Travel to the Omo Valley in Southern Ethiopia is the best place to explore the colorful culture of Ethiopia tribes. Book this Omo Valley Cultural Tour and visit the tribes of Benna, Hamer, Mursi, Karo, Geleb, Arbore and Borena people.
TOUR CODE: AAT 1113
DURATION: 11 DAYS/ 10 NIGHTS
SITE: Langano, Arba Minch,Konso, Jinka Mursi, Turmi, Yabello
TRANSPORT: BY SURFACE
Departure Day: Daily Guaranteed Departure with 2 participants minimum
- Explore the Colorful tribes of Ethiopia in the Omo valley region who still adhere to ancient animistic rituals. Beaded leather skirts and complementing body painting, feathered headdresses and dramatic scarification and the more unusual are the isolated Mursi tribe whose women wear large clay lip plates symbolizing their worth and beauty.
- Explore the dramatic nature of the Southern Ethiopia Omo Valley
- Boat trip on Lake Chamo , home to huge crocodiles, hippos and a variety of birdlife
- Overland travel to the south by a very good condition of Toyota COASTER BUS
- Escorted throughout by a highly experienced Tour Guide
- Best accommodations available in Ethiopia
- Shop the stalls of Merkato, the largest open-air market in Africa
- Traditional Ethiopian farewell dinner with “coffee ceremony”
The Omo Valley, in the south of Ethiopia , is home to a fascinating range of distinct tribal groups, isolated from the rest of the world for centuries and still very much following their own cultures and customs. On this trip we set off using 4WD transport. We will visit Dorze, Ari, Mursi, Hamer, Karo and Arbore villages. You will explore local markets, meet the local people and have an opportunity to better understand these distinct and different cultures driving past the lakes of Africa’s Great Rift Valley. Travel here is not for the faint-hearted - but one of the most exciting experiences that the continent offers. ‘Off the beaten track’ doesn’t even come close!
Day 1: Arrival in Addis Ababa
WELCOME TO ETHIOPIA. On arrival in Addis Ababa our representative will meet you at Bole International Airport. After transfer to your hotel an overview of the program will be given. The rest of the day visit historical sites in Addis Ababa including the National Archaeological Museum, where the 3,6 million year old skeletal remains of “Lucy” rest, which were discovered in 1974. Proceed to the Unity Park at the National Palace, the Holy Trinity Cathedral and Mount Entoto, which rises up to an altitude of 3200 meters and offers a panoramic view of the metropolis. Overnight hotel.
Day 2: Drive Langano
Meet the 4WD vehicle at the Airport and drive heading south for Lake Langano. En route stop at Zeway town and visit The Lake and then continue driving to Lake Langano for an Overnight stay in Sabana Resort.
Day 3: Drive Arba Minch, 300 Kms about 4 - 5 hours drive
Drive to Arba Minch visititing Chencha and the Dorze village en route. The village is high in the mountains north of Arba Minch. The Dorze are well known as master weavers and live in interesting igloo-shaped houses. Arba Minch - meaning 'Forty Springs' in Amharic - takes its name from the bubbling streams that cover the forest and the flats of the town. Overnight Haile Resort
Day 4: Boat Trip on Lake Chamo then drive to Konso
After breakfast take a boat trip on Lake Chamo, where you can spot many hippos and spectacular concentrations of giant crocodiles. The water birds are great the scenery is unforgettable. Locals fish here in traditional fishing boats. Then after drive to Konso where you visit the Konso people, known for colorful dresses and unusually engraved wooden statues. Overnight at Kanta Lode.
Day 5: Drive to Jinka, 134 Kms 4-5 hours drive
Continue along impressive land terracing to the village of the Woito people, near the Woito river. On the way to Jinka stop at the Key Afer Market (Thursday is market day), a tribal market, where different ethnic groups gather to sell and buy their agricultural products.
