Tour Code = HTTA 0018
Tour Category = Cultural Tours
Day 01: Depart from Addis Ababa to Jimma via Weliso, which is home to the Gurage tribe, known as “the hardest working people in Ethiopia”. On the way you will pass through beautiful landscapes as you drive through the Gibe River Valley. Overnight: Central Jimma Hotel.
Day 02: Early in the morning, drives continue to Mizan Tefari via Bonga. Bonga is in the ancient Kingdom of Kaffa, the birthplace of coffee. You will have an opportunity to visit a traditional Kaffa house and learn about the culture of the Kaffa people. You will also pass through the Belete Forest, where you can visit the Colobus monkeys. Overnight: Mizan Tefari at local hotel.
Day 03: After breakfast, drive from Mizan Tefari to Kibish. On the way, visit the Bebeka coffee plantation, where they cultivate organic coffee trees as well as rubber trees. You can also learn about the coffee processing techniques. Overnight: Camping in Kibish.
Day 04: Early in the morning, you will have a full day visiting the Surma tribe near the village of Kibish. The Surma people are similar to the Mursi people. The women are known for the clay plates inserted in their lower lips, which is a sign of beauty. Overnight: Camping in Kibish.
Day 05: In the morning, depart Kibish for Tum. On the way, visit the Dizi tribe. The Dizi people are hereditarily very short people who have beehive-like houses, similar to the Dorze. Overnight: camping in Tum.
Day 06: Drive from Tum, take a day trip to Magi, where you will meet with the Dizi, Surma, Tishena, and perhaps the Nyangatom tribe. If lucky, you will visit on market day (Saturday), which is a wonderful opportunity to meet and mingle with the local tribes. Return to Tum for overnight camping.
Day 07: After breakfast, continue south toward the Omo National Park. Tonight will overnight in the village of Adicas camping.
Day 08: Early in the morning, from Adicas, enter the Omo National Park and proceed to the camp at Mui. The Omo National Park is home to some of the last big game in Ethiopia, and you will take a game drive to hopefully see some of these large animals, including lions. Overnight: Camping in Mui.
Day 09: In the morning, game drive to Omorate. Here you will cross the Omo River by local ferry. Overnight: Omorate camping /basic hotel.
Day 10: In the morning, you will cross the Omo River by local boat and enter a Dassenech village for a visit. Afterwards, return to Turmi (Monday is market day) for a visit to a local Hammer village. If there is Bull jumping traditional Hammer coming-of-age ceremony, which will be visited. Overnight: in Turmi at Buska Lodge.
Day 11: Early in the morning, depart from Turmi to the village of Kangatan. Here you will cross the Omo River and take a short walk through the local fields to visit a village of the Nyangatom tribe. After the visit, return across the river and proceed to the Karo village of Korcho, with a stunning location looking over the Omo River. The Karo people, while the smallest tribe of the Omo Valley in number, are also known to be the most decorated. After visit, return back to Turmi for another opportunity to see Jumping of the Bulls. Overnight: Buska Lodge.
Day 12: After breakfast, drive 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 Hammer, Benna and Karo. Afterwards, continue to Jinka. Overnight: Jinka at Jinka Resort.
Day 13: In the morning, drive through the Mago National Park to a local village of the Mursi tribe. The Mursi are known for their lower lip and earlobe plates. In the afternoon, after returning to Jinka, you can visit the South Omo Museum & Research Center to learn more about the local tribes. Alternatively, take a hike in the surrounding hills to visit a local Ari village. Overnight: Jinka at Jinka Resort.
Day 14: After breakfast, depart from Jinka to Konso, via Key Afar. Thursday is market day in Key Afar, where you will see the 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). Overnight: Kanta Lodge.
Day 15: 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 the opportunity to visit a local village and the cultural museum displaying many waka statues. Time permitting; you can also visit the “natural New York Village”, named after the tall sand formations resembling skyscrapers. After the visit, proceed to ArbaMinch. Overnight: ArbaMinch at Paradise Lodge.
Day 16: Early in the morning, take a boat trip on Lake Chamo to visit the crocodile and the local hippos. Afterwards, proceed driving to Dorze, set in the highlands above ArbaMinch. The Dorze 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 Dorze hut (shared toilet facilities) or return to ArbaMinch for overnight at Paradise Lodge.
Day 17: After breakfast, depart from Dorze or ArbaMinch to Awassa. On the way, visit the Senkelle Wildlife Sanctuary, established to protect the endemic Swayne’s hartebeest. Overnight in Awassa at Tadesse Enjory Hotel.
Day 18: In the morning, you will visit the fish market on the shores of Lake Awassa. Afterwards, proceed north to Lake Langano. On the way you may stop in WondoGenet, former Emperor Haile Selassie’s favorite weekend getaway spot. Here you can take a shower in the therapeutic hot spring waters, swim in the pool and a short hike in the forest. Proceed to Lake Langano for overnight at Lake Langano at Savanna Beach and Resort.
Day 19: After having breakfast drive back north to Addis Ababa. On the way, you may visit the Abijata-Shalla National Park. Lake Shalla, with its deep blue waters is the deepest lake in Ethiopia at 236m. Lake Abijata is a soda lake at which thousands of flamingos can be seen at various times of the year.
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