ETHIOPIA: the tribes of the Omo Valley

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This 9-day trip allows you to discover Ethiopia, one of the most fascinating countries on the African continent and that presents an incredible cultural and geographical diversity.

Traveling South, starting from the capital Addis Abeba, you have the opportunity to admire the East Africa Rift Valley and then descend into the Omo Valley, the home of some of the most colorful and interesting ethnic groups of Ethiopia.

The most important stages of a trip to the Omo Valley in Ethiopia:

• Taking the road from Addis Abeba that descends from the plateau and heads South, on board a 4 × 4 off-road vehicle, to then reach the Omo Valley; along the way you can admire the spectacular views of the Rift Valley

• The Dorze with their traditions, their unusual shaped houses and their warm hospitality.

Lake Chamo, an incredibly beautiful place; in its waters live hippos and crocodiles, there are also numerous bird species that can be observed.

• The Konso, who inhabit the lands between Arba Minch and Jinka and who have built a system of terraces to grow on the hills and slopes, their villages are also very interesting and elaborate.

• The Mago National Park that, in addition to being a protected natural area, is the place where the Mursilive, the tribe famous and well-photographed for the custom of women to wear labial plates.

Tribal markets like Key Afar or Dimeka where you can meet many people from different tribes.

Turmi, the land of the Hamer, the Kara, or Karo, and the Banna who still live following ancient traditions and who practice the ritual of the Bull’s jump

Visit to the city of Addis Abeba in Ethiopia

At Addis Abeba, the capital of Ethiopia, you can visit the interesting National Museum that preserves Lucy’s skeleton, the Merkato, the largest market in East Africa, the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity and the Cathedral of Saint George.

Not far from Addis Abeba there is the Unesco archaeological site of Tiya, where you can admire the funerary stele in engraved stone that have an unknown origin.

Visit to Karat-Konso and the Konso in Ethiopia

The town of Karat-Konso, not far from Arbaminch, is located in the heart of the territories of the Konso, here you can find the terraced cultivation techniques that this tribe has used for centuries and that have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

You can also visit a fortified Konso village; their villages are surrounded by stone walls and it is possible to access the village only through three entrances, inside there are the individual compounds of the various families and some community structures; a local guide is happy to tell their lifestyle and traditions.

Visit to the Mago National Park and the Mursi in Ethiopia

The Mago National Park is not only a natural area, but is also the home of the Mursi; the Mursi are famous for the labial plates that are worn by women, since they are young girls, the plates are a symbol of beauty.

We visit a traditional Mursi village where, in addition to discovering their lifestyle, it is possible to admire and photograph women with their labial plates and their flashy headdresses, even men sometimes wear headdresses but their most typical accessory is a Kalashnikov.

Turmi and Omorate: visit to the Hamer, Dassanech and Kara villages

Near the town of Omorate, in Ethiopia, there is the Dassanech territory, you cross the Omo river with a small traditional wooden boat to reach a Dassanech village, a population who has adapted to live in a semi-desert territory and still follows ancient traditions.

In the town of Turmi instead there are the Hamer and the Kara, or Karo.

The Hamer are famous for their hairstyles, their clothing, their traditional villages and their rituals, the most famous of which is the Bull’s jump.

The Bull’s jump is undoubtedly one of the best known and most important rituals in the Omo Valley, it is a test of skill, strength and courage that boys must pass in order to be defined as men and to be able to marry, it consists in jumping and run on the back of a row of bulls several times without ever falling.

The Karo, or Kara, are one of the least numerous tribes of the entire Omo Valley, the members of this tribe are only 1,500.

The Karo are famous for the drawings that are painted on the body, during the holidays and ceremonies, and for the traditional scarifications.

Visit to Arba Minch: Lake Chamo, Nechisar National Park and the Dorze

From Arba Minch, a town that rises in an elevated position, you can admire the lakes of the Rift Valley: Lake Abaya and Lake Chamo.

In the waters of Lake Chamo, a boat excursion takes place to see crocodiles, numerous hippos and numerous species of water birds; Lake Chamo is part of the larger Nechisar National Park.

The Dorze live on the reliefs found near Arba Minch; they are known for the architecture of their homes and for their construction techniques; the houses are entirely built with organic materials, these remarkable structures can reach up to 12 meters in height and recall the shape of an elephant’s face.

Vaccination against yellow fever is not mandatory but if you intend to visit the Omo Valley it is strongly recommended, malaria prophylaxis is not mandatory but recommended.

The climate of the Omo Valley is arid or semi-arid, with very hot, sometimes torrid days.

The best time to go to Ethiopia is from October to February when the temperatures are milder and the rains are almost completely absent; as regards the Omo Valley, the months from June to August are also a solution to avoid the too intense heat.

What does the trip include?

• Breakfasts, lunches, dinners

• All transfers

• Entrance to the parks and monuments

• Certified local guide.

• All accommodations

What does it not include?

• International flights

• International insurance

• Visa to Ethiopia 

• Airport fees

• Shopping, alcohol, etc.

• Tip to the guides

• Anything not described in “what the trip includes”

Terms of payment

40% deposit to be paid upon confirmation.

The balance must be paid no later than 60 days before departure.

If confirmation is given in the 60 days prior to departure, the total amount must be paid at the time of confirmation.

Failure to comply with the aforementioned payment methods entails the automatic cancellation of all the services booked and the application of penalties.

Any bank charges are charged to the customer.

In case of cancellation

The deposit will be fully refunded in case of cancellation 60 days before departure, net of any bank charges, for any cancellation after 60 days, the following conditions will apply:

60 – 18 days before departure: 30% penalty

17 – 10 days before departure: 50% penalty

9 – 4 days before departure: 75% penalty

3 – 0 days before departure: 100% penalty

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