South Ethiopian Cultures

Tour Highlights

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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Itinerary Details

Day 1
Upon arrival at the airport in Addis Ababa we meet a representative from Kibo Slopes for a pre- safari and transfer to Friendship Hotel for briefing and overnight.

Day 2
After breakfast at 8.00am we drive southwards about to the Unesco Site of Tiya. The Tiya stones are part of an archaeological site located in central Ethiopia, in an area known as the Gurage Zone. The 46 large, decorated Tiya megaliths have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although the construction of such megaliths is an ancient tradition in Ethiopia, the Tiya stones are fairly ‘recent’, dating to sometime between the 10th and 15th centuries. We proceed to Butajira where we visit the Adadi Maryam Church, the only stone carved church south dating back to the 13th century and King Lalibela. Our Journey continue to Ziway where we have a late lunch at the vinery restaurant before proceeding to the shore of Lake Langano at the Sabana restaurant.

Day 3
A short drive takes us to Shashamene, the Rastafarian capital in Ethiopia. We have a short coffee break at the Haile Mariam Hotel and proceed to Soddo for lunch. Before reaching Arba Minch 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.

Day 4
We continue with our drive down south to Jinka, the administrative centre of the Southern Nations. On the way we stop for lunch and we visit a Banna Village. In the afternoon we arrive in Jinka for our dinner and overnight stay at the Eco Omo Resort.

Day 5
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 jewellery 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.

Day 6
Today has been set aside to visit the Hamer people. The Hamer, a colourful 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.

Day 7
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.

Day 8
After breakfast, we visit the Konso Museum and the King Palace and return to Kanta Lodge for lunch. After lunch we drive back to Arba Minch to relax at the Paradise Hotel and enjoy the spectacular views over Lake Chamo. Dinner and Overnight will be at the lodge

Day 9
After an early breakfast we take a boat ride on Lake Chamo, watch crocodiles and hippos as well as a great variety of water birds. At about 11.00 am we return to the Lodge for lunch and finally transfer to the airport for our afternoon flight at 15.00h to Addis. We transfer to the Friendship Hotel for an optional dinner and overnight stay.

Day 10
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, the National Museum and lunch. Depending on our international travel arrangements we may still have time to do some shopping in the Gold Street or the Merkato Market before and having a traditional dinner and transferring to the airport for a late night departure.

Depending on our international travel arrangements we may still have time to do some shopping in the Gold Street or the Merkato Market before driving to the airport for departure.

  • Tour Days: 9
  • Departure: Everyday departure with a Minimum 2 pax from Addis Ababa
  • Price Guide:
    2018 NO.OF PEOPLE PRICE (USD)
    No of PeoplePrice in USD
    1pax $2,990/=
    2pax$ 2,028/=
    3pax $ 1,707/=
    4pax $ 1,546/=
    5pax$1,746/=
    6pax and more$1,633/=

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