Travel to Kenya and Ethiopia on a trip from Nairobi to Arba Minch

Encounter fascinating cultures, iconic wildlife and beautiful scenery on this enthralling journey across northern Kenya and into Ethiopia. From heading out in search of Africa's Big Five in Lake Nakuru National Park to travelling across the black lunar landscape of Marsabit and soaking in the natural hot springs of Wondo Genet, this little-visited region is a wellspring of diversity. Meet friendly Rastafarians in the spiritual movement's original home, proud warriors in the Samburu National Reserve and the truly remote tribespeople of the Omo Valley. Raw, rugged and well off the beaten track, this small group adventure stands as an atypical yet elementary part of the African travel experience.


Start
Nairobi, Kenya
Finish
Arba Minch, Ethiopia
Countries
Ethiopia, Kenya
Style
Basix
Theme
Overland, Wildlife
Code
YDOR
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 6, Max 22

Why you'll love this trip

  • Discover the flamingo-filled expanse of Lake Nakuru

  • Explore the pristine wilderness of Samburu National Reserve

  • Meet friendly tribespeople in the Omo Valley

  • Visit the Awassa Children's Project

  • Look for the elusive Simien red fox in Bale Mountains National Park

Itinerary

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 pretour 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.
Hotel for the night: Wildebeest Eco Camp
Wildebeest Eco Camp
151 Mokoyeti Road West
Karen
Nairobi
Kenya
+254 7347 70733

Activity Approximate Cost
Visit the Langata Giraffe Centre in Nairobi KES 1000

About Nairobi:
Nairobi is a lively city with a cosmopolitan atmosphere. The Kenyan capital takes its name from the Maasai meaning 'Place of Cool Waters'. Today it is a busy, bustling place that comes alive through it's many
markets, shops, bars and restaurants, not to mention its vibrant nightlife. If you have time to explore the city, the National Museum of Kenya and Karen Blixen Museum are both worth a visit, or you can get
up close to the giraffes and help to feed them at the Langata Giraffe Centre.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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.

Activity Approximate Cost
Visit to Lake Naivasha KES 7000 Overland through western Kenya and the Rift Valley USD 40
Horseriding or cycling at Hells Gate Included in Kitty
Explore the beautiful landscape and wildlife of Hell's Gate National Park by foot or by bicycle USD 50

About Naivasha:
Northwest of the Kenyan capital of Nairobi lies the serene Lake Naivasha. A beautiful lake with some excellent campsites along the shore, there is the fantastic opportunity to take a calm boat trip to spot a wide variety of birds (including the African fish eagle) and the hippos that call the lake home. Naivasha is also home to the Elsamere Conservation Centre, a sustainability and conservation trust based in the former home of Joy of George Adamson, the founders of the Born Free project. Naivasha is also the gateway to the fabulous Hell's Gate National Park - a rugged and primordial landscape, Hell's Gate is full of wildlife but contains no dangerous predators, meaning that it is one of the few National Parks that visitors are able to explore on foot and by bicycle. The nearby game reserve of Crater Lake is also perfect for walking safaris amongst the wildlife of the region.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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.

Activity Approximate Cost
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
Head out horse riding in the forests around Naro Moru KES 1000
Nature walks around the base of Mt. Kenya, searching for birdlife and Colobus monkeys USD 15

About Naro Moru:
Naro Moru is a tiny village on the western flanks of Mount Kenya, most famous as being the starting point for the most popular trekking route up the mountain. There are many activities available for short-term visitors, such as day-treks on the cool forested slopes of the mountain to look for birds and local caves used by the Mau Mau in their fight against the British in the 1950s.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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.

Activity Approximate Cost
Visit to Samburu tribal community and cultural project Included in Kitty

About Samburu Village:
We stay at a Samburu village just outside the Samburu National Reserve. Similar in appearance to the Maasai but less known, the Samburu are a proud warrior tribe. Here we watch traditional Samburu dancing, and learn about Samburu tribal life and customs. The project is run by Samburu tribesmen for the benefit of the community.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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.

Activity Approximate Cost
Wildlife safari in Samburu National Reserve Included in Kitty

About Samburu National Reserve:
The Samburu region has hardly been touched by tourism and its pristine wilderness is home to a fascinating mix of Kenya's nomadic tribes who still retain traditional ways of life. These tribes include the Samburu, Rendille, Turkana, and Kalenjin. The Samburu National Reserve is famous for its reticulated giraffes, Grevy's zebras, graceful gerenuks, and Beisa oryx, whilst crocodiles are often seen in the river. If we are lucky, we may also see lions or leopards here. The Ewaso Nyiro River meanders through the reserve forming a ribbon of oases in the parched landscape. We will visit the Samburu Cultural Centre outside Samburu National Reserve. Similar in appearance to the Maasai but lesser known, the Samburu are a proud warrior tribe. Here we watch traditional Samburu dancing, and learn about Samburu tribal life and customs. The project is run by Samburu tribesmen for the benefit of the community.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today we will have an early start to travel through the very rarelyvisited region of northern Kenya, crossing the infamous MarsabitMoyale 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.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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.

Activity Approximate Cost
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. Included in Kitty

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.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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.

Activity Approximate Cost
Hire bicycles to explore the stunning surrounds of Arba Minch ETB 200
Boat trip on Lake Chamo to see the crocodile 'market' ETB 450

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
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Border Information: If you are leaving in Arba Minch, you will most likely exit Ethiopia at Arba Minch Airport (IATA code: AMH). Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Arba Minch. 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.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

No meals are included on this tour

Transport

Overland expedition vehicle, 4x4

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Camping (with facilities) (5 nights), Guesthouse (1 night), Hotel (2 nights)

Dates & availability

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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Nairobi 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. There is no single supplement 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.

Reviews

Our Nairobi to Arba Minch trips score an average of 4 out of 5 based on 2 reviews in the last year.

Nairobi to Omo , January 2017

Hermann Mueller