Lost Tribes of Ethiopia Overview
- 2015-01-01 - 2015-12-31
A region of rugged landscapes, iconic wildlife and some seriously isolated people, travelling in Ethiopia's Omo Valley often feels like a journey into old-world Africa. Lake Chamo's fishermen casually clean their catch by the riverbank as humungous crocs skulk offshore, traditional initiation rites and superstitions prevail over every aspect of village life and, to the people of the Mursi, Hamer and Karo tribes, the outside world seems to exists as an aside. Not only is English as alien a language as the country's national tongue of Amharic, but the hallmarks of Western culture take on markedly different appeals. Soft drink bottle caps are woven into necklaces, mobile phone recharge vouchers are fashioned into earrings and elaborate body-paint and hairstyles are favoured over clothing. As far as exotic, intercultural encounters go, this is a trip as fascinating as it is mind-blowing.
What's included in this trip
Lost Tribes of Ethiopia SummaryAdd to Shortlist
Hop to it exploring Addis Adaba, Ethiopia's timeworn yet fascinating capital. A visit to the Ethnological Museum is highly recommended, as it provides a valuable background to what you'll be seeing in the days ahead.
Drive out along the ever-changing Ethiopian landscape to Bale Mountains National Park. Try to spot packs of Painted Hunting Dogs and Ethiopian Wolves - some of the rarest canids in the world - on a nature walk in the Havenna Forest. Travel on to Arba Minch, stopping off at small villages en route.
Set out by boat on Nech Sar National Park's Lake Chamo for the chance to see hippos and crocodiles up close.
Venture into the hills for a visit to the friendly Dorze people. Learn about the logic underlying the construction of their unique huts and perhaps witness traditional weaving in action. Take a game drive through Mago National Park to meet the Mursi tribe, known for the huge clay lip plates worn by the women.
Marvel at the distinctive hairstyles and highly imaginative bodily decorations of the Hamer and Karo tribes. If the timing of our visit coincides with a male initiation rite, we may even catch a bull jumping ceremony.
Learn about a development project designed to improve the livelihoods of the local Konso people.
Watch local men haul in salt from the bottom of a salt lake.
Wander among the standing stellae of Tututsi, which reveal something of the ancient customs of the people whose graves they mark.
Travel to the university town of Awassa and check out its fascinating fish market. Return to the relative modernity of Addis. Perhaps head for the bustle of the Mercado Central, the biggest open-air market in Africa, or pick a restaurant for a final feasting on spicy Ethiopian cuisine.
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