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About Moyale

Moyale is a border town split between Ethiopia and Kenya in north-east Africa. Moyale backpacking tours are usually part of many Kenyan overland adventures and this tiny town offers a chance to rest and stock up on supplies.


Moyale HIV/AIDS precautions include:
•Don't ever share needles or syringes
•Practice safe sex at all times
•Equipment should be sterilized
•If you require self-administered injections, take an adequate supply of your own needles
•Avoid tattoos, acupuncture treatment or body piercing


Nearest Moyale airports include the following:
•Moyale Airport
•Marsabit Airport


Moyale birdlife is mostly limited to desert species. The nearby Dida Galgalu Desert is one of Kenya's Important Bird Areas (IBAs) and is home to a wide diversity of desert species endemic to Kenya. Birds of prey and the endangered Williams's Lark can be found in this beautiful black lava desert habitat.


Moyale conservation is mostly monitored by the Kenyan Wildlife Service who has a fair presence in the town through their small camping spot. As a small town with a low population, and a very arid and dry environment, the town is not known for its habitats. Water impurities, pollution, land abuse, desertification and over grazing are some of the environmental concerns in Moyale.


Moyale cultures include the following:
•Livestock and trade plays a key role in sustenance and income
•Food and drink is an important social tradition
•Architecture is a notable cultural influence
•Music and dance play a key role in many local cultures
•Art and tribal dress varies for each tribe within the town


Moyale customs allows for free import by passengers of 16 years or older includes:
•1/2 lb. of tobacco, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars
•1 bottle of alcoholic beverages
•1 pint of perfume


Moyale health facilities are primitive at best, with few proper clinics, doctors or hospitals within the town. The nearest large town is situated many miles away, and with very basic supplies and equipment and a low level of healthcare standards, it is best to be prepared to avoid sickness or health issues. Pack a basic first aid kit, take your malaria pills and take out comprehensive travel insurance before leaving for Moyale.


The following Moyale inoculations are required:
•Yellow Fever
•Hepatitis A & B


Moyale languages include the following:


Moyale malaria medication includes the following:
•Mefloquine (Lariam)
•Atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone)


Moyale money and banking information includes the following:
•American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are seldom accepted
•Currency and travellers cheques can be exchanged at the bank, at very high rates
•Dollars, Pounds and Euros are easier to exchange than other currencies
•An ATM as well as a bank can be found in the town
•Banks operate from Monday to Friday from 09h00-15h00 and Saturday from 09h00-11h00


Moyale people include the following groups:
•Borana Oromo
•Garre Somali


Moyale local phrases in Oman include the following:
•Hello - Marhaba
•Goodbye - Ma`asalaama
•Good morning - Sabah al-khayr
•Peace be upon you - A`Salaam Alaykum
•No thank you - La shukran


With a dry and dusty town and surrounding landscapes, Moyale plants are few and far between, and the nearby black lava desert adds even more lack of vegetation to the area. A few scrubs can be found, and there are some areas set aside for agriculture, which break the sparseness of the landscapes.


Moyale religion includes the following:

Safety Tips

•Moyale itself is safe on both the Kenyan and Ethiopian sides, however the roads in both areas are known to be dangerous
•Armed robberies and banditry can occur on the Marsabit-Moyale Road
•Be careful when driving, wildlife and livestock are often present in the roads, as well as possible bandits
•Do not walk or drive after dark, rather stay overnight and continue your journey in the morning if passing through
•Landmines have been used in attacks around Moyale, close to the main A2 road south


Moyale local transport options include:

Travel Books

Moyale recommended travel books include the following:
•The Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi by Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe
•Geology of the Moyale Area by J Walsh
•The Rough Guide to Kenya 8th Edition by Richard Trillo, Daniel Jacobs and Nana Luckham
•Insight Compact Guide Kenya by Iiija Trojanow
•Culture and Customs of Kenya by Neal Sobania

Visa Requirements

Moyale visa information includes the following:
•All foreign nationals will require a visa when entering Moyale from the Ethiopian side
•Visas are purchased for about $50US at the border post
•It can be a slow and expensive process, so be prepared and try and get to the border before dark
•Travellers will require a passport valid for a minimum of 6 months
•A blank passport page is also required to claim a Kenyan visa

What To Buy

•Durable luggage such as a backpack plus a good moneybag
•Malaria medication and mosquito repellent
•North east Kenya guide book and a good map
•First aid kit with basic supplies and medicines
•Travel pack with wet wipes, toilet paper and waterless hand wash

What To Pack

Lightweight clothes in neutral colours
•Comfortable, sturdy walking shoes and sandals
•Sunhat, sunglasses and sunscreen
•Camera, spare film, batteries and binoculars
•Warm jacket and raincoat for rainy season and cooler days

When To Go

•Kaskazi winds blow in from mid December to February
•Main tourist seasons are from December to February and from July to August
•January to February is hot and dry, making it best for game spotting
•Rainy seasons run from March to June and October to December
•The landscapes are at their greenest and most beautiful from March to October


Moyale wildlife is fairly scarce, with a fair range of domestic animals and occasional desert dwelling species such as hyrax, jackal, snakes, tortoises and an assortment of lizards to be seen. The town is situated fairly near to Marsabit National Park however, where large game including elephant, lion, cheetah and a number of antelope species can be found.


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