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12 Days 11 Nights
Be Adventurous
1 Independent
From $5,893pp

Venture Insight

A suggested itinerary visiting the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia visiting some of the no fewer than 80 different ethnic groups that are remarkable in both their traditions and costumes and along the way visit archaeological sites and take in one of the best views in Africa at Arba Minch, described as “the bridge of heaven”. This itinerary is only one possibility, with many more suggestions for the more adventurous.


Lip Plated Mursi Tribe

One of the most fascinating tribes in Africa, the Mursi tribe are known for the visible and distinguishable characteristics where the women wear huge ceramic lip plates and the men paint their entire bodies with white ochre stripes to mark traditional rites of passages.

40 Springs + A Bridge to Heaven

At the foothills of the Rift Valley escarpment is the southern town of Arba Minch which translated means “40 Springs”. Visit the Dorze people whose homes look like tall beehive huts and the nearby Nech Sar National Park offering stunning scenery including ‘The Bridge to Heaven”, said to be one of the best views in all of Africa.

Bull Jumping + Clay Caps

One of the unique customs of the Hamer tribe is their bull jumping ceremony that marks a rite of passage for men in order to be allowed to marry jumping over eight bulls. The men also have distinctive and elaborate hairstyles wearing a clay ‘cap’.

Itinerary

day 1

Addis Ababa

Morning arrival + transfer to hotel. Afternoon tour of the city driving north to Mt Entoto for panoramic views of the capital. Visit the National Archaeological Museum where visitors can see exhibits ranging from the 3.5 million-year-old bones of Lucy, from the Axumite + Gondarene periods through to the period of the monarchs Tewodros + Menelik II. Evening at leisure with own dinner arrangements.
day 2

Addis Ababa to Arba Minch

It's a long drive (9 hrs) down the western side of the Rift Valley passing through Butajira, Hossana + So with plenty of stops en route such as the Neolithic site + museum at Melka Kunture, the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Tiya + the rock hewn church at Adadi Mariam. Known as "40 Springs" we arrive in Arba Minch + check in to our lodge accommodation overlooking the narrow stretch of forested land known as "the bridge of heaven" described as one of the best views in Africa. NOTE: There are two routes to Arba Minch from Addis Ababa, the one described above, + the slightly longer + busier route through Shashamene and past the Rift Valley Lakes of Langano, Shalla, Abiata + Zwai. There are more attractive places to overnight on this route. (BLD)
day 3

Arba Minch to Jinka

We drive south to Konso, whose people are known for their intricately terraced hillsides, fine woven materials + the carved totems with which they decorate their graves, + after our visit turn towards Jinka. Konso is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Market days in Konso are Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays). We pass the Weyto river where we will see a great variety of pelicans + other aquatic birds and arrive in Jinka. This afternoon visit the museum in Jinka, which along with various artefacts has a lot of ethnographical information about the people of the Omo. (BLD)
day 4

Jinka to Mago National Park to Jinka

We leave Jinka and drive to the Mago National Park. The park has a variety of mammals and birds. The main attraction in Mago are the Mursi people, so we drive to Shembel, the nearest Mursi village and if we want to go further, up the escarpment to the Mursi villages there. The Mursi go in for body scarification and (among the women) the wearing of lip plates. We return to Jinka for another night. (BLD)
day 5

Jinka to Turmi

We retrace our steps towards Key Afar (market on Thursdays, the people of Key Afar are mainly Ari and Bena), + then drive south towards Dimeke (market on Tuesdays and Saturdays), + Turmi which will be our base for visiting other ethnic groups. (BLD)
day 6

Turmi

We drive to Murule, + visit the Dus, Korcho and Dassenech villages of the Karo people. Among the people living along the Omo, the Karo differentiate themselves from many other neighbouring tribes by excelling in both face + body painting. Daily they paint themselves in designs that vary from simple shapes to more decorative, using natural resources local to the area including coloured ochre, white chalk, yellow mineral rock, charcoal and pulverized iron ore using specific designs. (BLD)
day 7

Turmi

We head towards the Omo River, to Omo Rate, passing Kangate and the villages of the Bume people, going on to visit the Galeb villages. We will cross the river in a local boat and visit villages on the other side. (BLD)
day 8

Turmi

Today we visit the Hamer villages around Turmi. The Hamer are a fine looking people, both men and women take great pride in their appearance, shaving + colouring their hair, oiling their bodies and decorating themselves with beads and bracelets worn around arms + legs. If this day is a Saturday or a Tuesday, we would visit the market at Dimeke, which is one of the most colourful + interesting in the area. (Market days in Turmi are on Mondays). During the time we spend in Turmi, we will check whether there is a bull jumping ceremony in the vicinity. This is a rite of passage ceremony for young men, marking their transition to adulthood. We will also check for Evangadi, or Hamer dancing ceremonies. (BLD)
day 9

Turmi to Arba Minch

Set off on the return journey to Arba Minch, passing the northern end of Chew Bahir, and through Erbore (market day Saturday) + Tsemay. We will arrive at Arba Minch in the late afternoon. (BLD)
day 10

Arba Minch to Hawassa

Leaving after breakfast, some 40 km north of Arba Minch we will make a short detour to Chencha, the home of the Dorze people, known for their bamboo, bee-hive shaped houses + their fine quality cotton “shamma”. (Market day Thursday afternoon.) We may take lunch in Sodo, and arrive at our destination, Hawassa, at our overnight accommodation situated on the lake. (BLD)
day 11

