Tours To South Omo

The Lower Omo is quite different from any other region in Ethiopia, and indeed all of Africa.  Home to a remarkable mix of small, contrasting ethnic groups: the Bena and Konso, the Gelebe, the Bodi, the Mursi, the Surma, the Arbore, and the Hamer, to name but a few, the tribes of the Omo  are all unique, having developed their own cultures while almost completely isolated from the outside world. Traveling in the Lower Omo is always an adventure and four-wheel drive vehicles are a must.  Accommodations and campsites offer few amenities but this adds to the adventure.  The remoteness of the region helps make for an unforgettable experience.   

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Tour Code: AT 021
Program: Omo valley
Duration: 7 Days & 6 Nights
Transportation: Surface drive 

Day 01,Arrive at Addis Ababa

Arrive Addis Ababa and meet at Bole international air port and transfer to your hotel. In the afternoon city tour you will visit either the Ethnographic Museum or the National Museum, home of the 3.18 million year old skeleton "Lucy." And Merkato-the largest open air market in East Africa. Overnight hotel

Day 02, Addis Ababa - Arba Minch.

Drive to Arba Minch, one of the main towns in Southern Ethiopia.  On the way, you will visit Melka Kunture, a stone-age archeological site; Adadi Mariam, a 12th century rock-hewn church; and a UNESCO World Heritage site of Tiya with its mysterious steal, thought to be grave markers, dating from the 12th century.Overnight hotel

Day 03, Arba Minch - Jinka

Drive to Jinka visiting various peoples such as the Gamo and Derashe.  Stop at Key Afar's weekly market on a Thursday and wander among the various tribes such as the Benna, Tsemay, Ari and Hammer people that have gathered to barter their goods. Overnight hotel

Day 04, Jinka - Mago National Park - Turmi.

Drive to the remote Mago National Park and visit the Mursi, perhaps one of the famous of the Lower Omo tribes.  A nomadic tribe, the Mursi women are known for slitting their lower lips and inserting large clay plates. The savannas of Mago Park are also home to a variety of mammals such as elephants, giraffes, hartebeests and leopards. Drive back to Jinka to visit the Ari village. The Ari are well known in black smith, manufacture local drinks and handmade house hold by red soil and precede your journey for overnight in Turmi.Overnight hotel

Day 05, Turmi.

Diver to Omorate, cross Omo River by ferry boat then visit the people of Geleb- Dasenche and drive back Turmi for lunch. In the afternoon, drive to Dimeku the second town of the Hammer people to visit the various tribes such as the Hamer, the Ari, and the Benna on Saturday market and drive back to Turmi for overnight. Overnight hotel

Day 06, Turmi – Arba Minch

Drive to Arba Minche via Konso, recently designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  A highland people, the Konso are known for the ancient and intricate terraces on their farms and their neat and well-planned villages. Late Afternoon, take a boat trip on Lake Chamo and view some of the largest crocodiles in the world sunning on the banks of the lake; hippopotami are also abundant. Overnight hotel

Day 07, Arba Minch Addis Ababa-Departure

Drive to Addis Ababa, one of the main towns in Southern Ethiopia.  On the way, visit a Dorze Village in the Guge Mountains.  The Dorze are known for their tall, beehive-shaped bamboo houses and traditional handmade clothes from cotton. Farewell dinner at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant featuring dancers and musicians representing some of the country's many ethnic groups and transfer to air port for your departure

Tour Code: AT 022
Program: Omo valley
Duration: 10 Days & 9 Nights
Transportation: Surface drive 

Day 01,Arrive at Addis Ababa

Arrive Addis Ababa and meet at Bole international air port and transfer to your hotel. In the afternoon city tour you will visit either the Ethnographic Museum or the National Museum, home of the 3.18 million year old skeleton "Lucy." And Merkato-the largest open air market in East Africa. Overnight hotel

Day 02. Tuesday- Drive to Araba Minch

A day drive to Arba Minch, the Southern Rift Lakes of Chamo and Abaya adjacent to Nechisar National Park. We stop at the Melka Kunture archeological site and Tiya heritage site to admire the crudely fashioned stone monoliths, that some believe to be ancient grave marks. We stop for lunch at Butajira local restaurant and then precede on the edge of the Rift valley the village of Guraghe, Kambata, Wolayita and if time allow we detour to Dorze peoples traditional weaving. Much important is Enset (false banana) plantation, used for Kocho (food), dominant multipurpose. In the evening enjoy the clear-blue stars of the African sky over fascinating Chamo and Abay Lake. Overnight hotel

Day 03.Wednesday- Excursion in Araba minch

In the morning we drive across the barrier land, the so called 'BRIDGE OF GOD', which separate the Chamo and Abaya Lakes. In the park you will see the endemic Swayne Hartebeest, Burchell Zebras, Lesser and Greater Kudus, Grant and Thomson Gazelles and amongst birds; Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Kori Bustard, Secretary bird and Lesser Kestrel. In the afternoon, boat trip to Lake Chamo to view the Crocodiles, Hippopotamus or we drive to Chencha a Dorze village to admire their cultural weaving and Bamboo and Enset-leaves made house style. Overnight hotel

