Ref MSA 5082

Safari Highlights :Addis ababa / Arba Minch / Konso / Kay Afer / Jinka / Mago national park / Turmi / Murulle / Yabello / Yirgalem / Lake Langano / Awash national park / Harar / Dire Dawa / Addis Ababa.

We discover a combination landscapes, the Omo Valley with its peoples and cultures, the historical Islamic Center of Harar, the Awash National Park.

16 Days 15 Nights great Ethiopia tour itinerary

Day 1: Addis Ababa city tour

Morning drive to discover the city of Addis Ababa, founded in 1886 by Menelik II and situated at an elevation of around 2438m making it the 3rd highest capital city in the world. We visit the National museum housing some of the country’s historic treasures like the 3.5 million year old remains of ‘Lucy’, the Ethnographic Museum and the church of the Holy Trinity, Ethiopia’s main cathedral and home to the remains of the last emperor, Haile Selassie. Dinner and overnight at Monarch Hotel ( or similar in Addis Ababa

Day 2: Arba Minch

After breakfast, drive to the famous lakeside town of Arba Minch with enroute visit to the villages of Gurage for their staple food of Kocho made from the banana. We drive through one of the most colorful and scenic areas of Southern Ethiopia, a land that is inhabited by the Wolayita people, who were once nomads but are now farmers. Before arriving to the town of Arba Minch, a long section of the road offers magnificent views of Lake Abaya, surrounded by mountains. The lake has volcanic origins and is almost pink in color. Dinner and overnight at Paradise Lodge ( or Haile Resort or similar

Day 3: Chencha Village / Boat Ride on Lake Chamo

After breakfast, we drive for some 40kms northwest of Arba Minch to Guge Mountains to visit the Dorze and Chencha villages. Once warriors, the Dorze have now turned to farming and weaving to earn a living. They speak an Omotic tongue and the Dorze name is synonymous with the best woven cotton cloth. The “elephant huts” of the Dorze are unique and worth seeing. Also, the Dorze beehive-shaped houses are constructed entirely of organic material and has its own small garden surrounded by beds of spices, cabbage and tobacco. Some of Ethiopia’s best woven cottons come from Chencha, which is located 8 km northwest of Dorze Village. Men weave and women spin. Afternoon a boat trip on clear blue waters of Lake Chamo to see the crocodiles, hippos & aquatic bird species. The northern shores of Lake Chamo are famous for its large crocodiles, which can be seen in great numbers. The lake is about 32km long and provides a lush wetland habitat for many species of flora and fauna. Dinner and overnight at Paradise Lodge ( or Haile Resort or similar

Day 4: Jinka via Konso / Kay Afer

After early breakfast, we drive to Konso where colorfully costumed dress, impressive terracing of the land and unusually engraved wooden statues used as grave markers can be seen. The Konso are agriculturists, famed for their use of the stone terraces that they use in this dry and barren region of basalt hills. Originally from the east and speaking an east Cushitic language, the Konso live in settlements that are surrounded by stone walls. Each family lives in compounds that are accessible only through gateways that require the visitor to enter on all 4s (like a goat) thus rendering any potential attackers vulnerable. We will proceed to Key Afer for the colourful Thursday market where we should see and photograph the Ari, Bena, Hamer and Tsemay people. The Bena and Hamer women usually favour red clay braids in their hair, shiny with butter and perfumed with incense. The long beaded skirts of the Tsemay have a stick incorporated in the back to denote a married woman and the men have elaborately plaited hairstyles decorated with feathers and colourful beads. After visiting the market we drive on to Jinka, often called the gateway to the Omo Valley. Dinner and overnight at Jinka Resort or Eco-Omo Lodge ( or similar

Day 5: Mursi tribes in Mago National park

After early breakfast, drive to Mago National Park to visit the Mursi highlands where the most illustrious of Ethiopia’s unique tribes live. The Mursi are known for their decorative lip plates that adorn the lower lips of the Mursi women. The plates stretch the lower lip beyond imagination and the women’s beauty, pride and desirability is determined in direct proportion to the size of the plate. The Mursi men and women appear kind but the Mursi warriors are not. On their arms are deep crescent incisions that represent each enemy they have killed in battle. The men are also famous for their hairstyle. The various cultural aspects of the tribe will be explained and you will be able to take their photographs at a fee. We drive back to Jinka for lunch. In the afternoon, we visit the Ari Village near by the town of Jinka for experiencing and learning the culture of Ari tribe and explore how they make their traditional homemade alcoholic drinks. Dinner and overnight at Jinka Resort or Eco-Omo Lodge ( or similar

Day 6: Turmi to visit the Hamer Tribes

After breakfast, we drive through the Omo Valley region to Turmi via Dimeka. The Hamer tribe is one of the largest groups in the Valley. The Hamer cultivate millet, vegetables, tobacco and cotton as well as raising cattle and goats. They are known for the fine pottery they produce as well as their remarkable hairstyling. Most dramatic of all are the clay hair buns with ostrich feathers that the men don when they have killed a fierce animal. The Hamer women are simply stunning. The women wear beaded necklaces and iron coils around their arms and decorate their skin with cowry shells. Dinner and overnight at Turmi Lodge or Buska Lodge ( or Paradise Lodge or similar

