- Trip Outline
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drive from Addis Ababa via Butajira.Early morning drive from Addis Ababa via Butajira. On the way you will visit the archaeological sites of Tiya Stelae, the World Heritage site. This site is the most important and impressive of several stelae clusters that dot around the surrounding countryside. The site contains around 36 ancient stelae, 32 of which are engraved with enigmatic symbols, notably swords. Almost nothing is known about the monolith carvers or their purposes other than they mark mass graves of individuals aged between 18 and 30. Afterwards, you will drive to a town called Butajira for breakfast. You will then travel through Gurage & Hosanna regions, wandering the beautiful farming land & admiring the nature by the roadside. Next, we will stop for lunch in a town called Sodo, followed by a visit to see one of the greatest rift valley lakes, Lake Abaya. You will also get to see the beautiful evergreen lands filled with tropical fruit such as mangoes, papayas, and bananas. The overnight stay will be in Arba Minch.
Drive north west of Arba Minch to see the Gamo tribe in the Dorze village.After breakfast, we shall drive north west of Arba Minch to see the Gamo tribe in the Dorze village. This village is a wonderful place with an altitude of 2500m above sea level. The Gamo communities are well known for their amazing weaving techniques and colourful crafts, which can be seen all over the country. We shall see the preparation of the false banana plant, the miracle plant of Ethiopia known as ‘Enset’. Enset is the most important plant in the Southern regions of the country, with both the root and stem having multiple purposes. We will be able to experience the meals made from it and if it is a market day, we will also get to visit the market. Afterwards, we will drive back to the nearby Arba Minch for lunch, followed by a drive to Lake Chamo. It is here that massive groups of Nile giant crocodiles, hippos, and aquatic birds can be seen. We will stay in Arba Minch this night.
Drive north west of Arba MinchAfter breakfast, we shall drive north west of Arba Minch to see the Gamo tribe in the Dorze village. This village is a wonderful place with an altitude of 2500m above sea level. The Gamo communities are well known for their amazing weaving techniques and colourful crafts, which can be seen all over the country. We shall see the preparation of the false banana plant, the miracle plant of Ethiopia known as ‘Enset’. Enset is the most important plant in the Southern regions of the country, with both the root and stem having multiple purposes. We will be able to experience the meals made from it and if it is a market day, we will also get to visit the market. Afterwards, we will drive back to the nearby Arba Minch for lunch, followed by a drive to Lake Chamo. It is here that massive groups of Nile giant crocodiles, hippos, and aquatic birds can be seen. We will stay in Arba Minch this night.
drive through the Mago National ParkAfter breakfast, we’ll drive through the Mago National Park. After a few hours driving, we will be able to experience one of the unique tribes, the Mursi. This is usually considered by most as the highlight of their trip. We will see how the people live and you will be amazed by the remarkable lip plates the women wear and the amount of scarification’s both the men and women have. They are also well known for their body painting and for their scars, renowned as pastoralists moving from one place to another. We shall see their places for cattle and where they retrieve and store water. After walking through their village and having the opportunity to take photos, we will then drive back to Jinka for lunch. After a little relaxation, we will continue to visit the surrounding Jinka Ari tribe, who are semi-nomadic. You shall see their famous painting house, pottery and blacksmith, as well as see children dancing and walking through the village. Continuing our journey, we’ll visit the South Omo Research Center and Museum to learn more about the Omo tribes. Later, we will stay overnight in Jinka.
Drive to Turmi via DimekaAfter breakfast, we shall drive to Turmi via Dimeka. En route we’ll see the Benna tribe village where we’ll stop to see the colorful market in the Omo valley (if it is market day.) Our drive then continues on to Turmi. Events may occur this day such as the bull leaping or the whipping ceremony of the Hammer tribe, both special rituals that prepare both men and women for marriage. If you have a tent and would like to camp, it is possible as the tribes are very friendly and welcoming. It will also be a once in a lifetime experience for you. We’ll visit the Hammer village and see their night dance called Evangadi; this is where the young Hammer girls and boys gather together to dance and sing on their way to choose their future spouse. There will be an overnight stay in Turmi.
Drive to the Kangati VillageIn the morning after breakfast, we’ll drive to the Nyangatom tribe to see the Kangati Village. The tribe is living in the southwest of the semi desert area by shore of the Omo River. These people are famous for their story telling and singing, and also known to be the most decorated warriors and agropastoralists. As we cross the Omo River by local boat, we’ll visit their village, see their lifestyle and take photos. After the visit, we’ll return across the river and proceed to the Karo village of Korcho, a stunning location overlooking the Omo River. The Karo tribe are well known for their body decoration and fishing. We shall see more of their village, before camping over night there.
Drive back to Turmi for breakfast, and then continue on driving to OmorateIn the morning, we’ll drive back to Turmi for breakfast, and then continue on driving to Omorate to see the Dassanech tribe. Omorate is the last town in Ethiopia before the border. As this is a sensitive border area, we are required to register our passports at the immigration and natural affairs office. This is a quick and easy process and should take no longer than 2 minutes. After this brief stop, we will then walk through town to the side of the Omo River. From here we will either cross the murky brown waters by a traditional dugout canoe or by the village’s only motorboat. Once we are safely across the Omo River, we will visit the tribes of beautifully decorated Dassanech people. Once again we will be able to photograph these amazing people whilst we tour around their village, learning about their culture and their way of life. Once we have soaked in enough of their culture and sights, it will be back into the boat and back to Turmi for the night.
Drive from Turmi to ArboreIn the morning we’ll drive to Arbore from Turmi. The Arbore tribe women cover their heads with black coloured cloth and adorn themselves with colorful jewellery. Their young children wear a shell type garment that protects their heads from sun. The tribe is also well known for their body painting and for their houses, which are made from papyrus. If it is a market day we will visit, then drive to Weyto to see the Tsemaye tribe. This tribe is well known for wearing yellow beads, having face tattoos and for their style. We shall then drive to Konso to stay overnight
YabeloIn the morning after breakfast, we’ll drive to the southeast of Konso to Yabelo. After lunch, the drive continues on until we visit the Yabelo Wild Life Sanctuary, full of birds and wild animals such as zebras and antelopes. If it is a market day in Yabelo we will see the beautiful camel and cattle’s market. We will then stay overnight in Yabelo.
Chew Bet/BorenaIn the morning we’ll drive to see Chew Bet, the Ethiopian Great Rift Valley Lake that was created by a volcanic eruption that occurred 1.3 million years ago. It is here that the Borena tribe takes black and crystal salt from the lake. On the way back, we will stop in a town called Mega, where we shall visit the market if it is market day. We will see the Borena tribesmen, who are well known for their singing and for fetching water for their cattle from underground. We will then drive back to Yabelo where we still stay overnight.
YirgalemWe’ll drive to Yirgalem from Yabelo for an overnight stay in the Aregash lodge. Here you can enjoy an evening coffee ceremony, see the coffee plantation as well as the beautiful bird life. You’ll also be able to watch the hyenas in the surrounding forest.
Depart to Addis AbabaAfter breakfast we’ll go to see the beautiful town of Awasa, where we will go to the fish market. We’ll continue driving until we reach a town called Wondo Genet where you’ll get the chance to take a refreshing bath in the Natural hot springs. We will then drive to Addis Ababa through Shashamane, relaxing at Lake Langano on the way.