Overnight Eco Omo Lodge
Day 6: Jinka – Mursi - Jinka – Turmi, 265 Kms about 4-5 hours drive
After breakfast leave Jinka and drive to the Mursi village to visit and appreciate the very attractive culture of the Mursi tribe. They are renowned for the strange custom followed by their women who, on reaching maturity, have their lower lips slit and circular clay discs inserted. The men are famous for their hairstyle. Scarification on young ladies is very common. After the visit drive back to Jinka and then continue driving to Turmi through Dimeka to visit the Hamer people and their village. Jinka to Turmi is 125 Kms. Turmi is a small town, which is the base to visit the Hamer village. Overnight Buska Lodge Or Turmi Lodge or Paradise Lodge
Day 7: Saturday: In Turmi
After breakfast visit the one of the Hamer village in the afternoon visit the Satuday Market of the Hamer people at Demeka. Hamers have remarkable hairstyles made from ochre, water and binding resin. They rub the mixture into their hair then twist the strands repeatedly to create coppery-colored locks. This is a sign of wealth and welfare. Hamers are considered to be masters of body decoration. Overnight Buska Lodge Or Turmi Lodge or Paradise Lodge
Day 8: Turmi - Omorate - Turmi
Today we visit the Geleb tribes, crossing the Omo River by boat. The people of Geleb have their own distinctive dress and decoration and villages with interesting architecture. In the afternoon we drive back to Turmi and spend the night camping. The Geleb Covering a large territory, the Geleb live along the western banks of the Omo River, having been forced out of the Turkana region by conflict in the 18th century. Originally nomadic pastoralists, the more fertile surroundings of the Omo River has caused them to put down more permanent roots based around fishing and agriculture. The Geleb live in small huts that befit their nomadic origins, as they could be easily and quickly dismantled. Overnight Buska Lodge Or Turmi Lodge or Paradise Lodge
Day 9: Turmi – Yabello
Drive to Yabello visiting the Arbore and the Tsemay people en route. After lunch stop at Konso, continue to the region of Oromo Borena and visit their village. The drive this day will let you to experience the life of the Oromo Borena People who is well known in cattle rearing. You also visit the Oromo Borena People villages and their 'singing well' from which they cater water to their own thousands of cattle by singing. Overnight Yabello Motel
Day 10: Yabello to Lake Awassa
Today we drive to Awassa over a beautiful Sidamo mountains and coffee plantation. On the way, we stop at Wenago to visit the Tutu Fella stelae field – an unusual collection of carved stones. We then continue to Lake Awassa, which is surrounded by mountains and populated by countless species of birds. Overnight in Awassa at Haile Resort Hotel.
Day 11: Addis Ababa and then departure
After breakfast we visit the fish Market by the side of Lake Awassa where the local people buy fish from the fisher men. Then drive back to Addis Ababa through the Great Rift Valley lakes Via Awassa. En route we will stop on the viewpoints for the Rift Valley Lakes of Shala, Abyta and Langano. In the Evening a fare well diner party in one of the Traditional Ethiopian restaurant with dances from the different ethnic Groups. Transfer out to the airport for departure back to home.
We respect your personal preference on what is to be included and not included on the tour cost.
But as a standard included in our given prices are meet and greet at airport, All accommodation, Meals in Addis, on bed and breakfast basis, Meals out of Addis, on full board basis, All entrance fees at sites, churches, parks and villages, All ground transportation according to the itinerary and Guide service.
International flights, Lunch and Dinner in Addis Ababa , Any drinks including local non-alcoholic beverage and alcoholic drinks, Video filming and photography fees, Incidental meals, snacks and drinks and Tips and items of personal nature like laundry, souvenirs, etc
Visa and Immigration Requirements
Most nationals require a visa for entry into Ethiopia. The easiest way to get Ethiopian Visa is to get it on line thttps://www.evisa.gov.et/ . Again visa can be obtained at Ethiopia’s diplomatic missions overseas.. The last option is to get visa on arrival at Bole International Airport; nationals of 33 countries are now allowed to receive their tourist visas on arrival in Ethiopia at the regular charge. The list includes Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greek, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Thailand, citizens of United Kingdom and United States.
How to get in to Ethiopia
Addis Ababa is a major hub for international airlines. Ethiopian Airlines, the national airline of Ethiopia, provides excellent links with East, West and South Africa, Europe and the Middle East, with connections to America and the Far East. The national airline also offers domestic services to the major towns in Ethiopia, as well as most regional centers. All international services arrive at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa. Other airlines serving Ethiopia include: Kenya Airways, Emirates, Egyptian, Alitalia, British Airways, Lufthansa, Saudi, Aeroflot, Yemeni, and Turkish Airways.
