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Cultural South

Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,176

Engage with the tribal cultures of Ethiopia on this exploration of the country’s south. Passing from Addis Ababa to the Omo Valley, you’ll visit the archaeological sites of Tiya, see hippos on Lake Chamo, and stop off at the Mursi and Dorze villages to meet local peoples and learn about their distinct tribal cultures.


This 8-day Ethiopia vacation takes you from the capital, Addis Ababa, to Arba Minch, Lake Langano, and the tribal villages of the Omo Valley.

Your Ethiopia tour begins in Addis Ababa, the nation's capital and the diplomatic centre of Africa. Addis Ababa can simultaneously overwhelm and enchant visitors on Ethiopia tours. It's the fourth largest city on the continent, meaning it's bustling and chockfull of traffic and unspectacular architecture. But it's also exotic with an ancient atmosphere that can beguile you when you visit spots like Merkato, which is one of the largest open-air markets in all of Africa. A city tour will introduce you to the city's history and culture. You'll climb Mt. Entoto, the highest peak in an already-high city, where Emperor Menelik II lived when he founded the city in the 19th century. At Menelik's compound on Mt. Entoto, you'll see the Entoto Mariam Church as well as Menelik's Palace. You'll then head into town to the Shero Meda Market to shop for traditional Ethiopian crafts and clothing and visit both the Ethnographic Museum and National Museum to learn about the region's history and culture and see the bones of Lucy, one of the world's oldest archaeological remains of a human ancestor.

Head south from Addis Ababa into the Omo Valley to continue your Ethiopian tours. First stop is the archaeological site of Tiya, known for its remarkable stelae monuments erected at least 600 years ago that serve as grave markers across the landscape. Next it’s onto Arba Minch, which has mountain ranges on one side and the lakes of the Rift Valley on the other, making it one of the most picturesque spots in all of Africa. You’ll take a boat trip onto Lake Chamo to see hippos and crocodiles before continuing on to Jinka, the base for exploring the tribal villages of the south.

The Mursi Villages of the south are some of the great highlights of any Ethiopian vacation. Spend a day exploring the villages, heading throughout the Lower Omo Valley to stop off at the villages and admire their distinct cultural practices. In particular, you’ll notice the large lip and ear plates and colourful dresses worn by the Mursi women. Afterwards, head to Turmi, where you’ll meet the Hamer people and head through the market to peruse local tribal wares. The next day, make an excursion to the area of the Karo people, who showcase remarkable face and body painting. You’ll also stop off at the village of Kolcho to admire views of the River Omo and learn about the smallest tribe in the region.

Continue your Ethiopia tour by visiting the Dorze people in Chencha, who live in large beehive-like huts that offer some of the most distinctive designs in all of Africa. You’ll then head into the Langano Rift Valley to visit Lake Langano and Lake Abiata and Shalla, where you’ll find flamingos, pelicans, cormorants, storks, and herons covering the waters and feeding on the fish below. After exploring the lake country, return to Addis Ababa for your flight home.


 

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Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,176

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrival at Addis Ababa

On arrival you will be met by Goway's local representative and transferred to your hotel. Addis Ababa, which means "New Flower" is Ethiopia's capital city. The city, which is located at 2,700m above sea level, is a pleasant city with wide avenues, interesting museums and one of the largest open-air markets in Africa. It was founded by Emperor Menelik II in 1887 and he selected the site because its location within the Entoto hills has long been the center of Shoan politics.

It is Africa's diplomatic capital with headquarters for the Organization of African Union and the United Nation Economic Commissions for Africa. The capital is rich in impressive statues and monuments of different architecture.

After freshening up, drive to the Entoto Hills for stunning views of the city and surrounding areas. This is the highest peak in Addis Ababa reaching 3,200 meters above sea level. It was the first settlement in Addis Ababa where Emperor Menelik II resided and he built his palace here in 1887. The compound at the peak hosts the palace, the Entoto Mariam church and an Ethiopian artefact museum.

On the way up roadside stalls offers fresh Ethiopian coffee. If you have an interest in Ethiopian traditional clothes there is time to stop at Shero Meda Market where you'll find a wide variety of beautiful fabrics, shawls, scarves, dresses, tops and jewellery.

After lunch visit the Ethnographic and National museum which is an ideal place to start learning about Ethiopia's rich ethnic diversity. The museum has an impressive array of religious crosses, triptychs and murals, as well as Haile Selassie's bedroom and bathroom. It is famous for housing the 3.5 million-year-old bones of Lucy.

Meal Plan Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Jupiter Hotel

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Location View map
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    Jupiter Hotel



    The Jupiter Hotel is located in the Cazanchise area of Addis Ababa and is within walking distance to Menelik II's Palace and the National Archives and Library. The hotel features a restaurant, coffee shop, bar and spa. There are 102 comfortably furnished rooms all equipped ...