Day 7: Murulle to visit the Karo Tribes

After breakfast, we drive through the savannah along tracks that are barely visible, passing through a vast meadowland with shrubs and umbellifers (‘umbrella’ acacia trees) for an excursion to the Murulle area. We arrive at Korcho village with beautiful views over the Omo River to see the Karo ethnic group. They do body painting, using clay and locally available vegetable pigments to paint fantastic patterns on each other’s faces, chests, arms and legs. These designs have no special symbolic significance, but are created purely for fun and aesthetic effect. Karo men also sculpt and shave their hair into extravagant shapes, with special ochre “caps” of hair usually containing several ostrich feathers. We have lunch enroute and drive back to the village of Turmi. Dinner and overnight at Turmi Lodge or Buska Lodge ( or Paradise Lodge or similar

Day 8: Omorate to visit the Dasenech (Geleb) tribes

After breakfast, we drive south to Omorate to visit another tribe, the Dasenech (formerly known as Geleb), and one of their villages. These people inhabit the areas bordering with Kenya, north of Lake Turkana, and they live on the east and west bank of the Omo River. They are agro-pastoralist and herd cattle and practice flood retreat cultivation on both sides of the river.The Geleb Covering a large territory, 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 forced them to practice fishing and agriculture. The Geleb live in small huts that befit their nomadic origins, as they could be easily and quickly dismantled. Women wear a pleated cowskin skirt with necklaces and bracelets. Men wear a checkered cloth around their waist only. Then drive back to our base Turmi. Dinner and overnight at Turmi Lodge or Buska Lodge ( or Paradise Lodge or similar

Day 9: Yabello to visit the Oromo Borena tribes.

After breakfast, we drive to Yabello to visit the Erbore people en route. We will have lunch at Konso then proceed to the region of Oromo Borena to visit their village where we shall see their ‘singing well’ which provides water for their own thousands of cattle by singing. They are well known in cattle rearing. Dinner and overnight at Turmi Lodge or Buska Lodge ( or Paradise Lodge or similar

Day 10: El Sod Crater Lake

After breakfast, we drive to the crater lake of El Sod, locally known as the House of Salt. El Sod’s deep crater is famous for the black salt that has been extracted from its inky depths for centuries. We will view the lake from the rim and take a short walk along the top. Donkeys can still be seen loaded with the valuable mineral. We drive back to Yabello, famed for its unique position as home for two of Ethiopia’s Endemic birds namely the white-tailed swallow and Stresemann’s bush crow.These birds can only be found in the acacia scrubland around Yabello. Dinner and overnight at Yabello hotel or similar

Day 11: Yirgalem

After breakfast, we drive to Yirgalem which is located over a beautiful Sidamo mountains and coffee plantation. We shall stop enroute at Wenago to visit the Tutu Fella stelae field. This is an unusual collection of carved stones since 9th century whose origin and purpose is unknown. We shall arrive late afternoon at the traditional Sidamo style lodge. We can take a short walk in the late afternoon through the lovely natural eco-system and admire the Sidama Coffee farm. Dinner and Overnight at Aregash Lodge ( or similar

Day 12: Lake Langano

After breakfast, drive to the Lake Awassa which is one of the Rift Valley Lakes. Lake Awasa is rich in variety of plankton and fish inhabit in the lake and support an interesting lakeside Fish market by the locals. We proceed to Lake Langano as we enjoy the Rift Valley landscape and the stunning views over the Lakes of Abijata and Shala. We have the possibility of visiting the Ostrich farm at Abijata Shala National Park. Dinner and Overnight at Hara Langano Lodge ( or Lake langano resort or Sabana Lodge ( or similar

Day 13: Awash National park.

After breakfast, drive to the Awash National Park located in the dry acacia savanna of the Rift Valley. The skyline of the park is dominated by the jagged edges of Mount Fantelle, a dormant volcano whose crater towers above the surrounding bush. We visit its splendid waterfall spilling into a 150m gorge and also see the resident wildlife like the Beisa Oryx, Soemmering’s gazelle etc. Dinner and overnight at Awash Falls Lodge ( or similar

Day 14: Harar

After breakfast, we drive to Harar with a stop over at the town of Aweday famous as the site of the country’s largest chat market and farming place. We proceed to Harar which is a walled city. The city walls have 5 gates topped by 25 towers. The 16th century mosque with its slender minaret and the narrow streets lined with small shops all give the impression of having wandered into a city from the Arabian nights. In the evening, we go to one of the gates of the Harar wall to see the Hyena Man feeding hyena. Dinner and overnight at Ras Hotel or Wonderland Hotel or Heritage Plaza Hotel or Rewda Guesthouse or similar

Day 15: Harar / Dire Dawa.

We have full day in Harar, the cradle of Islam in Ethiopia and by the middle Ages. It was known as the 4th most sacred city in the Islamic world. 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 and Rimbaud House which is 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. In the afternoon, transfer to the Dire Dawa. Dinner and overnight at La Duchesse Hotel or similar in Dire Dawa

Day 16: Addis Ababa

After breakfast, drive back to Addis Ababa with views of Crater Lake of Debre Zaite, to arrive late afternoon.

Group Size per vehicle (adults) – 2 Pax, 3 Pax ,5 Pax ,6 Pax

What is Included on the safari price:-

  • 15-days accommodation & meals as per program
  • All tours as per the itinerary
  • Transport as per program
  • English speaking guide
  • Entrance fees to all sites as per the itinerary
  • Bottled water during the tours
  • All service charges and taxes

What is Excluded on the Safari price:-

  • Flights and taxes
  • Entry visa to Ethiopia
  • Airport transfers
  • Personal expenses
  • Optional activities not mentioned as included above
  • Gratuities
  • Tips
  • Personal insurance cover,
  • Deviation from above program

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