The Lower Omo Valley is home to a remarkable mix of small, contrasting ethnic groups not only the Bume and Konso, but also the Glebe, the Bodi, the Mursi, the Surma, the Arbore, and the Hamer, to name but a few. Lifestyles are as varied as the tribes themselves. Lacking any material, culture, and artefacts common to other cultures, these tribes find unique ways in which to express their artistic impulses. Both the Surma and the Karo, for example, are experts at body painting, using clays and locally available vegetable pigments to trace fantastic patterns on each other's faces, chests, arms, and legs. These designs are created purely for fun and aesthetic effect, each artist vying to outdo his fellows.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL THIS AREA
Mid-December to mid-March, and July-August – is the best season to travel as it not rainy season.
November - mid-December, and June – visitors shall be flexible on the itinerary since one day of rain can render the roads, temporarily sometimes it is impossible.
September and October, and from mid-March to May – it is big rain season.
9 Days: an Itinerary program for Omo valley:
Depart south from Addis Ababa via Butajira. On the way, you will visit the archaeological sites of Tiya (ancient stelae field and UNESCO World Heritage Site), Adadi Maryam (a rock-hewn church similar to those in Lalibela) and Melka Kunture (pre-historic tool-making site). The final destination for the day is Awassa. Overnight in Awassa hotel.
In the morning after breakfast, visit the fish market on the shores of Lake Awassa and then proceed driving to Dorze, set in the highlands above Arba Minch. The Dorze people are known for their tall beehive-like houses and their fine cotton weaving. You will visit the village and learn about the daily lives of these industrious people. If you get there on market days (in Dorze village on Monday and Thursday and in nearby Chencha on Tuesday and Saturday), That will be the best chance to share their traditional market experience. Overnight in Dorze in a traditional Dorze hut (shared toilet facilities) or continue to Arba Minch for overnight hotel or lodge.
In the morning, depart to Arba Minch for a boat trip on Lake Chamo to visit the “ The African biggest crocodile at crocodile market”, And the hippopotamus. Afterwards, depart from Arba Minch to Turmi. On the way, you will pass through the village of Weyto market day Saturday, which is home to the Tsemai tribe. Continue through the Weyto Valley to Erbore, where you will have a brief visit to a local Erbore village (market day is Saturday). Finally, proceed to Turmi, home of the Hamer tribe. At night, you can see the traditional night dancing of the Hamer tribe, known as evangadi. Overnight in Turmi on tent hotel or lodge.
In the morning, take a day trip to Omorate to visit the Dassenech tribe. Here you will cross the Omo River by local boat and enter to Dassenech village otherwise we will drive to a different village to discover more and it keeps you away from tourist track and makes a better chance to better interaction with real local Dassenech tribe. Afterwards, return to Turmi (Monday is a market day) for a visit to a local Hamer market and village. If there is the cultural event: The most important event in Hamer society the bull jumping ceremony. it takes place after the biannual harvest, from early February to the end of April. Overnight in Turmi hotel or lodge.
Depart for Jinka, via Dimeka and Key Afar. If it is Thursday you will visit the Keyafar Bana Market, If it is Tuesday and Saturday are market days in Dimeka, which is one of the most colourful Hamer markets in this area, This market gives you to see a different tribe that gathered the market. Including Hamer, Bena and Karo. Afterwards, continue to Jinka. Overnight in Jinka hotel or resort
In the morning, drive through the Mago National Park to a local village of the Mursi tribe. The Mursi women are known for their lower lip plates are considered an important aesthetic asset. The Mursi men frequently participate in "donga" a battle fought with sticks, which is an important rite that allows men to then court village women as their intended brides. But the "donga'' stick fight is not seen by visitors. In the afternoon, after returning to Jinka, you can visit the South Omo Museum & Research Center to learn more about the local tribes. Alternatively, take a hike in the surrounding hills to visit a local Ari village. Overnight in Jinka hotel or lodge.
After breakfast, depart from Jinka to Konso via Key Afar. Thursday is market day in Key Afar, where you will see the Bena, Ari and Tsemai tribes trading goods. This market is one of the biggest and colorful markets in the Omo Valley region. After the visit, proceed to Konso (market days are Mondays and Thursdays). Overnight in Konso hotel or lodge.
Full day trip in Konso, the Konso people are known for their wooden statues, known as wakas, which are erected in honour of dead heroes as well as their innovative agricultural terracing. This day you will have a brief opportunity to visit a local village and the cultural museum displaying many waka statues. The Konso cultural landscape is inscribed by UNESCO world heritage site. After the visit, proceed driving to Arba Minch. Overnight in Arba Minch hotel or lodge.
In the afternoon fly to Addis Ababa or In the morning, depart from Arba Minch to Addis Ababa via Wolyita Sodo and discover some of the local villages in Wolyita. After that, on the way, you may have a chance to visit the Alaba and Gurage tribes. Overnight in Addis Ababa hotel.
End of tour.
This itinerary is flexible, and will likely change in order to coordinate visits with market days in the south, which is a great opportunity to mingle with the tribe, many of whom travel long distances on foot to attend the local market.
Arba Minch/Addis Ababa
Phone Number (Whats App contact):
+41 76 8156013