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South -west Ethiopia - 18 Days

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South -west Ethiopia

Omo Valley is undoubtedly one of the most unique places on world because of the wide variety of people and animals that inhabit it. It is located in Africa’s Great Rift Valley. The region is known for its culture and diversity. The tribes that live in the lower Omo Valley are believed to be among the most attractive on the continent of Africa and around the world. Tours are offered to several towns and villages.

Day 1
Addis Ababa

In this day starts with a half-day city tour of Addis Ababa, including its museums, churches and the 'mercato'.

Day 2
Addis Ababa - Jimma

Leaving Addis Ababa, you will start the journey south west to Jimma. On the way, you'll see villages of the Gurage and Oromo people, and the land that they traditionally farm. Overnight in a (hotel in Jimma.)

Day 3
Jimma - Mizan Tefari

You'll spend the morning exploring Jimma, including visits to the Jimma Museum and Abba Jiffar's Palace. Abba Jiffar was the last independent King of Jimma, and a selection of his personal effects are on display at the museum, along with some interesting ethnographic displays relating to local cultures. Abba Jiffar's palace was built during the early years of his reign at a cost of 400kg of gold and 65,000 Maria Theresa dollars (money obtained largely through the King's active involvement in the slave trade). From Jimma, you will continue the journey west, passing through the Kafa Biosphere Reserve and stopping at Kafa village. The Kafa Biosphere Reserve contains the last remaining Ethiopian subtropical moist forests of any size and is a biodiversity hotspot, containing more than 5,000 species of plants. The forest is managed by community-based committees and is also renowned for its abundance of sustainable non-timber forest products including coffee, forest cardamon, forest pepper and honey. It contains natural features such as hot springs and waterfalls and is a haven for monkeys and birds, many of which remain undocumented. Continuing the journey to Mizan Tefari, you will pass through more scenic countryside and a huge tea plantation at Wushwush. Overnight in a (hotel in Mizan Tefari).

Day 4
Mizan Tefari - Kibish

From Mizan Tefari, you will follow the remote road towards the village of Kibish, stopping on the way at the Bebeka Coffee Estate. This is the largest coffee plantation in Ethiopia, covering 6,500 ha, and is home to an interesting variety of bird life. From Bebeke, the road descends into more open savannah with tall acacia trees and bands of riparian woodland supporting rich bird life. You will pass through the small market town of Dima, as well as traditional villages, and you may well see Surma men herding their cattle. Overnight (camping near Kibish).

Day 5
Kibish

You'll spend the day exploring the village of Kibish and meeting the Surma people (also known as the Suri). The Surma are agro-pastoralists, with the women traditionally taking care of the household and the land, and the men taking care of the livestock. Young boys and unmarried men spend much of the year in temporary grazing camps, returning to the established settlements only for ceremonial events and to collect food supplies. The Surma are similar in appearance to the Mursi, with their most noticeable feature being the lip-plates worn by the women. They also practise the art of body painting, mixing different coloured clays with water. The men of the Surma take part in ritual stick fights using long wooden poles, called Donga. Fights are held so that young men can prove themselves to the girls and find a wife. They are also used to settle disputes between individuals, clans, or even whole villages. Overnight (camping near Kibish).

Day 6
Kibish - Tum

From Kibish, you will travel to Tum, spending the day meeting members of the Surma and Dizi tribes. The Dizi people live in the highlands around Maji and Hanna and cultivate the land, and have traditionally been looked down on by the Surma because of their lack of cattle wealth. Overnight (camping near Tum).

Day 7
Tum - Jimma

From Tum, you will complete the circuit back to Jimma, passing through lands occupied by the Menit, Bench and Kefa people Overnight in Jimma

(Hotel).

Day 8
Jimma - Addis Ababa

From Jimma, you will make the return journey to Addis Ababa, arriving in the late afternoon.then relax in the Hotel overnihgt Addis Ababa.(Hotel).

Day 9
AddiS Ababa - Arba Minch

From Yabello, you will take a trip to a crater lake named El Sode, meaning "place of salt" in the local Oromifa language. This inky-black lake, surrounded by 200m-high walls, is an important regional centre of salt extraction. In the dry season, there is also the opportunity to see the famous "singing wells" of the Borena people. These wells, which were dug centuries ago, can be up to 30m deep. Men form a chain, balanced on precarious-looking ladders, along which they pass giraffe-hide buckets of water. As they do so, the men sing in unison to help maintain the rhythm and pace of the passing. overnight (Hotel)

Day 10
Arba Minch

From Yabello, you will start the journey back north, passing through fertile countryside in which false-banana, maize and coffee are grown. The roadsides are often lined with villagers selling fresh, seasonal fruits. Your final destination for the day will be Awassa, a pleasant lakeside town where you will spend the night. Views over the lake at sunset can be spectacular.overnight Awassa( Hotel).

