Southern Ethiopia Tribal Tour, 8 Days

ETHIOPIA - Omo Valley Tribes

ETHIOPIA - Omo Valley Tribes

Ethiopia is a land of contrast and diversity that hosts more than 80 nations and nationalities living together in unity with harmony. The Omo valley tribes are settled on the southern end of Ethiopia’s rift valley where intangible cultures characterize their identity and the basis of social life. Omo Valley is undoubtedly one of unique and fascinating places on earth because its mosaic ethnic groups that inhabits it.

ETHIOPIA - Omo Valley Tribes

About 16 tribes came into contact with you some of them: Arbore’s, Ari, Atse, Bena, Biraile, Bodi’s characterized by annual fatting ceremony, Daasanech (Geleb), Hamar’s with their Cattle Jump and Evangadi Dance, Karo’s Known by their body decoration, Kwegu, Maale, Mursi’s known with lip clay of women’s and Donga (stick) fighting for men’s, Tsemay, and Nyngatom when you tour the valley.These tribes have their own very distinct traditions and culture in Oral traditions, Social practices, Ritual and Ceremonies, Knowledge and Practices concerning nature and the universe and Performing Arts.

In this exotic tour you will discovering the most ethnically diverse cultures, customs and ceremonial events of some of the tribes that such as Ari, Bena, Daasanech (Geleb), Hamar, Tsemay and Mursi including the most isolated areas of the Omo Valley.

In this 08 days trip you will explore the popular cultural& tribal tour destinations of Southern Ethiopia including Arbamich ,Konso, Jinka ,Turmi and Omorate.

ETHIOPIA - Omo Valley Tribes

Day 1 Addis Ababa Arrive at Addis Ababa early in the morning. In the afternoon take a city tour, including the Holy Trinity Cathedral & National Museum and visit the largest market in Africa, the Merkato.
Day 2 Arba minch Fly to the famous Lakeside town of Arba Minch. Visit the Dorze People & village at high up in the Guge Mountains northwest of Arba Minch.
Day 3 Jinka Drive to Konso to visit the colorfully costumed dress and impressive terracing of the land of Konso then continue to drive to Key afar to visit the Ari, Bena, Hamer and Tsemay tribes people.
Day 4 Turmi Early morning drive to Mago National Park to visit the Mursi tribe and then continue driving through the Omo valley region to Turmi via Dimeka for visiting the Hamer tribes.
Day 5 Turmi An excursion tour to Omorate to visit other tribes, the Dasenech (formerly known as Geleb) and one of their villages along the western banks of the Omo River. In the afternoon drive back to Turmi to visit Hammer Village.
Day 6 Konso In the morning an excursion to the Murulle area to visit the Karo ethnic group known for their body painting and in afternoon drive to Konso to stay over.
Day 7 Arba minch In the morning drive north towards Arba Minch and drive through Nechisar National Park, then will embark on a private boat trip on Lake Chamo to explore the wildlife, to see big African Crocodiles and families of hippo.
Day 8 Addis Ababa Morning will have leisure time and transfer to Arbaminch Airport for the flight to Addis Ababa. Then in the evening you will have a traditional Ethiopia dinner and enjoy live folklore music and dance and finally transfer to the Airport for international flight.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Addis Ababa

Arrive at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport terminal 02 in the morning and you will be met & greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel for Check in.

Addis Ababa “New Flower” is the third highest capital in the world. It is located at 3,000m above sea level. Addis Ababa is a pleasant city with wide avenues of jacaranda trees, interesting museums and one of the largest open-air markets in Africa, “Mercato”. Addis Ababa is Africa’s diplomatic capital with headquarters for the Organization of African Unity and the United Nation Economic Commissions for Africa.

After checking into the hotel and taking some time to refresh, explore the city with your private guide. The tour includes the visit of the National Museum of Ethiopia, one of the most important collections in sub-Saharan museums in Africa, where the 3.2 million years old fossil called Lucy is found and a visit to Emperor Haile Selassie’s former palace – a must-see sight while you are in Ethiopia.

Day 2: Fly to Arba Minch

In the morning transfer to domestic Airport to fly to the famous lakeside town of Arba Minch.

Dorze Girl, Arbaminch
Dorze Girl, Arbaminch

Arba Minch (literally forty springs) has grown to be the largest town in deep Southern Ethiopia with a population of 200,000. The town is set in an elevation of 1,300 mts in the south foothills of the rift valley escarpment; it is a very scenic town, offering a view of the east over Lake Chamo and Lake Abaya and the lush groundwater forest fed by the eponymous spring. Lake Chamo abounds in wildlife and birds.

