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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: Active/Adrenaline
  • Physical rating: Demanding
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: ZEN2/157980
  • Starts: Nairobi, Kenya
  • Finishes: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
You will Visit
  • Nairobi
  • Naivasha
  • Naro Moru
  • Samburu Village
  • Samburu National Reserve
  • Moyale
  • Konso
  • Arba Minch
  • Awassa
  • Wendo Genet
  • Bale Mountains National Park
  • Lake Ziway
  • Awash National Park
  • Harar
  • 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 camp in the grounds of a peaceful eco-camp in the suburb of Karen.

02

Day 2: 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 - 3-4 hours.

On the following day we will have free time in the morning 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.

03

Day 3-4: Naivasha

Today we will have some free time for optional activities in Naivasha before we 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 - 5-6 hours.

On the following 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.

04

Day 5: 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 - 4-5 hours.

05

Day 6: Samburu National Reserve

This morning we will 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 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.

06

Day 7: Moyale

Today we will have an early start to travel through the very rarely-visited region of northern Kenya, crossing the infamous Marsabit-Moyale road to the very northern border town of Moyale. The scenery today is spectacular as we travel through the black lunar landscapes near Marsabit and pass mountain greenery, spectacular craters, watercourses, bush country and termite mounds.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

In Moyale we will stay in a basic local hotel or camp in a local campsite.

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

07

Day 8: 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 southern Ethiopia.

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

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

08

Day 9: Arba Minch

Today we will arrive in the town of Arba Minch, a small town overlooking Lake Chamo. On route we will visit Konso Village and a Cultural Centre.

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

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

09

Day 10-11: Arba Minch

Border Information: If you are joining in Arba Minch, you will most likely enter Ethiopia at Arba Minch Airport (IATA code: AMH).

Welcome to Ethiopia! Today is the arrival day for those joining in Arba Minch, and will be a free day to explore the town.

There will be an important meeting with your crew at 6:00pm today. Look out for a note from them at the hotel reception letting you know where to meet.

The following day we have time for optional activities such as the crocodile market or bike rides around the city.

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

 

 

10

Day 12: Awassa

Today we will head north to the small town of Awassa, where we can visit the local fish market.

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

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

 

11

Day 13-15: Bale Mountains National Park

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

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 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 second-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.

12

Day 16-17: Lake Ziway

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

The following day 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 - 4-5 hours.

13

Day 18: Awash National Park

Toady we will drive to Awash National Park and overnight in the lovely Awash Falls Lodge. Who said luxury was not part of overlanding! This is a stunning place to experience this great little National Park.

Estimated drive time - 7 - 8 hours

 

 

 

14

Day 19-21: Harar

Today we will have a long drive east through the mountains to the ancient trading city of Harar.  We will stay in a charming small hotel in the old city inself.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours

The following day we have a free day in ancient Harar and will have an included guided city tour of the walled city of Harar (Harar Jugol). Enjoy its colourful markets, mosques and shrines. In the evening you can visit the Hyena Men who feed the hyenas every night just outside the walls of the city. 

Our final day in this incredible city is a free day to explore this amazing city on your own.  It is one of the most important historic sites on this trip and one not to be missed. 

 

15

Day 22-24: 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 - 3-4 hours.

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

The following day 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
    • Horseriding or cycling at Hells Gate
    • Visit to Samburu tribal community and cultural project
    • Wildlife safari in Samburu National Reserve
    • Visit this traditional village and see how locals have lived there for hundreds of years. Soak in the calm atmosphere of a village that has stood the test of time
    • Experience the true local culture at this fish market. If you would like to try the soup make sure you bring your own bowl!  
    • Horse/mule treks or guided hikes through Bale Mountain 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
    • Head out with a scout to explore the trails of this National Park. 
    • Take a guided tour for half of the day through the winding streets of this ancient city
    • Witness Harar's tradition of feeding wild Hyenas by hand each evening just outside the city walls
    Tour Staff
    • 2 crew, local guides as necessary.  
    Accomodation
    • 25% Camping - 75% Hotels
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Reviews (3)
Philip E. Posted on: 

Brilliant crew, this was my 4th Drago trip and all crew have been excellent.

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Donald G. Posted on: 

The crew worked well as a team, reacted quickly and decisive, especially under stressful situations

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Jeffrey T Posted on: 

Knowledgeable and helpful guides. The team did an excellent job

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