Ethiopia must be one of the mystical and intriguing countries in Africa! A country seeped in history, culture and ancient tradition, where even today, in rural landscapes, tribal life remains unchanged. For most visitors, one of the highlights when in Ethiopia, is a visit to Lalibela. During this Photo Safari, we actually get to attend an early morning service at Lalibela. Little is known about the construction of these churches, legend has it that King Lalibela built these 11 churches, carved out of solid rock, overnight and with the help of the angels. To truly appreciate these structures, a whole day is dedicated to Lalibela with an afternoon visit to the beautiful Yemrehane Kristos church, a built-up cave church with beautiful wooden decoration and paintings and of course, most famous of all, the freestanding Bet Giyorgis/Saint George church.
Guests return to Addis and connect by air to Arba Minch where they will be met by an English speaking guide and transferred to private 4WD vehicles.
Now, for the real adventure, the exploration of Southern Ethiopia and it’s ancient tribes. For the next seven days you will have the opportunity to engage with and photograph approximately 11 different tribes.
The Konso people live in maze-like villages and are well known for their agricultural terraces, the Konso district was recently declared the youngest World Heritage Site. At Turmi the Hamar, Koro, Bashada and Banna tribes are seen at Dimeka market and there could be a chance to witness a bull-jumping ceremony or Evangadi dancing. The Karo people in Dus are well known for body painting. The famous Mursi, live in the Omo Valley and here women are seen wearing lip-plates and men practice stick flighting. Throughout the journey, your dedicated guide and award-winning photographer Trevor Cole, will be on hand to ensure your photographic exploration of the Tribes of Ethiopia is optimized with indepth local knowledge and one-on-one tuition.
Please note – we urge you to follow the rules of tribal engagement as explained by the local guide, to ensure respectful and safe interaction with the Tribes at all times.
Group departure: 24 February 2020
- 8 guests only
- Lalibela, Yemrehane Kristos cave church
- Award winning photographer
- Lake Chamo, Nile Crocodiles
- Omo River, Karo people, body painting
- Mursi Tribe, women with lip-plates
- Dorze people in beehive huts
- 4X4 Vehicles, Ethiopian private guides
A warm welcome at Bole International Airport and a transfer to Monarch Hotel. Guests are invited to enjoy a city tour and have a choice of visiting several Addis highlights like the Ethnographic Museum, National Museum, Trinity Cathedral, Entoto Hills, Mercato the largest market in Africa or the smaller Shola Market. Overnight Monarch Hotel.
After breakfast, guests take a short domestic flight to Lalibela. The 12th century rock-hewn churches are the legacy of King Lalibela and an absolute highlight when in Ethiopia. It is said King Lalibela’s visit to Jerusalem inspired him to build the 11 churches which are carved out of solid rock. Little is known about the history of the churches, but popular belief says they were built overnight by the King himself assisted by angels. Historians mention a building period of over 20 years with thousands of craftsmen. A fully is necessary to get a good impression of these truly amazing places of worship.
Early to rise and the privilege to witness a service in one of the rock-hewn churches to appreciate that Lalibela is not only a historical site but very much alive. In the afternoon we visit the beautiful Yemrehane Kristos church, a built-up cave church with beautiful wooden decoration and paintings inside, completely different from the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela and a hidden gem. It’s a 2-hour drive from Lalibela through beautiful scenery. Overnight Mariela Hotel.
We leave remarkable Lalibela behind and take two domestic flights, via Addis Ababa, to Arba Minch, where we meet our 4WD vehicles to take us around in southern Ethiopia. From Arba Minch, on the bottom of the Rift Valley at an altitude of 1400 m, we drive to the highland village of Dorze at 2600 m, enjoying beautiful vistas over Lake Abaya and Lake Chama on the way. We visit the Dorze people with their famous beehive like huts and see the preparation of their staple food. Thursday is market day in Dorze and well worth a visit. We return to Arba Minch for overnight. Overnight Paradise Lodge.
En route to Konso we enjoy a boat trip on Lake Chamo and have a good chance to come up close and personal with the biggest Nile crocodiles. Many water birds and hippopotamus are also easily spotted. In the afternoon we meet the Konso people with their maze-like villages and terraces for agriculture. They are also well known for their Waga stelae, grave markers for the brave and important men of this tribe. The cultural landscape of Konso is the youngest World Heritage Site of Ethiopia. Overnight Kanta Lodge.
