LLT014 - Omo Valley, Konso And Rift Valley
Duration: 10 night/11 days
Arrival to Addis Ababa. Addis Ababa, this is the world’s third highest capital city. Meet our local tour guide at the airport. After checking in at the hotel, set out a sightseeing tour of the city of 4 million people, taking in the Trinity Cathedral and excellent National Museum, with its archaeological discoveries including the famous hominid “Lucy”. Drive up Mt Entoto, the highest part of the capital, for the panoramic view, and then explore the Mercato, the largest open-air market in East Africa, Back to hotel. Stay 1 night: Hotel, in Addis Ababa;
Morning drivers with the 4WDs, and set out for tribal lands of southern Ethiopia, driving down the Great Rift Valley. See the two small crater lakes of Debre Zeit, and stop for lunch in a restaurant. Further south, pass by five large rift valley lakes; see Koka and Ziway Lakes, explore the area around two Lakes Abijatta and Shalla. where flamingos are usually seen in a National Park, and spend the night at Lake Langano. Stay 1 night: Sabanna Lodge.
To Awasa and Arbaminch. Drive further south to Awasa on Lake Awasa which teems with fish and attracting water birds. See the fish markets on the shoreline, and walk part of the board-walk beside the wetlands viewing some of the birds. After lunch in Awasa, continue on to Arbaminch. Stay 1 nights: Swaynes Hotel.
Drive form from Arbaminch to Turmi, on the way visit the Konso and Derearshe peopel, lunch will be at woito village then drive to Turmi via Erbore village, afternoon arrive at Turmi. Late in afternoon visit Hamer villages to see the way these people live.Stay 2 nights Overnight Turmi Lodge.
Morning walk to the local weekly Saturday market where people from many different tribes gather – a very colourful and interesting sight Exploring Turmi and district Afternoon drive to the village of Korcho with its Karo people, famous for their unique hair styles and body painting. “They are also great improvisers – bottle tops, nails, sweet wrappers, cartridges, etc, are incorporated into jewellery and decorations”. Overnight Turmi Lodge.
Turmi to Jinka, Moring after breakfast drive to the village of Dimkeka of the Hamer tribal people,. Drives to Jinka have late lunch at Jinka. Then visit the ethnographic museum of Jinka. Overnight Jinka Orit Hotel.
In the Jinka district then drive to Konso. Drive to Mago National Park on the east bank of the Omo River. Visit a village of the Mursi tribal people who number about 8000 and are nomadic pastoralists; the women are famous for the lip-plates they wear made of clay; these can be up to 15cm in diameter, and are inserted into a slit separating the lower lip and jaw. Due to the obvious discomfort, the women only wear the lip-plates only occasionally, leaving their distended lips swaying below their jaws. On a drive through Mago National Park, zebra, kudu, waterbuck, topis, hartebeest, and gerenuk might be seen. Return to the hotel for late lunch then drive to Konso 2hrs driver form Jinka. Overnight at Kenta Lodge.
Konso and Arbaminch. Travel to Konso, Konso (population 5000), a UNESCO World Heritage site, at 1650 m.a.s.l the centre of a highly specialised agricultural consisting of villages with terraced crop-lands and “one of Africa’s most fascinating cultures with traditional villages defended by sturdy stone walls encompassing separate compounds, one for each of its clan, and each compound can only be accessed on hands and knees through a tunnel …. Within each compound is a mora (a thatched two-storey communal house) … and a ceremonial square” (LP). After lunch, drive to Arbaminch. Stay 2 night: Swaynes Hotel.
In Arbaminch and district. Morning drive to Chencha Village, in the homeland of the Doze people; it is famous for its “towering huts” (up to 12m tall, with vertical hardwood poles, woven bamboo walls and thatched roofs), for their fine cotton weaving, and also for the terracing of their farmlands to reduce soil erosion. It is the men who do the weaving, while the women attend to the spinning. After lunch in the Swayens Hotel, drive to Lake Chamo for a boat trip to view the large African crocodiles, hippo, and water birds of the Nechisar National Park bordering the lake; 320 bird species have been recognised in the park’s variety of habitats. Return to the hotel.
Return to Addis Ababa. Travel north on the west side of the Rift Valley, via Hosanna. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Tiya, the most important of about 160 similar archaeological sites discovered in this small district south of Addis. This one contains 36 monuments including 32 carved stone stelae, 1 to 5 metres tall, covered with symbols – the remains of a very ancient culture whose age has not yet been determined. Stay 1 nights Hotel in Addis.