Interact with southern Ethiopia tribes- the plate-lipped Mursi, colorful Hamer and Dorze on this extraordinary cultural tour. Explore the Konso cultural landscape recognized as a World Heritage site for an intimate cultural encounter with the Konso tribe.
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Upon arrival at the airport in Addis Ababa we meet a representative from Kibo Slopes for a pre- safari briefing before driving south towards Debre Zeit/Nazareth to the Oromia Rift valley region. We shall drive past Ziway to Lake Langano where we check in at the Sabana Beach Hotel.
We will take a long drive and have a lunch stop at Soddo through the Rift Valley takes us to the Rifat Valley Lakes of Abbay & Chamo. We climb up the mountains to visit the Dorze people. They are always a delighted to have visitors as the children display their unique Dorze dance. Their houses are tall structures, resembling a beehive. Inside the hut, a section is partitioned off for the family’s animals (cows and goats) to sleep in during the cold rainy season. The Dorze people are very skilled weavers, providing a vast majority of the country’s traditional cotton and other unique Ethiopian clothing. Later we drive to Arba Minch for dinner and overnight stay at the Paradise Hotel.
After an early breakfast we take a boat ride on Lake Chamo, watch crocdiles and hippos as well as a great variety of water birds. At about 10.00 am we set off for a long drive with lunch on the way to Jinka. If time allows, we visit a Banna Village on the way. In the late afternoon we arrive in Jinka for our dinner and overnight stay at the Jinka Resort.
Today we visit the Mursi, an ethnic group of not more than 4000 members in the Mago National Park. We are accompanied by a local English speaking guide who not only acts as an interpreter between us and the tribe members but also shares his rich knowledge with us. The Mursi are basically herdsmen but farm when it rains along the river banks of the Omo River. The women have an unusual jewelry of clay plates in the split lower lips and spectacular body paintings. After the visit, we drive back to Jinka for lunch. On our afternoon drive to Turmi, we visit a Hamer market on the way. Dinner and the overnight stay will be at the Turmi Lodge.
Today has been set aside to visit the Hamer people. The Hamer, a colorful pastoralist community, is the dominant tribe in the area. A local English speaking guide takes us on a walk through the villages and the market. With some luck, we may get to watch their rituals like a traditional wedding or the passage from boyhood to adulthood where the young man has to run across the backs of 30 heads of cattle lined up next to one another. It is clear that we have to ask for permission and pay for the shots. Our guide will assist us in doing this. We will have lunch in a local hotel in town while dinner and overnight stay will once again be at the Turmi Lodge.
Today we pay visit to a Konso King and a village up the highlands and get to learn about their culture. We arrive in Konso for lunch at the Kanta Lodge. The Konso Cultural Landscape, an arid area of stone walled terraces and fortified settlements were recognized as World Heritage Site in 2011. It constitutes a spectacular example of a living cultural tradition stretching back 21 generations (more than 400years). Later, we drive to Kanta Lodge for our dinner and overnight stay.
After breakfast, we drive the 350 km road to Langano with a lunch stop on the way. We arrive at the Sabana Lodge in the early afternoon and still have time to stroll around the garden stretching to the shores of the scenic Lake Langano. Dinner and overnight stay will be at the Sabana beach Hotel.
After breakfast we depart for Addis Ababa. The trip will take us via Butajira with a visit to the archeological sites of Tiya and the Adadi Mariam Church–the southernmost rock hewn church. We have lunch on the way and arrive at our hotel in Addis in the evening. We will have a traditional dinner at a local restaurant as we enjoy Ethiopian dance and music as we bid Ethiopia good bye. Overnight stay will be at the Friendship Hotel.
This day is reserved for a sightseeing tour of Addis Ababa city. After breakfast we drive to the Entoto Mountains, the first residence of the King Menelik in 1881 when he moved the capital of Shewa from Ankober to Entoto. This visit is followed by a visit to the Orthodox Church.