Omo Valley Trip 15 Days
Omo Valley Trip “the unique wilderness” – Southern Ethiopia
South Omo Valleyregion is a unique place for diversified ethnics with their untouched culture. Surma & Mursi (both ethnic’s women cut their lips to insert the clay plates as a sign of beauty), Bume and Konso, the Galeb (Dassenech), the Bodi, the Arbore, &the Hamer are major tribes, dwelling in southern Ethiopia. Lifestyles are as varied as the tribes themselves.Most Omo Valley tribes are experts on 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 value, each artist vying to outdo her/his fellows.
Best Time to Travel Omo Valley
Mid December to mid March, and July-September– is the best season to travel as it is a dry season. Even though roads are being upgraded nowadays; from November – mid December, and June – travelers to Omo Valley shouldbe flexible on the itinerary since one day of rain can make the roads temporarily impossible. March to May is not recommended due to high rain season.
With Action Tours: When the trip is over … No Regrets!!
Ethical Market Days
Turmi – every Monday
Dimeka – every Saturday
Key Afer- Every Thursday
Jinka –Anthropological Museum at office hour
Yabello – every Saturday
N.B. Please, program the above very important market days on your itinerary.
Omo Valley Tours, Travel Omo Valley, Surma, Mursi, Hamer Tribes, Karo, Konso..
Program: Omo Valley Culture Tour
Tour Code: Mursi 01
Transportation: Land (4WD)
Duration: 14 nights (15 days)
Tour starts: Addis Ababa
Tour ends: Addis Ababa
Day 1: Arrival to Addis Ababa
Arrive in the evening transfer to your Hotel. Overnight – at chosen hotel – Addis Ababa
Day 2: Addis Ababa City Tour
Addis Ababa is centered at the heart of the country. Addis Ababa in Amharic language means “New Flower”. It was founded by Emperor Menelik in 1886. An estimated population of 4 million people is dwelling in the city. Addis is graced as Africa’s diplomatic capital with the presence of the head quarter for the African Unity, a seat for numerous embassies and is the port of entry for most travelers.
After Breakfast, we drive to the Entoto Mountain (3300m) for a panoramic view of Addis, Entoto Museum with historical and royal exhibit, The Church of St. Mary, built in 1885 and the old palace of emperor MenelikII. Take some images at Mount Entoto and we drive back to Addis for Ethnological Museum that exhibits the culture and handicrafts of various Ethiopian ethnic groups, the National Museum in which you are visiting different archaeological findings (including Lucy’s replica Skeleton). After lunch, visit the Trinity Cathedral, Mausoleum of emperor MenelikII at Bààta Church and finally Merkato – the largest open market in Africa. Overnight – at chosen hotel – Addis Ababa
Day 3: Drive Addis Ababa-Arba Minch (505 km)
Drive from Addis to Arba Minch. On the way; visit the hill top of Chencha for Dorze ethnics. Dorze Tribes have their own skill of weaving cotton clothes & of their traditional elephant style/ design shape houses. Overnight at chosen hotel /lodge -Arba Minch
Day 4: Visit Nechisar National Park & Lake Chamo
Drive to Nechisar National Park (Nechisar National Park) for bird watching and game viewing. In the park, you will see different bird species, including the rare Greater Kestrel, Orange River Francolin, Yellow throated sand grouse, Desert Cistcolas, Bustard, secretary Bird and etc. Some nightjar species such as Slender tailed and star Spotted Nightjars, Donaldson Smith’s and Dusky Nightjars have been recorded. In addition to birds, Nechisar is the home of some mammals like the endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest (the park was primarily established to protect the endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest), Thomson’s gazelle, Berchule’s Zebra, Greater Kudu, Dik-Dik, and Baboons. Afternoon; boat trip on Lake Chamo. This Lake is known for its enormous population of Crocodiles and Hippopotamus. Also White pelicans are abundant. Overnight at chosen hotel /lodge -Arba Minch
Day 5: Drive Konso – Key Afer (ethnic market) – Jinka
Drive to Jinka- roughly 240km. At key Afer; there is a colorful market on every Thursday & ere you can see the Tsemay, Ari and Bena people. Drive further to Jinka. Overnight – at chosen hotel or lodge – Jinka
Day 6: Discover Mursi tribes and Mago National Park
Drive to Mago National Park & visit the Mursi tribes in their villages. The insertion of wooden and terracotta / Clay/ discs into the ear lobes is a widespread custom amongst Mursi tribes. Progressively, Mursi women split and stretch their lower lips to make room for similar bigger discs (Surma tribes – settled on upper Omo River have the same culture with Mursi). In Mago National Park; there are no many animals visible during the day, but during night time, thousands of sounds, among which is the trumpeting of elephants may be heard. If a visit is early morning, Kudu, Dik – Dik and Guinea Fowls are probable to be seen. Drive back to Jinka and visit the ethnological museum of Jinka in the afternoon. Overnight – at chosen hotel or lodge – Jinka
