⇐  2 Week Trips Menu

Tribes in the South & Bale Mountains

Trip duration: 15 days

We travel through one of the most beautiful regions of Africa. Ethiopia is a mosaïc of cultures and amazing nature. Southern Ethiopia is a most fascinating region. The Rift Valley, the lakes, the forest and savanna, the diverse fauna and flora in the South are all breathtaking. Here in these amazing landscapes several ethnic groups of people live in their specific traditional style. Some say ‘The Omo valley is a marvel of contemporary antropology’.

With this trip we bring you a good balance between enjoying natural beauty and discovery of the local tribes around the Omo river.

The landscape is rough and the roads can be very challanging. In particular during the raining season; so we mostly drive with a 4X4.  

A particular nature hotspot is the 2 days trip to the Bale mountains at the end of the trip.

Trip overview:

Day 1: ADDIS ABABA – HAWASSA
Day 2: WONDO GENET – YABELLO
Day 3: YABELLO – TURMI
Day 4: TURMI DAG 5: TURMI
Day 6: TURMI – JINKA
Day 7: JINKA
Day 8: JINKA – ARBAMINCH
Day 9: ARBAMINCH
Day 10-11: ARBAMINCH – WONDO GENET – GOBA
Day 12: BALE NATIONAL PARK
Day 13: GOBA – LANGANO (option SHALA PARK )
Day 14: LANGANO – ADDIS
Day 15: Flight home

Day by Day Program

Day 1:  Arrival – ADDIS ABABA – HAWASSA
Arrival in Addis Bole airport. After a breakfast at a crater lake in Debre Zeit we drive southwards.We have a stop at the Rift Valley lakes.  Lake Ziway is a paradise for marabouts and many aquatic birds…

Day 2:  HAWASSA – YABELLO
With a 4×4 car we start early morning our trip. Amidst the coffee plantations we visit a ‘Sidamo’ village. In the afternoon we drive to Yabello and meet the ‘Borena’ people.

optional: stay 1 extra day in Hawassa (Zebra Guesthouse)

Day 3: YABELLO – TURMI
We start our discovery of the tribes in the Omo Valley with the visit of a Konso village, built around a ‘life tree’. Here we learn about the ‘waka’s’, traditional wooden tributes to the ancestors. If it is market day we can enjoy the colorful traditional outfits of Konso people. We observe the particular smart way of farming in terraces and construction of walled villages mostly on hill tops. In the afternoon we visit the Arbore tribe. In the evening we go for dinner or our cook prepares a fresh and delicious meal.

optional: Around a campfire we can get to know each other a bit more and share stories of previous adventures.

Day 4: TURMI
In the morning we cross the Omo river in a traditional boat/canoe (carved out of a tree) and we greet the Dasanech people, known for being outstanding swimmers and their amazing hair fashion. This tribe of traditional shepherds lives mostly of livestock. After lunch we visit the colorful and lively market of the Hammer tribe. Hammer people love to decorate their bodies, such as most tribes in the Omo region do. Women treat their hair with butter and ochre pigment (clay). The Hammer women are traditionally dressed in animal skin skirts. They decorate themselves with lots beaded necklaces. The men also have their particular fashion and hairstyle, sometimes decorated with ostrich feathers. If we are lucky we might even see a bull jumping ceremony while we are in the region.

Day 5: TURMI
Karo people are masters in “body painting”. They paint and decorate their bodies with chalk and clay, often with figures of the spotted feathers of the guinea fowl bird. The women make scars on their bodies as decoration. The scars or body paintings that we see on the men are representing the animals or enemies they have killed. Karo people are farmers and bee keepers. In this region live, without any doubt, the most fascination tribes of Africa.

Day 6: TURMI – JINKA
We drive through the Mago National Park and in the middle we have a stop to visit people from the Mursi tribe. Women decorate their underlip with clay plates as well sometimes their earlobes. Mursi men, warriors, have U-shaped scars on their bodies. In the afternoon we visit the museum in Jinka. We have a drink in a local bar in the Jinka town to absorb our Mursi experience further… Visiting the Mursi people is a must, as they appeal the imagination more than any other tribe… 

Day 7: JINKA
In the afternoon we cross the hills and pass through ‘Ari’ villages, masters in pottery. We finish the day with a visit of the Omo museum and research center.

Day 8: JINKA – ARBAMINCH
We have a stop in the village Key Afer to enjoy the weekly market.Here we can see people from the ‘Benna’ and the ‘Tsamey’ tribes.  We enjoy the changing savanna landscape with Accacia trees and huge termite hills… For the night, we recommend to close your window as baboons may come to sniff in your luggage…

Day 9: DORZE – ARBAMINCH
In the mountain area of Dorze, the people are well known cotton weavers. Their big huts have the shape of beehives, a building style which is unique in Africa. The houses become smaller when they are burrowed under by termites. We may taste the local pizza called ‘koicho’, made from flower of the False Banana tree.

In Arbaminch, we make a boat trip among the giant crocodiles, pelicans, and hippo’s on the breathtaking Chamo lake.

If we have time left, we can enjoy a refreshing walk in the wonderful Forest Park. The Park is fed by the  springs, being at the origin of the city’s name ’40 springs’. We can spot some wildlife in the park such as baboons, warthogs, etc.

Croc Arbaminch

Day 10 – 11: ARBAMINCH – WONDO GENET – GOBA
During our drive, we visit the ‘Wolayita’ and ‘Alaba’ tribes. Arriving at Wondo Genet we enjoy and take a swim in the natural hot spring. The springs are part of the old volcanic landscape.

The next morning we start our trip in the breathtaking  Bale Mountains National Park.

Day 12: BALE NATIONAL PARK
The entire day we drive and walk (or horse ride) through the amazing high mountains national park. We discover unique endemic plants and animals in a most idyllic environment. We enjoy the stunning crater lakes, waterfalls and the juniperus and bamboo forests. If we are lucky we can spot the huge bearded vulture and other endemic birds. In the trees we can see the black and white Colobus monkeys with their beautiful tails.

⇒ For more information: visit the Bale Mountains Short Trip page. 

Day 13: GOBA – LANGANO
We stay overnight in a splendid lodge at the lake Langano. We take a rest on the beach and enjoy the nature.

optional: a walk in the Shalla park nearby can be organised , including a small safari with antelopes, ostriches, etc. As well as a sceneric walk among hot springs , astonishing geological formations and flamingo’s at lake Shalla.

Day 14: LANGANO – ADDIS
We visit the lively heart of  the capital city , with among others the big Mercato (market) and the National museum harbouring some historical treasures (including old ‘Lucy’). We have lunch in the local restaurant. There is time for shopping in the many colorful shops.

Day 15: ADDIS ABEBA – HOME DESTINATION

Prices:
English guiding included during the entire trip.
In the villages we use the service of local guides, as they know best all particularities and secrets of the tribal people. As such we contribute to the community development.
Date at your choice (not in April & May – because of the raining season in the Omo Valley).

  • 2 persons: € 2390 p.p.
  • 3 persons: € 2190 p.p.
  • 4 persons or more: € 2090 p.p.
  • supplement for single: € 250


Insurance
You are requested (obligatory) to arrange your own travel insurance!

For more information or reservations:
Mobile Wonde: +251 911769489
Email: zebraguesthouse.tours@gmail.com