||Visit the Elsamere Born Free Foundation at the former house of the conservationists Joy and George Adamson||Included in Kitty|
|Optional||Explore the beautiful landscape and wildlife of Hell’s Gate National Park by foot or by bicycle||USD 50|
Day 23: Nairobi
Today we will drive to the bustling Kenyan capital of Nairobi, where we will have free time on arrival.
In Nairobi we will camp in the grounds of a peaceful eco-camp in the suburb of Karen.
Estimated Drive Time – 3-4 hours.
Day 24: Nairobi
Border Information: If you are leaving in Nairobi, you will most likely exit Kenya at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA code NBO).
Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Nairobi. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight – please contact the 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.
If you would like to explore Nairobi fully, we advise you spending an extra night here. Possible activities include visiting the Karen Blixen Museum, the National Museum and the Langata Giraffe Centre.
|Optional||Visit to the David Sheldrick Animal Orphanage in Nairobi||KES 500|
|Optional||Explore the museum at the site of the former home of Karen Blixen, the author of ‘Out of Africa’||KES 1200|
|Optional||Visit the Langata Giraffe Centre in Nairobi||KES 1000|
|Optional||Learn all about the different tribal groups of Kenya at the Bomas of Kenya cultural centre in Nairobi||USD 40|
|Optional||Discover some of Kenya’s ancient hominids at the National Museum in Nairobi||KES 1200|
|Optional||Head out on a guided safari walk in Nairobi National Park||USD 25|
There are more detailed trip notes specific to each departure date available, contact us and we will be happy to send them to you.