Trip Code: ZET 023
Mode of Transportation: Surface- 4WD
Tour Type: Omo Valley

Length: 8 days / 7 nights
Group Size: 1- 20 Participants

Dates: Any date departure
Grade: Cultural Tour

Omo valley — Cultural Safari tour — 8 days

Explore the most remote destinations in Africa

Omo Valley — Cultural Safari tour – 8 days

For thousands of years the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia was a crossroads for droves of people migrating to new lands. Today, it is undoubtedly one of the most unique places on earth because of the sheer diversity of tribal groups that live in this remote area of the Great Rift Valley. This is an extraordinary opportunity to immerse in the fabric of some of these societies, including the Mursi, Hamer and Karo tribes, each with their distinct culture. Expect a real adventure with conditions basic; the Omo Valley being an incredible reminder of an Africa that has not yet seen modernisation. From Addis Ababa we drive to the Omo Valley region and enjoy a boat trip on Lake Chamo to spot hippos and an array of water birds. For the next few days we move from village to village, witnessing traditional lifestyles. The Mursi traditions, whose women insert large clay plates in their lower lips, and the Hamer, who scar and paint their bodies in a mark of their culture, are incredibly fascinating. Returning to Addis Ababa at the conclusion of our trip we reflect on this memorable experience of untouched cultures, ceremonies and astounding natural environments.

Day 1: ARRIVE TO ADDIS ABABA- CITY TOUR

On your arrival, you will be welcomed by our staff then transfer to your hotel.The name of Addis Ababa, in Amharic, means “new flower”. Founded in 1886 by Menelik II, it is located at 2,500 meters above sea level in one of the highest parts of the Entoto mountain chain. It enjoys an excellent climate all year round, with an average temperature of 25°C. Addis Ababa is the third highest capital city in the world and the altitude may fatigue you easily… so take it easy when you arrive. Visit the National Museum, take in the city’s wide, tree-lined streets or the bustle of the “Mercato” (market). This colourful market has an array of fascinating goods and curios, providing a great place for exploration and people watching. Throughout the city there are shops that sell typical artisan wares, materials and antiques.

Meals: B,L,D

Overnight Lodge or Hotel

DAY 2 : DRIVE TO ARBAMINCH

There is a long drive to Arbaminch via Hossana (450km). This is the region inhabited by the people of the Guragie, who were once nomads but are now farmers.–A long section of the road offers magnificent views of Lake Abaya, surrounded by mountains. The lake has volcanic origins and is almost pink in color.

Meals: B,L,D

Overnight Lodge or Hotel

Day 3: BOAT TRIP ON LAKE CHAMO, DRIVE TO JINKA–

This morning we enjoy a boat trip on Lake Chamo – one of the best in Ethiopia. There is a chance to spot many hippos and large concentrations of giant crocodiles. Water birds abound and the scenery is truly unforgettable. The lake is about 32km long and provides a lush wetland habitat for many species of flora and fauna. In the afternoon we drive to Jinka (250km, 4-5 hr drive).

Meals: B,L,D

Overnight Hotel

Day 4:MURSI VILLAGE VISIT, JINKA MUSEUM, DRIVE TO TURMI

Today the journey begins with an excursion to a Mursi village (approx 66km from Jinka). The Mursi are one of the original ethnic groups in Ethiopia. They live in very low huts made of straw leaves. The women like to wear terra cotta jewellery on their enormously stretched lower lips and ear lobes. The men are famous for their hairstyle. Then we visit the Jinka Museum, which contains the Southern Omo Research Centre’s permanent cultural collection and continuing research of the various ethnic groups and provides an in-depth overview into the people and traditions of the Omo Valley. This afternoon we drive to Turmi (120km), one of the largest towns in the region.

