Omo Valley & North Parts of Ethiopia
The Omo Valley in Ethiopia is a captivating destination that immerses you in the rich cultural heritage of the region. Known as the "Cultural Crossroads of Africa," the valley is home to numerous ethnic groups, each with its distinct traditions and way of life. Among them, the Hamar people stand out for their vibrant culture and striking customs.
Venturing into the Omo Valley allows you to witness the unique traditions of the Hamar people firsthand. Renowned for their elaborate hairstyles, body adornments, and bull-jumping ceremonies, the Hamar offers a fascinating glimpse into their ancient customs and social structures. Engaging with the tribe allows you to gain a deeper understanding of their way of life, including their farming practices, tribal rituals, and communal living.
9 Nights and 10 Days
Addis -Jinka - Hammer
In the afternoon,fly out to Jinka, and meet your guide and driver,then direct drive to Turmi.
Turmi is an area located at the southeastern part of Omo and where the Hammer people lives by.
The Hamers are a fine looking people, both men and women take great pride in their appearance, shaving and coloring their hair, oiling their bodies and decorating themselves with beads and bracelets worn around arms and legs.
So, you will drive to one of the local Hammer Village and spend the rest of the days visit the Hammer people.
Overnight - camping at the Village with the Hammer people.
Turmi - Kara - Jinka
On this day, early in the morning, we will drive to Kara village. The Kara tribe is among the smallest tribe in the area numbering only 3000 people. They settled on the west bank of the Omo River and were believed to be a master of body painting that they use for beautifying purposes. So today you will meet this authentic person at one of their second biggest village called Dus(one of the furthest villages which is not often visited by tourists) and the most important place for the entire Kara people.
And you will spend some time with the Kara people. Afterward, you will drive back to Jinka.
But before Jinka, along the way, again you will attend one of the biggest and the most colorful weekly tribal markets at the village called Alduba where more than three different tribal groups join together for their own different reasons.
Overnight - Jinka Resort.
Fly to Lalibela and take the airport shuttle transfer to the town ( 40 minutes) and visit the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela
After lunch will drive to sites where we find a concentration of some of Ethiopia's most famous Rock hewn churches, mostly referred to by many as " the living wonders of the world "These churches are they have been here for at least 900 years, an active christen shrine, spiritual center of the country religious life.
Then we will visit 1st groups of churches this group contains, Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel, Bet Mikael & Golgotha
Overnight - Harbe hotel
After breakfast, we will drive from Lalibela to Bahir Dar which is a 300km /6hr drive.
After you check at your hotel city tour of Bahir Dar and on the same day to take a picture of the best views at Emperor Haile Selassie Palace in Bahirdar
Overnight - Kizo Lodge
After breakfast we will drive from Bahir Dar to semien mountain Nationalpark, a 270km / 4hr drive After a quick stop for the formalities at the headquarter offices of the national park and for collecting scouts we drive out on a rough road to the Sankaber area at about 3,100 m sea level from where we take a short walk of 2-3 hours to assist the acclimatization process. We get a first impressive view over the dramatic mountain range and see some typical plants of that area such as big Heather Trees (Erica arborea), St.John swort (hypericum revulutm), or the Abyssinian Wild Rose (Rosa Abyssinia). This is also the area in which the largest number of Gelada Baboons (theoretical gelada) can be found.
Driving through the small town of Debark The impressive mountain ranges while driving up the mountains
A male Gelada Baboon eating fresh grass Walking along the edge of the escarpment
The view from there on the 2000m deeper lowlands The Thick-billed Raven (Corvus crassirostris), endemic in East Africa
Overnight - Semien Lodge
Hammer Village - Omorate - Turmi Market
Early morning after breakfast, proceed to Omorate(a home of the Dassanech tribe), a tribe who settled at the last border nearby where the Omo River inter to the Kenyan lake Turkana.
Then after you arrive at Omorate, you will take the local wooden boat in order to cross the majestic Omo River and meet the Dassanech people at one of their local villages.
Then after the Dassanech visit, drive back to Turmi till mid-day. Then after lunch in Turmi continue the drive to Dimeka in order to visit one the second largest weekly market of the area in which two exciting tribes( Hamer and Kara) will show up together with their goods.
