Ethiopia South Omo Tour Program – Explore Omo, a Zone in Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, on your 9-day holiday with Continent Tours. Highlights of this itinerary include a stay in Arba Minch, a picturesque drive to Mountain Village, and a sail on Lake Chamo. There will be a visit to the Konso people, an examination of the Hamer tribe, and excursions to Omorati, Jinka, Mago National Park, and Mursi Village.
Upon your arrival at Bole International airport Addis Ababa, and completion of the entry formalities, you will be met by one of our representatives outside the terminal (Entry into the terminal has been prohibited for non-passengers temporarily) and be transferred to your hotel.
Overnight: Jupiter international Hotel/ Similar
This day you will fly to Arba Minch. Arba Minch is named for the numerous local springs that produce a groundwater forest. In Amharic, Arba Minch means “forty springs.”
The town itself is divided into two distinct settlements. Buses and taxis connect Shecha (on higher ground) and downtown Sikela. Shecha is the uptown administrative center. Just two and a half miles away is Sikela, home to the commercial, industrial, and downtown residential areas. On the eastern side of Sikela lies the gate to Nechisar National Park, which covers the isthmus between Lake Abaya to the north and Lake Chamo to the south.
Up on arrival, you will drive to a very scenic route to the mountain village of Chencha, home of the Dorze people. Renowned for their cotton weaving, called Shammas and their distinctive house- towering beehive-shaped structures made from woven thatch.
Overnight: Paradise Lodge /Similar
In the morning, you will enjoy a one-hour boat ride on Lake Chamo towards Azo Gebeya, the so-called “crocodile market” – which is not a market at all, but a gathering place for crocodiles and pelicans: one of the best features of the park. The attraction of the boat trip includes viewing hippos and crocodiles from a very close range. Later, you will drive to Konso.
The Konso region is declared a UNESCO World Heritage site for its rich culture. The Konso people live in a land of low terraced hills. They are reputed to be one of the hardest working groups in the country. Their elaborately terraced hillside grows some of the county’s best coffee. They have an articulate tradition and erect peculiar totems on the grave of their deceased.
Overnight: Kanta Lodge /Similar
Early morning, you will drive to Turmi to visit the Hamer tribe, they are one of the most beautiful and dignified people in the Omo basin. The women wear elegant leather skirts festooned with tiny pearls. Personal appearance is important to the Hamer, and they are striking indeed: their features and adornments include high cheekbones, elaborate beads and leather, elaborate hairstyles and thick copper necklaces.
Overnight: Buska Lodge / Similar
Today you will venture to Murulle to visit the Karo people, who reside along the banks of the Lower Omo River. The Karo incorporate rich cultural symbolism into their rituals and use ornate body art, intricate headdress, and body scarification to emphasize beauty and status within their community. This small but lively tribe numbers under 1,000, but they are the main non-nomadic agriculturalist group in the Lower Omo Valley.
The Karo are differentiated from neighboring tribes by placing a higher emphasis on body and face painting. They paint themselves daily with colored ochre, white chalk, yellow mineral rock, charcoal, and pulverized iron ore - all resources found in this area. Karo body painting is a deep aspect of their culture; they are communicating as well as decorating. The experience of visiting the people of this incredibly rich, proud, yet adapting culture gives amazing insight into Ethiopia’s indigenous people.
Overnight: Buska Lodge / Similar
Today’s Excursion will take you to Omorate to visit the Dassanech tribes across the Omo River by wooden local boat to have an interesting cultural experience with inhabitants of the Lower Omo River Valley.
If the day is Tuesday or Saturday, you will drive to the Dimeka market, 28 km north of Turmi, is the biggest town in Hamer territory and its Saturday market is the most atmospheric and liveliest of the big ones. It has a great crafts section, with jewelers, woodcarvings, masks, and pottery. Ask your guide to take you to the tej bets that are just behind the market – around noon they're full of Hamer men and women enjoying calabashes of honey wine or sorghum beer. The cattle market, which is held in the morning about 400m further north, is also not to be missed. There's little reason to stop here besides the markets.
Overnight: Buska lodge / Similar
Today you will drive to Jinka and Visit the South Omo Research Centre Museum, dedicated to preserving certain aspects of traditional tribal life in the Omo Valley. Chronicling the transformation of the tribes, the museum exhibits several tools and clothing items in its hall. Set in a stone hilltop building overlooking the city, the research center also has a library, a large garden, and excellent views of Jinka.
Overnight: Eco–Omo Lodge/ Similar
Take a day excursion to Mago National Park to visit the Mursi village. The Mursi are one of the most original ethnic groups. They live in very low huts made of straw leaves. The women like to wear terra cotta on their enormously stretched lower lips and earlobes. The men are famous for their hairstyles.
The tribe is famed for its fierce warrior disposition and wildly decorative appearance, with large circular clay labrets that the women wear in the lower lip. The larger the lip plate, the greater the woman’s value when she is married. She removes her plate for eating and sleeping. We may see some women, especially elder women, without their lip plates. They are easily distinguished by how their long, distended lips hang down from their mouths.
You will drive back to Jinka for your overnight accommodation late afternoon.
Overnight: Eco – Omo Lodge /Similar
Today you will be transferred to the airport to catch your local flight to Addis. You will be met and transferred to your hotel.
This evening you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home.