Meals: B,L,D

Overnight Lodge

Day 5: KARO AND HAMER VILLAGES -TURMI

This morning we begin with a memorable excursion to the Karo Tribe (approx 63km drive), who–are very famous for their body painting. The Karo people use clays and locally available vegetable pigments to trace fantastic patterns on each other’s faces, chests, arms, and legs. Karo men, as with neighbouring tribes, are also famous for their unique hairstyle. In the afternoon we visit a Hamer village. The Hamer tribe (also called Hammer or Hamar) is one of the largest groups in the Valley. The Hamer cultivate millet, vegetables, tobacco and cotton as well as raising cattle and goats. They are known for the fine pottery they produce as well as their remarkable hairstyling. Most dramatic of all are the clay hair buns with ostrich feathers that the men don when they have killed a fierce animal. These hair buns stay on for 3-6 months at a time. The women wear beaded necklaces and iron coils around their arms and decorate their skin with cowry shells. These decorations indicate the wealth and prestige of a woman’s husband. Return to Turmi in the evening.

Meals: B,L,D

Overnight Lodge

Day 6: RETURN TO ARBAMINCH, VIA KONSO TRIBAL VILLAGE

As we have seen already, Ethiopia has a huge diversity of ethnic groups and today we will witness the distinguishing behaviour of another of these. We travel north to Arbaminch (approx 270km), en- route visiting a Konso tribal village – a World Heritage listed site of cultural significance. Invariably built on hilltops as protection from the lowland tribes, traditional Konso villages are surrounded by high stonewalls and encompass separate compounds, with outlying terraced agricultural fields. You will be fascinated by the unique architectural aspects, largely unchanged cultural heritage and social cohesion of the village, and how it has adapted to its harsh environment. Another highlight is the famous ‘wagas’ – a funerary tradition where magnificent carved wooden sculptures were created in honour of Konso warrior heroes who have killed an enemy or animal, and often grouped to represent the man, his wives and his adversaries.

Meals: B,L,D

Overnight Lodge or Hotel

Day 7 : DORZE VILLAGE, TO LAKE LANGANO

We visit a Dorze village this morning (approx 30km drive). One of the smaller ethnic groups, the Dorze are known for their textile weaving and bee hive shaped huts. In the afternoon we drive to the shores of Lake Langano, a freshwater lake popular with locals and tourists alike for its wildlife and water sports.

Meals: B,L,D

Overnight Lodge

Day 8: RETURN TO ADDIS ABABA

This morning there is time to relax by the lake. After lunch we drive back to Addis Ababa (approx 210km), passing more Rift Valley Lakes on the way. Upon arrival in Addis Ababa this evening (at approx 18:30hrs) trip arrangements conclude. We will be dropped off at the airport. Accommodation in Addis can also be arranged for day use .

Meals: B,L,D

Transfer to the Airport for Departure

  • This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirement.

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Price:

  • 2 Participants USD 1,312
  • 4 Participants USD 1,293
  • 6 Participants USD 1,235
  • Single Supplement: USD 223.00

What’s included?

  • All accommodation is based on twin sharing.
  • Full board, 8 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 8 dinners
  • 3 and star hotels and Lodges wherever possible
  • Private 4WD transport with driver. All ground transportations with fuel and by a newest model air conditioned 4WD.
  • The services of escort guide qualified in English during the whole voyage (on request for 6 or more guests )
  • Driver-guide plus local guides for each location
  • Entry fees as per itinerary
  • Boat trip on Lake Chamo
  • Airport Transfers
  • City transfer
  • Scouts
  • Government Tax

What’s not included?

  • International airfare
  • Any alcoholic drinks
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Personal expense like souvenirs, laundry, etc
  • Meals (Lunch and Dinner)
  • Tips
  • Visa expenses.
  • Video or photographing fees or tips at different sites. – Any alcoholic beverages
  • And any personal item expense
  • Any expense which is not stated in the ‘ Included List’ above

Essential Trip Information

Plan your trip

Getting around Ethiopia:

If you have more time, or delight in the joys of overland travel, we can provide you vehicles (4WD, minibus and coaster bus)

An increasingly popular option with tourists is to travel overland as much of the roads are an asphalt and all —weather roads.