Day 11
Arba Minch - Jinka

In the morning, you will see Hawassa's famous fish market, before departing north for Addis Ababa. On the way, you will stop for a tour of Abiyata-Shala National Park, where flocks of up to 50,000 flamingos gather, and to see Lake Ziway. The tour ends with dinner at a cultural restaurant in Addis Ababa, where you can see traditional dances from around the country while sampling various Ethiopian dishes. end of our trip.

Day 12
Mursi - Jinka

From Jinka, you will spend the day exploring villages of the Mursi and Ari people. The Ari people, who live in the fertile lands surrounding Jinka, predominantly practice settled agriculture and produce a variety of cereals, pulses, root crops, fruit and vegetables, as well as the cash crops coffee and cardamon. In rural areas, you may still see Ari women wearing traditional dresses made from the leaves of the false banana plant, and draped with colorful beads and bracelets. The Mursi people, who live in an almost inaccessible area between the Mago and Omo rivers, are famous for the clay lip-plates traditionally worn by women. There is much controversy surrounding the origins of these lip-plates with theories ranging from disfigurement to discourage slave-raiders to a sign of beauty. Both men and women of the Mursi tribe practice scarification and cut their hair very short, often with patterns shaved into it. Men traditionally wear only a blanket tied at one shoulder, and women, a similarly-fashioned goat skin. The Mursi have a reputation for being aggressive and the men carry a Donga (large stick) for fighting. Ceremonial fights are also performed. Cattle are the Mursi most prized possession. They are used in virtually every significant social relationship, most notably marriage, where they are used as a dowry, paid to the bride's father. They provide milk and blood, which form an integral part of the Mursi diet and the Mursi even name themselves after the color of their favorite cattle. jinka overnight (Hotel or Lodge).

Day 13
Jinka - Turmi

Leaving Jinka, the tour continues south to Turmi, passing through an area occupied by the Bana people on the way, when we arrive turmi you will visit today Hamer village. Hamer women wear elaborately decorated goat skins with beaded necklaces, bracelets and waistbands, usually black and red, with the number and type of necklaces worn denoting their marital status. Women decorate their hair with clay and butter and twist it into small braids. Men wear a clay cap which is painted and decorated with feathers and other ornaments. The Hamer are famous for their cattle-jumping ceremony which takes place when a man comes of age. He must successfully leap over a line of 6-8 cattle 4 times if he is to be allowed to marry, have children, and own cattle of his own. Overnight (camping Hamer village).

Day 14
Karo ,Dasenech - Turmi

Early morning depart from Turmi to the village of Karo village, you will visit villages of the Karo and Dassanech people. The Karo people are traditionally pastoral with goats as their main livestock .They also practice spear-fishing in the Omo River. Karo men are best known for their elaborate body painting before important ceremonies. Like many tribes in the region, the Karo people are polygamous, but marriage is usually with the consent of the two partners, rather than arranged. However, custom does not allow younger members of the family to marry before their elder relatives are married. The Dassanech tribe, living around Omerate, is not strictly defined by ethnicity but has absorbed a wide range of different people over time. The Dassanech are divided into eight main clans, each of which is believed to have special powers over different things such as water, crocodiles, snakes, diseases, drought, eye infections, scorpion bites and muscular problems. Members of the same clan are forbidden from marrying (or even dancing with) each other. Both men and women of the Dassanech adorn themselves with beads and bracelets Turmi overnight (lodge).

Day 15
Turmi - Yabello

This day drive to Yabello ,From Turme it is a long but scenic drive Yabello. On the way, you will have another chance to see how the Tsemay people live and work, as well as seeing the way of life of the Borena people. The Borena are semi-nomadic pastoralists, considered to be the most traditional of all the Oromo groups. Their culture is well adapted to the hot, dry, harsh plains of southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya and they keep a unique breed of cattle with humps and small horns overnight Yabello (Hotel).

Day 16
Yabello

From Yabello, you will take a trip to a crater lake named El Sode, meaning "place of salt" in the local Oromifa language. This inky-black lake, surrounded by 200m-high walls, is an important Regional center of salt extraction. In the dry season, there is also the opportunity to see the famous "singing wells" of the Borena people. These wells, which were dug centuries ago, can be up to 30m deep. Men form a chain, balanced on precarious-looking ladders, along which they pass giraffe-hide buckets of water. As they do so, the men sing in unison to help maintain the rhythm and pace of the passing. overnight (Hotel).

Day 17
Yabello - Awassa

From Yabello, you will start the journey back north, passing through fertile countryside in which false-banana, maize and coffee are grown. The roadsides are often lined with villagers selling fresh, seasonal fruits. Your final destination for the day will be Awassa, a pleasant lakeside town where you will spend the night. Views over the lake at sunset can be spectacular.overnight Awassa( Hotel).

Day 18
Awassa - Addis Ababa

In the morning, you will see Hawassa's famous fish market, before departing north for Addis Ababa. On the way, you will stop for a tour of Abiyata-Shala National Park, where flocks of up to 50,000 flamingos gather, and to see Lake Ziway. The tour ends with dinner at a cultural restaurant in Addis Ababa, where you can see traditional dances from around the country while sampling various Ethiopian dishes. end of our trip.

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