Luggage on tour
your luggage should not exceed 20kgs (44lbs). One large suitcase/rucksack, and one small hand luggage rucksack is acceptable. Soft rolling bag (we usually use a 22 inch roll aboard) are recommended.
Weather and Climate
There are two seasons: the dry season prevails from October through May; the wet season runs from June to September.
Generally except for June, July and August, most part of Ethiopia will be sunny and pleasant temperature to travel around.
When you travel to the north you are staying in higher altitude towns (Example Addis Ababa, Gondar, and Lalibela) the daily average Temperature is from 20 – 25 degrees and the temperature drops quite rapidly towards sunset. Evenings are fairly cold and you are advised to bring something warm for the evenings, like a sweater or warm Jacket.
Those travelling to the Southern Omo Valley of Ethiopia, the weather of this region will be sunny, hot and dry; the average temperatures is about 30 degrees. During the day the sun is strong. Shorts, Hats, sun glasses, sun creams, light cotton summer clothes and layers of clothes are recommended. Although the daytime temperatures are not very high, the sun is strong and people coming pale and pasty from a European winter should be careful of sunburn -long sleeved shirts may be advisable.
Travelers are advised to travel with American Dollar or Euro. Australian dollar cannot be exchanged in Ethiopia. There is ATM machine In Most of the Regions and one can withdraw money Visa or Master Card. Banks are places to exchange money.
Hotel rooms are basic but generally clean with en suite toilet and bath facilities (usually shower only). In many places hotel accommodation is limited; we utilize the best tourist class properties available. Hotel in Addis is 3-star international standard.
We will be using 4WD Land Cruisers, 4WD mini buses or Coaster buses depending on the conditions of the roads and the size of the group. All our vehicles are Air- conditioned.
For internal flights, we use the national airline Ethiopian Air lines, which offer excellent domestic services to the major towns in Ethiopia.
Handshaking is the usual mode of greeting, although friends or families who have not seen each other for some time will kiss on each cheek. (Displays of sexual intimacy, kissing or hugging, will arouse embarrassment among most Ethiopians.) Usually a handshake greeting is accompanied by a pleasant discussion on personal matters before getting down to business. The offer of tea or coffee is normal, and time is not that important. Smoking is not popular amongst traditional people, or in front of priests. Shoes are often taken off on entering churches, and always on entering mosques.
Despite years of the civil wars in the previous regime, in terms of crime and robbers, Ethiopia is still a very safe country to visit, and Addis Ababa is still one of the safest capitals in Africa. Visitors should of course take the usual precautions, not carry large amounts of money with them and leave particularly valuable items with hotel reception. Both men and women visitors should be careful about hand and money bags, keeping them close at hand in crowded places. Like everywhere else, pick pockets and snatch thieves like to create some kind of diversion before making their move, so visitors should walk purposefully and be cautious about sudden introductions in the street.
- Meet and greet at airport
- All accommodation based on twin room occupancy
- Meals in Addis, on bed & breakfast basis
- Meals out of Addis, on full board basis including local non-alcoholic beverage
- All entrance fees at sites, churches, parks and villages.
- All transfers according to the itinerary.
- All Ground transportation including insurance, fuel and all costs of the driver.
- Professional English speaking Tour Guide accompanying throughout the trip
- Local Guide and scout fees in parks and villages
- Boat trip on Lake Chamo and Omo River
- Cook who prepares meals while camping
- Camping gears; tents, mattresses, sleeping bags and cooking utensils for camping.
- Farewell dinner in Addis to enjoy traditional Ethiopian food & Music; transfer & guide
- A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony at a convenient time in the program
- Government taxes
Price doesn’t include
- International flights
- Lunch and Dinner in Addis Ababa
- Alcoholic drinks
- Video filming and photography fees
- Incidental meals, snacks and drinks
- Tips and items of personal nature like laundry, souvenirs, etc
- All what is not included in the list above