This is an account of an overland
journey from Ethiopia to Kenya made in 2004.
Fotopic links not working, as of 2015.
From the Addis Ababa main bus station (near/in the Merkato), I caught a
bus to Moyale. Price < 200 Birr. The overnight stop was
in Dila, where there are at least two hotels. Met two other
ferenjis going to Nairobi.
Arrived at Moyale in the mid-afternoon. It seems much bigger than
the Ethiopia/Sudan border towns. Crossed into the Kenyan side
without trouble. Stayed at a hotel called something like Barissa,
which was okay.
There is no bus running between Moyale and Isiolo, only a 'convoy' of
cattle trucks. The next morning, through the hotel (which may
have got commission) we met the tout who sold us our seats at the front
of one such truck. It may not be necessary to use a tout.
You could try waiting for the trucks to turn up to see if you can deal
directly with a driver.
At about 7:30 am we loaded our bags and paid 1500 KSh each for Nairobi,
then went off to do some shopping. When we came back our seats
had been reallocated to friends of the driver. Of the 4500 KSh
we'd paid in total, the driver only refunded 2000 because the tout
still had the remaining 2500. I'm not sure if this was to be his
None of the other (10 or so) trucks had any spare cab seats left.
So the tout arranged 'second class' spaces for us - sitting on top like
the majority of passengers. 700 KSh each I think.
Riding on top can be very uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, so
it might be worth waiting a day or two in Moyale if necessary to get a
cab seat. But we didn't:
The convoy left at 9am. We reached Marsabit in the late
afternoon. It might be worth spending a night here even if your
cattle truck isn't, especially if you're riding on top. But we
We stuck with our truck, which spent an hour in Marsabit before
carrying on. Drove all night apart from a four hour break at some
roadside village, arriving in Isiolo at about 7am. Here you are
out of the wilderness that is northern Kenya and can link up to the
country's normal transport system with buses and matatus.
 ferenji / ferenj / fereng is a word used by many Ethiopians
 I read somewhere, "there is one half of Kenya about which the other
half knows virtually nothing and cares even less". It seems
pretty true from my experience!