Hawassa to Addis Ababa

For those interested in bird pictures, we can take an early morning visit to the fish market in Hawassa, + get really close to pelicans, storks + other birds very much used to human company. After breakfast we set off back to Addis Ababa, arriving in time for some souvenir shopping. We will have a farewell dinner at the Yod Abyssinia (or another traditional restaurant), where we will have national food + see national dancing from Ethiopia’s different regions. (BLD)
day 12

Addis Ababa

Tour ends after breakfast with transfer to airport for onward journey. (B)
day 1

Addis Ababa

Morning arrival + transfer to hotel. Afternoon tour of the city driving north to Mt Entoto for panoramic views of the capital. Visit the National Archaeological Museum where visitors can see exhibits ranging from the 3.5 million-year-old bones of Lucy, from the Axumite + Gondarene periods through to the period of the monarchs Tewodros + Menelik II. Evening at leisure with own dinner arrangements.
day 2

Addis Ababa to Arba Minch

It's a long drive (9 hrs) down the western side of the Rift Valley passing through Butajira, Hossana + So with plenty of stops en route such as the Neolithic site + museum at Melka Kunture, the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Tiya + the rock hewn church at Adadi Mariam. Known as "40 Springs" we arrive in Arba Minch + check in to our lodge accommodation overlooking the narrow stretch of forested land known as "the bridge of heaven" described as one of the best views in Africa. NOTE: There are two routes to Arba Minch from Addis Ababa, the one described above, + the slightly longer + busier route through Shashamene and past the Rift Valley Lakes of Langano, Shalla, Abiata + Zwai. There are more attractive places to overnight on this route. (BLD)
day 3

Arba Minch to Jinka

We drive south to Konso, whose people are known for their intricately terraced hillsides, fine woven materials + the carved totems with which they decorate their graves, + after our visit turn towards Jinka. Konso is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Market days in Konso are Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays). We pass the Weyto river where we will see a great variety of pelicans + other aquatic birds and arrive in Jinka. This afternoon visit the museum in Jinka, which along with various artefacts has a lot of ethnographical information about the people of the Omo. (BLD)
day 4

Jinka to Mago National Park to Jinka

We leave Jinka and drive to the Mago National Park. The park has a variety of mammals and birds. The main attraction in Mago are the Mursi people, so we drive to Shembel, the nearest Mursi village and if we want to go further, up the escarpment to the Mursi villages there. The Mursi go in for body scarification and (among the women) the wearing of lip plates. We return to Jinka for another night. (BLD)
day 5

Jinka to Turmi

We retrace our steps towards Key Afar (market on Thursdays, the people of Key Afar are mainly Ari and Bena), + then drive south towards Dimeke (market on Tuesdays and Saturdays), + Turmi which will be our base for visiting other ethnic groups. (BLD)
day 6

Turmi

We drive to Murule, + visit the Dus, Korcho and Dassenech villages of the Karo people. Among the people living along the Omo, the Karo differentiate themselves from many other neighbouring tribes by excelling in both face + body painting. Daily they paint themselves in designs that vary from simple shapes to more decorative, using natural resources local to the area including coloured ochre, white chalk, yellow mineral rock, charcoal and pulverized iron ore using specific designs. (BLD)
day 7

Turmi

We head towards the Omo River, to Omo Rate, passing Kangate and the villages of the Bume people, going on to visit the Galeb villages. We will cross the river in a local boat and visit villages on the other side. (BLD)
day 8

Turmi

Today we visit the Hamer villages around Turmi. The Hamer are a fine looking people, both men and women take great pride in their appearance, shaving + colouring their hair, oiling their bodies and decorating themselves with beads and bracelets worn around arms + legs. If this day is a Saturday or a Tuesday, we would visit the market at Dimeke, which is one of the most colourful + interesting in the area. (Market days in Turmi are on Mondays). During the time we spend in Turmi, we will check whether there is a bull jumping ceremony in the vicinity. This is a rite of passage ceremony for young men, marking their transition to adulthood. We will also check for Evangadi, or Hamer dancing ceremonies. (BLD)
day 9

Turmi to Arba Minch

Set off on the return journey to Arba Minch, passing the northern end of Chew Bahir, and through Erbore (market day Saturday) + Tsemay. We will arrive at Arba Minch in the late afternoon. (BLD)
day 10

Arba Minch to Hawassa

Leaving after breakfast, some 40 km north of Arba Minch we will make a short detour to Chencha, the home of the Dorze people, known for their bamboo, bee-hive shaped houses + their fine quality cotton “shamma”. (Market day Thursday afternoon.) We may take lunch in Sodo, and arrive at our destination, Hawassa, at our overnight accommodation situated on the lake. (BLD)
day 11

Hawassa to Addis Ababa

For those interested in bird pictures, we can take an early morning visit to the fish market in Hawassa, + get really close to pelicans, storks + other birds very much used to human company. After breakfast we set off back to Addis Ababa, arriving in time for some souvenir shopping. We will have a farewell dinner at the Yod Abyssinia (or another traditional restaurant), where we will have national food + see national dancing from Ethiopia’s different regions. (BLD)
day 12

Addis Ababa

Tour ends after breakfast with transfer to airport for onward journey. (B)

Includes

12 nights' accommodation (5 * in Addis Ababa, 3* + 4 * elsewhere); meals as indicated in itinerary; tours + excursions outlined in detailed itinerary; transfers + transportation in 4WD; escort guide fees + expenses; local guide fees (mandatory); all entrance fees; gov't + local taxes.

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