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[1] 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 commission.

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 didn't.

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[2] and can link up to the country's normal transport system with buses and matatus.

[1] ferenji / ferenj / fereng is a word used by many Ethiopians for 'foreigner'.

[2] 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!