On this tour you will experience the incredible diversity as we visit some of the ancient and rarely visited tribes of the Ethiopian Omo Valley, including the Mursi, Borena, Oromoya, Suri and Dassnenech. The Omo Valley is one of the important World Heritage sites in Ethiopia. The Omo River is the largest Ethiopian river outside the Nile Basin and its lower valley has been a crossroads for thousands of years as various cultures and ethnic groups migrated around the region.
Join us for a genuine experience, off the beaten path, in a group of like-minded and curious travelers.
Addis Ababa – Arba Minch – Lake Chamo – Dorze – Konso – Jinka – Mursi – Dimeka – Turmi – Omorate – Karo – Surma – Kibish
Airport and transfer to your Hotel. Most flights arrive around midnight from 10th to 11th of March, so we include one free extra night so you can get some rest from your travels. Overnight in Addis Ababa – The Mosaic Hotel
Today we get enough time to wandering around in the town. We can do street photography and capture the amazing Cathedral. In the evening we start our tour with a welcome dinner. Overnight in Addis Ababa – The Mosaic Hotel
We will fly to Arba Minch from Addis Ababa Airport, the departure for this 45-minute flight will be at 1pm in the middle of the day. Transfer to and overnight in Paradise Lodge. We will stay here for 3 nights.
Full day in Arbaminch to visit Netchsar National park which protects savannah habitats (zebras and gazelles) and knotted acacia scrub on the bridge of wide scenery. Once across the bridge, there will be sweeping views over the plains to majestic volcanic hills on the eastern boundary. After lunch drive for boat ride (approx. 5 hours) on Lake Hhamo to enjoy the most spectacular scenery of the lake and see the largest crocodiles, a species that gets up to 20 ft (6m) in length. Crocodile Market of the African continent as well as birds species. Overnight at the Paradise Lodge.
In the morning after breakfast we proceed to Dorze village, set in the highlands above Arba Minch. The Dorze people are known for their tall beehive-like houses and their fine cotton weaving. You will visit the village and learn about the daily lives of these industrious people. The Dorze people belong to one of the Omotic groups in the south west of Ethiopia. They are a hard working tribe renowned for their skill in weaving, bamboo carpentry and other traditional crafts. After the visit we continue back to Arba Minch. Overnight at Paradise Lodge.
Morning drive to Jinka via Konso. The Konso people are known for their wooden statues, known as Wakas (erected in honor of their dead heroes) as well as their innovative agricultural terracing. You will visit there village for 1 - 2 hours. Overnight in Jinka at Eco Omo Lodge.
Early In the morning we head to the unique Mursi tribe. The women are famous for wearing circular lip and ear plates made from clay, which symbolize beauty and honor. We will cross through Mago National Park to reach their village. Witness the uninterrupted authentic daily life activities. Return to Jinka. Overnight in Jinka at Eco Omo Lodge.
Today is market day in the Aliduba village which is one of the most colorful markets in the area and is visited by many tribes, such as Hamer, Banna, Ari and Tsemay. After witnessing this stunning market, we continue to Turmi. Overnight at Buska Lodge.
In the morning, we'll take a day trip to Omorate to visit the Dassenech tribe. Here you will cross the Omo River by a local boat and arrive at Dassenech village. Afterwards back to Turmi. In the afternoon we will go for a visit to a local Hamer village. If we are lucky, we will be able to watch the Jumping of the Bulls, a traditional Hamer coming-of-age ceremony. Overnight in Buska Lodge.
Drive to Karo to visit the Karo tribes, some of the most famous tribes in the southern Omo zone, with their body paintings and warriors. The Karo tribe use red ochre and white chalk to create intricate designs on their faces and bodies and although they live in a world far removed from urban life, it's the same for women of the Karo tribe in Ethiopia. Overnight in Omo National Park. This is a camping night. Our catering will be provided by our excellent cook. Our well-organized team will provide us with camping gear.
Today, an unforgettable experience awaits. Our morning drive will take us through the Omo National Park to Kibish to visit the least visited tribes: the Surma/Suri. We will spend time in their village. Overnight in Kibish. This is another camping night (see above).
In the morning we will drive to a number of almost untouched Surma villages, where we will get to know the tribes' morning life activities. We will witness their wonderful and genuine activities close up. Overnight in Kibish. This is the third and last night camping.
In the morning we will continue our journey back to Turmi. Overnight in Buska Lodge.
After breakfast we will visit the Hamer village in the morning before we drive back to Jinka for our lunch break. Then back to Jinka Airport, where we will depart at 1pm for a 1-hour flight back to Addis Ababa. Overnight in the Mosaic Hotel
(receive sporadic emails with workshop updates)
✔ Airport transfers
✔ Accommodation based on twin room sharing
✔ Meal plan full board, all meals including one non-alcoholic drink
✔ Transport from day 3 to day 15 in private 4×4s, no more than 3 passengers per vehicle
✔ Entrance fees, local guides for the markets, compulsory scouts/security personnel and boats for activities according to the itinerary
✔ Professional English speaking guide
✔ Domestic flights
✔ Day 3 – Addis Ababba – Arba Minch
✔ Day 14 – Jinka – Addis Ababba
✔ Photo fees as needed
✗ International airfare
✗ Alcohol and additional non-alcoholic drinks
✗ Travel insurance, health insurance
✗ Items of personal nature (e.g. laundry, alcoholic drinks, etc.)
✗ Tips for your guide and driver (discretionary)
✗ Model fees
✗ Fees for photos and video
✗ Anything that's not explicitly included
Prices are per person in a double room. Single travelers must pay single supplement: US$700
The lodges we chose for this tour are among the best in the area. We always strive to provide excellent accommodation.
We also pride ourselves to provide you with experiences that take you off the beaten path, to areas that are rarely seen by other tourists. The nature of this also means that for a few nights we won't be near any tourism infrastructure. This means that three of the 14 nights on this tour will be camping nights. But don't worry, our staff will provide us with excellent food (we'll have our own cook) and also with the required camping gear. The experience will be worth it.
Wikipedia on the Omo River
Omo is situated in southern Ethiopia, it's the larges river outside of the Nile Basin. Its course is entirely contained within the boundaries of Ethiopia, and it empties into Lake Turkana on the border with Kenya. The river is the principal stream of an endorheic drainage basin, the Turkana Basin.
You will organise your own travel to and from Addis Ababa.
Getting to Addis Ababa is straight-forward, it is served from many major airports.
Payment for this tour will be split into two installments. To secure your spot on the tour you we ask you to pay an immediate deposit of US$ 1000. This deposit is non-refundable. The remaining balance is due 5 months before the tour starts. Please read the Terms and Conditions for more details.
Author: Chris Marquardt