With such extraordinary cultural integrity the South Omo is literally fantastic. Like much of
neighboring northern Kenya, South Omo is a close as one can come to an Africa untouched by outside influences. This is Africa as it once was, or as some might still imagine it to be, and its mere existence is at once wonderful and scarcely credible. It seems superficial to label South Omo as a living museum. Four of Africa’s major linguistic groups are represented in the region.
All in all, depending on where one draws the lines, as many as two-dozen different tribes
occupy South Omo, some numbering tens of thousands, others no more than 500, each one of them culturally unique. The most renowned of the Omotic-speakers are the Mursi, famed for their practice of inserting large clay plates behind the lower lips of their women. Other important groups of South Omo include the Hamer-Bena, the Karo and the Ari, whose cultures and quirks of adornment-body scarring, body painting. Romanticize or condemn it, South Omo is there, it is fascinating, and it is utterly unique.
We want you to see this incredible landscapes and these beautiful and colourful tribes before it’s too late. Now is your chance to go back in time and discover how mankind lived without any of the facilities time has given us.
The itinerary has been created by our local agency with one idea in mind: to inspire you. Every element can be adapted to your needs and interests, from duration to accommodation and activities.
We will welcome you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. For your first day in Ethiopia, we will take you to Mount Entoto, a green and peaceful hill that is 3,000 m (9,842 ft.) above sea level, and provides an exceptional panoramic view over the capital city below.
We will then visit the Entoto Maryam Church, a typical building with an octagonal shape and many colours, as well as Menelik II Museum. Lunch in town, overnight, and dinner at the hotel. Unwind in the spa before your overnight stay.
Depart south from Addis Ababa via Butajira. On the way you will visit the archeological sites of Tiya (ancient stelae field and UNESCO World Heritage Site), Adadi Maryam (a rock-hewn church similar to those in Lalibela) and Melka Kunture (pre-historic tool-making site). Final destination for the day is Awassa for overnight.
In the morning after breakfast, visit the fish market on the shores of Lake Awassa and then proceed driving to Dorze, set in the highlands above Arba Minch. Its people are known for their tall beehive-like houses and their fine cotton weaving. You will visit the village and learn about the daily lives of these industrious people. If today is market day (in Dorze village on Monday and Thursday and in nearby Chencha on Tuesday and Saturday), that will be visited. Overnight in Dorze in traditional hut (shared toilet facilities) or continue to Arba Minch for overnight.
In the morning, depart to Arba Minch for a boat trip on Lake Chamo to visit the “crocodile market”, and the local hippos. Afterwards, depart from Arba Minch to Turmi. On the way you will pass through the village of Weyto (market day Saturday), which is home to the Tsemai tribe. Continue through the Weyto valley to Erbore, where you will have a brief visit to a local Erbore village (market day is Saturday). Finally, proceed to Turmi, home of the Hamer tribe. At night, you can see the traditional night dancing of the Hamer tribe, known as evangadi. Overnight in lodge.
In the morning, take a day trip to Omorate to visit the Dassenech tribe. Here you will cross the Omo river by local boat and enter a Dassenech village. Afterwards, return to Turmi (Monday is market day) for a visit to a local Hamer village. If there is Jumping of the Bulls traditional Hamer coming-of-age ceremony, that will be visited. Overnight in lodge as usual.
Depart for Jinka, via Dimeka and Key Afar. Tuesdays and Saturdays are market days in Dimeka, which is one of the most colorful markets in the area and is visited by many tribes, including Hamer, Benna and Karo. Afterwards, continue to Jinka. Overnight.
In the morning, drive through the Mago National Park to a local village of the Mursi tribe. They are known for their lower lip and earlobe plates. In the afternoon, after returning to Jinka, you can visit the South Omo Museum and Research Center to learn more about the local tribes. Alternatively, take a hike in the surrounding hills to visit a local Ari village. Overnight in the lodge.
After breakfast, depart from Jinka to Arba Minch via Key Afar and Konso. Thursday is market day in Key Afar, where you will see theAri, Male, Benna and Tsemai tribes trading goods. This is another very popular market in the region. After the visit, proceed to Konso (market days are Mondays and Thursdays). The Konso people are known for their wooden statues, known as wakas, which are erected in honor of dead heroes as well as their innovative agricultural terracing. Today you will have a brief opportunity to visit a local village and the cultural museum displaying many waka statues. After the visit, proceed driving to Arba Minch. Overnight in Arba Minch.
After breakfast, depart from Konso to Lake Langano. On the way you will visit the Senkele Wildlife Sanctuary, which was established to protect the endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest. Continue to Lake Langano for overnight.
The price reflects this specific tour itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.
|Price per person, based on single occupancy|