Discover a world barely touched by modern society on this Ethiopian adventure.

Often overlooked, Ethiopia’s spectacular nature reserves and diverse tribal communities are ripe for exploration. Go off the beaten track and visit remote tribes in the Omo Valley and try to spot crocodiles as they bask off the shores of Lake Chamo. Get up close and personal with the people and the nature of Ethiopia – a place hidden from the rigorous modernity of the modern world.


Start
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Finish
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Destination
Ethiopia
Style
Original
Code
YOSE
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Visit the Dorze people and immerse yourself in a culture well known for their unique bee-hive houses and colourful woven fabrics.

  • Take a boat trip on Lake Chamo for a chance spotting of the resident hippos, thousands of Nile crocodiles, rich bird life and local fishermen.

  • Visit Hamer villages made entirely of mud with very few outside influences and, if you're lucky, perhaps see an initiation bull jumping ceremony.

  • Spend a night in Konso and visit a mora, a central communal building used by men and boys as a social area while you're there.

Is this trip right for you?

  • We are welcomed into different villages, tribes and ways of life on this itinerary. While very fascinating it is important to show our respects and only take photos once a bond has been created and approval given.

  • The order of the Omo Valley section of the itinerary may change to maximise the chances of seeing ceremonies and markets or because wet weather may limit access to roads.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2019 to 31 December 2019. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

Welcome to Ethiopia! Begin with a welcome meeting at the hotel. If you arrive early perhaps take a tour of this bustling city, dotted with Italian architecture, interesting churches and friendly inhabitants. Established by the Emperor Menelik II in 1887, Addis Ababa is a relatively young city full of contrasts – the Addis Sheraton, with its ‘singing fountain’, is one of the most luxurious in all of Africa, yet you only need to travel a few streets away to find yourself among busy markets, dirt roads and the odd goat or two wandering the street. The optional city tour will include the National Museum, where you’ll find the famous remains of 'Lucy’, and the Ethnographic Museum set within the beautiful gardens of Haile Selassie’s former palace.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After a leisurely breakfast, transfer to Addis Ababa airport for a flight to Arba Minch. Then it's onto Konso in 4x4 vehicles. All roads into South Omo pass through Konso, and this small town serves as a great base for exploring the hillside villages in the surrounding countryside. Keep an eye out for the carved wooden grave markers in the area, a Konso tradition where the deceased warriors features are enhanced by using teeth made from animal bones. As the evening sets in, spend time relaxing in the Kanta Lodge and perhaps meet some new group members arriving from Kenya.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Visit a village within Konso and learn about the clan-based societal arrangement comprised of nine clans. Head onwards to Jinka to visit an ethnographic museum dedicated to the tribes speaking South Omotic languages. Jinka is a lively trading hub and known as a capital of sorts for the range of ethnic groups that call this region home.
Accommodation
  • Basic Resort (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jinka - Ethnographic Museum
  • Konso - Village Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Head into Jinka's lush surroundings, home to the traditional Ari people. Spend some time in their villages, some of the most beautiful in the country, surrounded by banana, mango, avocado and enset (false banana) trees. Travel on to Turmi and visit one of the Hamar villages for an insight into their different way of life. There may be a chance to witness the highlight of the Hamar calendar – a bull-jumping ceremony. The culmination of a three-day rite of passage, this ceremony involves a young man having to jump on the backs of, and run down a line of 15 bulls before returning the same way. Overnight in Turmi.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jinka - Ari Village
  • Jinka - Hamar Village
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel south towards Omorate this morning, driving down a 75-kilometre stretch of paved road passing through acacia forests. Omorate lies on the bank of the Omo River, close to the border of Kenya, and is a popular base for exploring the rugged area. Wildlife roam freely in the nearby landscape and there's a good chance of seeing antelope grazing or raptor birds stalking their prey overhead. The local Hamar and Daasanach people hold on to their customs tightly, and you may witness evidence of their traditional scarification practices. The Daasanach are cattle herders that practice flood retreat cultivation. The women beautify themselves with colorful bead necklaces and bracelets. There may be a chance to visit a local market, savouring the smells and tastes alongside the Karo, Hamer and Benna people while checking out plenty of interesting handicrafts on offer.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Omorate - Daasanach Village
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel north to Arba Minch after breakfast. This is a region noted for its variety of peoples and cultures, many of which are nomadic or semi-nomadic and live very differently to what most would consider a modern existence. Arba Minch is bordered by Nechisar National Park and lies between two of Ethiopia's largest lakes, Lake Chamo and Abaya Lake. Climb aboard a boat in the afternoon and travel across Chamo Lake on an excursion to hopefully see the resident hippos, Nile crocodiles, flourishing birdlife and the local fishermen working their trade on the water. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Arba Minch - Lake Chamo Boat Excursion
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive back to Addis Ababa after breakfast, stopping on the way to visit some of the Dorze people, an ethnic group known particularly for their expert weaving and beehive-shaped houses. After a lengthy but scenic drive, this trip comes to an end at the hotel in Addis Ababa.
Included Activities
  • Arba Minch - Dorze Village Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

6 breakfasts

Transport

4x4 vehicle, Boat

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nights), Lodge (3 nights), Basic Resort (1 night)

Included activities

  • Jinka - Ethnographic Museum
  • Konso - Village Visit
  • Jinka - Ari Village
  • Jinka - Hamar Village
  • Omorate - Daasanach Village
  • Arba Minch - Lake Chamo Boat Excursion
  • Arba Minch - Dorze Village Visit

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. This trip finishes on arrival at Addis Ababa airport at approximately 3pm. Please do not book any onward flights departing before 6pm.
3. Days 3-6 of the itinerary may be amended depending on the ceremonies and markets in the area. If this is the case all inclusions and nights at each location will not change.
4. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling in Ethiopia before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page - www.intrepidtravel.com/au/travel-alerts

Essential trip information

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