    The Jupiter Hotel is located in the Cazanchise area of Addis Ababa and is within walking distance to Menelik II's Palace and the National Archives and Library. The hotel features a restaurant, coffee shop, bar and spa. There are 102 comfortably furnished rooms all equipped with modern amenities such as minibars, safes, hairdryers, and complimentary bottled water and Wi-Fi.

    Facilities

    • Air Conditioning
    • Airport Shuttle Available - Complimentary
    • Bar
    • Business Centre
    • Check-In Time
    • Check-Out Time
    • Concierge
    • Currency Exchange
    • Ironing Facilities
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Lift
    • Luggage Storage
    • Meeting Rooms Available
    • Mini Bar
    • Non-Smoking Rooms
    • Parking
    • Reception
    • Restaurant
    • Spa
    • TV lounge

    More Details

Day 2

Addis - Arba Minch

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to Arba Minch. Arba Minch (Forty Springs), is the largest town in Southern Ethiopia. The town lies at an elevation of around 1,300m in the foothills of the Rift valley wall, above a cliff overlooking the mountains that separate the lakes of Chamo and Abaya. Wherever you walk there are stunning views in all directions.

The rest of the day will be dedicated to visiting the home of the Dorze people at Chencha. The Dorze are renowned cotton weavers whose tall beehive-shaped dwellings are among the most distinctive traditional structures to be seen anywhere in Africa. The main occupations of the region are subsistence farming and weaving. The shama cloth produced around Chencha is regarded to be the finest in Ethiopia. Plain white Gabbi robes and brightly colored scarf-like netalas are sold along the roadside.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Paradise Lodge

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  • starstarstar

    Paradise Lodge


    Situated overlooking the Rift Valley, set in a maturing garden of succulents and palm trees, Paradise Lodge Arba Minch is a large and traditional looking lodge. The lodge is characterised by circular thatched roofing, stone walls and polished floors The overall style is somewhat eclectic, ...

    Situated overlooking the Rift Valley, set in a maturing garden of succulents and palm trees, Paradise Lodge Arba Minch is a large and traditional looking lodge. The lodge is characterised by circular thatched roofing, stone walls and polished floors The overall style is somewhat eclectic, with artefacts - traditional textile patterns, furniture and paintings - taken from every one of the area’s many tribes.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Conference Facilities
    • Hair/Beauty Salon
    • Internet
    • Restaurant
    • Spa

    More Details

Day 3

Arba Minch - Jinka

After breakfast, enjoy a boat trip on Lake Chamo. Attractions include viewing a large number of hippos and crocodiles from a close range. The place known as "Azo-Gebeya", meaning Crocodile Market, offers one of Africa's most impressive displays of big crocodiles.

Then Proceed to Jinka (260km, around 4 and a half hours drive) through Weito village. Visit South Omo Research Center (Museum) and find out about the tribes that live in Lower Omo. Drive to Yetnebersh village to visit the Ari tribe and see how they make local liquor from Sorghum, Garlic and maize. If you are here on a Thursday you will have the opportunity to attend the Thursday market, Key Afer, which is attended by many decorated tribes of the lower Omo valley.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Eco-Omo Lodge

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Location View map
  • starstarstar

    Eco-Omo Lodge



    This charming eco-lodge is located just outside of the town of Jinka, in the heart of the Omo Valley and within a short drive of Mago National Park. Set within lush gardens, there are 20 tents, stilted on wooden platforms and covered with a reed ...

    This charming eco-lodge is located just outside of the town of Jinka, in the heart of the Omo Valley and within a short drive of Mago National Park. Set within lush gardens, there are 20 tents, stilted on wooden platforms and covered with a reed roofs to blend into the natural environment. Eco-Omo Lodge is the best of its kind around Jinka and makes a great base to explore the surrounding area.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Gift Shop
    • Restaurant
    • TV lounge

    More Details

Day 4

Jinka to Mursi Village to Turmi

Today after breakfast drive to Mursi Village (70kms). The Mursi have become a cultural symbol of the Lower Omo Valley. They are the most renowned of the Omotic speakers, famed for their practice of inserting large clay plates behind the lower lips of their women, and for their colourful dresses.

You then drive to Turmi (140km which takes about 2 hours). Turmi is the home of the Hammer who are known for their body decoration, moonlight dance (Evangedi Dance) and bull-jumping. Bull jumping marks the rite of passage from childhood to adulthood. Bull jumping is not done every day so it is not guaranteed that you will see this ceremony.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Buska Lodge

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Location View map
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    Buska Lodge



    Situated in the heart of Southern Ethiopia in the Omo Valley, Buska Lodge is an unpretentious eco-lodge offering travelers the best accommodation and meal service in this region. Buska Lodge overlooks the plains of Buska Mountain and has been constructed to blend beautifully in to ...