Please note that: Most of the weekly markets we have in Omo Valley are not only a place to buy and sell, but they are more like weekly social events, where the tribal people exchange news and offer and receive invitations for whatever ceremony they have. So you will have an amazing experience at the market.
Further, on this day, if there is any ceremony like bull jumping, then that will be seen.
Overnight - Kizo Lodge
Jinka - Mursi- Addis
On this day again early in the morning, you will drive to Mursi (70km) in order to visit the Mursi tribe who settled inside the Mago National Park, 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. And this day you will arrive at the Village in the late morning, and then you will spend some time visiting the Mursi village and sharing some experiences with the local Mursi people.
Then you will drive back to Jinka where you will catch the flight back to Addis
Overnight - capital Hotel Addis
After breakfast, drive to Yimrehane Kirstos. The built-up cave church of Yimrhane Kirstos itself predates the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela by eight years. This is one of the most beautiful built-up cave churches, built from marvels, of wood and beautifully decorated from inside and outside with untold skill architecture. In the back side of the cave, you will also see many mummified bodies of pilgrims from centuries ago.
After lunch, continue to visit the Southeastern Cluster of Lalibela churches – Bet Gabriel-Rufael, Bet Merkorios, Bet Amanual, and Bet Abba Libanos. Finally, visit the most famous of all the churches – Bet Giyorgis, a huge monolithic in the shape of a cross, constructed in honor of St. George, the patron saint of Ethiopia.
Overnight - Harbe hote
After breakfast, we will take a boat trip on Lake Tana to explore the nearby monastery of Ura Kidane Mihret on the Zege peninsula, known for its 14th-century, round, grass-roofed churches, and their magnificent wall murals, the Azoa Mariam and Ura Kidane Mihret churches. Its architectural styles with mud-plastered round walls and a conical thatched roof are typical examples of ancient Ethiopian orthodox churches. The monastery is found hidden in the forest of the Zege peninsula. Ura is especially well known for its fine frescoes, manuscripts, and ecclesial objects, such as the crown of various emperors dating from the 14th century, gold and silver processional crosses, silver drums, and royal vestments. On our walk through the densely-forested area, we hope to encounter monkeys and abundant bird life. On the lake, you will also have a chance to see hippos and more wildlife.
After lunch, we will visit the magnificent Blue Nile Falls. The water plunges here for 45m (148ft). It is about a 35km/1 hour drive from town. In the later afternoon, we drive back to Bahir Dar
Overnight - Jacaranda Hotel
After breakfast, we will drive back to Gondar.
Before your flight to Addis we will visit Royal Enclosure (Fasil Ghebbi) Fasilidas Castle in the Royal EnclosureGraceful castles built in the 17th and 18th century by the successive Gonderine kings are found on the 70-hectare compound. In addition, it contains many other structures among them a sauna (said to treat Iyasu the Great who was suffering from skin disease) and a lion cage to symbolize the connection with the Lion of Judah. The Royal Enclosure or Fasil Ghebbi is a World Heritage Site.
Fasilidas Bath Fasilidas Bath in GondarNot known if it is founded for leisure or religious purposes by the royal family, nowadays it is the main site for the very colorful Timket celebrations in Gondar. It is a very peaceful place to walk around. On the site is a monument what is believed to be the grave of Zobel the brave horse of Fasilidas
Depending on your international flight I will organize a city tour of Addis, Just to visit:-
Mount Entoto with the best views over the capital.
Institute of Ethiopian Studies, where you can see a variety of artifacts from all the different regions reflecting the history and culture of the country
National Museum which among others exhibits the 3.5-million-year-old bones of Lucy.
George Cathedral, where paintings by the famous Ethiopian artist Afework Tekele and other ecclesiastical wealth and cultural heritage of the past are displayed.
Trinity Cathedral: this is the burial place of members of the imperial family and noted patriots; the cathedral is the most magnificent of its kind in the country, ornamented with carvings, mosaics, and other artistic works.
The Mercato, the largest open-air market in Africa
Finally drive back Bole International Airport for your international flight