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You are here: Home Ethiopia Safaris in Ethiopia Cultural Tour : Harar & Omo Valley

Cultural Tour : Harar & Omo Valley - 14 Days

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Hamar Lady  in the Omo ValleyThe eastern and Omo Valley, in the south of Ethiopia, is home to a fascinating range of distinct tribal groups, isolated from the rest of the world for centuries and still very much following their own cultures and customs. On this trip we set off using 4WD transport to explore this eastern and Southern

Omo Valley of Ethiopia, stopping at local markets and visiting villages, driving past the lakes of Africa’s Great Rift Valley and looking for the wealth of wildlife that this little-explored region contains. Travel here is not for the faint-hearted - but one of the most exciting experiences that the continent offers. ‘Off the beaten track’

Day 01 : Arrive in Addis - city tour of Addis Ababa

Mursi WomanOn arrival in Addis Ababa our representatives will meet you at Bole International Airport and transfers to Jupiter International Hotel. An overview of the program and itineraries will be given.

The rest of the day visit historical sites in Addis Ababa including the National Archaeological Museum, where we will view the 3.6 million year old remains of “Lucy”, whose skeletal remains when discovered in 1974. You will also visit the Ethnological Museum at Addis Ababa University, Holy Trinity Cathedrals and Mount Entoto which rises up to an altitude of 3200 meters and offers the panoramic view of the metropolis.

Overnight Jupiter International Hotel

Day 02 : Drive to Harer

After breakfast drive from Addis Ababa to Harer through the scenic Haraghe Mountains looking at the coffee and chat plantations left and right of the road. At Harar visit the 16th century wall of Harar and the house of the renowned poet Arthur Rimbaud.

In the evening go to one of the gates of the Harar wall to see the Hyena Man feeding his hyena friends.

Overnight Heritage Plaza Hotel

Day 03 : In Harer

After breakfast you will visit The City Wall, the Gates and the narrow streets lined with traditional Harari Gegar houses, the colorful Muslim and Christian markets (known for basketry).

After lunch visit the Hareri museum, Rimbaud House, a fine traditional house dating from the period when the French poet Rimbaud lived in Harer. Finally visit the traditional Hararie house within the famous walled city.

Overnight Heritage Plaza hotel

Day 04 : Drive to Nazareth

After breakfast leave Harer and drive to Nazareth. You will be driving through magnificent landscape of The Harer Mountains and Ethiopian Rift Valley. En route you will experience “Chat” Plantations which is a typical farming experience in the region.

Overnight Rift Valley Hotel in Nazareth

Day 05 : Drive Arba Minch

Drive to Arba Minch via Wolayta Sodo, about 450 km from Nazareth. This drive will take us along some of the Rift Valley Lakes and we will stop shortly at Lake Ziway, best known for its birdlife. We will also drive through the Wolayta farmlands, with views of the lush green hills and valleys.

You arrive late in the afternoon at Arba Minch - meaning 'Forty Springs' in Amharic. Arba Minch takes its name from the bubbling streams that cover the groundwater forest occupying the flats of the town.

Overnight Bekele Molla hotel that is situated on the hilltop having panoramic view over Lake Chamo, Abaya and Nech Sar National Park situated in between the two rift valley lakes.

Overnight Bekele Molla hotel

Day 06 : Visit Dorze - Boat trip on Lake Chamo

After breakfast visit the Dorze tribe and their village, famed for their bee hive shaped houses and their weaving skills. Weaving is a primary profession for many Dorze. They are also farmers, who prevent soil erosion by ingenious terracing of the mountainsides.

Around their huts they have their own little garden with vegetables, spices, tobacco and enset (false-banana or musa ensete). This afternoon take a refreshing boat trip on Lake Chamo, home to huge crocodiles, hippos and a variety of birdlife.

We visit This afternoon we take a refreshing boat trip on Lake Chamo, home to huge crocodiles, hippos and a variety of birdlife.

Overnight in Arba Minch - Bekele Molla Hotel

Day 07 : Arba Minch Jinka

We continue our experience with tribal life with a visit to the Konso. A pagan society, the K onso erect eerie wooden totems replete with phallic symbols over the graves of the dead and have numerous cults based around the breeding and veneration of serpents.

The cornerstone of Konso culture, however, is a highly specialized and successful agricultural economy that, through terracing buttressed with stone, enable these people to extract a productive living from the none-too-fertile hills and valleys that surround them

An excellent day to meet the people, take photographs with them and learn of a culture that has had very little outside influence. Later afternoon arrival in Jinka, set at the foot of Mago National Park.

Overnight in Jinka hotel

Day 08 : Jinka - Mursi - Jinka

After breakfast 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. Proceed to Mago National Park. After a picnic lunch in the late afternoon drive back to Jinka.

Overnight Jinka Resort or similar Hotel

Day 09 : Jinka - Turmi

After breakfast drive to Turmi through Dimeka for the visit of Hamer people and their village. Turmi is a small town, which is the base to visit the Hamer village. Hamers have remarkable hairstyles made from ochre, water, and binding resin.

