The Kenya – Ethiopia Road Trip

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The Kenya – Ethiopia Road trip is one of the richest inter-country road trips. The trip is characterised by traversing through all forms of terrain, cultures and above all, making new memories. If one of your 2017 resolutions was to travel to Ethiopia, then the Kenya – Ethiopia road trip is perfect for you!


We have come up with the ultimate ‘what to do’ guide during your road trip for the perfect experience down below:

Day 1 and 2:

Get your overland truck bus from Nairobi, or any other 4*4 vehicle. These vehicles will be able to go through the all weather roads you will encounter most times on the journey.

Day one and two is mostly for travelling from Nairobi to the Moyale Border. You will pass through Nanyuki, Shaba and Samburu National Parks. Camp at the Marsabit National Park on your first night then drive through the Dida Galgallo Desert and up Moyale Hills before crossing into Ethiopia.

The Kenya – Ethiopia Highway

After going through customs, check into a lodge in Harge Maryam in Oromo for your first Ethiopian night experience.

Day 3:

One of the things that make Ethiopia popular is the Ethiopian Coffee. It would be a shame to travel to Ethiopia and not visit one of its coffee towns. In this Kenya – Ethiopia road trip, we recommend you pass by Yigra Shefe for fresh Ethiopian morning coffee before continuing in your journey.

Spend the rest of day 3 in Shashamane. Shashamane was in the past given by His Highness Haile Selassie to repatriate people from America, Europe and the Caribbean Islands. Be a part of the Rastafarian Culture, and get a glimpse of the famous art gallery by Teddy Dan and the church of The Twelve Tribes of Israel and the Nayabhingi. You can also explore the fun filled nightlife in Shashamane if you are not tired.

The Church of the 12 Twelve Tribes of Israel in Shashamane.

Day 4:

Drive up to Wondo Genet, which is located 20km from Shashamane, for a hot spring swim. Enjoy the serene lush green environment and the animals nearby; perfect photo opportunity.

Day 4 will mostly be about relaxing. So get a massage, there are local masseuse in the region, grab lunch and catch up with friends.

Day 5:

Drive to Awassa early in the morning. Awassa is the biggest city south of Addis, definitely a must stop spot in the Kenya – Ethiopia road trip! The major attraction in Hawassa is Lake Hawassa. Enjoy boat rides, canoeing and bird watching. Make sure to indulge in Ethiopian prepared fish by the lake side.

Canoes by Lake Awassa

In case your Kenya – Ethiopia road trip happens during the month of July or December, make sure to pop by the Saint Gabriel Orthodox Church and join the locals in celebrating the feast of Saint Gabriel.

Day 6 to 8:

On the morning of day in the Kenya – Ethiopia Road Trip, drive to Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. Apart from being the AU Headquarters, Addis is a historical town, boasting world renowned exhibits such as the oldest hominid, Lucy. Visit top attractions in Addis, depending on your energies.

We recommend that as you complete your Addis tour, you climb Mount Entoto. The view from Mount Entoto will enable you to take in the whole of Addis as a whole.

Watching Addis from Entoto Hill.

Day 9-10:

Travel back to Nairobi with lifetime memories and possibly, friends.


Common Questions Asked:

  1. Do I need a visa to go on the Kenya Ethiopia Road Trip?

Kenyan Citizens don’t need visas to cross over to Ethiopia. Non Kenyans will be required to have visas on them while crossing the border.

  1. How long will the Kenya – Ethiopia road trip take?

For the perfect road trip, we recommend at least 8 days. Average road trips take 8 – 14 days.

  1. What should I carry?

Since you will be traversing through different geographical topographies, we recommend you carry all weather clothes and shoes. Do not forget your camera, we promise it will be worth it; The scenery is to die for! Include also Ethiopian Birr, a flashlight and of course camping gear!


Have you ever done the Kenya – Ethiopia road trip before? Tell us about different routes you took and your experiences in the comment section below.

Smooth planning from Jumia Travel!


  1. Foggy Dantizé

    August 17, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    Thanks for the info. Kindly add information about the state of the roads, the official language of Ethiopia, any differences one is expected to face in Ethiopia

    • Kiburu

      August 30, 2018 at 6:54 am

      You’re welcome. For more information on Ethiopia, kindly check out the infographic on this blog post as well as our free online travel guide

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