National Geographic magazine has called the Omo Valley “Africa’s last frontier.” Home to approximately 225,000 people, the valley is busting with diversity; there are nine main tribes and many smaller ones all speaking their own language, practicing unique customs and rituals that identify to them only. Life has evolved slowly here as tribes have clung to their life practices while the world around them has changed. Now their beauty and fanciful dress are attracting attention as they welcome you to their villages, interact at local markets and dance with you at nightly rituals.
Day 1: Arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Air port
Meet and greet you Wisdom Ethiopia Tours Tours representative at exit of luggage claim and transfer you to the hotel. Overnight stay in the Jupitor hotel.
Day 2: City tour in Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the third highest capital of the world on an altitude of 2300-2500 m. with a pleasant climate and a background of green with eucalyptus trees covered mountains. The city is founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II and Queen Taitu.
Visit Entoto Mountains, with very nice view over the capital, the National/Ethnographic museum, St George church and the Merkato, biggest open air market in Africa. Overnight stay in the Jupitor hotel.
Day 3: Drive to Awassa via the Great Rift Valley
Today en route you will make a stop on Awash River and Lake Ziway to visit aquatic birds. Lake Ziway, the shallowest lake in the rift valley chain of lakes which depth 7m. Its extensive aquatic vegetation attracts a variety of water birds. Commonly seen and easily identified are; Saddle-billed stork, greater jacana, African fish eagle, darter, herons, darters and Wood hoope. In Awassa you can also walk around the ditch to for nice sunset and aquatic birds. Overnight stay in Oasis International Hotel.
Day 4: Drive to Arba Minch via Wolayta
Today before starting drive to Arba Minch you will visit the scenic morning Fish market in Awassa where the fisher man sell his fresh Tilapia, Catfish, and Barbus whereas Pelicans and Storks are competing to take the left over. You can also spot Black and White Colbous monkey around the Amor Gedele. En route make a stop and visit Wolayta villages. Overnight stay in Paradise Lodge, Arba Minch
Day 5: Make a boat trip to L. Chamo and in afternoon drive to Dorze
Make a boat trip on Lake Chamo where the longest and fattest crocodiles of Africa take a sunbath on the shores. Hippo’s hide themselves under the water and you will also see a good range of birds including; weavers, sunbirds, waxbills and colonies of pelicans.
Having a lunch drive to Dorze, the road slowly ascends to the top, where it gives you a panoramic view to the Lake Abaya and Lake Chamo then visit the Dorze village. The Dorze are famous for constructing distinguished beehive shaped huts, terrace cultivation and the best weaving work of Ethiopia. Overnight stay in Paradise Lodge, Arba Minch.
Day 6: Drive to Jinka via Key afar
Passing the terraced mountains of Konso with magnificent views into Weyto valley you drive to Jinka, if you the day is Thursday you will have the opportunities to visit the Key afar market, which gather; the Hammer, Benna, Ari and Tsmay tribes. Depending on your arrival you can visit also the Ethnographic museum of Jinka. Overnight stay in Jinka Resort.
Day 7: Excursion to visit the Mursi village via Mago National Park
To visit the Mursi you cross a part of the Mago NP on a track through the bush where many Dikdiks (small antelopes) and gazelle can be seen on the savanna plains.
The Mursi are well known for the big clay plates the women bear in their lower lip and ear. The origin of this tradition is not known but the Mursi themselves consider it as something that makes them distinguish from the surrounding tribes and to make the women unattractive for slave-market. But nowadays it is considered as a sign of beauty and wealth. Overnight stay in Jinka Resort.
Day 8: Drive to Turmi via Key afar-Dimeka
Drive to Turmi a small town of Hammer people. Visit the Hammer village. They are well-known for their Bull-Jumping ceremony and Evangadi dance. The Bull-Jumping occur when young boys reach the age of marriage he have to jump three times over the backs of a long row of bulls without falling. If this succeeds they have passed to adulthood from childhood. Overnight stay in Buska Lodge.
Day 9: Excursion to Omorate (Dassench/Gleb) village
Today you drive through the wilderness of the Omo valley to the Dassanech (or Galeb) who are living on the other side of the Omo River. To reach their village you cross the river in a canoe which is made of a hollow tree. Overnight stay in Buska Lodge.
Day 10: Excursion to Murille to visit the Karo villages
Drive to Murille to visit the Karo village Kolcho. The Karo people are thought to be one of the most endangered groups of the omo valley people. Overnight stay in Buska Lodge.
Day 11: Drive to Konso
The society of the Konso boasts a rich culture and a highly specialized and successful agricultural economy by their indigenous way of terracing the steep slopes for cultivation of sorghum and different grains. Visit the Konso village and the natural wonder “New York”: huge sand pillars formed through ages by rain and erosion. Overnight stay in Kanta Lodge.
Day 12: Drive to Yabelo
In the morning you drive to Yabelo through semi-arid area of Borena. The Borenas are semi-nomadic tribe and you can see a small flock of camels with their Borena owners here and there. Overnight stay in Yabelo Motel.
Day 13: Drive to Yireg Alem
Today you drive through the region of the Gedeo and Sidama people. The hills and mountains are intensively cultivated in this densely populated area. Overnight stay in Aregash lodge, a peaceful view to green valley and to intense tranquility, with hayena and the sound of many birds. Overnight stay in Argash Lodge.
Day 14: Drive back to Addis Ababa via Tiya and Melka-Kuntare
On your way back to Addis Ababa via an alternative route through Ziway-Butajira, the green and fertile are of the Gurage people you can visit UNESCO registered the 600 – 800 years old Tiya stelae field and the interesting Melka-Kunture archeological site where thousands of Stone Age tools are found. There is also a small but interesting museum. Late in the afternoon have a farewell dinner then check-in for flight back home.