Day 1: Addis Ababa – City Tour
Meeting in Addis airport by Mara Expeditions staff and transfer to your hotel. City tour in downtown. Then to the Entoto hills with a stop at the Coronation Church of Menelik II. Lunch at the hotel. Visit the Mercato and the Piazza. Afternoon visit of the National Museum and the Trinity-Cathedral whereby the mausoleums of Haile Selassie and his wife are. Finally, visit the cathedral museum. Dinner and overnight
Day 2: Addis Ababa – Ziway – Shashemene – Awassa
An early departure to visit the rock church of Adadi Maryam (Lalibela-tradition), dating as early as 13th century. Visit of the stelae field of Tiya (a Unesco World Heritage site), certainly, that the burial site is over 700 years old. Stop at Lake Ziway, via Arsi Negele (stop at stelae group) to Shashemene, where we visit the Rastafari community. Arrival in Awassa, dinner and overnight
Day 3: Awassa – Nechisar – Arba Minch
Visit the fish market in Awassa, near the lake. Then to Chencha for the visit of a Dorze-village. Lunch served en route. Arrival at Arba Minch (which means 40 springs). Short game drives in Nechisar National Park and a stop at the “Bridge of God” separating Lake Chamo and Lake Abaya. Boat trip on Lake Chamo to see hippos and crocodiles. Dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Arba Minch – Konso – Jinka
Visit a crocodile farm on the shores of Lake Abaya. Around noon, arrival at Karat Konso. Visit a village of the Konso-people. Farmers who build their fortified villages on a hilltop. Later on, visit of Gesergyio, the so-called “Ethiopian New York”. On our way to Jinka, visit of an Ari- and Tsemai-villages. Finally arrive in Jinka and visit of the South Omo Research Center, the local ethnographic museum. Dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Jinka, Excursion Mago National Park – Mursi Tribe
Whole day excursion in Het Mago National Park with picnic lunch. One of the most remarkable visits to our trip today is the village visit to the Mursi-tribe. Dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Jinka – Key Afer – Turmi
We cross the territory of the Hamer-tribe, one of the most known tribes in the Omo-valley. Visit of weekly market and lunch Key Afer. Visit another tribe – Bana-settlement. Finally, drive to Turmi for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Turmi Excursion Karo- And Dassanech-Tribes – Murelle
Day excursion to visit near Omorate the Dassanech-tribe on the western shore of the Omo-river (crossing of the river by boat). Picnic lunch. Then to Murelle where the visit of a Karo-village, with a spectacular view on the Omo-river gorge. Dinner and overnight
Day 8: Murelle – Koobi Fora (Kenya)
We follow our way to Kenya now. After the crossing of the border, we have our picnic lunch. Further to Lake Turkana, the biggest lake in the Rift valley. Arrival in Koobi Fora and Sibiloi National Park, where the visit of the prehistoric excavations discovered by Richard Leakey in the sixties of the last century. This site can truly be called “the Cradle of Mankind”. Dinner and overnight
Day 9: Koobi Fora – Sibiloi National Park – Lake Turkana
A full day excursion with a game drive in Sibiloi National Park. Furthermore, visit the Petrified Forest with a picnic lunch. Dinner and overnight.
Day 10: Sibiloi National Park – Loyangalani – Lake Turkana
If possible, we take the lake road to Loyangalani and El Molo. If not, we rather take the inland road. Picnic lunch. Arrival in Loyangalani. Dinner and overnight
Day 11: Loyangalani (Lake Turkana)
A whole day visiting the region. Visit of a Turkana village. The Turkana are pastoralist like the Samburu but some are also fishermen. After lunch, we embark on a boat trip on the lake if the weather permits. At El-Molo bay, visit of the El-Molo tribe, Kenya’s smallest tribe (less than 500 persons). Dinner and overnight.
Day 12: Loyangalani – Chalbi Desert – Kalacha
Today we cross the Chalbi-desert – similarly to an expansive barren salt pan. Arrival at Kalacha around noon so that lunch can be served. Visit a Gabre-settlement. Dinner and overnight
Day 13: Kalacha – Marsabit
Departure for Marsabit with lunch en route. Visit of some “Singing Wells” from the Borana-people. Probably, visit of a Rendille-village. Marsabit is the local commercial centre for more than ten tribes living around. And the Marsabit National Park is a green garden of Eden, compared to the desert we just crossed. Dinner and overnight.
Day 14: Marsabit – Samburu National Park
Drive to Samburu national reserve and lunch served upon arrival. Game drive in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight
Day 15: Samburu National Park
A whole day with game drives in Samburu. Picnic lunch served en route. Later in the afternoon, an optional visit to a Samburu village. Dinner and overnight.
Day 16: Samburu – Nanyuki – Nairobi
We cross the equator at Nanyuki and have a picnic lunch before driving back to Nairobi. Dinner and overnight at Karen homestay.
Day 17: Nairobi
Visit the Sheldrick Center to see the elephant orphans then the Karen Blixen museum. Lunch at Karen Blixen. Panoramic city tour and visit of the National Archives. Transfer to the airport or connection to the next destination.
Options are of course many and varied and in many cases, we can be flexible about the itinerary for accommodation facilities and the extension of the safari destinations.