Travel to Africa and explore Ethiopia before heading on an overland tour through the continent in search of Africa's Big Five and the illusive mountain gorilla. Admire the castles and palaces of Gonder and visit the cosmopolitan city of Nairobi as well as game driving through national parks and discovering traditional African tribal villages in the Omo Valley. With the perfect combination of natural beauty and rich African culture and tradition, this is the perfect African vacation.

Start
Gonder, Ethiopia
Finish
Nairobi, Kenya
Countries
Ethiopia,
Kenya,
Rwanda,
Uganda
Themes
Overland, Wildlife
Code
YDOZC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 4, Max 22
Carbon offset
1 857kg pp per trip

Visit Africa and take an adventure tour through the Eastern highlights of the continent


Highlights

  • Visit traditional tribal villages in the Omo Valley Region
  • See majestic rhinos at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
  • Head on a guided gorilla trek in Ruhengeri
  • Take in the beauty of the Blue Nile Falls
  • Explore the castles and palaces of Gonder
  • Trek through the jagged peaks of the Simien Mountains National Park
  • Marvel at the ancient rock-hewn churches of Lalibela

Itinerary

Discover Gondar's castles, churches and palaces. The city is often referred to as 'Africa's Camelot'.
Arrive at the gateway to the Simien Mountains, the town of Debark, and prepare for the trek ahead.
Hike through rugged terrain passing eroded volcanic cores, raging rivers and the jagged peaks of the Simien Mountains.
Travel through the rugged countryside towards Aksum, stopping overnight in Enda Selassie.
Explore the ancient city of Aksum, peppered with obelisks and crumbling palaces.
Wander through Mekele's cliff-face churches of Tigray.
Venture further into the Ethiopian landscape and spend the night at a bush camp near Woldiya.
Peer into Lalibela's astounding rock-hewn churches.
Walk around the spectacular Blue Nile Falls, then board a reed boat bound for the lake's isolated monasteries.
Spend the night in Dejen.
Continue the African adventure with some traditional cuisine and perhaps some local music as you get acquainted with the fun-loving culture. Why not arrive a little early and check out the Ethnological Museum, a fascinating glimpse into Ethiopia's tribal heritage.
Head to the crystallised white shorelines of Lake Abiyata, home to vast flocks of flamingos that cover the water in a pink haze. Keep an eye out for fish eagles and a plethora of other birdlife who come to feed on the prolific algae the lake provides.
Drive high to the plateau of the Bale Mountains National Park in search of the Simien fox, perhaps explore the riding trails on horseback. Take time to traverse a varying landscape of exotic moorlands and thick forest, criss-crossed by fast-flowing streams.
Descend from the mountain tops and relax in the luxurious hot springs of Wendo Genet. Let all your stresses wash away in the warm waters, situated in the centre of the panoramic beauty of Ethiopia's natural landscape.
Pay a visit to the Awassa Children's Project, which promotes sensible, culturally responsible relief work aimed at assisting children primarily orphaned by AIDS, as well as educating the population about the disease and its prevention. See how the members of the organisation work tirelessly to bring about better healthcare and a higher standard of life for their community.
Journey to Arba Minch, a town that boasts glorious views of the two Rift Valley lakes of Abaya and Chamo. Perhaps search for a bargain in the vibrant market or take a boat out on to the lake and glide passed 'crocodile market', where vast numbers of crocs congregate.
Travel into the Omo Valley to experience local markets full of local produce and handicrafts. Visit multiple completely unique tribes, each with their own histories and traditions.
Hugging the banks of the Sagan River, learn of the strong traditions of the Konso people. Tour the local dwellings and shop at the local market, sharing in a way of life passed down through generations.
Enter Northern Kenya and head straight for the market town of Moyale, where both Kenyan and Ethiopian products can be found in abundance amongst a friendly and pleasant atmosphere.
Pass through a black lunar landscape on the way to Marsabit, which lies at the foot of an extinct volcano. Trek through the forests to reach Lake Paradise, a site with a well-deserved name, which is a popular hangout for elephants and buffaloes.
Trek into the Samburu National Reserve, a pristine wilderness that is home to a fascinating mix of Kenya's nomadic tribes. Keep an eye out for giraffes, zebras and gerenuks in their natural habitat.
