Travel from Addis Ababa to Nairobi on an exciting adventure tour

Discover the wilds of Africa with an adventure through destinations teeming with wildlife, tradition and culture alike. Climb to the heights of the Bale Mountains and learn the ancient traditions and lifestyles of the Omo Valley tribes. Get away from the tourist traps and see a less visited part of the continent with this in depth and comprehensive adventure tour.

TRIP CHANGES 2018:
• Omo Valley taken out of itinerary
• 3 nights in Harar added
• 1 night in Awash National Park Added
• 2 nights in Wendo Genet taken out and replaced with 2 nights in Awassa


Start
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Finish
Arba Minch, Ethiopia
Country
Ethiopia
Style
Basix
Theme
Overland
Code
YDON
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 4, Max 22

Why we love this trip

  • See the villages of many different tribes, all coexisting in the Omo Valley Region

  • Search for unique, native Ethiopian wildlife at Bale Mountains National Park

  • Help out at the charitable Awassa Children's Project

Itinerary

Border Information: If joining in Addis Ababa, you will most likely enter Ethiopia at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (IATA code: ADD).

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.

Hotel for the night: Sarem International Hotel
Sarem International Hotel
Belay Zeleke Street (around Semien Mazegaja)
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia
Tel - +251 11 126 2088 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Visit "Lucy", one of the oldest complete hominid skeletons ever found, at the National Museum : ETB 10

Stroll through the Addis Ababa Mercato, one of the largest markets in Africa : Free

Visit Africa Hall, a symbol of African independence and optimism : Free

Visit the St. George's Cathedral (Giorgis Cathedral), built to commemorate Ethiopia's victory over the Italians in 1896 : Free

Explore the fascinating Ethnological Museum, one of the best museums in Africa set in a former palace of Haile Selassie : ETB 100 

Visit the Menelik Mausoleum, built to serve as the tombs of emperors and princes : Free

About Addis Ababa:
Referred to more commonly as simply "Addis", the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa lies amongst wooded hills at an altitude of about 2,300 metres, giving it a pleasant climate. Addis has many sights to offer visitors - get a fascinating glimpse into Ethiopia's many tribal groups at the Ethnological Museum, see the stunning fossil collection at the National Museum, and don't miss the chaotic bustle of the Mercato, one of Africa's largest open-air markets. All manner of arts and crafts can be found in the souvenir shops on Churchill Avenue, and there is often some excellent live music to be found in the centre of the city! 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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 ACTIVITIES 

Take a boat trip across Lake Ziway to Tulu Gudo Island, and explore the old Coptic monastery on the island : Included in Kitty

About Lake Ziway:
Lake Ziway, about 100kms south of Addis Ababa, nurtures an array of wildlife. Birds, hippopotamuses and fish roam the lake, which is dotted with five islands. One of the islands, Tulo Gudo, is home to an atmospheric and colourful old Coptic Christian monastery which is said to have housed the Ark of the Covenant in the 9th Century CE.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
" Day 3 to 5 "

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 ACTIVITIES 

Head out on various walks through the forests, moors, and mountains of the beautiful Bale Mountains National Park : Included in Kitty

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

About Bale Mountains National Park:
The Bale Mountains National Park is situated on a high plateau surrounded by mountain peaks which soar to over 4,000 metres in height. As you climb into the hills the terrain changes from forest on the lower slopes, through junipers and heather, to the exotic moorlands of the plateau criss-crossed by fast flowing streams. This beautiful park is home to three species unique to Ethiopia - the Ethiopian wolf, Menelik's bush buck and the Mountain nyala. There are some 200 species of birds within the park, including 13 of Ethiopia's 23 endemic species. There are many different trekking routes around the National Park, through the forests and mountains and up onto the moorlands. The high Sanetti Plateau is accessible to vehicles, so we can also explore this high moor in our overland truck. 
Accommodation
  • Lodge (3 nights)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Head out on a short walk to the waterfalls near Wendo Genet : ETB 100 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Relax in the hot springs at Wendo Genet : Included in Kitty 

Visit the Dragoman-supported Awassa Children's Project, a home for orphaned children from the area : Included in Kitty

About Wendo Genet:
Wendo Genet is a resort town in Ethiopia located near Awassa. Wendo Genet is known for its hot springs and is surrounded by primary Ethiopian forests.

