NATURAL BEAUTY AND WELCOMING TRIBES
Ethiopia offers an authentic trip into the past including meeting the oldest hominid and seeing some of the natural beauty that abounds. This trip focuses on the rich cultural Omo Valley with the opportunity to visit the many beautiful people of Ethiopia – the Wolayita, the Dorze, the Konso tribes, the famous Mursi, the Ari tribes and the lovely tribes of the Hamer, the Karo, the Benna and others.
3 to 4 star hotel twin bed shared accommodation – breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Meet & greet at airport and hotel transfer; transfers and all ground transportation; accommodation twin bed sharing; all meals incl. bottled water & soft drinks; English guide and guide fees; all entry fees where required; Govt. taxes; portage; boat trip on Lake Tana and farewell dinner in Addis Ababa.
- Explore Addis Ababa
- Boat trip on Lake Chamo
- Visit the Doze, Konso, Ari, Mursi & other tribes
- Enjoy the markets of Omo Valley
- Visit the burial place of Haile Selassie
- View the lakes of the Rift Valley
On arrival, explore Addis Ababa, the third highest capital city in the world visiting the National Museum and meeting the 3,5million year remains of the oldest hominid ‘Lucy’. Two major highlights of the city are the Ethnographic Museum and the church of the Holy Trinity, Ethiopia’s main cathedral and home to the remains of the last emperor, Haile Selassie. Overnight Saro Maria Hotel.
We drive to the famous lakeside town of Arba Minch. En route we visit the villages of Gurage for their staple food of Kocho made from the false banana. We drive through one of the most colourful and scenic areas of Southern Ethiopia, a land that is inhabited by the Wolayita people, who were once nomads but are now farmers. Before arriving in Arba Minch, a long section of the road offers magnificent views of Lake Abaya, surrounded by mountains. The lake has volcanic origins and is almost pink in colour. Overnight Paradise Lodge.
We drive 40km northwest of Arba Minch to the Guge Mountains to visit the Dorze and Chencha Villages. Once warriors, the Dorze have now turned to farming and weaving to earn a living. They speak an Omotic tongue, live in beehive-shaped houses made of organic material and the Dorze name is synonymous with the best woven cotton cloth. Some of Ethiopia’s best woven cottons come from Chencha, which is located 8 km northwest of Dorze Village. In the afternoon we will enjoy a boat trip on clear blue waters of Lake Chamo to see the crocodiles for which it is famed, hippos & aquatic bird species. The lake is about 32km long and provides a lush wetland habitat for many species of flora and fauna. Overnight at Arba Minch – Paradise Lodge.
Ethiopia has eight cultural heritage sites and Konso where we head today is one of them. The Konso are pure agriculturists, famed for their use of the stone terraces that they utilise to such good effect in this dry and barren region of basalt hills. The age of each town is classified by a generation pole and each family lives in compounds that are accessible only through gateways that require the visitor to enter on all fours thereby rendering any potential attackers vulnerable. Thereafter we head to Key Afer in the hope of seeing the Ari, Bena, Hamer and Tsemay people and their traditional dress. If we arrive on the Thursday it will coincide with their colourful market. From there we drive on to Jinka, referred to as the gateway to the Omo Valley. Overnight Eco-Omo Lodge.
It’s the turn of the illustrious Mursi tribes today as we head out early to Mago National Park and the Mursi highlands. The Mursi are known all over the world for their decorative lip plates that adorn the lower lips of the Mursi women as pride and desirability is determined in direct proportion to the size of the plate. The Mursi warriors have deep crescent incisions on their arms that represent each enemy they have killed in battle. Any photographs taken will incur a fee. We return to Jinka for lunch and then visit the Ari Village nearby and the Ari tribe who will demonstrate how they make their traditional alcoholic drinks. Overnight Eco-Omo Lodge.
We will continue driving through the Omo Valley region to Turmi via Dimeka to visit the Hamer tribe, one of the largest groups in the Valley. The Hamer are farmers producing tobacco and cotton and well known for their fine pottery and interesting hairstyles. Overnight Buska Lodge.
We go from Turmi to the Murulle area. We will visit the Korcho village with beautiful views over the Omo River to see the Karo ethnic group, experts in body painting, using clay and locally available vegetable pigments to paint fantastic patterns on each other’s faces, chests, arms and legs. We will return to Turmi for the night. Overnight Buska Lodge.
We drive to Yabello and visit the Erbore people en route. Then we will proceed to the New-York; a bizarre landscape of sand panicles formed by wind and rain (erosion). After a lunch stop at Konso, we continue to Arba Minch for our overnight stop at Paradise Lodge.
We drive back to Addis Ababa, enjoying more of the Rift Valley landscape and the stunning views over the Lakes of Abijata and Shala. We have the possibility of visiting the Ostrich farm at Abijata Shala National Park. We will arrive in Addis Ababa in late afternoon and transfer to the Hotel and have a room as a day use in preparation for your return flight. The afternoon is free for shopping. Enjoy a traditional farewell dinner before your flight home.
*$354 single room supplement
International and domestic flights; travel insurance; personal expenses incl. laundry, phone calls, tips, alcoholic drinks (except at the farewell dinner); filming and photographic fees.
Note: Malaria precautions should be taken; Yellow Fever vaccination required if transferring through a South African border.
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