13 DAYS LOWER OMO VALLEY TRIBE TOUR
This lower Omo valley tour mainly covers the different ethnic tribes in Southern Ethiopia. Southern Ethiopia is home to 56 different ethnicities. Of these ethnic groups, we dive into the culture and traditions of various fascinating ethnic tribes of lower Omo valley including Mursi, Hamer and the Dassanech. Other than the tribes, we will have a boat ride and small hike in the Nechisar National Park.
The colorful markets in several small villages add extra flavor to the tour. In this trip, we have the chance to interact and get to know the people and culture of Ethiopians through a visit to family in a village and enjoy the typical coffee ceremony. We also organize a cooking evening where we can cook Ethiopian food with the family.
Details of the Tour
Tour Catagory: Culture & Tradition
Tour Code: CT02
Tour Duration: 13 Days
Price: From 2,090 € / person
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TOUR
– Homestay and cultural hike in Dorze Village
– Boat trip on Lake Chamo and visit Hippos and Crocodiles
– Meet fascinating Tribes of Lower Omo Valley
– Hike in Nechisar National Park and see few zebra herds
– Colorful market and vibrant culture of the region
– Attend some ritual events in one of the Tribes in Lower Omo Valley
LOWER OMO VALLEY TOUR IN PICTURES
Where do we start the tour?
We start our lower Omo valley tour from Addis Ababa, commonly referred ‘Addis.’ Addis lies at an altitude of about 2,300 meters above sea level. This elevation gives the ‘Political Capital of Africa’ an enjoyable & welcoming weather. Addis offers a lot to visitors – including Merkato, the largest open-air market in Africa, the National Museum where oldest human fossils are collected and exhibited, the Ethnological museum where we can get a fascinating glimpse into Ethiopia’s many tribal groups, and the Entoto Mountains which gives a stunning view of the city. Addis also offers excellent artworks and musical shows.
Meeting Place – Hotel in Addis Ababa
We meet the small group at a hotel in Addis Ababa a day before the tour starts. If you need airport transfers and hotel room before the tour starts, please let us know. We will arrange everything you need in Addis. Details of the meeting place and contacts of our tour leader and driver will be given once you book the tour. We assume you visit Addis Ababa by yourselves either a day before or after the tour. We can also arrange it on request or provide recommendations.
Day 01 – Visit and homestay in a Dorze village
We drive approximately 380 km to a mountain village of the Dorze. On the way, we pass by Gurage and Oromo villages. Tiya stelae, one of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the country, is found on our way to Dorze and we will have a quick stop. We enjoy a view of Abaya and Chamo lakes from the hills of Dorze. The Dorze people are known for their cotton weaving and beehive-shaped houses. Enset or the “false banana” plays a major role in the life of the Dorze people. Enset is the staple food of Dorze. They use the root of Enset for food and its leaf for house construction.
We spend the night with the Dorze people and gain an insight into their culture. They cook their traditional dinner for us. We can also practice making their food. After dinner, we go to a local rural bar to enjoy honey wine locally called “tej.”
Overnight in small and simple beehive-shaped houses.
Day 02 – Dorze Cultural Hike
After breakfast, we take a hike (approx. 3 h) through the villages of the Dorze people. The trail leads through mystical forests with clean air and many villages to a waterfall. We also visit some of the villages with a weaving tradition.
In the afternoon drive to Konso (135 km) and have a relaxed afternoon.
Overnight in a hotel
Day 03 – Konso
Our tour in southern Ethiopia continues to Konso. The Konso people have adapted their lifestyle perfectly to their natural environment. They constructed a terrific terrace and managed to farm on the hills. Their terracing style is one of the UNESCO registered World Heritage Site. The terraces protect against flooding as well as damage from cattle. We visit the local museum and burial markers of the Konso heads called “Waga.”
Day 04 – Ari Village and Local Markets
On our way to Jinka (130 km), we stop in a village of Ari. The Ari people cultivate coffee plants on their fertile land. They also have livestock and honey production. We also visit a local market called Key Afer. In Key Afer market, many ethnic tribes including Tsemay, Hamer, Ari and Bana exchange goods either in cash or item. It is a colorful market where tribespeople buy and sell ornaments, fabrics, and other goods
Overnight stay – Hotel in Jinka
Day 05 – Mago National Park and visit the Mursi Tribe
Today we drive through Mago national park and visit the Mursi tribes. The Mursi are known for their lip plates. The Mursi women get a small cut on the lower lip, and stretch it with wooden pens and later clay plate. Mursi women also decorate themselves with plates on ears and other piercings.
