Experiencing Ethiopia’s Cultural Tapestry: An 11-Day Omo Valley Adventure

Mursi - Group young boys with painted bodies

              Arrive at Bole International Airport where a Lucy Ethiopia Tours representative will meet you and take you to your hotel.

       Overnight in Addis Ababa (hotel).

             We’ll start our trip driving to Arba Minch via Hoseana . On route, we’ll visit: Melka Kunture , a stone-age archaeological site; Adadi Mariam , a 12th century rockhewn church; and Tiya , a UNESCO World Heritage Site , with mysterious stelae, thought to be grave markers, dating from the 12th century.

      Overnight in A rba Minch (hotel).

            Today we’ll take a boat trip on Lake Chamo and view some of the largest crocodiles in the world, sunning themselves on the banks of the lake. Hippopotami and beautiful aquatic birds are also abundant here. We’ll also visit Nechisar Park , known for its ‘ white grass ’ which is only accessible via boat.

             Overnight at Arba Minch (hotel).

      We drive to Jinka via Key Afar and visit the weekly market (Thursdays only) where we can wander among the various tribes such as the Benna and Ari who will have gathered to barter their goods.

          Overnight at Jinka (lodge).

         Today we’ll wake up early for a drive to the Mago National Park to visit the Mursi people . The Mursi women are known for the clay plates they insert into their lower lips. If there is enough time, we’ll also visit the Omo Valley Museum in Jinka.

           Overnight at Jinka (lodge).

          We drive to Turmi to visit the Hamer people who are well known for the scarring of their bodies, using clay to shape their hairstyles, and the unique practice of ‘ bull-jumping ’ which every young man must accomplish prior to marriage. On route to Turmi, we’ll also visit the Benna and Ari people.

       Overnight at Turmi (lodge).

        This day will be spent visiting the Dassanech people, known for their elaborate body-painting, before r eturning to Turmi for the evening.

       Overnight at Turmi (lodge).

         This day will be spent visiting the Konso people in their village, which has recently been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site . A highland people, the Konso are known for the 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. If there is enough time, we can also visit the natural ‘New York village ”, named after tall sand-formations that resemble skyscrapers.

           Overnight in Konso (camping, hotel or lodge).

        Today we’ll drive to the lakeside town of Hawassa . On route, we pay a visit to a Dorze village in the Guge Mountains . The Dorze are known for their tall, beehive-shaped bamboo houses. If the base becomes infested with termites, the entire house can be lifted and moved to another location.

        Overnight at Hawassa (resort).

           We start the day by drive to the Bale Mountains National Park and meeting with park guide. In the afternoon, we’ll arrive at the park headquarters just in time for a leisurely afternoon hike, possibly spotting two mammals that frequent the area: Menelik’s bushbuck and the mountain nyala . Birds in this area include the elaborately named blue-winged goose , spot-breasted lapwing , Abyssinian long-claw , wattled ibis , black-headed siskin , Rouget’s rail , and numerous other species.

        Overnight at Goba (hotel).

          Return to Addis Ababa . If there is enough time we can stop for some souvenir shopping . We’ll enjoy a farewell dinner at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant featuring dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s many ethnic groups.

                    Transfer to airport for late night departure if needed.

Summary :
A tour through the amazing Omo Valley , where you’ll get to know and learn about local tribes and their customs, as well as take in the beautiful natural surroundings.

Lucy Ethiopia Tours

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