Habits, Hamer and Hippos

ZenAye Ethiopia Tours - tribal ethnic south - 16 days

picture description: Hamer women, market day, Lower Omo Valley with ZenAye Ethiopia Tours, Swiss-African expert in tour operation / photo: Linetta Schneller
Hamer tribe / photo: Linetta Schneller

The Ethiopian Tribal South - a paradise for ethnologists, anthropologists and all people interested in other people and their different customs and cultures. The region of Omo Valley offers an incredible range of different fascinating ethnic groups, each one with their own language, their genuine, spirited culture, authentic fashion, traditional rites and habits - the Hamer, the Mursi, the Konso, the Erbore, the Ari, the Banna, the Karo, the Tsemay, the Dorze and many more.

The Ethiopian Tribal South - a paradise also for nature lovers and enthusiasts of remarkable territories, crocodiles, hippos and genuine wilderness.

Come, see the incomparable diversity and explore the wonders!


Overview and main features

Code: TS 779.16
Duration: 16 days / 15 nights
Transportation: car
Accomodation: hotel / lodge
Focus of tour: Lower Omo Valley - people and tribes as well as nature and wildlife:
- fascinating ethnic groups like the Mursi, Karo and Hamer
- diverse beautiful landscape
- National Park of Mago, Nechisar and Abyata-Shala with its crocodiles, hippos, mammals, birds and more wildlife
Price & details: please send your request to mail@zenaye-ethiopia-tours.com

Day 1

Addis Abeba and city tour

Welcome to Ethiopia, the land of natural and cultural diversity and home of ancient civilization!

Our representative will meet you at Bole International Airport in Addis Abeba and take you to your hotel. Then half-day city tour of the capital with panoramic view over the metropolis from Entoto Mountains, Africa’s largest open-air-market Merkato and visit of the National Museum with the replica of Lucy, our 3.18 million year old ancestor, found in the Afar Triangle in 1974. Spend the night at the metropolis before your journey will begin.

Day 2

Addis Abeba - Hosanna (~ 290 km)

Drive southwards to visit the hard-working Gurage people. Visit their village and admire the views of the surrounding area. Experience the culture and the way of life of the village.

Day 3

Hosanna - Arba Minch (215 km)

Admire the green scenery of the south and stop to see the people of Wolayta on your way to Arba Minch, where you will arrive in the afternoon. Relax and enjoy the spectacular sunset and stunning views of Lake Abaya and Lake Chamo. Overnight stay at the biggest city of the southern region of Ethiopia.

Day 4

Arba Minch

Today you will have a boat ride on Lake Chamo, which is part of the Nechisar National Park. The lake is famous for the so-called Crocodile Market, a place where huge crocodiles rest during the hot hours of the day. There are also many hippos and various species of birds to observe. The whole scenery is truly great and impressive.
In the afternoon drive to Chencha to experience the unique culture, houses and traditions of the Dorze people. Spend the night at the hotel before continuing our adventure and heading to the Lower Omo Valley the next day.

Day 5

Arba Minch - Jinka (240 km)

After your breakfast encounter the Konso, Derashe, Tsemay, Ari and Banna people on your drive to Jinka. See how interesting, lovely and changing the landscape on the right and left on your way is. Arrive at Jinka in the late afternoon. Check-in at simple hotel and get time to explore the quite small town that is at about 1,500 meters over sea level and not that far from the Kenyan border. 

Day 6

Jinka - Mago NP - Mursi tribe - Jinka (240 km)

Enter the Mago National Park and admire the different mammals and birds along the way. Drive up to the mountains and visit the Mursi people and their villages - the people and tribes with their unique terracotta lip-plates. Drive back to Jinka and visit the interesting museum there.

Day 7

Jinka - Turmi (190 km)

Drive to Turmi and encounter the colourful Hamer and Karo people along the way. Stop over at Dimeka and explore the tribes there and head to Turmi for overnight.

Day 8

Excursion: Karo (140 km)

Take a drive to visit the Karo people and see the fascinating decoration and scarification covering their entire bodies. Enjoy the views over the Omo River from Kortcho village driving back to Turmi.

Day 9

Excursion: Omorate (160 km)

Enjoy a morning excursion to the villages of Omorate by the banks of the Omo River, home to the Dassanech people. Return back to Turmi: rest at the lodge or take a walk around the town in order to meet more Hamer people. Overnight at the same lodge in Turmi.

Day 10

Turmi - Erbore - Konso (~ 210 km)

Drive back to Konso and encounter the Erbore and Tsemay people along the way. Make a stop to visit the Konso people, who are famous for their terracing agriculture and the fascinating way of life in their villages. The Konso Cultural Landscape is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 11

Konso - Yabello (180 km)

Drive to Yabello and visit the Borena people, continue down to see the singing wells near the village and the El Sod crater where salt is extracted by hand.

Day 12

Excursion: El Sod (240 km)

Morning drive to the El Sod crater which means house of salt. The village of El Sod, around 20 km southwards, lies beside one of Ethiopia's largest salt deposits. El Sod is famous for its 100 m deep crater lake, one of four in the region. The lake looks like an oil slick because of its dark colour.
Black salt, muddy but valuable, has been extracted here without any mechanization for centuries.

Day 13

Yabello - Yirgalem (240 km)

On the way from Yabello to Hageremarima there are lots of skyscraper termite hills. We will stop at some Borena villages. The Borena Oromo, also called the Boran, are a pastoralist ethnic group living in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia. They are a sub-group of the Oromo people. In the afternoon we will visit the interesting anthropomorphic erected burial stones of Tutu Fella.

Day 14

Yirgalem - Langano (120 km)

Early departure for Hawassa and Wondo Genet with stop at the very interesting Hawassa fishmarket located on the shore of the lake and visit of Wondo Genet and its forested surroundings. Overnight at lodge in Langano.

Day 15

Langano and Abyata-Shala NP

Time to relax by Lake Langano in the morning or time to enjoy optional activities such as trekking, birdwatching, horse-riding, a boat excursion or cycling. In the afternoon you will drive to Abyata-Shala National Park and enjoy the scenery. Known as best spot for birdwatching you can also spot gazelles, warthogs, jackals and other wildlife there.

Day 16

Langano - Addis Abeba (200 km)

Drive back to the metropolis, get time to refresh yourself, have a coffee break or do some souvenir shopping.

In the evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant offered by ZenAye Ethiopia Tours where dancers and musicians from different ethnic groups will give live performances. Then you will be transferred to Bole International Airport for your departure flight or your following programme.

Further details and service

We are happy to answer any request you may have and give you further details on our treks and tour programmes.

We can of course also provide you with customized tours and tailor-made packages for groups and single travellers. We are glad to organize and schedule your personalized tour according to your individual needs and itinerary.

Our aim is to offer you top quality service in order to make your stay in Ethiopia unforgettable.
We are here for you, ready to take you to all the attractions!

Travel is our passion - quality is our mission!

ZenAye Ethiopia Tours - Here meet your expectations and ready to take you to all the attractions!