    Situated in the heart of Southern Ethiopia in the Omo Valley, Buska Lodge is an unpretentious eco-lodge offering travelers the best accommodation and meal service in this region. Buska Lodge overlooks the plains of Buska Mountain and has been constructed to blend beautifully in to the natural surroundings. Buska Lodge offers the opportunity to learn about and experience the culture and traditions of the local Hammer community offering a rare glimpse into the cultures of the Omo Valley.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Breakfast
    • Campsite/s
    • Free Parking

    More Details

Day 5

Murulle excursion

Today after a short drive, visit the nearby village of Kolcho which overlooks the Omo River. Home to the Karo people, this tribe excels in face and body painting. They often decorate their bodies with the spotted plumage of a guinea fowl. Feather plumes are inserted in their clay hair buns to complete the look. The clay hair bun can take up to three days to construct and is usually re-made every three to six months. Their painted facemasks are spectacular. Karo women scarify their chests to beautify themselves. Scars are cut with a knife and ash is rubbed to produce a raised welt.

If the date falls on a Monday or Saturday you will visit the vibrant market of the Hammer people at Turmi.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Arba Minch

After breakfast drive to Arba Minch (270km, around 5hrs drive). Pass through the Konso village which is known for their intricately terraced hillsides, fine woven materials and the carved totems with which they decorate their graves. Rest of day is at leisure.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Paradise Lodge

More Info

  • starstarstar

    Paradise Lodge


    Situated overlooking the Rift Valley, set in a maturing garden of succulents and palm trees, Paradise Lodge Arba Minch is a large and traditional looking lodge. The lodge is characterised by circular thatched roofing, stone walls and polished floors The overall style is somewhat eclectic, ...

    Situated overlooking the Rift Valley, set in a maturing garden of succulents and palm trees, Paradise Lodge Arba Minch is a large and traditional looking lodge. The lodge is characterised by circular thatched roofing, stone walls and polished floors The overall style is somewhat eclectic, with artefacts - traditional textile patterns, furniture and paintings - taken from every one of the area’s many tribes.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Conference Facilities
    • Hair/Beauty Salon
    • Internet
    • Restaurant
    • Spa

    More Details

Day 7

Arba Minch to Langano

Today after breakfast drive to Langano (305km, around 5hrs drive). Langano is located in the Great Rift Valley at an elevation of 1,585 meters to the east of Lake Abijata. Lake Langano is 18 kilometres long and 16 km wide, with a surface area of 330 square kilometres and a maximum depth of 46 meters.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Sabana Beach Resort

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  • starstarstar

    Sabana Beach Resort


    Sabana Beach Resort is located only 200kms South of Addis, on the shores of Lake Langano, right at the heart of the Great Rift Valley. The Sabana Beach Resort's unusual landscape offers both a serene beachfront as well as a vast cliff-top with a breathtaking ...

    Sabana Beach Resort is located only 200kms South of Addis, on the shores of Lake Langano, right at the heart of the Great Rift Valley.

    The Sabana Beach Resort's unusual landscape offers both a serene beachfront as well as a vast cliff-top with a breathtaking view over the lake. Activities include, beach voeyball, life-size chess, canoeing and table tennis. The restaurant is uniquely designed and positioned at the heart of the resort, at the edge of a cliff offering a splendid view that makes you feel suspended over the lake. This overlooks the 200 meter long sandy beach with a beach bar that offers a pleasant relaxing break from the sun with delicious refreshments.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Childrens Playground
    • Conference Facilities
    • Restaurant
    • Water Slide
    • Water Sports

    More Details

Day 8

Langana to Addis and depart

Drive back to Addis (270km, around 6hrs drive) via Butajira Road. En route you shall visit Tiya, classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Here you will see the northernmost example of a peculiar type of engraved, standing stellae which stretch across parts of southern Ethiopia. These stellae are believed to have been erected between the 12th and 14th centuries and are almost certainly grave markers. Recent excavations at Tiya have revealed the remains of young people of both sexes, aged between18 and 30, buried in frontal positions.
You will also have the chance to visit the rock hewn church of Adadi Mariam, contemporaneous with those of Lalibela. In fact local tradition ascribes it to King Lalibela who is said to have had it built on his visit to Mount Zuqwala in 1106. Damaged during the wars with Ahmed Gragn in the 16th century, it fell into disuse and was only reopened in the time of Menelik II. It is in regular use today. This evening you will have a chance to experience Ethiopian cultural dances and a traditional meal Tej, a type of wine made from Honey. You will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Daily

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Accommodation
  • Meals and Flights as indicated
  • Transfers in air-conditioned vehicle
  • English-speaking guides for Sightseeing
  • Entrance Fees

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire. 

TB KIBRANTADD0419SG: CS 2
14 Dec 2019
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