SOUTH OMO VALLEY TRIBES ROUTE

Welcome to SOUTH OMO VALLEY TRIBES ROUTE

TRIP HIGLIGHTS: SOUTH OMO VALLEY

This journey covers the Omo Valley in Southern Ethiopia, which is an area of Ethiopia off the beaten track and where some of the most colorful tribes and ethnic groups. The fascinating costumes, colorful ceremonies and celebrations, arts, crafts, music and dance of the Benna, Hamer, Mursi, Arbore and Tsemay people are very special. In the Omo Valley region, many of the tribal groups have changed little over hundreds of years and they offer the visitor extraordinary insight into a variety of traditional cultures. On this trip, you get truly go back in time, exploring little visited villages and vibrant tribal markets of the Southern Ethiopia.

DAY 1- DEPARTURE FROM YOUR HOME COUNTRY

DAY 2- ARRIVAL IN BOLE INTERNATIONAL AIR PORT AND DRIVE TO YOUR HOTEL

Right after your arrival you will be warmly welcomed by our staffs and you will drive to your hotel. Imagine today you are in the political hub of the African continent and the capital city of Ethiopia since the last 125 years. This time you will have the first experience of the Ethiopian coffee as well as injera, Ethiopia national dish. Then get ready for the next day drive to the Southern part of the country.
NEXUS HOTEL OR SIMILAR

DAY 3- DRIVE TO HOSAENA    

Drive   to Hosanna: En route visit Melka Kunture, lie near the Awash River Gorge 50 km south of the capital is one of the most important Neolithic sites in Ethiopia. Hand axes and various other implements have been found here. Next stop is at Tiya, where we can see the northernmost example of a peculiar type of engraved, standing stelae which stretch across parts of southern Ethiopia. These stelae are believed to have been erected between the 12th and 14th centuries and are almost certainly grave markers. Recent excavations at Tiya have revealed the remains of young people of both sexes, aged between 18 -30 and buried in fetal positions. Tiya is recognized as a World Heritage Site. This is a drive through the Rift Valley going south towards Kenya.

Overnight Lemma International Hotel or similar

DAY 4- DRIVE HOSSAENA- ARBAMINCH

Morning drives to Arbaminch and en route visit the Dorze tribe and their village, famed for their beehive-shaped houses and their weaving skills. Weaving is a primary profession for many Dorze. They are also farmers, who prevent soil erosion by ingenious terracing of the mountainsides. Around their huts they have their own little garden with vegetables, spices, tobacco and enset (false-banana or musa ensete).  
After lunch, take a boat trip on Lake Chamo, where crocodile’s sunbath on the shore and hippos cool themselves in the water. Birdlife is abundant here including weavers, sunbirds, waxbills and colonies of pelicans.
Overnight Paradise Lodge or similar

DAY 5- DRIVE ARBAMINCH- JINKA

Konso, named after the Konso people, is known for its religious traditions, waga sculptures, and nearby fossil beds (the latter an archaeological site of early hominids). The site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List on September June, 2012 due to its purported universal cultural significance of terracing agricultural practice.

Further along the route visit the Tsemay village. The Tsemay tribe occupies the semi-arid region of the Weyto valley, which is found west its namesake river. Here, the Tsemay live as agro - pastoralist. The banks of the Weyto River are particularly suitable for crop cultivation and other plantations like cotton. However, the Tsemay mainly grow sorghum and millet. Continue driving down to the south to the small town of Key Afer. Stop at this little town and visit the Key Afer Tribal Market, if it is Thursday.

Overnight Eco Omo Lodge or similar

DAY 6- DRIVE JINKA

Morning excursion to the Mago National Park. The Mago National Park is located on the eastern bank of the Omo River and ranges in altitude from 450 to 2,528 meters above sea level. We cross the park and make our way to a Mursi village to visit and appreciate the very attractive culture of Mursi tribe. They are renowned for the strange custom followed by their women who, on reaching maturity, have their lower lips slit and insert in the space circular clay discs, a sign of beauty. On your way back stop to visit the South Omo Research Center & Museum. It is an excellent anthropological museum regarding the South Omo people. On this day, you will also visit the Jinka market. You will see the various tribes such as Mursi, Tsemay, Bena and Ari tribes.

Overnight Eco Omo Lodge or similar

DAY 7 – DRIVE JINKA -TURMI

Drive to Turmi. Along the way we pass through a vast meadowland with shrubs and “umbrella” acacia trees. At Turmi we visit a Hamer village. 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 similar. 

DAY 8- TURMI

Turmi is our base as we explore the different regions and to meet the different tribes who live a life of their own. This day we drive towards the Murulle area to see the Karo tribes. Murile (also spelled Muelle and Murli) lies on the banks of the Omo River, and is a popular base for exploring what is essentially a rugged area. There is a fair amount of wildlife in the area, and a good chance of seeing some form of antelope and possibly raptors overhead. The Karo tribe, which practices scarification and have elaborate hairstyles, 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 are created purely for fun and aesthetic effect, each artist vying to outdo his fellow artist. Karo men also sculpt and shave their hair into extravagant shapes, with special ochre "caps" of hair usually containing several ostrich feathers. On this day, visit the colorful Hamer market. Here you will be privileged to see the dressing and hair styles of the Hamer tribe.  
Overnight Buska Lodge or similar.

DAY 9- DRIVE TURMI-ARBAMINCH

Visit Arbore village. The Arbore are a group of about 4000 people and subsist as agro pastoralists. Their most important possession is their cattle. Their agriculture (maize and sorghum) which together with animal husbandry is vital for their subsistence is maintained by an elaborate irrigation system alongside the River Weyto. The Arbore possess detailed knowledge of botanical species, distinguishing between 130 different kinds of sorghum. Continue driving to Yabello through the natural and plain countryside. Seve ral stops on your way when you encountered with special occasions such as meeting tribes on the road and shepherds.

Overnight Paradise Lodge or similar

DAY 10- DRIVE ARBAMINCH -AWASSA

Drive to Lake Langano. We continue the drive north through the Rift Valley passing Sodo and the Alaba interesting architectural vernacular houses where you will stop for a visit and lunch at Shashemene. At Shashmene you will be privileged to visit the Ras Taferian village where there are Ras Taferian communities. Across from Lake Langano we have Lake Abiata and Lake Shala known for flamingos and other birds. You will have a look from a view point. 

Overnight Haile Resort or similar

DAY 11-DRIVE LANAGANO-ADDIS ABABA

After a lunch, drive ahead to Addis Ababa via Ziway rich in birds and aquatic animals and Debre Ziet. Debre Ziet, surrounded by Lake Kuriftu on one side and beautiful tropical gardens on the other, is a slice of paradise.

After arrival in Addis, visit the National Museum. It is home to the skeleton of Selam, who like Lucy, is an Australopithecus afarensis. Often nicknamed Lucy’s baby, Selam actually lived nearly 150,000 years before Lucy. Continue on to the Ethnographic Museum of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, located in a palace of former Emperor Haile Selassie. See precious pieces of Ethiopian Christian art. Also, drive up to the Entoto Mountain to have a breath taking view of Addis.

In the evening before check in to the airport, have a fare well dinner party at one of the best traditional restaurants where you will see the folkloric dances of the people of Ethiopia, and taste the variety of Ethiopian meals.

Finally, check in to the airport for your departure.

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