South Omo Valley Photography Tour – 8 Days
South Omo Valley Photography Tour – 8 Days Overview
South Omo Valley tribes is a Unique experience with the most wilderness. For thousands of years the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia was a crossroads for droves of people migrating to new lands. Today, it is undoubtedly one of the most unique places on earth because of the sheer diversity of tribal groups that live in this remote area of the Great Rift Valley. South Omo Valley Photography Tour – 8 Days is an extraordinary opportunity to immerse in the fabric of some of these societies, including the Mursi, Hamer and Karo tribes, each with their distinct culture. Expect a real adventure with conditions basic; the Omo Valley being an incredible reminder of an Africa that has not yet seen modernization. South Omo Valley Photography Tour – 8 Days.
Day 1: Arrival and City Tour
Stop At: Addis Mercato, Addis Ababa
Up on your arrival at Bole International Airport and you will clear immigration and proceed to baggage claim, after collecting your checked bags, clear customs and pass through the arrival hall where you will be met by our representative, who will assist you with your transfer to your hotel. After a break in the afternoon, you will enjoy a half day guided tour of the Ethnological Museum, with its artifacts and displays of the cultures and handicrafts of Ethiopia’s many ethnic groups. At the famous National Museum, with its cultural and archaeological relics, you will visit the famous “Lucy,” a 3.2 million-year-old female hominid who was discovered in Ethiopia’s Awash Valley in 1974. The open-air market of Addis, the Marcato, is the largest on the continent, and you will take a drive through it. Time permitting; you may also visit Ba’ata Church, also known as Menelik’s Mausoleum, one of the oldest of the churches in Addis, built in 1911 and the Emperor house with beautiful paintings and the royal tombs of past emperors, including Emperor Haileselassie.
Accommodation included: Soramaba Hotel or Similar
Day 2: Drive to Aribaminch
Stop At: Dorze Village, Arba Minch, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region Starting off from Addis Ababa early morning, you will be heading down South to Arbaminch via Butajira and Hosaina. At Tiya, you will have a brief stopover to visit the UNESCO registered Stele fields of Tiya. Further ahead with lunch break at Wolayita Sodo, you will proceed to Arbaminch, arriving late afternoon. In route we ascend into the Gughe Mountains to visit the Dorze people. In about one hour left we travel to Aribaminch at an altitude of 1400 m to the highland village of Dorze at 2600 m enjoying beautiful views over Lake Abaya and Lake Chamo on the way. Dorze people who are known for their tall beehive-like houses, their fine cotton weaving and see the preparation of their staple food made of false banana of course we try their food. Market days in Dorze village are Mondays and Thursdays and in Chencha on Tuesdays and Saturdays. After we visit drive back to Arbaminch.
Accommodation included: Paradise Lodge or Similar
Day 3: Visit Aribaminch
Stop At: Nechisar
National Park HQ The very beautiful Nech – Sar Park, ranked among the most scenic, most notable for its wildlife scenery and yet least visited. There is a sweeping view over the plains to the majestic volcanic hills on the eastern boundary. Lake Abaya the largest of the rift valley lakes and Lake Chamo are not to be missed spectacles. This 750 square km national park is among the most beautiful game reserves in Africa, encompassing parts of Lakes Chamo and Abaya as well as the mountains ‘Bridge of God’ that lies between the two lakes. After the boat trip you will drive to Konso for Overnight.
Accommodation included: Paradise Lodge or Similar
Day 4: Drive to Turmi Via Konso Stop At: Dasenech Village, Turmi, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region Early in the morning visiting a Konso tribal village – a World Heritage listed site of cultural significance. Invariably built on hilltops as protection from the lowland tribes, traditional Konso villages are surrounded by high stonewalls and encompass separate compounds, with outlying terraced agricultural fields. You will be fascinated by the unique architectural aspects, largely unchanged cultural heritage and social cohesion of the village, and how it has adapted to its harsh environment. Another highlight is the famous ‘wagas’ – a funerary tradition where magnificent carved wooden sculptures were created in honor of Konso warrior heroes who have killed an enemy or animal, and often grouped to represent the man, his wives and his adversaries. The Konso people, who are known for their totems erected in honor of the dead and their intricate agricultural terracing techniques. You will visit the Konso people who have an ancient, complex, and fascinating culture of their own. Here are found human fossils dating from between 1.3 and 1.9 million years. Witness the spectacle of ‘Konso’s New York’ an extraordinary landscape of sand pinnacles formed by wind & rain. Konso people with their maze-like villages and terraces for agriculture. They are also well known for their Waga stall, grave markers for the brave and important men of this people. The cultural landscape of Konso is the youngest World Heritage Site of Ethiopia. After the visit you will drive to Turmi for overnight.
