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7 days Cultural Trip to the Omo Valley Tribes of Ethiopia

The beautiful culture and way of life of the KONSOES, HAMERS, BENAS, GELEBS, KAROS, MURSIS and all the other tribes, will disappear in a short while due to the urban way of life and encroachment of Christianity and other religions.


Day 1: Drive to Arbaminch, on the way visit Dorze village
On the way visit two different villages, Alaba village and one of the Dorze people who live on the Guge Mountain; they are famous for their beehive bamboo houses and weaving skills. In their society, only the women do the spinning of the cotton, while only the men are allowed to weave the traditional cloth.

Day 2: Trip to Nechi-Sar then Drive to Turmi
In the morning, take a boat trip on Lake Chamo to visit the “crocodile market”, and the local hippos. Afterwards, depart from Arba Minch to Turmi. On the way you will pass through the village of Weyto (market day Saturday), which is home to the Tsemai tribe. Continue through the Weyto Valley to Erbore, where you will have a brief visit to a local Erbore village (market day is Saturday). Finally, proceed to Turmi, home of the Hamer tribe. At night, you can see the traditional night dancing of the Hamer tribe, known as evangadi. Overnight in Turmi (camping, hotel or lodge).

Day 3: Visit Turmi Tribes
In the morning, take a day trip to Omorate to visit the Dassenech tribe. Here you will cross the Omo River by local boat and enter a Dassenech village. Afterwards, return to Turmi (Monday is market day) for a visit to a local Hamer village. If there is Jumping of the Bulls traditional Hamer coming-of-age ceremony, that will be visited. Overnight in Turmi (camping, basic hotel or lodge).

Day 4: Drive to Jinka, on the way visit tribes and depending on the date, their local
After breakfast drive to Weyto via the town of Key Afer. On the way visit the Konso village, where the people wear colorful costumes, and use their steep land through impressive terracing; through annual wooden grave marks they express their status. Their three-storey community house called Mora is impressive; all the young boys above 12 years old stay there every night inside till they marry. - Have lunch in Weyto and continue driving to the town of Jinka.

Day 5: Excursion to Mago Park to visit the Mursi tribe, the afternoon spend at museum
Drive to Mago National Park to visit the Mursi people in their village. The Mursi are well known for the large clay discs their women wear inserted in their lower split lip. The Mursi women start cutting their lips between the age of 12 and 16 and thereafter, they put small wooden plugs into the hole and change it every night with the bigger one to stretch the lips till it can hold a 6 inch (15cm) round clay disc. The Mursi men wear very little, although a cotton wrap is becoming more common now. After lunch drive to Turmi via Dimeka. If the day is Saturday or Tuesday, you will have a chance to see the colorful weekly market at Dimeka.

Day 6: Jinka - Konso - Arbaminch
After breakfast, depart from Jinka to Arbaminch via Key Afar and Konso. Thursday is market day in Key Afar, where you will see the Benna and Tsemai tribes trading goods. This is another very popular market in the region. After the visit, proceed to Konso (market days are Mondays and Thursdays). The Konso people are known for their wooden statues, known as wakas, which are erected in honor of dead heroes as well as their innovative agricultural terracing. Today you will have a brief opportunity to visit a local village and the cultural museum displaying many waka statues. After the visit, proceed driving to Arba Minch. Overnight in Arba Minch (camping, hotel or lodge).

Day 6: Excursion to Omorate, cross Omo River to visit Dassanech tribe, afternoon Hammer village
First time, in the Omo Valley, travelers witness Ethiopia's many ethnicities and cultural traditions. The Southern Cultural Route takes travelers to the heart of the most remote tribes, whose animist beliefs strike a chord with the true African experience. In the afternoon drive to Hammer people who have a bull jumping ceremony; This ceremony is a transformation for young boys from young to adulthood; During the ceremony, you see the real Hamer traditional dance called Evangadi; and also the women from the jumper’s family are being beaten by his friends to show their love to the Jumper and that he is ready for adulthood.

Day 7: Drive to Addis Ababa
Early in the morning, depart from Arba Minch for a full day’s drive back to Addis. Time permitting, you may visit any of the archeological sites not visited on the first day.

END OF TOUR

Things to Do

  • iconAdadi Maryam (a rock-hewn church similar to those in Lalibela)
  • iconTiya (ancient stelae field and UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • iconvisit the fish market
  • iconLake Chamo to visit the “crocodile market”
  • iconLocal market in Dorze
  • icontraditional night dancing of the Hamer tribe, known as evangadi.
  • iconcross the Omo River by local boat
  • iconjumping of the Bulls
  • iconmost colorful markets
  • iconLower lip and earlobe plates
  • iconLocal village and the cultural museum
  • icon“Natural New York Village”,
  • iconWildlife Sanctuary for a chance to see zebras
  • iconTraditional coffee ceremony in Yirgalem city
  • iconWatching the hyenas in the surrounding forest
  • iconAbiatta-Shala National Park
  • iconShopping
  • icon Coffee Tasting
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