Overnight stay – Hotel in Jinka
Day 06 – Hamer Tribe
Today’s trip will take us to Turmi, home of Hamer tribes of Ethiopia. They are probably the most famous tribes in Ethiopia with their hairstyles. After lunch, we visit a village of the Hamer people. The Hamer girls traditionally dye their hair with clay. Such a typical hairstyle makes Hamer girls unique from other tribes. Hamers are also known for bull jumping. The Hamer boys should do bull jumping to claim that he is transformed from a boyhood to an adult life.
Three overnight stays in a lodge
Day 07 – Hamer Village
Today we visit other villages in Turmi. We will see the daily life and culture of Hamer in different villages. If we are lucky, we may attend a bull jumping ceremony and witness the transformation of Hamer boys from boy to adult.
Day 08 – Excursion to Omorate
Our lower Omo valley tour continues to Dassanech. We drive 70 km south of Turmi to meet Dassanech people. Dassanech people live on the bank of Omo River. We have to cross Omo River with small wooden boats to visit Dassanech village. In the village, we visit houses of Dassanech and enjoy their traditional dance.
Drive back to Turmi and have a relaxed afternoon in the lodge.
Overnight in a lodge
Day 09 – Arba Minch
This morning we drive to Murle to visit the Karo tribe. Karo tribes are known for their body paint. We will have lunch in Konso with a good view.
Overnight hotel in Arba Minch
Day 10 – Boat trip on Lake Chamo and Zebras in Nechisar National Park
Today is probably one of the travel highlights for animal lovers. We will take a boat trip on Lake Chamo. On the boat trip, we have the chance to see hippos, crocodiles, and pelicans. The boat ride brings us to Nechisar National Park. We will do a Zebra safari in Nechisar National Park. We hike in the park and follow zebras together with an experienced guide and a scout. We can observe Zebras at a close distance.
Overnight stay in Hotel
Day 11 – Swimming and relaxing at Lake Langano
We drive to Lake Langano (250 km) and spend the day in a lakeside lodge. Lake Langano has a beach, and we can spend the rest of the day around the lake. On the way, we visit Shashemene. Shashemene is the home to Rasta people also called Ras- Teferians. Many Rasta, especially from Jamaica, lives in this town. We visit a Rasta church, Rasta village and the house of an artist named Hailu. Hailu does impressive artistic work from a banana leaf. We visit his gallery.
Two overnight stays at Sabana lodge
Day 12 – Swimming and relaxing at Lake Langano
Day 13 – Addis Ababa (End of our Omo Valley Tour)
Today is our last day of the tour. We head back to Addis Ababa (250 km). In Addis, you have enough time for the last souvenir shopping or visiting some parts of the city. We conclude our Ethiopia trip with dinner at a typical Ethiopian restaurant with traditional music and dance. Afterwards, we transfer you either to your hotel or the airport for your international flight.
– Insolvency Insurance (Secured Payment Certificate)
– Tour Leader for the whole tour
– Security fees and all government taxes
– Overland transport – depending on the group size we use
comfortable minibus or 4X4 off-road vehicle
– 11 nights stay in hotel/lodge in a standard shared twin bedroom
– 1 homestay in a local village
– Day room on departure date (Day 13)
– All breakfasts and lunches including drinks
– Farewell dinner on the last day
– Water bottles during the tour
– All entrance fees
– Local guides in each destination
– English speaking driver guide throughout the tour
– 100% compensation to the CO2 emissions of this tour in
Ethiopia (emissions from domestic flights and overland transport)
– Dinner – it is your personal choice to join the group or plan it by yourself
– Visa Fee – We will be glad to assist you
– Video and photo fees
– Alcoholic drinks
– Other Personal expenses
– Single room supplement – 230 USD or 210 €
TRADITIONAL COFFEE CEREMONY
The experience of a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony is a must. Coffee (bunna) plays an important role in the daily life of the Ethiopians. Coffee is served every morning and evening. It is common to have a coffee ceremony when the family has visiting guests. Buna (coffee) is the favorite drink of many Ethiopians. It is drunk uniquely and traditionally. The coffee beans are roasted over charcoal then ground and placed in a jebena (coffee pot) with boiling water. When ready, it is served to people in small cups, up to three rounds per ceremony. The first round is called Abol, the second Tona, and the third Bereka. This is a social ceremony and will last at least for an hour. The ceremony is accompanied by incense and sometimes a small snack like homemade bread or popcorn.