They rub the mixture into their hair then twist the strands repeatedly to create coppery-colored locks. This is a sign of wealth and welfare. Hamers are considered to be masters of body decoration.

Overnight camping at Turmi campsite - local hotel

Day 10 : Turmi - Murulle - Turmi

Turmi is our base as we explore the different regions and to meet the different tribes who live a life of their own. This day we drive towards the Murulle area. Murile Murile (also spelled Muelle and Murli) lies on the banks of the Omo River, and is a popular base for exploring what is essentially a rugged area.

There is a fair amount of wildlife in the area, and a good chance of seeing some form of antelope and possibly raptors overhead. The two main tribes who live in the area are the Karo and the Hamer, both of whom practice scarification and have elaborate hairstyles. The Karo ethnic groups are experts in body painting, using clays and locally available vegetable pigments to trace fantastic patterns on their faces, chests, arms and legs.

These designs have no special symbolic significance but are created purely for fun and aesthetic effect, each artist vying to outdo his fellows. Karo men also sculpt and shave their hair into extravagant shapes, with special ochre "caps" of hair usually containing several ostrich feathers.

Overnight camping in Turmi

Day 11 : Turmi - Omorate - Turmi

Today we visit the Geleb tribes, crossing the Omo River by boat. The people of Geleb have their own distinctive dress and decoration and villages with interesting architecture. In the afternoon we drive back to Turmi and spend the night camping.

The Geleb Covering a large territory, the Geleb live along the western banks of the Omo River, having been forced out of the Turkana region by conflict in the 18th century.

Originally nomadic pastoralists, the more fertile surroundings of the Omo River has caused them to put down more permanent roots based around fishing and agriculture. The Geleb live in small huts that befit their nomadic origins, as they could be easily and quickly dismantled.

Overnight camping in Turmi

Day 12 : Turmi - Yabello

Drive to Yabello visiting the Arbore and the Tsemay people en route. After lunch stop at Konso, continue to the region of Oromo Borena and visit their village. The drive this day will let you to experience the life of the Oromo Borena People who is well known in cattle rearing.

You also visit the Oromo Borena People villages and their 'singing well' from which they cater water to their own thousands of cattle by singing.

Overnight Yabello Motel

Day 13 : Lake Awassa

Today we drive to Awassa over a beautiful Sidamo mountains and coffee plantation.On the way, we stop at Wenago to visit the Tutu Fella stelae field – an unusual collection of carved stones. We then continue to Lake Awassa, which is surrounded by mountains and populated by countless species of birds.

Overnight in Awassa at Pina Hotel

Day 14 : Addis Ababa

After breakfast we visit the fish Market by the side of Lake Awassa where the local people buy fish from the fisher men. Then drive back to Addis Ababa through the Great Rift Valley lakes Via Awassa. En route we will stop on the viewpoints for the Rift Valley Lakes of Shala, Abyta and Langano.

In the Evening a fare well diner party in one of the Traditional Ethiopian restaurant with dances from the different ethnic Groups. Transfer out to the airport for departure back to home.

Price includes
  • Meet and greet at airport
  • All accommodation based on Twin room occupancy
  • Meals in Addis, on bed and breakfast basis
  • Meals out of Addis, on full board basis
  • All entrance fees at sites, churches, parks and villages.
  • All transfers and visits in Addis Ababa using mini-bus
  • Transport with a 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser plus insurance
  • Fuel and all costs of the driver.
  • Guide Service
  • Local Guide and scout fees in parks and villages
  • Boat trip on Lake Chamo and Omo River
  • Cook who prepares meals while camping
  • Camping; tents, mattresses, sleeping bags and cooking utensils
  • Dinner in Addis to enjoy traditional Ethiopian food and Music
  • A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony at a convenient time
  • Government taxes
Price doesn’t include
  • International flights
  • Lunch and Dinner in Addis Ababa
  • Drinks including alcoholic and local non-alcoholic beverage
  • Video filming and photography fees
  • Incidental meals, snacks and drinks
  • Tips and items of personal nature like laundry, souvenirs, etc
  • All what is not included in the list above
Cultural Tour : Harar & Omo Valley - 14 Days
 

Feedback From Clients

Susanah Hardy


Hello Davies, I must give tell you that our trip was absolutely fabulous! From start to the very end the trip ran like a "Swiss Watch". Everything was organized to perfection. Our hotels and camps were fantastic, with excellent service, delicious food, excellent accommodations and wonderful service. Virtually every person whom we encountered from the minute we landed in Cape Town until they said goodbye to us in Johannesburg was helpful, attentive, knowledgeable and warm. I could go on and on and on!. I would absolutely recommend Orient Express as the way to go! I must also complement Travel Company for their work. The tour company they use, Paradise Tours did a great job and we loved our guide Willy. You get an A+ for your suggestion of ...

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