Northern Kenya & Untouched Ethiopia

Northern Kenya & Untouched Ethiopia

From $ 4,960 AUD

Description

Embark on a 2-week adventure through Northern Kenya and Ethiopia, taking in views of exotic wildlife backlit by breathtaking sunsets and encountering locals that live in harmony with harsh environments. Spot crocodiles as they bask off the shores of Lake Chamo, take a game drive through a rhino sanctuary in Nanyuki, see nomadic pastoralists like the Rendille people on a journey through semi-arid Marsabit County, shop among locals at the border town markets of Moyale and stay in a village of conical-rooved huts set onto rock terraces in Konso.

Trip Name
Northern Kenya & Untouched Ethiopia
Last Updated
2019-03-18
Days
14
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Hike to Old Moses Point for views over the twisting valleys and rugged peaks of Mount Kenya National Park
  • Spend time in the World Heritage-listed town of Konso, a traditional village set onto rocky terraces
  • Embark on a game drive in the Ol Pajeta Conservancy, where you'll see giraffe, zebra, elephant, jackal, hippo, rhino, baboon and gazelle roam among the acacia trees and 'whistling thorn' shrubs
  • Visit the crater lakes that sit atop Mt Marsabit. The aptly named Lake Paradise is partly covered by Nile cabbage and rimed by verdant forest
  • Cruise in search of hippos, Nile crocodiles and flourishing birdlife on Lake Chamo

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. ROAD CONDITIONS AND INFRASTRUCTURE IN AFRICA: Roads in Africa are often in very poor condition, which makes it hard on our vehicles. Our vehicles are serviced regularly and are generally in good condition, but breakdowns can and do happen. Sometimes the going on this trip is quite tough, the distances covered fairly large and some of the roads and tracks are not exactly smooth or free from dust, but the rewards are exceptional. The travelling times indicated in our Essential Trip Information is just a rough guide and is dependent on various factors that may be outside our control, such as road conditions, weather and time spent at borders. DRIVE TIMES: The travel times listed in the day to day itinerary are a guide only. Please be aware that delays may occur and please be patient - it's all part of the experience afterall! Additionally, the travel times do not include time spent on game drives as these can vary with each departure.