Our next destination is Turmi. We are now entering an area where the people living their authentic tribal life. It is very important to follow the guidelines and remember that we are visitors and act with respect to ensure safe engagement. En route we visit the Dimeka weekly market. At the market we find mainly Hamar people but also Karo, Bashada and Banna travel here. Today or tomorrow we have a chance to experience the Evangadi dance or the bull-jumping ceremony. This is not guaranteed; therefore, it is not included in the tour price. Overnight Buska Lodge.
Visit the Karo people in Dus, well known for their body painting. They live along the banks of the Omo River, about 60 km/ 2.5 hours from Turmi. We continue to visit the Nyangatom people near the small settlement of Kangatan, about an hour drive from Dus, at the other side of the Omo River. To reach Dus and Kangatan we have to cross the Kizoo River. Usually a dry riverbed, but not passable when running. Overnight Buska Lodge.
This morning we visit the Arbore people, living to the east of Turmi at the other side of the Buska Mountains. It is a very scenic drive of about 70 km/ 1.5 hours We have to follow a riverbed for some kilometers, no problem when it is dry but not passable when wet. In the afternoon we visit the Monday market and the Hamar people. Overnight Buska Lodge.
In the morning we drive 70 km/ 1.5 hours to Omerate at the east bank of the Omo River. This is the area where the Dassanech people are living and we are going to cross the Omo River by local canoe to visit one of their villages. We return to Turmi and continue to our next destination Jinka. Overnight Jinka Resort or Eco Omo Lodge.
This morning we explore the area around Jinka. We travel into the Mago National Park on our way to probably the most well-known people of the Omo Valley – the Mursi. After about a 2 hours’ drive, we reach one of the villages where the Mursi people are living. They are famous for the women wearing lip-plates and the men performing brave ‘donga’ stick fights. In the afternoon we visit the museum at the South Omo Research Centre to learn more about the people living in the area and visit the Ari people living around Jinka. They adopted a more ‘western’ lifestyle and live on small compounds where they grow a selection of crops. Quite a contrast with the other people we met in the Omo Valley who are living a much more traditional live. Overnight Jinka Resort or Eco Omo Lodge.
Today we return to Arba Minch, en route we visit the Key Afar market, where we find Ari, Banna and Tsamai people. Overnight Paradise Lodge.
On the last day of your memorable visit to Ethiopia we spent the morning at leisure. An afternoon flight takes us back to Addis Ababa. In the evening we take you to Bole International airport for your international flight.
Guests start their Photographic Safari with a warm welcome at Bole International airport and a transfer to Monarch Hotel. We offer guests a City Tour of Addis, they can choose to visit the Ethnographic museum, Trinity Cathedral and Mercato – Africa’s largest market. Overnight at Monarch Hotel. After breakfast the next morning, guests are flown to Lalibela, to witness the marvel of the cluster churches, carved out of rock and a visit to Bet Giyorgis. Two domestic flights on day four, takes you into Southern Ethiopia where the Tribal encounters take place. Transportation in comfortable 4WD with an expert Ethiopian guide and Trevor Cole will ensure the ultimate photographic experience for all. Photographers of all levels are welcome on this exploration Safari. After each day out, guests head back to the hotel where Trevor will facilitate image downloads, photo reviews and offer professional guidance in an informal and relaxed setting where each person gets to share and discuss their images.
Airport transfers, domestic road transport and domestic flights as mentioned in the itinerary
Full Board Accommodation as per itinerary, 1litre mineral water per person per day
4WD Transport from day Four to Eleven, 3 pax per vehicle, including fuel, driver allowances, accommodation
English speaking Omo Valley guide
Accommodation in Twin/Double rooms
Fees, entrances, guides, compulsory scouts
Boat trips and activities as per itinerary
Camera equipment, hard drives, laptops, USB
All items of personal nature e.g. telephone call bills, fax/email bills etc.
Visa and yellow fever vaccination
Tips and gratuities
Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
International flight and departure taxes.
*Please note that there may be additional costs for photographing some tribes in rural areas and the costs will be negotiated by the local guide on the day.
Note: Malaria precautions should be taken; Yellow Fever vaccination required if transferring through a South African border.
While everything possible is done to ensure the accuracy of information supplied, all rates and packages published on this site are subject to change as a result of fluctuating exchange rates, seasonal differences, availability and other factors, and cannot be taken as binding on www.TribalTourist.com