Accommodation included: Turmi Lodge or Similar
Day 5: Visit Karo and Dassanech tribes Stop At: Dasenech Village, Turmi, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region Early in the morning after breakfast, we drive into a new tribal area. Here, our tribe of interest is the Karo, another tribe known for its elaborate body and facial paintings. These people live along the east bank of the Omo River and practice flood retreat cultivation, their main crops being maize, sorghum and beans. Unlike the other tribes, they keep only a small number of cattle due to the prevalence of tsetse flies. Like many of the Omo valley tribes, they paint their bodies and faces with white chalk to prepare for any ceremonies. The chalk is mixed with yellow rock, red iron ore and charcoal to make its requisite color. Face masks are worn at times and they have clay hair buns adorned with feathers. Late in the afternoon you will drive back Turmi. The Hamar is one of the most well-known tribes in Southern Ethiopia. They inhabit the territory east of the Omo River and have villages in both Turmi and Dimeka. They are especially well known for their unique rituals, including a cattle-leaping ceremony that the young men have to undergo in order to reach adulthood and to marry. They are a highly ‘superstitious’ people, and to this day they consider twins to be babies born outside of wedlock, while children whose upper milk teeth develop before their lower teeth are deemed to be ‘evil’ or ‘unclean’. As mentioned, the young Hamar men are famous for their “Evangadi dance” and “Bull jumping” ceremony (it is as part of this ceremony that the aforementioned whipping occurs). This ritual entails young men who wish to marry jumping over a line of bulls, thereby proving their worth to their intended bride’s family. It also signifies their advent into adulthood. This is a rarely seen event however, with luck, we may hear of one on our Omo valley tribe photography tour, and even be invited to attend this landmark event. Then drive to Jinka on the way enjoy the interaction of different tribes with their way of life.
Accommodation included: Jinka Resort or Similar
Day 6: Visit Moursi Tribes and Drive to KONSO
Stop At: Konso Cultural Centre, Konso, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region After breakfast early in the morning leave Jinka and drive to Mursi village to visit and appreciate the very attractive culture of Mursi tribe. They are renowned for the strange custom followed by their women who, on reaching maturity, have their lower lips slit and circular clay discs inserted, then drive to Key Afer Tribal Market one of the best market in the omo valley since at list four different tribes are coming to attend this weekly market arrival to the small town and escort a local guide walking around the market and explore different section of the market including animal, vegetable, cereals and much more. Then continue drive back to Koso for overnight.
Accommodation included: Kanta Lodge or Similar
Day 7: Drive to Hawassa
Pass By: hawasa After Breakfast you will drive to Hawassa. The Rift valley lakes (Southern Lakes) there are seven Lakes; the hot spring and visit to Abijata and Shalla National Park different varieties birds and mammals. On the way you will visit Abijaita-Shalla Lakes National Park to see the in the park for many species of aquatic birds, particularly great white pelicans and greater and lesser flamingoes, Ostrich Farming, and also endemic mammals such Warthogs, Grand Gazelles and others which are available there. NB: Abijatta-Shalla National Park is one of the National Parks of Ethiopia. Located 200 kilometers south of Addis Ababa, it contains the Rift Valley lakes of Abijatta and Shalla. The two lakes are separated by three kilometers of hilly land. Besides the two lakes, the primary attraction of this national park is a number of hot springs on the northeast corner of Lake Abijatta, and large numbers of flamingoes on the lake.
Accommodation included: Haile Resort Hotel or Similar
Day 8: Drive back to Addis Ababa
Pass By: Shashemene On the final day we leave Hawassa, returning to Addis Ababa by road. Visit “Amora Gedel”-the daily fishing market on the shore of Lake Hawassa and get really close to pelicans, storks and other birds very much used to human company. On the way we will stop to visit Ras Tefreian village in Shahemen town. Shashemene is a town given to Ras Tefreian /Rasta/ community by His Majesty Hailesilasie I. After you see the Rasta community head to ‘Wendo Genet Spa’ to swim on thermal bath and relax after a long visit in the Omo Valley tribes before heading to Addis Ababa.This evening we enjoy a traditional Ethiopian buffet dinner and local drinks, celebrating our journey through this culturally rich and fascinating country. After dinner, you are transferred to the hotel in Addis for your last night in Ethiopia. This evening you will transferred to the international airport in Addis Ababa for your onward flight, bringing this unique Ethiopia Lodge Tour to an end.