Trip reference number: ITN-ETH014

Trip Operator: Rainbow Tours

Southern Ethiopia Explorer

From: £2850.00

<p>This sample itinerary is ideal for those who wish to get to know the remarkable people living in South Omo and Konso. Now that Ethiopian Airlines operates domestic flights to Jinka, it makes travel to this wonderful region so much more straightforward. We recommend a one-way flight to Arba Minch first, where you can visit the Dorze people; take a boat trip on Lake Chamo (Nech' Sar National Park) and continue to Konso to overnight there. The Konso landscapes and people are quite distinctive - it is worth seeing a village here. Continue to Jinka, near where you visit a village of the Mursi tribe and can make a coffee stop in scenic Mago National Park. Not too far away, you then spend time in Turmi, which is the ideal base from where to visit the Hamar and Karo tribes. Here you'll have the opportunity to see first hand the Omo River and to understand the fragile situation in which the wonderful people of this region find themselves in today.  After having visited Turmi, transfer to Jinka airport to catch a flight back to Addis Ababa. </p><p>The trip can be done as an add-on to a northern Historical circuit and/or to the wildlife hotspots of Bale and Simien Mountain National Parks - contact us to discuss travel options and ideas. </p>


Day 1 Check in at London Heathrow for the overnight Ethiopian Airlines flight to Addis Ababa. In Ethiopian Airlines' comfortable Dreamliner aircrafts, flight duration is now less than 8 hours.

Day 2 You will be welcomed on arrival in Addis Ababa and transferred to the comfortable Jupiter International Hotel in Kazanchis. It is a short drive from the airport. Relax at your hotel for the balance of the morning. Your guide and driver will meet you after lunch to take you on a guided tour of the capital city including Mt Entoto. Overnight at Golden Tulip with breakfast included. Treat yourself to a coffee - you'll be sure to savour some of the best to be found anywhere in the world!

Day 3 You will be collected from the hotel and transferred to Bole airport to check in for the quick flight to Arba Minch, a 'gateway' to much of Southern Ethiopia. On arrival you will be met by your dedicated, professional guide and driver. Depart on the easy drive to Karat-Konso, the centre of the Konso people. (Time allowing, you could visit a Dorze village as this is about an hour's drive from Arba Minch).. As you approach Karat- Konso, note the terraced hills which with 11 villages, were declared one of the country's UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Sites. Stay overnight in Kanta Lodge, which has a delightful terrace and an excellent restaurant. All produce is locally sourced, the property having its own livestock, poultry, vegetable garden and fruit orchard.

Day 4 You will be taken to various sites of interest in the area today. The fortified Konso villages or paleta are very interesting, somewhat reminiscent of Mali's Dogon people. You may also be taken to see some 'waka', which are carvings placed on graves. Continue towards Jinka with a relaxed lunch stop or coffee break in the beautiful and little-known Mago National Park, where you'll see plenty of 'indicators' of a thriving and healthy ecosystem - there are (critically endangered) White-backed vultures, a myriad other birds and clouds of butterflies in evidence. You can then visit a village of the Aari people.. Arrive in Jinka during the latter part of the afternoon. Here you can relax at Eco Omo Lodge and enjoy dinner in the restaurant.

Day 5 After breakfast, visit the Omo Valley Cultural Museum. You will then collect your local guide, who will accompany you to a village of the iconic Mursi tribe. Here you may take some photos - your guide will assist you with regards to ensuring you have the appropriate amount of Birr ready in order to settle the photographic fees with the villagers - and explore the village with your guides, who will give you an insight into these very interesting people, whose numbers are now at most 10,000. Continue to the outback town of Turmi, home of the Hamar people. Here you stay for 2 nights in Buska Lodge.

Day 6 Various activities are possible today: you may visit a village of one of the most interesting tribes of Ethiopia, the Hamar. Then drive to the bank of the Omo River, to a village of the Karo, who are best known for their body painting. Once again, your guides will take good care of you and will give an insight into the interesting cultures of these people. They will also assist you so that you are prepared with the appropriate amounts of Birr to settle photographic charges with the villagers. If you are fortunate, your visit may coincide with a Hamar Bull-jumping ceremony. These are conducted when a young man decides he is ready to become an adult. In order to mark the transition, he has to jump 4 times over a line of cattle, at an enormous festival held in a remote location in the harsh countryside. The Hamar actually welcome tourists or 'faranji' to these events, as the family has to pay for food and drink, for anything up to 300 or so guests, so the earnings from tourist fees do make a contribution towards these often hefty costs.

Day 7 Depart after breakfast at Buska Lodge, you will be transferred by road to Jinka airport to catch the lunchtime Ethiopian Airlines flight back to Addis Ababa. (Flights daily except Mondays and Saturdays). On arrival, you will be met and transferred to Golden Tulip where you have the use of a day/evening room. You will be taken for dinner to a restaurant like Habasha-2000 which has superb traditional cuisine. Late evening transfer back to Bole airport for the Ethiopian Airlines check in.

Day 8 Fly back to London Heathrow or Manchester on Ethiopian Airlines, arriving home in the early morning.

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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