8 DAYS - CULTURAL SOUTH OMO VALLEY TOUR

Day 1: Arrival in Addis Ababa /City Tour

Visit the National Museum, take in the city’s wide, tree-lined streets or the bustle of the “Mercato” (market). This colourful market has an array of fascinating goods and curios, providing a great place for exploration and people watching. Throughout the city there are shops that sell typical artisan wares, materials and antiques.

Meals: B,L,, Overnight Lodge or Hotel

DAY 2: DRIVE TO ARBAMINCH 

There is a long drive to Arbaminch via Hossana (450km). This is the region inhabited by the people of the Guragie. 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 color.

 Meals: B,L,D, Overnight Lodge or Hotel

Day 3: BOAT TRIP ON LAKE CHAMO, DRIVE TO JINKA

This morning we enjoy a boat trip on Lake Chamo – one of the best in Ethiopia. There is a chance to spot many hippos and large concentrations of giant crocodiles. Water birds abound and the scenery is truly unforgettable. The lake is about 32km long and provides a lush wetland habitat for many species of flora and fauna. In the afternon we drive to Jinka (250km, 4-5 hr drive).

 Meals: B,L,D, Overnight Hotel

Day 4: MURSI VILLAGE VISIT, JINKA MUSEUM, DRIVE TO TURMI

Today the journey begins with an excursion to a Mursi village (approx 66km from Jinka).The Mursi are one of the original ethnic groups in Ethiopia. They live in very low huts made of straw leaves. The women like to wear terra cotta jewellery on their enormously stretched lower lips and ear lobes. The men are famous for their hairstyle. Then we visit the Jinka Museum, which contains the Southern Omo Research Centre’s permanent cultural collection and continuing research of the various ethnic groups and provides an in-depth overview into the people and traditions of the Omo Valley. This afternoon we drive to Turmi (120km), one of the largest towns in the region.

Meals: B,L,D, Overnight Lodge

Day 5: KARO AND HAMER VILLAGES -TURMI

This morning we begin with a memorable excursion to the Karo Tribe (approx 63km drive), who–are very famous for their body painting. The Karo people use clays and locally available vegetable pigments to trace fantastic patterns on each other’s faces, chests, arms, and legs. Karo men, as with neighbouring tribes, are also famous for their unique hairstyle. In the afternoon we visit a Hamer village. The Hamer tribe (also called Hammer or Hamar) is one of the largest groups in the Valley. The Hamer cultivate millet, vegetables, tobacco and cotton as well as raising cattle and goats. They are known for the fine pottery they produce as well as their remarkable hairstyling.  Most dramatic of all are the clay hair buns with ostrich feathers that the men don when they have killed a fierce animal.  These hair buns stay on for 3-6 months at a time. The women wear beaded necklaces and iron coils around their arms and decorate their skin with cowry shells. These decorations indicate the wealth and prestige of a woman’s husband. Return to Turmi in the evening.

Meals: B, L,D, Overnight Lodge

Day 6: RETURN TO ARBAMINCH, VIA KONSO TRIBAL VILLAGE

As we have seen already, Ethiopia has a huge diversity of ethnic groups and today we will witness the distinguishing behaviour of another of these. We travel north to Arbaminch (approx 270km), en- route visiting a Konso tribal village – a World Heritage listed site of cultural significance. Invariably built on hilltops as protection from the lowland tribes, traditional Konso villages are surrounded by high stonewalls and encompass separate compounds, with outlying terraced agricultural fields. You will be fascinated by the unique architectural aspects, largely unchanged cultural heritage and social cohesion of the village, and how it has adapted to its harsh environment. Another highlight is the famous ‘wagas’ – a funerary tradition where magnificent carved wooden sculptures were created in honour of Konso warrior heroes who have killed an enemy or animal, and often grouped to represent the man, his wives and his adversaries.

Meals: B,L,D, Overnight Lodge or Hotel

Day 7: DORZE VILLAGE, TO LAKE LANGANO

We visit a Dorze village this morning (approx 30km drive). One of the smaller ethnic groups, the Dorze are known for their textile weaving and bee hive shaped huts. In the afternoon we drive to the shores of Lake Langano, a freshwater lake popular with locals and tourists alike for its wildlife and water sports.

Meals: B,L,D, Overnight Lodge

Day 8: RETURN TO ADDIS ABABA

This morning there is time to relax by the lake. After lunch we drive back to Addis Ababa (approx 210km), passing more Rift Valley Lakes on the way. After a fare well dinner party in a traditional restaurant & folklore house, you will be transferred to the Airport. Accommodation in Addis can also be arranged for day use.

Meals: B,L,D, Transfer to the Airport for Departure