Travel to the foot of Mt Kenya and safari through the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, home to endangered black and white rhinos as well as several members of Africa's Big Five. Keep an eye out for the chimpanzees, this is the only area of Kenya with wild chimps.
Take a game drive through Lake Nakuru National Park, world-famous for its population of striking pink flamingos. Keep cameras at the ready to get some colourful shots of flocks of birdlife as well as a variety of Africa's better-known wildlife.
As one of the only freshwater lakes in the Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha is able to support floating islands of papyrus reeds and is bordered by flat-topped acacias. Explore these lush green surroundings and discover a substantial population of hippos who frolic in the shallows.
Pass by the stunningly dressed Masai tribes, who can often be seen tending to their herds, on the way to cosmopolitan Nairobi. Immerse yourself in the culture and make the most of premium restaurants and a lively bar scene.
Head for Nakuru and perhaps pay a visit to a working dairy farm.
Spend some more time mingling with the students before taking an optional tea plantation visit.
Set up camp at near Lake Victoria and prepare for two days of adventure. For adrenaline junkies, why not try some white water rafting.
Visit Uganda’s Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, an important organisation that helps to reintroduce rhinos back into the wild. Join a local ranger and observe these impressive beasts in their natural habitat.
Venture to the Budongo Forest for an afternoon of chimpanzee trekking in Kaniyo Pabidi.
Take an afternoon game drive in the delta – home to plenty of elephants, buffalo, giraffes and antelopes.
Head south and camp in the heart of the great outdoors.
Descend into the Great Rift Valley and embark on a game drive through this stunning national park. In the afternoon, take a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, well known for its healthy population of hippos.
Make tracks to Lake Bunyonyi - home to some of the most picturesque scenery in Uganda.
Cross into Rwanda, stopping at Kigali for a visit to the moving Genocide Memorial. Continue on to Ruhengeri and make a memorable trek into one of the last remaining sanctuaries of the mountain gorilla.
Camp on the shores of the stunning Lake Mburo, surrounded by an amazing array of wildlife.
Travel to Jinja, via Kampala, stopping at the equator. Camp overnight by the riverside.
Cross back into Kenya and visit Eldoret – a high altitude retreat that is an ideal training ground for Kenya’s endurance athletes.
Frolic around a flamingo-filled lake and camp overnight on a dairy farm.
Return to Nairobi, where this incredible tour of Africa comes to a close.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
n/a
Transport
Overland vehicle
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (6 nights), Camp site (1 night), Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nights), Camping (with facilities) (32 nights), Hostel (3 nights), Hotel (15 nights), Lodge (4 nights)
Included activites
  • 1/2 Day Lake Tana reed boat trip
  • Awassa Children's Project
  • Blue Nile Gorge
  • Chimpanzee trekking
  • Dairy farm visit
  • Elsamere Conservation Centre
  • Entrance Blue Nile Falls
  • Game Drive, Lake Nakuru National Park
  • Guided tour of Aksum
  • Guided tour of Gonder
  • Guided tour of rock churches, monastery & visit to local school at Lalibela
  • Guided visit of Lake Abiyata
  • Guided walk
  • Kariandusi School Project Visit
  • Kazinga Channel boat cruise
  • Kigali - Genocide Memorial
  • Mountain gorilla trek & permit
  • Murchison Falls Game Drive
  • Murchison Falls Launch trip
  • Samburu - Game Drive
  • Simien Mountains trek (2 days)
  • Tigray Rock-hewn Churches
  • Visit to Samburu tribal community and cultural project

Dates

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Notes

1. This trip requires an additional non-refundable deposit (AUD1000, USD900, EUR650, NZD1000, GBP500, CAD900, ZAR6500, CHF900) in order to secure a gorilla permit. We also require a scanned copy of your passport at time of booking. Please see trip notes (Important notes) for more details.
2. Please note that this trip requires minimum numbers to depart, and may be cancelled up until 56 days prior to departure. The places showing on the dates and availability page are an indication only so please contact Intrepid to check if your preferred date will depart before making any final arrangements, such as booking non-changeable flights.

Important notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trips notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes