A road journey down Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley revealing the country’s natural beauty, colourful markets and the Omotic tribes of the south who still adhere to their ancient animistic beliefs and traditional ways of life.
Overnight flight on Ethiopian Airlines from Heathrow to Addis Ababa.
On arrival in Addis Ababa, you will be met by your guide and taken to Golden Tulip Hotel for an overnight stay.
This morning you will depart Addis Ababa and drive south to the Rift Valley Lake of Langano, en route visiting the rock-hewn church of Adadi Mariam, that is believed to be the southernmost church founded by King Lalibela, the pre-historic archaeological site of Melka Kunture and the stele field of Tiya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Overnight at Sabana Beach Resort on Lake Langano.
Today, drive south to the town of Arba Minch visiting the tribal people of Alaba who are noted for their beautifully painted houses and Walyita, known for their cultivation of Enset or False Banana. Then drive to Chencha to visit the Dorze village, one of the many small segments of the great Omotic language group of southern Ethiopia. Once warriors, they have now turned to farming and weaving to earn a living. Overnight at Paradise Lodge.
This afternoon you will take a boat trip on the Rift Valley Lake of Chamo to see the large numbers of Nile crocodiles as well as hippos and a variety of birdlife. Drive onwards to Jinka visiting the villages of the Konso people who are renowned for their colourful hand-woven cotton clothes. If your visit falls on a Thursday you can stop on your way at Key Afer to visit the most colourful multicultural market in the Lower Omo Valley, which is attended by the tribal groups of Ari, Benna, and Tsemai. Overnight at Eco Omo Lodge.
Today, you will have an excursion to the Mago National Park and visit the people of the Mursi tribe who are known for the clay lip plates worn by the women. Drive to Turmi, the village of the Hamer people whose women are noted for their beaded leather skirts. If your visit is on Saturday or Tuesday, you will have a stop at the weekly market of the Hamer and the Benna people at Dimeka. You will stay at Buska Lodge for the next three nights.
This morning you will have visit Korcho, the village of the Karo people. Depending on the day of your visit you may have the opportunity to attend the weekly market of Turmi or Dimeka.
An excursion to Omorate to visit the Dasenetch people who are the southern most people of the country and are known for their scarifications. The Dasenetch live just north of Lake Turkana, the region where Ethiopia borders Kenya and Sudan. The Dasenetch speak a completely different language and are the only Cushitic-speaking group of the Omo Valley. Drive back to Turmi to experience a typical Ethiopian coffee ceremony.
After breakfast, drive through the eastern Lower Omo valley and visit the Arbore tribal village before continuing to Arba Minch for an overnight stay at Paradise Lodge.
Drive back to Addis Ababa passing the Rift Valley Lake of Ziway enroute. In the evening, you will have a farewell dinner at one of the best traditional restaurants of Addis Ababa to see the folkloric dances of the Ethiopian people. Overnight at Golden Tulip Hotel.
You will be taken to the airport for your morning flight on Ethiopian Airlines back to Heathrow, arriving this afternoon.
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Christine fell in love with Africa over 30 years ago, and has been managing the Cape Town office since 2008, and is looking forward to exploring Namibia more.Read more
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Shaun joined the travel industry just over 10 years ago, working first for an online travel booking portal and an ecotourism company, specialising in sustainable travel in Southern and East Africa.Read more
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