ARRIVAL IN NAIROBI
Arrival and reception in the morning at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Nairobi. (Passport formalities in Nairobi for crossing into Ethiopian at Lake Turkana border). Lunch at Carnivore restaurant. Then Transfer to Osoita Lodge in the outskirts of Nairobi, from which place the safari will start. Briefing and presentation of the dirt bikes for the dual sport adventure starting the next day, dinner and overnight at Osoita.
NAIROBI – LAKE ELEMANTAITA
25 km of tarmac and 190 km of dusty and stony-gravel tracks (8 hours including breaks)
Breakfast then depart towards the Ngong hills. Roll down through a steep track into the land of Maasai of Kedong, right into the heart of the Great Rift Valley. You won’t wait too long before meeting the first wild animals. Picnic lunch en route. Drive up the Mau Escarpment, passing through villages and scenic landscapes of the Great Rift Valley then descend towards Lake Naivasha to take a dirt track leading to Lake Elementaita. Arrive at Sleeping Warrior Camp, a small charming camp located in the private Soysambu Reserve, ensconced amidst a landscape of volcanic hills. Dinner and overnight at the camp.
ELEMENTAITA – MARALAL
145 Km of tarmac + 135 of dirt tracks (9 hours including breaks)
Depart after breakfast to Nakuru then through a tarmac road winding up the escarpment with a splendid view over the rift valley. Cross the equator line at Subukia village then up again on Laikipia plateau where man shares a vast territory with elephants, giraffes, antelopes, zebras… Mount Kenya appears at the horizon, capped with its shiny glacier. Arrive end of afternoon at Maralal, gate to Northern deserts. Diner and night at Ngari Hill Cottage.
MARALAL – LOYENGALANI
225 Km of stone and sandy tracks (8 and half hours ride)
Depart after breakfast taking a track with an amazing view over the rift valley then plunges into the bottom of a deep northward stretching valley: The Suguta valley. Cross through South Horr village, shaded by an oasis of acacia trees, where at Samburu and Turkana herdsmen meet to trade their livestock (goats and camels). In the afternoon take a track of black lava stones which ushers you to the shores of the biggest soda lake of the rift valley; Lake Turkana or Jada sea. Its extraordinary colour is due to the concentration of microscopic algae. This is also the lowest point in the entire Rift Valley, the climate is hot and dry. Arrive at Loyangalani, an oasis of palm trees situated in the middle if a harsh environment where nomadic tribes come to fetch the precious fresh water essential for their survival. Check in at Oasis Lodge for dinner and night.
LOYENGALANI – SIBILOI PARK
165 Km of sand and stone tracks (7 hours ride)
Depart after breakfast along the shores of the saline Lake Turkana, teeming in fish (Giant Nile perch) and the Nile Crocs. The local tribes live almost exclusively on fishing but also occasionally hunt crocs and hippos for meat. Arrive in Sibiloi National Park being a wildlife reserve as well as a famous prehistoric site. Check in at Alia Bay bungalows facing Lake Turkana.
PARC SIBILOI – FRONTIERE BANYA – MURELE
150 km of sand and stone track (7 hours ride)
Depart through the park passing by Koobi Fora which bears very ancient fossils of mankind’s evolutionary records, dating to 2 Million years ago! Then direct north to the border with Ethiopia at Illeret village for passport formalities. The company of the Kenyan crew ends here and you continue with another from Ethiopia. Cross semi-arid savannah through Dassenech villages to Omorate for immigration formalities then arrive end of afternoon at Murele located at the bed of Omo river. Night in a campsite tent under the starry African sky.
MURELLE – KARO – JINKA
170 Km of sand and earth tracks + 45 Km of tarmac (9 hours ride)
Breakfast then break camp and head south along the winding course of the Omo River up to the village of Duze for an encounter with the Karo warriors. Then proceed towards Turmi Hills, home to the Hamer peoples; herders of the zebus cattle. Stop over at Dimeka market where tribes meet for trade in tobacco, milk, coffee and clothing. Arrive at Jinka in the evening: important place where Omo valley tribes meet with peoples form North for trading livestock and agricultural products. Night at Eyob pension hotel.
JIMKA – MURSI
About 100 km on gravel road
A day excursion by motorcycle for an encounter with Mursi people, a nomadic tribe with amazing ritual customs who live between Omo river and Mago national Park. Return to Eyob pension hotel at the end of afternoon.
JINKA – SODO
20 Km tarmac + 255 Km of gravel road (9 hours ride)
Depart early morning after breakfast for a long and beautiful leg crossing hills and mountains of the Ethiopian Rift. Cross thro Male villages at Zala Beto, Maze national park then Saula village in Basketo land. End the day Sodo town and night at Fantasion hotel for a well-deserved rest.
SODO – AMEYA
195 Km of gravel road + 15 Km of enduro trail (8 hours ride)
Depart early morning on a leg whose tracks wind across hills up to Ameya, then through Omo River’s gorges and canyons over as it flows down from the northern mountains. Night at a campsite near Chambora national park, a sanctuary for the last herds of elephants of Ethiopia.
AMEYA – JIMMA
115 Km of gravel road (5 hours ride)
Take a rambling gravel road through a mountainous landscape of the rift valley, crossing again Omo river upstream before arriving at Jimma, the provincial capital Kaffa region, famous for its coffee growing. Pause at Welde Hotel for a good rest.
JIMMA – WELISO
255 Km tarmac road (6 hours including stops)
A link of beautiful paved road that winds its way up the mountainous landscape of the Rift Valley. Crossing Gibe river, Omo river's tributary has etched its way down over hundreds of meters deep (both rivers are the sources of Lake Turkana in Kenya). Picnic lunch along the way. Check in at Negash Lodge for a well- deserved spa treatment in the pools constantly fed from natural hot springs tucked in a lush tropical vegetation.
WELISO – ADDIS ABEBA
75 km of trail and 130 km of tarmac (5 ½ hours including stops)
Breakfast then depart on a trail passing through a beautiful mountain 3000 m high and overlooking a small lake in Wenchi Crater and proceed further to Ambo Town (meaning Water in Amharic). After that, take a paved road that takes you to Addis Ababa. Check-in at Ghion Hotel in late afternoon. Farewell diner, dance and traditional songs entertainment in a famous Ethiopian Cuisine restaurant.
Transfer to Addis Ababa airport for return flight.