Connect with the El Molo tribe at the shores of the scenic Lake Turkana. An excursion to the banks of river Omo takes us to the Karo tribe known for their fascinating beauty rituals
Click on pins to view accommodation details
We are picked up from our hotel by our driver/guide and drive through the fertile Central Highlands from where we get a glimpse of the snow- capped Mount Kenya Peaks, the second highest mountain in Africa before we descend to the semi-arid area of the Samburu district. We stop for lunch on the way after passing the park gate continue which game viewing en-route to Samburu Lodge for dinner and overnight stay.
Today we start the day early with breakfast at 6.00am to avoid the heat of the day. Samburu Game Reserve offers unique game only found in this particular area as since they have adapted to the rough scrub desert condition in the area. Some of these animals include, the Grevy’s zebra, the Reticulated Giraffe and the Beisa Oryx. Besides buffaloes and herds of Elephants, the morning game drive offers a possibility of seeing Lions, and Leopards along the Ewaso Nyiro River in Buffalo Springs. We return to the lodge for lunch and at rest at the pool. As the sun begins to set in the late afternoon and the game wake up for their evening strolls and hunts, we head for another game drive. Dinner and overnight stay will once again be at the lodge.
This is our last day in comfort. Today, we head further to the extreme dry and arid north. The landscape slowly changes, the Samburu herdsmen become fewer and fewer and the land is gets drier and drier. We drive through the Mathews range to South Horr. After another 20km, the last traces of grass disappear and we are surrounded by black volcanic rocks. The temperatures are now well above 30 degrees Celsius as we get the first glance of the southern shores of the Jade Sea, another name for Lake Turkana because of its green waters. An hour drive along the lake shores finally takes us to Loyangalani where we enjoy our dinner under the Palm trees and spend our night in the Palmshade Guest house.
Today, we explore the southern parts of the Lake Turkana shores. In the morning, we visit the Elmolo people and take a short boat ride to their shrine. The Elmolo are the smallest tribe in Kenya of not more than 500 people. They are fishermen who hunt the crocodiles. According to myth in the community, the crocodile recognizes the hunters from far and would rather hide than attack. After lunch we take an excursion to look at the rock paintings in the area and visit a Turkana Village before sunset while enjoying their traditional dances. Dinner and overnight stay will once again be at the guesthouse
After breakfast, we shift location and drive 90km to North Horr. Along the way, we pass little man-made hills of black lava rocks, a reminder of the Second World War, where the fallen soldiers were buried. We pitch our tents at the campsite of a Women Self-Help Group and after lunch we take a stroll through this picturesque town. We may stop at some souvenir kiosks or enjoy a cup of spiced tea in one of the local hotels. A visit to the Wata people completes the day. Dinner and overnight will be at the North Horr Camp Site.
Today we drive further north to Sibiloi National Park. With some luck we may see the Borana Community fetching water at one of the “Singing Wells” on the way. On our way to Kenya’s most remote park the landscape finally gives way to sand dunes. This park was gazetted in 1973 and is recognized as a world heritage site because of its rare flora and fauna and the numerous fossil sites. The wildlife includes rare, dry, country large mammals such as grevy zebra, gerenuk and oryx. The shores are an important refugee for crocodiles and soft shelled turtles. We stop for lunch at the National Park Gate, visit the petrified Forest and arrive at the Museum Bandas in the late afternoon for our dinner and overnight stay.
Today we explore the park and its fossil sites. Today’s full day excursion takes us to the museum and after lunch stop, the skeletons of an ancient elephant, a giant tortoise and an ancient fish eating crocodile. Besides our packed lunch, we must ensure we carry enough drinking water along. Temperatures here rise well above 30 degrees Celsius. The Leaky Family christened the area “Cradle of Mankind”. Here some of the oldest human fossils dated back to 1.5 to 1.8 million years were found. In the late afternoon, we return to the Museum Bandas and take a stroll along the lake shores in the evening.
After breakfast we drive north back to Illeret, the last settlement on the Kenyan side. At the police station, we show our passports which already have an Ethiopian Visa and get a letter with which we will get an entry stamp in Omorate on the Ethiopian side. At about lunch time, our Ethiopian Crew and cars arrive and we bid the Kenyan crew good bye. The next 40 km to Omorate are the most difficult parts of this journey. Roads are practically nonexistent as we pass dry or wet sandy riverbeds which may be treacherous. After receiving the entry stamp we drive on better roads to Turmi for the Buska or Turmi Lodge.
Today has been set aside to a visit to the Hamer people. A local English speaking guide takes us on a walk through the villages and the market. With some luck we can watch their rituals like a traditional wedding or a rite of passage from boyhood to adulthood where the young men have to run across the backs of 30 heads of cattle lined up next to one another. At the market, we try to interact with the locals to get a few photographs from this colorful tribe. It is clear that we have to ask for permission and pay for the shots. Our guide will assist us in this. We will have lunch in a local hotel in town while dinner and overnight stay will once again be at the Buska Lodge.
After breakfast, we visit the Karo people on the banks of the Omo River before driving via Key Afer to Jinka. Jinka is a small town and shopping center that also hosts the South Omo Research Center. The German Professor, Ivo Strecker exhibits typical items used in the day to day lives of the different communities living in the Omo region. Dinner and overnight stay will be in a Jinka Guest House.
Today we visit the Mago National Park, the area where we find the Mursi; an ethnic group of not more than 4000. They are basically herdsmen but farm when it rains along the river banks. The women use unusual jewelry of clay plates in the split lower lip. The only other income of this ethnic group is a museum, but they also pose for photographs for a fee. Our guide assists us in the negotiations. We return for lunch to Jinka Guest House and drive to Konso in the afternoon for dinner and overnight stay at the Kanta Lodge.
Today is reserved for visiting the Konso people. The Konso people are an ancient farming community specializing in terrace farming for centuries in the mountainous area and live in fortress-like villages. The area has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Konso people have nine clans, each ruled by a King. A local eloquent guide explains us a lot about the history, lifestyle and culture of this ethnic group. We also visit a Konso King and his traditional palace. After lunch at the Kanta Lodge we drive to Arba Minch at Lake Chamo for dinner and overnight stay at the Paradise Lodge. If time allows, we opt for a boat ride on the crocodile infested lake.
Today after breakfast we climb up the escarpment to the land of the Dorze people at an altitude above 3000m. The Dorze community is famous for their cotton hand-woven clothes and beehive-shaped huts. They prepare bread from the stem of the false banana and brew a local drink called Araki. We are overwhelmed by their hospitality and enjoy their traditional dance. Finally, we cannot resist buying some of the hand-woven colorful cloth. Our safari continues through the Rift valley with lunch in Soddo and the Rastafarian town of Sashamene. In the late afternoon, we arrive at the shores of Lake Langano for dinner and overnight stay at the Sabana Lodge.
After a leisurely breakfast at sunrise, we drive to Butajira and visit the archeological sites of Tiya, another UNESCO World Heritage Site and the church of Adadi Maryam, a rock-hewn church similar to those in Lalibela. After lunch, we drive to our final destination–Addis Ababa for an overnight stay at the Friendship Hotel. After refreshing ourselves at the hotel, we go for a typical Ethiopian Dinner with traditional food and dance.
After breakfast, we take a city tour of Addis Ababa including a visit to the Orthodox Church and Entoto Mountains which was the original place of the Kings Palace. We also use the opportunity to shop for some souvenirs and after lunch leave for the airport for our international flight.