HOMESTAY IN DORZE VILLAGE
We stay one night in Dorze village in their typical and small huts. We also taste their food and drinks. The Dorze tell us about their everyday life, and we can try some craft works like cotton spinning and weaving or pottery. The homestay is a highlight experience offering insights into the daily lives of the people and immerses us deeply in their culture.
HONEY WINE TEJ
The people of the Dorze is also known for an excellent honey wine called “tej.” We go for a ‘tej’ party in a small rural bar and spend the evening with the Dorze people.
When visiting a local market, there is a lot to discover. Local ornaments, wonderful fabrics, unique spices, several varieties of coffee beans and people different tribes coming for the market. We can get our favorite souvenir.
Traditional dance clubs are trendy among the Ethiopians and are worth a visit. This is not a nightclub, but rather a bar with a stage for Ethiopian traditional dancing. There are singers and dance groups, who show different dance styles of people and tribes from all over the country. Delicious Ethiopian food with a local beer guarantee a lively atmosphere.
PEOPLE OF SOUTH
Many of Ethiopian tribes are still largely unaffected by modern influences. When visiting some of these tribes in the south, we witness a unique way of life. Their body decoration and interaction with the rest of the world is quite natural and beautiful.
A normal physical fitness & good health condition is enough for this trip. All the hikes in this tour are standard and easy level, which takes a maximum of 3 to 4 hours a day.
The hotels and lodges are to the country standard, mostly 3 to 4-star hotels and lodges. However, occasional power cut and a limited supply of hot water may occur everywhere in the country. On this trip, we spend one overnight in a rural village at Dorze. This homestay accommodation is a clear contrast to the classic hotel accommodation. We sleep in small, simple huts with basic sanitary facilities. This tour to Ethiopia is an exciting opportunity to get insights into the culture and everyday life of the local people.
The daytime temperatures range between 18 ° and 30 ° degrees depending on the date of travel. In the mountains, the temperature can become much colder at night. Especially in the Simien Mountains, it can get below 5 ° degrees at night. The dry season starts from September to May. It rarely rains at this time. In the rainy season, June to August, it rains almost every day in the north, but the area is green, and flowers are blooming. However, the southern part of Ethiopia is dry from June to August.
Except for the main routes, the roads network in Ethiopia is not sufficiently developed. Some routes, particularly the Lower Omo Valley and some national parks, are unpaved roads and we recommend you to expect longer travel times.
We recommend you to pack your sleeping bag and towel as we have homestay and camping overnights. Also, you need to pack solid shoes for hiking in the mountains and volcanos in Erta Ale. For further recommendations, please check on our packing list to travel to Ethiopia.
On your lower Omo valley tour, you may produce from 1, 500 to 2,500 kg of CO2 on domestic flights and overland transport. MUKA Travel compensates 100% of your Co2 emissions by contributing the compensation amount to a project working to provide Solar Home Systems in Ethiopia. In cooperation with a climate protection organization called atmosfair, efficient solar systems are being developed and made available to the rural communities in Ethiopia. Find more information about the project here.
Visiting families or villages in different parts of Ethiopia in our tours mean far beyond experiencing a unique and discrete culture. The families in a homestay and each village visited receive an additional income. Even if this small money cannot bring a complete change, it brings extra income to support their livelihood. Read more about our homestays here.
Fairness of the tourism system is a big issue in many developing countries. We have seen that many tourism businesses in the developing world are either being owned by foreigners or controlled by few elites. The local communities are not well benefited from the tourism resources they naturally own. MUKA Travel tries to its best to bring a fair trade of tourism. We avoid international chain hotels and use standard locally owned accommodation. We use local guides in each destination. We pay a fair price, not only for local service providers but also for families and communities. Most importantly, we do not and will never set a price for services provided by local guides, families, and villages. See details of our work on promoting fairness.
want to Customise this Lower Omo Valley Tour?
Do you like to design your private lower Omo valley tour? We are glad to advise and work with you and create a customized private trip to Ethiopia. You can pick one or more of our tours for a reference and decide dates and travel partners by yourself. Contact us with the following details and we make your private Ethiopia tour happen.
- When do you want to travel?
- What kind of transportation do you prefer?
- Would you like us to book international and domestic flights?
- Which accommodation do you prefer? Mid-range hotel, camping, lodge, luxury hotel, a homestay in a small village?
- What do you like to visit in Ethiopia?
- Culture, nature, animals, tribes of Ethiopia, trekking, photography, or a bit of everything?
- How much is your travel budget?
- What other wishes do you have?
If you are planning a customised lower Omo valley tour, please send your inquiry to info_at_mukatravel.com.