11 Days The Lower Omo Valley and the Southern Region

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Trusted local partner
Isreal E
Short Version
This trip will take you to the Southern Region to explore local life and culture and to explore wild animals and fantastic nature.
  • Lake Chamo
  • Mago National Park
What you can expect
Day 01-Arrival in Addis Ababa early morning.
The Ethiopia’s capital is perched on the high plateau at 2400 meters altitude. Our guide would welcome you at the airport. Head in the southern direction with 4x4 vehicles, a region known for its ethnic and linguistic diversity. Morning after breakfast drive to Langano, one of the nine Rift Valley lakes and 200km from Addis Ababa. Located in at 1570 m altitude, Langano is the favoured vacation spot for residents of the capital, who like to navigate to enjoy its fresh water lake.

After lunch, explore the Abyata-Shalla National Park, which is remarkable for its alkaline lakes with impressive colony of pink flamingos and many other species of birds such as Ostrich, pelicans.

Overnight Lodge/Hotel-Langano

Day 02–Further south
Drive to the town of Arba Minch, a town that owes its existence and vitality to the twin lake Abaya (the second largest of Ethiopia) and Chamo. Along the way, discover the small Senkele Sanctuary, established to protect the Swayne hartebeest, an antelope endemic to the region. Continue to Arba Minch which in Amharic means "Forty Springs", a peaceful and warm town, that offers a magnificent view overlooking two lakes in the Rift valley.

Overnight Lodge/Hotel-Arba Minch

Day 03-In morning make a boat trip on Lake Chamo
This is a lake that supports a large population of crocodiles and hippos, fishes such as Nile Perch, tilapia, catfish. We cross the lake, head to the eastern bank and climb the plateau to the Nechisar National Park for about an hour, on a flat area covered savannah and thorn bushes, offering good views down to the region. We could effort lessly and observe several herds of Burchell's zebra and Thomson and Grant Gazelle. Return to boat, and observe crocodiles (some specimens’ reach 5-6 meters long). Co-habiting peacefully with hippos, pelicans and fish eagles. In the late afternoon, we go into the mountains northwest of Arba Minch, at 2700M altitude, to reach the villages Dorze. Once formidable warriors, members of this ethnic group have turned to weaving and farming Enset (false banana) to earn a living. On a hilly and wooded, beautiful hiking through plantations and surprising traditional huts made of bamboo and false banana of bullet-shaped, high of about ten meters. On the way, we enjoy many beautiful views of the two lakes in Arba Minch and islands. By late afternoon, return to the same accommodation.

Overnight Lodge/Hotel-Arba Minch

Day 04- Jinka Town - Ari people
This morning we head in the direction of Jinka town, and visit the village of Ari people. The Ari live in an exceptionally green and fertile region, which allow them to practice diversified and subsistence crops (cereals, fruit) and two cash crops-coffee and cardamom. The Ari also collects honey which brings them money. The Ari decorate their houses with beautiful murals, expressing their own style with patterns, materials and colours.

Overnight Camping/Hotel (Optional)-Jinka

Day 05– Mago National Park

Early morning, we head to the Mago National Park, located in the lowlands east bank of the Omo River and west of Mago River. Mainly grass savannah, the park was originally established in 1974 to protect the populations of Elephants, Giraffes and Buffalos. Despite the efforts, it has not been possible to stop poaching practiced by the indigenous tribe. The fauna of the park, however, remains diverse (Gazelle, Kudu, Buffalo, Colobus ...).Our main attraction in the area is the Mursi ethnic. A hot temperature and warrior tradition have kept the Mursi away from all forms of occupation and influence. Agro-pastoralists, their social and ritual organization combines the principles of generation, and age. Shaved, pierced ears, arms and chest scarred, the Mursi men proudly wear Kalashnikovs slung. Women are distinct for wearing clay plate inserted into the lower lip. Late afternoon back to Jinka.

Overnight Camping/Hotel (Optional)-Jinka

Day 06-Turmi
We head to Turmi, the Hamer village. Along the way, if it is Thursday, we make a stop at the main weekly Key Afer market which means “Red Soil” in Amharic. It is the an assembly point of many ethnic groups, including Bana, Ari, and Tsemay Hamer, who often walk long hours on foot to come to the market carrying their food, food spices, butter, goats. Men and women have a keen sense of aesthetics and spend many hours to decorate themselves.

Overnight Camping/Lodge (Optional)-Turmi

Day 07- Omo Valley - Dassanech people
Continue our journey to the heart of the Omo Valley in the direction of the town of Omorate, to see the Dassanech people. Near the Kenyan border, this tribe takes advantage of the fertile land and salty delta of the Omo River for growing sorghum. After navigating on wooden boat, we walk along the shore to reach a Dassanech village, a traditional village with small huts made of branches, sheets and animal skins. Like the Karo, the hairstyle of Dassanech is very sophisticated.