Day 04.Thursday – Drive to Jinka via Key Afer Market
Today we drive further south to the town of Jinka to visit the Konso villages, known for their traditional cluster house style, ritual sites, grave mark Totem known as Waka and traditional terrace farming. After short break at Weyto proceed to Key Afer, you will be able to join in the local weekly Banna and Tsamay market, same a very colourful market that attracts neighboring tribes in the region - the Aris from Jinka, the Tsamay from Weyto and the Hamars from Dimeka areaand are known for their local made showy decorative dressings and bunting hair style as well as dye striped bodies. Attending to this market will allow you to compare the dressing patterns, ornamentation techniques etc. of the various tribes in the area. Afternoon, you will be proceeding to Jinka. Overnight hotel.

Day 05. Friday – Excursion to Mursi village
We drive further south to visit the Mursi Village in Mago Park, and may spot wild games such as Gerenuk, Oribi, Kudu, Hartebeest, Water-buck and many bird species (180 species have been recorded in this Park so far).

The Mursi tribe whose women wear circular clay plate on their lower lip as well ear lobes the men are known for the fierce stick fighting. Afternoon visit Jinka townfs daily market and Ethnographic Museum that gives a good overview of the Omo Valley people culture and way of life Overnight hotel

Day 06. Drive to Turmi via Dimeka Saturday Market
Today we drive through the fascinating uninterrupted lifestyle of Banna and Hamar communities. Driving further down into the Omo Valley, you will pass the Key Afer town and Proceed Turmi, on the way you will stop by at Dimeka to attend the Saturday market which attracts neighboring tribes from the area like Hammer, Karo and sometimes Dassanech, Further ahead, you will be driving to Turmi, homeland to the hospitable Hamar tribe. Overnight hotel

Day 07. Sunday- Excursion to omorate

Estimated Travel Time: 5 hours Approximate Distance: 114 km round trip today we take a day excursion to Omorate to visit the semi-nomadic pastoral Dassanech people at the bank of the Omo River. Embark on an optional dug-out canoe ride across the Omo River to visit a Dassanech village on the other side Or to Karo tribe which set up their beautiful village at edge of Omo River, Karo people are known for their unique body painting. Visit Karo and retrace to Turmi. Overnight Buska or Turmi lodge

Day 08. Monday- Drive to Yabello Via konso tribe Market

After breakfast we drive east to Yabello on the way, you will have a stop at Arbore, a small settlement to visit the village and also we attend the Monday market which most traveler skip to visit but it worth. The Arbore village set in between Hamar, Banna, Tsamay, Borena and Konso so in this market we will see the congregation of these tribes. The Arbores are settled parallel to Lake Stephanie and at the Northern edge of Buska Mountain chain that extends 96Kms in the Weyto Plains of the Omo Valley. Short break again at Weyto and proceed to Yabello. the colorful northern Kenyan style dressing of Borena women. Yabello is an important junction town in the middle of red sandstone landscape with many termite mounds, acacia tree thickets, housing several spectacular birds species, notably the charismatic Stresemann's Bush-crow, White-tailed Swallow, Yellow-necked Francolin, Vulturine Guineafowl and Red-napped Bush-Shrike. Overnight hotel.

Day 09. Tuesday - Drive Aragah lodge

Today we drive to Aregash Lodge enjoying the breathtaking landscape of organic coffee plantation along the highway. Many stops for Oromo, Gedeo and Sidama countryside people traditional lifestyle. Arrive at the Aregash Lodge and Check in the lodge after short break for those who wish to there will be a pleasant walk through the coffee forest in the compound and in nearby Sidama village, we may search the grounds for bird species such as Great Sparrow hawk, African Hawk-eagle, Tambourine Dove, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Mountain Thrush, Battis, Shrikes and more.Overnight hotel

Day 10. Wednesday - Drive back to Addis Ababa and Departure.

After breakfast we drive back to Addis Ababa via Rift Lakes Langano and Ziway to see the breeding/roosting grounds of Pelicans and Flamingos. It is also an interesting habitat for migratory birds from Europe and Asia. Arriving in Addis Abba you transfer to the airport for your evening departure.

Highlights:

Great Rift Valley Lakes:  Lake Chamo, home to numerous hippos and some of the largest crocodiles in the world.

Tribes of the South Omo:  A remarkable mix of small, contrasting ethnic groups, having developed their unique cultures while almost completely isolated from the outside world.   

Konso:  A UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring the unique culture of the Konso People.

National Parks:  Wildlife of Mago National Park and Nechisar Park.

When to Visit:

The rainy season in South Omo is in April and May and we do not offer tours to this region during that time.  Tours in June are tentatively scheduled depending on the amount of rainfall in the preceding months.  The climate during the rest of the year is generally ideal for a visit though occasional October rains might cause delays.