Package Name: City Tour + Southern Route [more than 5 World Heritage Sites included]
Duration: 12 Days
Tour Code: MCE-ST-019
Highlights: Exploring Addis Ababa, the political capital of Africa; The Prehistoric Site of Melka Kunture (in the temporary list of UNESCO World Heritage), the archeological sites of Tiya, also a World Heritage site; Konso Cultural Landscapes (World Heritage); the most untouched, colorful, and amazing tribes and archaeological sites, beautiful remote markets, lifestyle, cultural values and amazing settlements of the Lower Valley of Omo (another world heritage site); and many national parks, wildlife reserves and sanctuaries (Some are on the temporary list of world heritage).
Day 01: Addis Ababa City Tour
Home to many international, continental and national organizations, institutions and embassies, Addis Ababa is the political capital of Africa. Touring Addis Ababa will include The National Museum, Ethnological Museum, St George Cathedral and Museum. Explore the massive Merccato, Holy Trinity Cathedral and head out of Addis for fresh-air walking in the Entoto Mountains and visit the Entoto Mariam Church. Finish the day dining and then back to hotel. Overnight in Addis Ababa (Hotel)
This day’s activities will be determined based on the arrival of the tourists. If they arrive late afternoon, they will simply go to their bedroom and start by the activities at Day 2 and tour the city at the end of the whole trip.
Day 02: Melka Kunture – Tiya – Arbaminch
Drive to southern Ethiopia via, Butajira. An hour from Addis Ababa is the Melka Kunture Prehistoric Site (in the temporary list of UNESCO World Heritage), where many stone, tools, and fossils are found dating back 1.8 million years used by Home erectus. Then proceeding to the archeological sites of Tiya, a World Heritage site inscribed in 1980. After vising Tiya Stelae Field clusters dotting the countryside, head to the Dorze tribes, visit the Dorze huts, collection of villages and know about the daily lives of Dorze Tribes. If today is market day (in Dorze village on Monday and Thursday and/or in nearby Chencha on Tuesday and Saturday), will be visited. Then head to Arbaminch for overnight stay.
If long drives seem to have impact on the tourist, mostly true for old people, two options are possibly available at this point. An overnight camping/lodge at Dorze and then proceed to Arbaminch early next day, or just drive directly to Arbaminch and visit back the Dorze huts after an overnight at Arbaminch and a morning visit to the Chamo lake. Nothing will be missed in either way.
Day 03: Make a boat trip to Lake Chamo and drive to Konso and Jinka
After having breakfast, take a boat trip on Lake Chamo to visit the “crocodile market” the masses of crocs , and the local hippos. You will see the longest and fattest crocodiles of Africa taking a sunbath on the shores. Hippo’s hide themselves under the water and you will also see a good range of birds including; weavers, sunbirds, waxbills and colonies of pelicans.
And then set of to Konso, a world heritage site inscribed for it Cultural Terracing Landscape since 2011. In Konso you will have a brief opportunity to visit a local village and the cultural museum displaying many waka statues. One of the best spots is their market (market days are Mondays and Thursdays). The Konso people are known for their wooden statues, known as wakas, which are erected in honor of dead heroes as well as their innovative agricultural terracing. Today
At Konso, we are at a crossroad to Jinka and down to the home of indigenous tribes. Taking the market days and the tribal ceremonies, we’ll decide which way to start the loop.
Then drive to Key Afer, Thursday is market day in Key Afar, where you will see the Hammer, Benna, Ari and Tsemai tribes trading goods. This is another very popular market in the region. After the visit, proceed to Jinka Depending on your arrival you can visit the Ethnographic museum of Jinka.
Overnight stay in Jinka Resort.
Day 04: Jinka – Mago National Park – Mursi Tribes
To visit the Mursi you cross a part of the Mago NP on a track through the bush where many Dikdiks (small antelopes) and gazelle can be seen on the savanna plains. The Mursi are well known for the big clay plates the women bear in their lower lip and ear. The origin of this tradition is not known but the Mursi themselves consider it as something that makes them distinguish from the surrounding tribes and to make the women unattractive for slave-market. But nowadays it is considered as a sign of beauty and wealth. Then back to Jinka and drive in the afternoon to Key Afer (if it Thursday) and proceed to Turmi.
Overnight stay in Turmi.
Day 05 Jinka – Mursi – Turmi/Hammer
After having breakfast, drive from Jinka to Turmi, an important transit hub surrounded by Hamer villages. While on your drive you encounter the village of Weyto (market day Saturday), a territory of Tsemai tribe. Drive through the Weyto Valley to Arbore, where you will visit local Erbore village (market day is Saturday). Heading to Turmi, home of the Hamer tribe. There is smaller Thursday Market in Turmi. In the evening join the traditional night dancing of the Hamer tribe, known as Evangadi. The Hamer are also considered masters of body decoration. Overnight in Turmi enjoying Evangadi.
