Travel down past the Rift Valley lakes and coffee plantations to the Omo valley. Meet some of Africa's most fascinating and colourful ethnic groups. The journey begins in Addis Ababa, then drive south to Arba Minch, the springboard to the Omo valley. Visit the market towns of Turmi and Jinka and visit the Mursi, Karo, Dassanech and Hamer tribes. Continue to Aregash Lodge in Yirgalem, where superb food and warm hospitality ease you into some welcome relaxation time.
Day -By-Day Itinerary
Day 01 Addis Ababa to Awassa:
From Addis Ababa you will travel south to Awassa via the Butajira route and visit ancient cities along the way. First you will stop in Tiya at a UNESCO World Heritage Site, then spend some time at Adadi Maryam (a rock hewn church similar to the famous church in northern Ethiopia, Lalibela), then visit an pre-historic took making site in Melka Kunture, and finally arrive in Awassa where you will be set up in a local hotel for the night.
Day 02 Awassa to Arba Minch:
In the morning you will have time to visit the fish markets of Awassa and spend some leisure time on the shores of Lake Awassa before departing to Arba Minch and Dorze. The Dorze villagers are know for their construction of tall houses resembling beehives and for the amazing cotton weaving. If you happen to be visiting on the village's market day you will be taken to see that (Monday and Thursday) but if not you can be taken to a nearby village to see their market (Chencha-Tuesday and Saturday). You will spend the night in a traditional Dorze hut with communal toilet facilities or if you prefer you can continue on to Arba Minch where you will find a hotel, lodge, or campsite to spend the night.
Day 03 Arba Minch to Turmi:
From Arba minch (or Dorze if you stayed there the night before) you will take a boat out on Lake Chamo to visit the crocodile market and be able to have some hippo sightings. After spending time on the lake you will depart to Turmi and pass through a village called Weyto where you will be able to see the local market (market day is Saturday) and visit the Tsemai tribe. Next you will pass throught the Erbore village where you can again stop at the local market (Saturday). Your final destination is Turmi and home of the Hamer tribe. The villagers will welcome you to a night of traditional dancing known as evangadi. Here you can choose to overnight in a hotel, lodge, or campsite.
Day 04 Turmi to Omorate to Turmi:
In the morning you will head to Omorate so you can see the Dassenech tribe, but first you will cross the Omo River by boat and arrive in the Dessenech village. You will return to Turmi to visit the Hamer village and be able to experience the traditional Jumping of the Bulls Ceremony, done to represent a man's coming of age. You will sleep in Turmi for the night. Day 05 Turmi to Jinka: In the morning you will depart to Jink by passing through Dimeka and Key Afar where you can visit some of the most colorful and diverse markets (Dimeka's market days are Tuesday and Saturday). Afterwards you will continue on to Jinka and stay there for the evening in a lodge, hotel, or campsite.
Day 06 Jinka to Mursi and Mango National Park to Jinka:
In the morning you will drive to the Mango National Park and have the opportunity to visit the Mursi tribe, who are known for their lower lip rings and earlobe plates. After you will return to Jinka, and on the way you will be able to visit the South Omo Museum and Research Center to learn and understand more about the traditional practices of the many different local tribes. If you would rather use this time to take a shart hike into the surrounding hills and visit the Ari village this can be arranged instead of the museum visit. Then you will return to Jinka where you will stay the night.
Day 07 Jinka to Arba Minch to Konso:
In the morning you will depart from Jinka to Arba Minch via the Key Afar routs. After stopping to see local tribes, trading goods, and markets you will head to Konso (market days here are Monday and Thurday). The Konso tribe is known for its amazing woodwork which are erected in honor of those who have died as heroes. They are also known for their innovative agriculture terracing. Here you will briefly be able to visit a museum to view some of the woodwork. From Konso you will continue on to Arba Minch and stay in either a lodge, hotel, or campsite for the night.
Day 08 Arba Minch to Addis Ababa:
You will have an early morning departure from Arba Minch to Addis Ababa. This will be a full day of car travel, but on the way you may have time to visit a few of the previously visited sites. Reaching Addis Ababa will mark the end of the tour.