In the afternoon, we go back to the village of Turmi, the capital of Hamer people. Estimated at about 40,000, the Hamer are semi-nomadic pastoralists, living from livestock and cultivation of sorghum, millet, tobacco and cotton. They have unique rituals such as a cattle-leaping ceremony that men perform in order to reach adulthood called “Bull Jumping”, where upon young Hamer women get whipped. Cattle and goats are at the heart of Hamer life. They provide the cornerstone of a household's livelihood; it’s only with cattle and goats to pay as ‘bride wealth’ that a man can marry.

Overnight Camping/Lodge (Optional)-Turmi

Day 08- The Konso
Early morning, we take the trail through the scrub and savannah ascend the hills of Konso. Discovery of a new ethnic group, the Konso, sedentary farmers who carved hillside numerous terraces for crops (millet, sorghum, cotton, corn, papaya ...), with an ingenious irrigation system optimizing rainwater. Stroll through these structured fortified villages into quarters, with real stone walls protecting wildlife and mudslides. The Konso are divided into nine clans, each with their own spiritual chief. If the chief is present, we would have an audience with him, he will be bale explain the peculiarities of his people, the Council of Elders and their relationship to the former.

Overnight Camping/Lodge (Optional)-Konso

Day 09-Omo Valley Konso- Yabello
For another adventure to discover the Borena people. We head to the town of Yabello, the capital of the Borena region, we cross the road passing through several herds of camels and enjoy beautiful mountain landscapes dotted with acacias and giant termite mounds. We head to the isolated village of El Soda, overlooking a beautiful deep crater 800M. The ​​savannah and acacia filled area is the great zebra playground and various gazelles: Grant, Thomson, and Gazelle-Giraffe. Walk along on the crater rim, towards the lake that hosts a saline lake for the extraction of large quantities of salt. The salt diggers must delve into the dark waters of the lake saturated with iodine to resurface the precious commodity. The salt is mostly feed to animals, but the refined one is intended for human consumption. By late afternoon, walking around this wooded crater with beautiful views from the ridges plunging.

Overnight Camping/Lodge (Optional)-Yabello

Day 10– Back North
After out adventure of the Borena region, we take the direction of North, back to the starting point. We traverse the road with sparse vegetation and huge termite mounds. Stretching from both sides of the border between Ethiopia and Kenya, the Borena living here are semi-nomadic pastoralists. They move in groups in a definite area, in search of water and fodder for their cattle. After a brief stop to visit one of the traditional villages of Borena and typical huts, continuing through more mountainous and lush scenery to Yergalem. We enter the Sidamo territory, reputed for being one of the main coffee growing regions. From Ethiopia, the Arabica coffee plant was introduced into the world.

In the afternoon, a stop to see the interior designs of the beautiful Sidamo huts, lined with euphorbia candelabra. Beyond the coffee, the fertile land is suitable for many cultures: false banana, pineapple, papaya, mango, chat ... In the evening, we enjoy our super comfortable lodge in an amazing setting, in the middle of the forest.

Overnight Camping/Lodge(Optional)-Sidamo

Day 11- Drive back to the capital Addis Ababa
We go via Shashemene, a town where dreadlocked Rasta settlers, many born in the Caribbean, have now made their home. The Rastas declarethe last king of Ethiopia to be the Messiah, or “Jah” Selassie’s pre-coronation name, Ras Tafari Makonnen, was adopted to name their movement. Continue to the shores of Lake Ziway to observe the abundance of birds. We arrive later afternoon and check in downtown hotel for a shower and little rest. In the evening a welfare dinner held in the magnificent Traditional Restaurant of the city and after a pleasant drop down to Airport.

  • Airport Transportation in Ethiopia-Locally
  • Ground transfers
  • Nights hotel accommodation
  • Entrance Fee of the sites
  • Meals (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner): full board
  • Services of different languages speaking skilled and experienced guide
  • Drinking water 1.5 litres per person per day
  • Vehicles
  • Seedling on the road

Not included
  • Personal and baggage insurance
  • Luggage handling in the airport
  • Visas
  • Beverages/Drinks
  • Tips or Gratitude
  • Optional activities.
  • Laundry, Personal Toiletries and items of a personal nature
Nanook Experience Category:
Hiking, Local Culture, Sightseeing
Nanook Package Type:
Vacation package
Activity Name
Omo Valley and southern TourPerson11 days
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