The Wendo Genet hotel was established in 1964, on land used as recreation site for the royal family until 1975 - Emperor Haile Selassie bequeathed its name, meaning "Wendo Paradise", in reference to the beautiful panorama with a rich endowment of forests, wildlife and abundant water.

About Awassa:
Awassa is a small town near the Ethiopian city of Shashemene, and was the capital of the former Sidamo Province. During our time in Awassa we will visit the Awassa Children's Project, which promotes sensible, culturally responsible relief work aimed at assisting children primarily orphaned by AIDS, educating people in Africa's Sub-Saharan region about AIDS prevention, and offering a proactive and immediate approach towards the resolution of serious health and social issues facing the region.

The project runs a children's centre that provides housing, food and education for over 60 children orphaned by AIDS, the One Love Theatre AIDS education theatre company, and the Awassa Youth Campus community centre in downtown Awassa.

For further information on the project please go to http://www.awassachildrensproject.org/. 
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (2 nights)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Today we will travel to the town of Arba Minch, a small town overlooking Lake Chamo.

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

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Hire bicycles to explore the stunning surrounds of Arba Minch : ETB 200 

Take a boat trip on Lake Chamo, a stunning lake with a dense population of crocodiles : ETB 450

Visit the fascinating village of Chincha to learn all about the culture of the Dorze people : ETB 100

About Arba Minch:
Meaning 'forty springs', Arba Minch takes its name from the streams found between the two Rift Valley lakes of Abaya and Chamo. The town has stunning views over the lakes and surrounding forested areas, and also has an excellent and vibrant market. Lake Chamo National Park is home to what the locals refer to as the 'crocodile market'. This is a place on the shores of the lake where vast numbers of crocs congregate, some of which reach over 7 metres in length.

The lake is home to the Guji and Ganjule people who traditionally hunt hippos and are famed for their 'ambatch boats', which resemble the boats carved in the tombs of the ancient Egyptians.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today we will have a free day to relax and explore the scenic area, or to take an optional boat trip on Lake Chamo to the view the crocodiles that reside there. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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.

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 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 ACTIVITIES 

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

About Omo Valley Region:
The Omo Valley region is unusual in that it is home to so many different tribal groups, all living very close to one another in such a small area. Anthropologists believe that this is because thousands of years ago this area of Africa acted as a kind of ethnic crossroads, as different groups of people migrated between north, south, east and west. Exploring the many small communities and settlements here will give you a fascinating insight into the different tribes, their cultures, traditions and way of life.

On Dragoman trips we travel with a local guide, who will be able to introduce us to the Hamer, Mursi, Arbore and the Danesesch tribes. There are also other tribal groupings throughout the area and our guides will explain some of their traditions and customs. Life is distinctly tribal throughout the region, with few modern amenities.
Accommodation
  • Bush camp (no facilities) (3 nights)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (3)
  • Lunch (3)
  • Dinner (3)
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.

About Konso:
In the far south of Ethiopia on the banks of the Sagan river is the town of Konso, the gateway to the Omo Valley. Home to the Konso people, a Cushtic speaking people native to the region, there are many traditional Konso village in the area where little has changed about the way of life over the centuries and old traditions are strongly upheld. 
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today our group will split between those finishing in Arba Minch and those continuing towards Nairobi.

Those ending their trip in Arba Minch will have a local transfer back to Arba Minch today, where you stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your tour finishes today. You are free to depart at any time.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners

Transport

Overland expedition vehicle, Boat

Accommodation

Camping ( 6 nights ), hotel /hostel / lodge / cabin ( 8 nights )

Dates & availability

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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Addis to Arba Minch trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

1. 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.
2. No single supplement is available on this trip.
3. This trip is run by our experienced overland partner Dragoman.

We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling in Ethiopia before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page - www.intrepidtravel.com/au/travel-alerts

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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.