|Tour Type||:||Historical, Cultural and Nature Tour|
|Duration||:||14 Nights and 15 Days|
|Transportation||:||Air and Land (4WD)|
|Tour starts /ends||:||Addis Abeba|
This cultural tour focuses on the different tribes of Omo valley, as well as the people and nature of Ethiopia.
As you drive most of the tour you will be able to explore more of the country’s less-visited sites, beautiful nature, culture, and wild life as all these unfold in front of you each and every mile.
The secluded Bale Mountains are some of the most unspoiled and exceptionally beautiful in the country. The peaks here rise more than 4000 meters, and Mount Tullu Deemtu, with an altitude of 4,377 meters above sea level, is the second-highest peak in Ethiopia.
The tribes are Isolated for millennia from the rest of the world, the beautiful Omo Valley is home to an exciting mix of many small and distinctive tribal groups. Amongst others, we find the Karo, the Mursi and the Hamer — all of whom have retained their own unique customs and traditions. Lifestyles are as varied as the tribes themselves. Lacking any material culture and artifacts common to other cultures, these tribes find unique ways in which to express their artistic impulses. Both the Surma and the Karo, for example, are experts at body painting, using clays and locally available vegetable pigments to trace fantastic patterns on each other’s faces, chests, arms, and legs. These designs are created purely for fun and aesthetic effect, each artist vying to outdo the others. You will witness age-old customs and rituals, learning of the symbolism that remains an integral part of everyday life.
Arrive in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Welcome to Ethiopia! Upon arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, you will be welcomed by your tour guide and driven to Jupiter Hotel (4*). For the rest of the day, you will take a city tour of Addis Ababa, which includes the National Museum, one of the churches in Addis Ababa, the Piassa, the Mercato, and the view from Mount Entoto
In the morning, you will visit a none profit organization called “Ilanga” that supports mothers and children empower. In the afternoon, you will take a flight to Dire Dawa then drive to the walled town of Harar (approx. 50km) scenic driver takes you through the East African Rift Valley. On your way up the mountains towards Harar, you pass coffee and chat plantations.
Today you’ll explore the old walled town of Harar. Start at the Harari Museum for an introductory course in Harar history. Proceed with the house of the legendary French poet Rimbaud. Marvel at the sight of the 16th century Grand Mosque with its elegant twin towers and slender minaret. Enjoy the religious art works on display at the church of Medhane Alem. Bargain at the colorful Shoa Gate Market. In the evening, you get to witness a live hyena feeding.
After an Early breakfast drive to Awash though Dire Dawa, late in the afternoon, you will have a time to visit the Awash National park which has many species of birds are found here such as African Orange-bellied Parrots, Bustards, Weavers, Hoopoe, Yellow-throated Serine, Red-fronted Barbet, Pygmy Batis, Lesser-striped Swallow, and the House Martin. The park also boasts a variety of mammals: the Anubis Baboon, Colobus Monkey, Black-backed Jackal, Bat-eared Fox, Egyptian Mongoose, Warthog, Beisa Oryx, Soemmering’s Gazelle, Lesser Kudu, Salt’s Dikdik, and you will have a chance to swim in the natural hot spring pool of the lodge.
After breakfast you will drive to Bale Mountains through the small city of Asela and Bokoje, which is the birth place worldwide famous long distance runners and upon arrival at the park headquarters..then you will have a leisurely hike, possibly spotting two endemic mammals that frequent the area: Menelik's Bushbuck and the Mountain Nyala. Birds in this area include the Blue-Winged Goose, the Spot-Breasted Lapwing, the Abyssinian Long Claw, the Wattled Ibis, the Black- Headed Siskin, Rouget’s Rail, and numerous other species then drive to Goba.
Today after breakfast you will have a excursion tour to Sanetti plateau to see the afro alpine moor land and endemic Ethiopian wolf. Due to the altitude, plant diversity here is low. However, one of the notable plant species is the giant lobelia found from 3,100 to 4,377m growing to a maximum height of 12m. On the plateau stands Tulu Dimtu at 4,377m. This is the second tallest mountain in Ethiopia, and the tallest in Bale.
Today you drive to the lake side town of Hawassa through Shashemen Town, Shashemene demonstrates the connection between Jamaica and Ethiopia particularly well. Shashemene is home to a large Rasta population who have traveled from the Caribbean to make Ethiopia their home.
After breakfast drive to Arba Minch. On the way you will have a short visit at the mountain village of Chencha located on the southwestern escarpment of the Great Rift Valley running north to south all the way to Mozambique. This is the home of the Dorze people. Once famous warriors in the region, the Dorze are now renowned cotton weavers whose tall beehive-shaped and bamboo-woven dwellings are among the most distinctive structures to be seen anywhere in Africa. Then drive to Arba Minch.
In the morning you will have a boat trip on lake Chamo one of the rift valley lakes, on this lake you will visit the Crocodile Market where you can see large number of crocodiles, different aquatic birds and hippos then drive to Konso. In the afternoon you will visit the Konso villages. The Konso tribes are famous for their old and unique terracing and unusual engraved wooden statues of grave markers.
Today you will drive to the home of Hamer tribe to Turmi, on the way you will visit the colorful market of Alduba or Dimika where the people of all the tribes villages in the area walk for hours to trade animals, goods that they have made, food they have grown.
In the cool morning, we will drive to Omorate to visit the Desanech (Geleb) tribal village after crossing the Omo River by boat. The Desanech are nomadic pastoralists found across the western bank of the Omo River south of Lake Turkana very close to the Kenyan boarder. In the afternoon, we will drive to Hamer village. The Hamer display an elaborate and diverse selection of body decorations. They are also identifiable for their high cheekbones and elaborate custom of beads, cowries, and leather, and thick copper necklaces.
After a short visit the Turmi Market you will drive to Jina… upon arrive you have a free time to do things on your wishes.
After having an early breakfast, we will drive to Jinka then to Mursi village. The Mursi, undoubtedly the most celebrated residents of South Omo, are a distinctive group of pastoralists. The Mursi are best known for their unique item of decoration — lip plates. Women of Mursi wear a circular clay plate on their lower lip, and the bigger a woman can wear, the greater her value when she gets married. In the arternoon you will visit one of the Ari Village.
Today, you will take the early flight to Addis Ababa, upon arrival you will have a free time to buy souvenirs. In the evening, there will be farewell dinner party with a traditional special buffet and local drinks. There will also be a cultural dance show of the different ethnic groups living in the country — the perfect end to our tour. At the end of the farewell dinner, transfer to Addis Ababa airport for the flight back home. End of tour.