Day 7: Discover Dimeka market and drive to Turmi (139 Km)
After breakfast; drive to Turmi (roughly 139km from Jinka). On the way; discover the colorful Dimeka Market (Every Saturday). Note that information will be gathered in advance if there is bull jumping ceremony or a Hamer wedding party in the neighborhood during your stay in Turmi. Overnight – at chosen hotel/lodge – Turmi
Day 8: Explore the Karo tribes in Dus & Korcho villages, & Nyangaten
After breakfast; drive from Turmi to Karo tribes (60 km rough road) with picnic lunch. Visit Karo tribes in Dus and Kolcho. The Karo tribes are mainly known for their special hairstyle and body paintings. Take your time here, discover & experience their lifestyle Drive from Karo via Murulle some kms and cross the Omo Rive for the Nyangatom/ Nyangaten tribes. Late afternoon; drive back to Turmi. Late afternoon; drive back to Turmi. Overnight – at chosen hotel/lodge – Turmi
Day 9: drive to Omorate – Dassenech/Galeb –Turmi market
Monday, the area around Turmi is where the Hamer & Bena people live, famous for their bull-jumping ceremonies and great body decoration. There is a popular Hamer and Bena market held in Turmi on every Monday, this is what you have to schedule your visit for, but the market will not be full until mid-afternoon, so this morning, after early breakfast, first drive to Omorate (75km),nearby the Omo River and cross the river by local boat. This area is inhabited by the Dassenech (Galeb) people, known for their very interesting house design and body painting. You will stay with them for a couple of hours, then cross the river again and drive back to Turmi, for lunch and a short break from the heat & visit the Turmi Market. The Hamers dominate this market. The Hamers are a fine looking people, both men and women take great pride in their appearance, shaving and coloring their hair, oiling their bodies and decorating themselves with beads and bracelets worn around arms and legs. Late afternoon; approach to some Hamer villages to discover their lifestyle at home and attend the Evangadi Dance. Overnight – at chosen hotel/lodge – Turmi
Day 10: Discover Arbore & Konso
Drive from Turmi to Konso via Arbore. Visit the Arbore people at their village named Arbore and proceed to Konso. Visit town of Konso (UNESCO World Heritage Site) – The people of Konso are well known for their intricately terraced hillsides, fine woven materials, carved totems made of wood, decorated graves (mainly the king & his wife), impressive village and etc. Explore The Konso King, totems, Konso villages, and Gesergiyo (New York)-magnificent rock formation. Overnight – at chosen lodge/hotel – Konso
Day 11: drive Konso – Yabello
After breakfast; drive to Yabello (105km). On the way; overlook landscapes and villages of Borena people. Overnight – at chosen hotel – Yabello
Day 12: Discover Singing Wells & Chew Beth (El Sod)
Drive & explore El Sod (Salt House), Dublock (Borena Village), and Singing Wells. The Borena ethnics move every time in groups across a large area in search of food and water for their herds of zebu cattle. The zebu cattle are poorly adapted to the torrid desert heat so they must be watered regularly at the desert wells – about 20-30 meters deep. While watering their cattle the Borena have special songs. For this reason, morning, you will visit them, singing at their wells. Proceed to Chew Beth (El Sod) and discover people extracting salt there. Drive back to Yabello – Yirgalem. On the way at Wenago, visit the Tutu Fella stelae field – a unique collection of carved stones. The route to Yirgalem is fertile. Yirgalem is a coffee region, and the scenery is extraordinarily lush and evergreen. The accommodation at Aregash Lodge is a traditional Sidamo House, a pleasant peaceful lodge with walks through gardens and forests. There are more than 100 bird species recorded in the area, and on our walks we can see hyena, jackals, and Columbus and velvet monkeys.. Overnight – at Aregash Lodge / hotel – Yirgalem
Day 13: Yirgalem – Langano
Drive from Yirgalem to Langano (about100km). On the way, visit Swayne’s hartebeest at Sinkille Swaynes Hartebeest sanctuary (seeing them in groups is 100% guaranteed). Swayne’s hartebeest is a large antelope with humped shoulders, a long narrow face, and lyre-shaped horns. Native to: eastern and southern Africa. Visit Shalla – Abijata Lakes National Park for ostriches, antelopes, hot springs (at Lake Shalla) and enormous pink Flamingos at Lake Abijata. Overnight – at chosen lodge – Langano
Lake Langano – a fresh breath taking atmosphere – beautiful white sand beach is bilharzias and crocodile free. Swimming, trekking and bird watching in the forest are possible activities.
Day 14: Langano – Addis
Drive to Addis Ababa via Butajira Road. On the way; visit Lake Ziway, Tiya Monuments, Addadi Maryam Semi Monolithic Church and Kelka Kunture archeological site. Overnight – at former hotel – Addis Ababa
Day 15: Departure
Notice: This itinerary can be amended up on your request