10 Day Itinerary to Omo Valley

Day 1- Addis - Arba Minch.

Day 2 - Excursions to Lake Chamo and Dorze.

Day 3 - Arba Minch-Jinka.

Day 4 - Excursion to Mursi village via Mago National Park.

Day 5 - Jinka - Turmi.

Day 6 - Excursion to Omorate to visit Dasenech village.

Day 7 - Excursion to Karo and Dimeka.

Day 8 -Turmi-Yabello.

Day 9 -Yabello-Hawassa.

Day 10 - Hawassa-Addis Ababa.

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Day 1 - Addis - Arba Minch. The first day of this tour leaves Addis and travels south along the western Rift wall to the Wolaita town of Soddo before continuing on to Arba Minch. On route we stop at the archaeological site of Melka-Kunture, the rock church of Adadi Mariam (the southern-most rock hewn church in Ethiopia) and the stelae field of Tiya. South from Tiya the road passes through the green landscape of the Gurage, Hadiya and Wolayita people via the Towns of Butajira and Hosanna. Overnight in Arba Minch Lodge/Hotel

Day 2 - Excursions to Lake Chamo and Dorze. From a base in Arba Minch we make two contrasting excursions. In the morning when the waves we take a boat trip on Lake Chamo where the largest Nile crocodiles in Africa sunbath on the shoreline. Hippos hide themselves under the water and there is excellent bird life, including weavers, sunbirds, waxbills, pelicans, storks, ibis, fish eagles and goliath herons. After lunch in Arba Minch we drive to Dorze, the road climbs 1500m to the top, where there is a a panoramic view across the rift and lakes Abaya and Chamo. A visit will be made to a Dorze village. The Dorze are famous for beehive like houses made out of bamboo which grows well in the wet Gemu highlands. They are the best weavers of traditional cloth in Ethiopia.

Day 3 - Arba Minch-Jinka. Leaving Arba Minch and driving south the route passes the shores of Lake Chamo and enters the terraced mountains of Konso. Beyond Konso there are magnificent views of the Woyto valley on the way to Jinka. If it is a thursday you will have the opportunities to visit the Key-Afar market, where the Hammer, Benna, Ari and Tsmay ethnic groups gather to sell buy and sell their produce. In Jinka it is possible to visit the museum and research center. Overnight stay in Hotel or Campsite

Day 4 - Excursion to Mursi village via Mago National Park

On our fourth day 4 we descend from Jinka down into the Mago valley and to the Mago National Park. Dik dik (small antelope) amd lesser Kudu are often seen in the bush.
The Mursi are well known for the clay plates the women put up inside their extended lower lips and earlobes. The origin of this tradition is not known but the Mursi themselves consider it part of their identity and a feature which adistinuishes themselves from other tribes. Previously it was intended to make the women unattractive for the slave-market. Nowadays it is looked at as a sign of beauty and wealth. Overnight stay in Jinka
Day 5 - Jinka - Turmi. Before departing Jinka we visit an Ari village then drive from Jinka to Turmi via Key Afer and Dimeka. Overnight in Lodge, hotel or campsite in Turmi.

Day 6 - Excursion to Omorate to visit Dasenech village. From the Hammer town of Turmi we drive through the bushland of the Omo valley to visit a Dasenech village on the the west side of the Omo River. To reach their village river is crossed in a wooden dug out canoe. We return to Turmi and if possible attend a Hamer bull jumping ceremony. Overnight back to hotel/lodge or campsite.

Day 7 - Excursion to Karo and Dimeka. Early in the morning we drive to the Omo river to the Karo village of Kolcho located above a big bend in the river. We return to Turmi to overnight. On mondays there is a colorful market in Turmi where Hamer and other tribes gather from across region. If our tour coincides with a tuesday or saturday, we make an excursion to Dimeka and visit fascinating market where Hamer, Benna and Karo tribes congregate to trade. Overnight, stay in Turmi.

Day 8 - Turmi-Yabello. On day 8 we drive from Turmi to Konso via Arbore in the Woytu valley. Here we can see the Arbore and Tsemay tribes. From Arbore we climb back out of the Woytu valley into the Konso highlands. In Konso we visit a village to observe the fascinating Konso lifestyle and traditional houses. The Konso tribe practice a highly successful agricultural economy by having terraced the steep rocky and arid mounbtains to plant the steep slopes for coffee, sorghum and other grains, fruit and vegetables and the multi purpose moringa trees. Departing Kons we travel through bushland with bright red soils and climb up into the hills in Yabello. Overnight stay in Hotel.

Day 9 - Yabello-Hawassa. From Konso we travel north on the main Nairobi -Addis highway initially through bushland, then as we climb higher into the mountains entering the agricultural lands of the Gedeo and Sidama people. These highlands are fertile and intensively cultivated and populated. Arriving in the lakeside city of Hawassa we enjoy an evening walk along the lakeshore andwhere there is spectaculalr birdlife including malachite, pied and giant kingfishers, long necked cormorants, storks, herons, Egyptian geese, pelicans and numerous other species. Overnight in Hotel.

Day 10 - Hawassa-Addis Ababa. After a morning visit to the fish market beside the lake we drive back to Addis. The fish market is fascinating as marabou storks and pelicans walk freely among the people in their quest for fish scraps. Black and White Colobus monkeys (Gureza) can be spotted in nearby trees and close to the lakeshore. The drive to Addis passes through the Abiata Shala National Park where a stop can be made to visit the hot springs on the shore of Lake Shala.
Back in Addis, spend your last evening enjoying a traditional farewell dinner with Ethiopian cultural music and dancing. Either spend the night in Addis or the evening transfer to the airport for return flight.

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