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 01 : Addis Ababa
Upon arrival in Addis Ababa, our representatives will meet you at Bole International Airport and transfer you to the Harmony Hotel. Enjoy the morning of leisure and enjoy lunch at the hotel. This afternoon visit historical sites including the National Archaeological Museum, to view the 3.6 million year old remains of “Lucy”, whose skeleton was discovered in 1974. Continue to the Ethnological Museum at Addis Ababa University; a great insight into the many different peoples of Ethiopia and their respective cultures. After visiting Holy Trinity Cathedral, we will end the day with a drive to the top of Mount Entoto, which rises to an altitude of 10,500 feet and offers a panoramic view of the metropolis.
Overnight will be Friendship international hotel
Day 02: Arba Minch
Drive south to Arbaminch via the Hosahina Road, stopping for a sightseeing tour of the Unesco World Heritage Site Tiya – an archaeological site of ancient Ethiopians. After lunch, the drive continues through the Wolayta farmlands, with views of the lush green hills and valleys. Arrive late in the afternoon at Arbaminch, which means ‘Forty Springs’ in Amharic. Arbaminch takes its name from the bubbling streams that cover the low-lying forest, occupying the flats of the town.
Paradise Lodge (B,L,D) or Ezana hotel
Day 03: Arba Minch
Board your exclusive 4×4 exclusive 4-passenger vehicle for a short drive to the village of the Dorze tribe. Walk amongst the Dorze people and appreciate their beehive-shaped homes. This tribe are respected as expert weavers. Also, they are expert farmers and witness their ingenious terracing technique, allowing them to farm efficiently along the mountainside and yet prevent soil erosion. After lunch, enjoy a refreshing boat trip on Lake Chamo, home to huge crocodiles, hippos and a variety of bird-life.
Day 04: Jinka
Visit the colorful village of the Konso tribe. A pagan society, the Konso erect eerie wooden totems, replete with phallic symbols over the graves of the dead. They also have numerous cults based around the breeding and veneration of serpents. The cornerstone of Konso culture, however, is a highly specialized and successful agricultural economy that, through terracing buttressed with stone, enable these people to extract a productive living from the none-too-fertile hills and valleys that surround them. This will be an excellent day to mingle among the people, take photographs with them and learn firsthand about a culture virtually untouched by the outside world. Later in the afternoon arrive in Jinka, located at the foot of Mago National Park.
Eco Omo Lodge (B,L,D) or Orit hotel
Day 05: Jinka
This morning drive to a Mursi tribal village. The tribe is renowned for the now-uncommon custom of their women, upon reaching maturity, having their lower lips slit and circular clay discs inserted. Return back to Jinka for lunch and this afternoon proceed to the Ari Village compound. Learn and understand how the local people process different foods and alcohol.
(B, L, D)
Day 06: Turmi
This morning proceed to Dimeka to visit the colorful Hamer tribe.
They are well known for their remarkable hairstyles made of ochre, water, and binding resin., resulting in copper-colored locks. This is a sign of wealth for this tribe. The Hamers are also considered the masters of body decoration. Continue to the town of Turmi.
Buska Lodge (B, L, D) or Turmi ,lodge
Day 07: Turmi
Turmi is our new base as we explore the region and meet the different tribes who share this valley but live a life uniquely their own. Drive to the Murulle area. Murile (also spelled Muelle and Murli) lies on the banks of the Omo River, and is a popular base for exploring this area. The two main tribes who live here are the Karo and the Hamer, both of whom practice scarification and have elaborate hairstyles. The Karo are experts in body painting, using clays and locally available vegetable pigments to trace fantastic patterns on their faces, chests, arms and legs. These designs have no special symbolic significance but instead are created for fun and aesthetic effect, as each artist tries to outdo another. Karo men also sculpt and shave their hair into extravagant shapes, with special ochre “caps” of hair usually containing several ostrich feathers.
Day 08: Arba Minch
On the return drive to Arba Minch visit the Arbore tribe who are known for herding cattle and depend on plant cultivation for their basic food. They provide cereal grains for neighboring tribes through trading partnerships. They are considered pastorals and have their own unique physical appearance with the women covering their heads with black cloth and known to wear very colorful necklaces and earrings. Body painting using natural colors is made from soil and stone. Traditional dancing is practiced by the tribe and wealth is measured by the number of cattle a tribesman owns.
Paradise Lodge (B, L, D) or Ezana hotel
Day 09: Return to Addis Ababa and departure
This morning commence our drive to Addis Ababa and stop at Lake Ziway to view the colorful birds. On arrival in the capital city enjoy an early evening dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant offering a folkloric show and the popular coffee ceremony. After sampling the various national dishes, proceed to the airport for your late night flight back to home
(B, L, D)