Day 06: Turmi/Hammer – Omerate/Dassenech
In the morning, drive to Omorate, eastern bank of the Omo River to visit the Dassenech tribe. Omorate is visited exclusively as a morning trip out of Turmi that includes crossing the Omo River by local boat to arrive at Dassenech tribe. The Omo river is also rich in birds and surrounded by wildlife populated park. Drive back to Turmi (Monday is market day) for a visit to a local Hamer village. An opportunity to attend Bull Jumping ceremony. It is a rite of passage into manhood for all hammer and Benna boys. 15 to 30 bulls are lined up side by side and each naked boy take part must cross the lines of the bulls. If you’ve missed the beautiful Evangadi ceremony today you will have another chance to enjoy. Overnight in Turmi.
Day 07: Turmi/Hammer – Karo
After early breakfast drive from Turmi to the pair of Omo-River side destinations Kangaten and Kolcho. A visit of the Nyangatom village in the morning, whose women wear massive stacks of beaded necklaces. After the visit, you’ll be back across the river and head to the Karo village of Korcho. The cliff top of village of Kolcho is the smallest of three Karo villages, and one of the beautifully set villages of Ethiopia. The Karo Tribe, Omo Valley’s smallest groups are masters of body paintings and creating bold patterns. Drive back to Turmi for Overnight.
Day 08: Turmi/Hammer – Konso
Depart to Konso through Stephanie Wildlife Sanctuary. You will have the chance to see the wildlife in the sanctuary and the ‘Chew Bahr’ (meaning Salt Lake) inside the wildlife sanctuary. Depending on the time, you can have a second chance to witness the culture and nature of Konso people. The society of the Konso boasts a rich culture and a highly specialized and successful agricultural economy by their indigenous way of terracing the steep slopes for cultivation of sorghum and different grains. Visit the Konso village and the natural wonder “New York”: huge sand pillars, similar to New York’s skyscrapers, formed through ages by rain and erosion. Overnight stay in Konso.
Day 09: Konso – Yabelo
In the morning you drive to Yabelo through semi-arid area of Borena. The Borenas are semi-nomadic tribe and you can see a small flock of camels with their Borena owners here and there. Overnight stay in Yabelo.
Day 10: Yabelo – El Sod – Yirgalem
The Borena town of Yabelo is a base for visiting, the Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary and for a chance to see Swayne’s hartebeest and zebras and many bird species. After the visit, take a trip to south to visit El Sod, a village that is home to a crater lake with a large salt deposit called the House of Salt. Heading to Yirgalem, to home of 100-plus species of birds and black-and-white colobus Hyenas come to feed during the evening. You will enjoy the most popular coffee ceremony during your stay at Aregash Lodge, with beautiful greenery view that feeds your soul the ultimate peace of mind, or local small coffee houses which brew organic coffee harvested from the surrounding. Overnight in Yirgalem.
Day 11: Yirgalem – Awassa – Langano
Early in the morning drive to Awassa, take a boat trip on Lake Awassa to visit the hippo pods and the local fish market where you can see the fishermen serving guests with fish, fast food or takeaway. Furthermore, there is wonderful birdlife in the area.
Continue your drive to Lake Langano (200Km from Addis Ababa, one of the Rift Valley Lakes and the only lake that you can swim in). Upon arrival, you will check into a resort by the lake side. Relax by the seashore, swim or walk. In the evening you will have dinner at some lodge and stay the night there. Overnight stay in one of the beautiful resorts.
Day 12: Langano – Abayatta Shalla – Addis Ababa
After breakfast, drive back to north of Addis Ababa. On the way a stopover at Abiatta-Shala National Park located west of lake Langano. An opportunity to see ostrich, gazelle and warthogs. Lake Shala, 410sq-km surface sits within a collapsed volcanic caledera depths exceeds 260m making it the deepest in Ethipoia. Lake Abiatta is a perfect place to look for flamingos and can be seen in flocks of thousands.
Today en route you will make a stop on Awash River and Lake Ziway to visit aquatic birds. Lake Ziway, the shallowest lake in the rift valley chain of lakes which depth 7m. Its extensive aquatic vegetation attracts a variety of water birds. Commonly seen and easily identified are; Saddle-billed stork, greater jacana, African fish eagle, darter, herons, darters and Wood hoope.
Dinner at a cultural restaurant enjoying live dance of the diversity of Ethiopian cultures. Overnight Addis Ababa.
Depending on your arrival and departure time, the itinerary could be amended accordingly, for you to attend as the many market days and cultural activities as possible.
2. Package Inclusions
- Appropriate size of reliable car with driver
- Hotel accommodation based on your preference (Luxury, Normal or Budget)
- Entrance fees to all locations including local guide service and boat trip, when necessary (on Lake Chamo and Omo River)
- All applicable taxes
3. Package Exclusions:
- Extra foods and drinks and all alcoholic beverages
- Camera and/or photo fees
- Items of a personal nature