More remote parts of the country, such as the Danakil Depression and Erta Ale, or the tribal lands of South Omo, can only realistically be visited by 4WD expedition.

Although all-weather roads do run through Simien Mountains and Bale Mountains national parks, the most rewarding way to explore these biodiverse highland destinations is by 4WD.

Visas: – All nationalities require a visa for Ethiopia which can be obtained before departure or on arrival (at a cost of USD50).

Upon request we arrange visas for our travellers, or if an invitation letter is necessary then we will arrange this for you.

climate :-Ethiopia, although almost on the equator, experiences a temperate climate and sometimes temperatures below freezing (in the Simien Mountains) due to its high altitude. Throughout the highlands, where we will be travelling for the majority of this trip, the climate is moderate and daytime temperatures rarely exceed 25 degrees C. Particularly in December and January, the temperature drops at night to around 10 degrees C. The hottest months are April and May, just before the main rains. Although Ethiopia has its famous slogan of “Thirteen Months of Sunshine“ a year – referring to the thirteen months of the Julian calendar – there are two rainy seasons a year: the irregular short rains from late January to early March and the long rains that stretch from June until mid September. In the highlands, especially on the escarpment, you must also be prepared for quite strong winds. One of the most ideal times to visit Ethiopia is between September and March, when the rains have ceased and most of the plants are green from having received a large amount of moisture.

Being relatively close to the equator, Ethiopia has almost twelve hours of constant daylight no matter what time of year you visit. With the sun rising at 6:30am and setting at 6:45pm, most of our days start early so as to be at our hotel by sunset. The program for each day will vary, according to whether we are travelling, visiting local villages or both.

When to go —All year round.

what you carry :-In your daypack you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on the altitude, location and weather), a rainjacket, water bottle, camera gear, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip balm etc.

 Accommodation: All accommodation throughout this tour is 3-4 star (comfortable hotels and Lodges with en-suite facilities)) All accommodation is based on twin sharing.

 vehicles :-During the course of your trip, we will use a variety of vehicles, all which are fit for purpose and the conditions encountered( for this trip We will be using 4WD Toyota land cruiser )

Whilst we do not include animal rides on most of our trips, there are occasions where it may be possible to undertake them.

We take every precaution to ensure smooth logistics, our vehicles and equipment are the best available on the market. Most importantly, our adventures have always sought to benefit the local peoples we interact with, safeguard the ecosystems we explore and contribute to the sustainability of travel in the regions we experience. You will be also accompanied by local guides whose knowledge and passion will add a unique dimension to your trip. Their experience and enthusiasm ensures that we maintain the leading edge in adventure travel and therefore providing excellent value for money. Given our local knowledge, experience and excellent leadership, we are quite sure that this tour will be a trip of a lifetime.

Private groups: The adventures featured in our itinerary are just a starting point for many of our private group travellers. Working closely with our Groups Department we can organize custom designed itineraries for groups of friends, clubs, charity’s, schools or even work colleagues. Our team will assist you with all aspects of your private group adventure from itinerary design to group flights. For group traveller pledge considerable discount.

Customized tours: On request, this tour can be customized for small groups.

Proceeding / additional days: It’s no problem to add days before or after the expedition and we’ll book these for you. If you bring more time, you could do day trips from Addis or take an extension tour

Group booking discount: If at least 5 people together book this trip, 6% discount is given.

Please remember that all Zagwe Ethiopia tour prices mean NO hidden extras, NO local payments.

Tipping – Local Crew : Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognized part of life in Ethiopia . Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, your Guide may organise a group’s tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.–Accordingly, you should allow US$50 for tipping of local drivers, guides, boat crew and for any miscellaneous tipping of hotel staff.

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Contact us

  •   1km away from Bole airport, Addis Ababa

  •    Office:251-118-100025

  •    Fax:251-118-100025

  •    Mobile:251-911-983256

  •    Mail: info@zagweethiopiatour.com

         

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