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You are here: Home Ethiopia Safaris in Ethiopia Omo Valley, Gondar & Lalibela

Omo Valley, Gondar & Lalibela - 12 Days

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Gondar Medieval CastleThe Omo Valley in Southern Ethiopia is a little visited area of Ethiopia containing some of the most colorful tribes and ethnic groups. The fascinating costumes, colorful ceremonies and celebrationsarts, crafts, music and dance of the Benna, the Hamer, the Mursi and Arbore people are very special.

In the Omo Valley region many of the tribal groups have changed little over hundreds of years and they offer the visitor extraordinary insight into a variety of traditional cultures.

On this trip, you get truly off the beaten track, exploring little visited villages and vibrant tribal markets of the southern Ethiopia.

The trip also includes a visit to the historically important towns of Gondar and Lalibela. In Gondar the castle of Faselades, which is known as the Camelot of Africa, will be visited. In Lalibela, the famous rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, often referred to as the 'Eighth wonder of the World', will be visited.

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

Mursi VillageOn arrival in Addis Ababa our representatives will meet you at Bole International Airport and transfers to Ambassador 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 Ambassador Hotel

Day 02 : Drive Arba Minch

Drive to Arba Minch via Hosahena, about 460km south of Addis Ababa. This drive will take you along the scenic farmlands of Gurage People. 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 or Paradise Lodge

Day 03 : Visit Doze and Boat trip on Lake Chamo

Lalibela EthiopiaAfter 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).

Afternoon boat trip on Lake Chamo. Boat trip on Lake Chamo is along the best anywhere in Ethiopia. One can spot many Hippos and the world's most spectacular concentrations of Giant Crocodiles. The water birds are great the scenery is truly unforgettable.

Overnight Bekele Molla hotel or Paradise Lodge

Day 04 : Drive Jinka

If the day is Thursday, Key Afer Market can be visited en route. After break fast drive to Konso where colorfully costumed dress, impressive terracing of the Land and unusually engraved wooden statues used as grave markers can be seen. Further along the route visit the Woito people live in the area around Woito River and Tsemay village. Continue driving to Jinka.

Overnight in Jinka Resort Hotel

Day 05 : 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 Hotel

Day 06 : 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-coloured locks. This is a sign of wealth and welfare. Hamers are considered to be masters of body decoration.

Overnight camping at Turmi campsite

Day 07 : Drive to Arba Minch

Drive back to Arba Minch: on the way visit the Cushitic speaking Arbore people and their villages. The Abore people adorn themselves with beads and aluminum jewelry.

Overnight Bekele Molla hotel

Day 08 : Drive to Addis Ababa

Early morning drive back to Addis Ababa.

Overnight Ambassador Hotel

Day 09 : Fly Gondar Tour of Gondar

Morning: After breakfast, we will be transferred to the airport for flight to Gondar. Gondar is a town founded in 1636 by the great Emperor Fassiladas, set in a landscape of incomparable beauty.

It was the Royal Capital of Ethiopia. Visit the Castles and Churches built by Emperor Fassiladas and his descendants. Later proceed to the fascinating Debre Birhan Selassie Church (termed by United Nation’s Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as one of the World’s heritage sights), its walls and ceilings decorated with scenes of Biblical lore and medieval history.

The next stop will be at the Falasha Village where we visit the remaining Ethiopian Jews, those who choose not to be airlifted to Israel in the operation Moses.

Overnight Goha Hotel

Day 10 : Fly Lalibela

Morning: Be transferred to the airport for flight to Lalibela. Transfer to the Hotel Roha Lalibela. Lalibela is the second Jerusalem created by King Lalibela in the 12th century.

Afternoon: we visit the first group of six churches lie in rock cradles one behind the other: Bet Golgotha, Bet Mika'el, Bet Maryam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel and Bet Medhane Alem.

Bet Medhane Alem, the largest one, is built like a Greek Temple and its stone floor is so polished by the countless numbers of visitors that it reflects shafts of light from apertures in the walls high above. In a corner are three empty graves symbolically dug for biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Day 11 : In Lalibela

After breakfast a mule ride to the 13thc rock hewn monastery of Asheten Mariam. The church is situated on atop a mountain at an altitude of 3150 metres. This will take about 4 hours. We return back to the town for lunch.

Afternoon visit of the other groups of Rock churches of Lalibela Bet Bet Giyorgis, possibly the most elegant of all the Lalibela churches, lies somewhat isolated in the south-west part of the village on a sloping rock terrace.

It can only be reached through a tunnel. The group of four, south of the Jordan River, comprise of Bet Emanuel, Bet Mercurios, Bet Abba Libanos and Bet Gabriel-Rufa'el. Bet Emanuel's elaborate exterior is much praised by art historians.

Day 12 : Fly to Addis Ababa

After breakfast you will check in to the Airport for your flight to Addis Ababa. Evening we will have a fare well dinner in one of the Ethiopian restaurants for cultural dinner and dances from the different ethnic groups. Then after transfer to the airport for flight back home.

Price includes

  • Meet and greet at airport
  • All accommodation based on twin room occupancy
  • Meals in Addis, on bed & breakfast basis
  • Full board basis including local non-alcoholic beverage
  • All entrance fees at sites, churches, parks and villages.
  • All transfers and visits in Addis Ababa using mini-bus
  • Transport including insurance, fuel and all costs of the driver.
  • Tour Guide for the south trip and local guides for the north
  • Local Guide and scout fees in parks and villages
  • Camping; tents, mattresses, sleeping bags and cooking utensils
  • Farewell dinner in Addis to enjoy traditional Ethiopian food & Music
  • A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony at a convenient time
  • Government taxes

Price doesn’t include

  • International flights
  • Domestic Flights
  • Lunch and Dinner in Addis Ababa
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • 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
Omo Valley, Gondar & Lalibela - 12 Days

Feedback From Clients

Chanice and Richardson Roberts

Davies I just wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful time! John was an excellent driver and guide. As you may have heard my husband became ill overnight and had to contact the physician on call at the Norfolk Hotel. I am very thankful that we were staying there! The doctor arrived promptly checked Rich over and provided the necessary medication to correct the problem and we took off shortly thereafter. Thanks for providing us with another wonderful African experience!

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