Day 1 - Nairobi
Jambo! Welcome to Kenya. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, but if you arrive early then why not head out on an Urban Adventure. Not only is Nairobi an energetic capital city, it's also the only major city in the world to contain a game reserve – Nairobi National Park. After you've met your fellow travellers, join them for an optional group dinner at a local restaurant with your leader.
Day 2 - Nanyuki (Ol Pejeta Conservancy)
Rise and shine: it's your first morning in Kenya! Enjoy breakfast in the hotel before the group travels to the Mount Kenya region, arriving at the hotel in time for lunch. Mount Kenya is Africa's second-highest mountain, rising to an elevation of 5199 metres, and the national park in which it sits is circled by a number of communities including Nanyuki, where you'll be based. In the afternoon, embark on a game drive in the Ol Pajeta Conservancy, a 24,000-acre rhino sanctuary. Here, among the acacia trees and 'whistling thorn' shrubs, you'll see giraffe, zebra, elephant, jackal, hippo, rhino, baboon and gazelle roam the savannah grasslands and the banks of the Uaso Nyiro River.
Day 3 - Nanyuki (Mt Kenya)
Today, after breakfast, you'll set off for hike in Mount Kenya National Park. Begin walking from the park's entrance gate and continue through the forest to Old Moses Camp at an altitude of 3000 metres. If the weather's right you'll have fantastic views of Mount Kenya and the surrounding high country. It's a favourite spot for ornithologists thanks to the opportunities for bird watching, and there'll hopefully be an opportunity to see Grevy's zebras as you walk through the forest. Also known as imperial zebra, they were given the name 'Grevy' after Jules Grevy, the French president in 1882, who was given one as gift. These are the largest and most threatened of the three zebra species, and are found almost exclusively in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia. 
Day 4 - Samburu NP
Drive north after breakfast to the Samburu National Reserve, where you'll be spending the next two nights, via an optional visit to the Ngare Ndare forest canopy walk and waterfalls. Samburu is a rugged, remote reserve that provides some of the best game-viewing in the entire country. Covering an area of 104 square kilometres, it's home to a number of northern Kenya specialities including Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and the beisa oryx – known as the Special Five. Have lunch at the lodge on arrival, then take an afternoon game drive through the reserve keeping an eye out for not only the Special Five, but also leopards, elephants, hyenas and an abundance of birdlife.  
Day 5 - Samburu
Head off in search of the Special Five, this time on a full-day game drive through the reserve. Keep your eyes peeled for lions too, and crocodiles stalking the waters of the Ewaso Nyiro River that flows through the park. This region is home to the Samburu people, semi-nomadic pastoralists who live to the south and the east of Lake Turkana. They're a sub-tribe of the Maasai people and speak the same language, and can often be seen in their colourful dress leading cattle around. Return to the lodge for dinner and a relaxing evening.
Day 6 - Marsabit
Pack your bags for a four-hour drive to Marsabit, a small town bordering Marsabit National Park and Marsabit National Reserve. The views of the plains during the drive are phenomenal, and you'll stop by the appropriately named Lake Paradise on the way. Arrive in the late afternoon and, after settling in at the hotel, the rest of the evening is free for you to enjoy. Perhaps take a stroll through the small town.
Day 7 - Moyale
Today the group will take a long drive through the highlands, allowing plenty of time to appreciate the beautiful scenery. Your destination is Moyale, a market town on the border of Ethiopia and Kenya that's split between the two countries. The larger section is in Ethiopia, where the hotel is located, so after crossing the border and checking in at the hotel, the evening is free to check out the town, enjoy a farewell dinner with the group and toast this adventure.
Day 8 - Konso / Arba Minch
Enjoy a relaxed breakfast in Moyale before driving to Konso, a journey of approximately six hours. Stop en route at the beautiful El Sod Crater, which locals have been extracting salt from for centuries. After arriving in Konso, you may wish to join your group for a farewell dinner before saying your final goodbyes tomorrow morning.
Day 9 - Konso
Today is a free day until the rest of your group arrive on a flight from Addis Ababa. Take the time to walk around this World Heritage-listed town. Keep an eye out for the carved wooden grave markers in the area, a Konso tradition where the deceased warriors features are enhanced by using teeth made from animal bones. As the evening sets in, spend time relaxing in the Kanta Lodge and getting to know your new group members and leader.
Day 10 - Jinka
Visit a 'mora', a central communal building used by men and boys as a social area. Please note that unfortunately women are unable to enter this area, as is the local culture. Head onwards to Jinka to visit an ethnographic museum dedicated to the tribes speaking South Omotic languages. Jinka is a lively trading hub and known as a capital of sorts for the range of ethnic groups that call this region home.
Day 11 - Turmi
Head into Jinka's lush surroundings, home to the traditional Ari people. Spend some time in their villages, some of the most beautiful in the country, surrounded by banana, mango, avocado and enset (false banana) trees. Travel on to Turmi and visit one of the Hamar villages for an insight into their different way of life. There may be a chance to witness the highlight of the Hamar calendar – a bull-jumping ceremony. The culmination of a three-day rite of passage, this ceremony involves a young man having to jump on the backs of, and run down a line of, 15 bulls before returning the same way. Overnight in Turmi.
Day 12 - Turmi
Travel south towards Omorate this morning, driving down a 75-kilometre stretch of paved road passing through acacia forests. Omorate lies on the bank of the Omo River, close to the border of Kenya, and is a popular base for exploring the rugged area. Wildlife roam freely in the nearby landscape and there's a good chance of seeing antelope grazing or raptor birds stalking their prey overhead. The local Hamar and Daasanach people hold on to their customs tightly, and you may witness evidence of their traditional scarification practices. There may be a chance to visit a local market, savouring the smells and tastes alongside the Karo, Homer and Benna people while checking out plenty of interesting handicrafts on offer.
Day 13 - Arba Minch
Travel north to Arba Minch after breakfast. This is a region noted for its variety of peoples and cultures, many of which are nomadic or semi-nomadic and live very differently to what most would consider a modern existence. Arba Minch is bordered by Nechisar National Park and lies between two of Ethiopia's largest lakes, Lake Chamo and Abaya Lake. Climb aboard a boat in the afternoon and travel across Chamo on an excursion to hopefully see the resident hippos, Nile crocodiles, flourishing birdlife and the local fishermen working their trade on the water. 
Day 14 - Addis Ababa
Drive back to Addis Ababa after breakfast, stopping on the way to visit some of the Dorze people, an ethnic group known particularly for their expert weaving and beehive-shaped houses. After a lengthy but scenic drive, this trip comes to an end at the hotel in Addis Ababa.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
24-09-201907-10-2019AUD $ 4,960-
22-10-201904-11-2019AUD $ 4,960-
04-11-201917-11-2019AUD $ 4,960-
15-12-201928-12-2019AUD $ 4,960-
29-01-202011-02-2020AUD $ 5,210-
26-03-202008-04-2020AUD $ 5,210-
08-10-202021-10-2020AUD $ 5,210-
29-10-202011-11-2020AUD $ 5,210-
10-12-202023-12-2020AUD $ 5,210-

Accommodation

Hotel (4 nights),Lodge (6 nights),Basic Resort (1 night),Permanent Tented Camp (2 night)

Transport

Overland vehicle,4x4 vehicle,Boat

Map