Up on arrival in Arbaminch you will meet by our experienced local Guide and driven towards the Dorzes village. Thr Dorze are one of the small segment of ethnic groups of southern Ethiopia. Once warriors, the Dorze have now turned to farming and weaving to earn a living. Their success in the field of weaving has been phenomenal and the Dorze name is synonymous with best woven cotton cloth in Ethiopia. Each amazing Dorze bamboo house has its own small garden surrounded by inset, beds of spices, cabbage and tobacco. Finally we will drive back to Arbaminch for dinner and overnight.

Day 3: Jinka via Konso and Key Afer

In the early morning, we will to drive to Jinka, via Konso, where colorfully costumed dress, impressive terracing of the land and unusually engraved wooden statues used as grave markers can be seen. Differing from their neighbors, the Konso are pure agriculturalists, famed for their use of the stone terraces that they utilize to such good effect in this dry and barren region of basalt hills. Originally from the east and speaking an east Cushitic language, the Konso live in settlements that are surrounded by stone walls. The age of each town is classified by a generation pole and each family lives in compounds that are accessible only through gateways that require the visitor to enter on all fours thereby rendering any potential attackers vulnerable. We continue driving to Key Afer for the colorful market (Please note that the market date is on Thursday only) where we should see and photograph the Ari, Bena, Hamer and Tsemay people.

The Bena and Hamer women usually favor red clay braids in their hair, shiny with butter and perfumed with incense. The long beaded skirts of the Tsemay have a stick incorporated in the back to denote a married woman and the men have elaborately plaited hairstyles decorated with feathers and colorful beads.

After visiting the market, continue to drive to Jinka, often called the gateway to the Omo valley. Jinka is the administrative capital of South Omo and has a quaint atmosphere. It has an elevation of 1,490m above sea level and stands above the rest of the Omo Valley. Jinka is home to the German-funded Ethnographic Museum and is connected to Addis Ababa by air as well as road. Market day is Saturday and Mago National Park, 40 kilometres south by unpaved road, is a nearby attraction.

Jinka, Ethiopia
Jinka, EthiopiaJinka, Ethiopia

Day 4: Visit the Mursi Tribes in Mago Park and drive to Turmi

Early morning drive to Mago National Park, from where, you will visit the Mursi highlands where the most illustrious of Ethiopia's unique tribes lives. The Mursi are known all over the world, for their decorative lip plates that adorn the lower lips of the Mursi women. The plates stretch the lower lip and the women's beauty, pride and desirability is determined in direct proportion to the size of the plate. The Mursi men and women may appear gracious but the Mursi warriors. On their arms are deep crescent incisions that represent each enemy they have killed in battle. The men are also famous for their hairstyle. The various cultural aspects of the tribe will be explained and you will be able to take their photographs but not for free.

Mursi girl

After visiting Mursi, you will drive back to Jinka for lunch. In the afternoon you will continue driving through the Omo Valley region to Turmi via Dimeka for visiting the Hamer tribes.

The Hamer tribe is one of the largest groups in the Valley. The Hamer cultivates millet, vegetables, tobacco and cotton as well as raising cattle and goats. They are known for the fine pottery they produce as well as their remarkable hairstyling. Most dramatic of all are the clay hair buns with ostrich feathers that the men don when they have killed a fierce animal. The Hamer women are simply stunning. The women wear beaded necklaces and iron coils around their arms and decorate their skin with cowry shells. These decorations indicate the wealth and prestige of a woman's husband.

Hamer girl

Day 5: Excursion to Omorate

In the morning, after breakfast, you will have an excursion south of Turmi to Omorate to visit another tribe, the Dasenech (formerly known as Geleb), and one of their villages. These people inhabit the areas bordering Kenya, north of Lake Turkana, and they live on the east and west bank of the Omo River. They are agro-pastoralists and they herd cattle and practice flood retreat cultivation on both sides of the river.

The Geleb cover a large territory. The Geleb live along the western banks of the Omo River, having been forced out of the Turkana region by conflict in the 18th century.

Originally nomadic pastoralists, the more fertile surroundings of the Omo River has caused them to put down more permanent roots based around fishing and agriculture. The Geleb live in small huts that benefit their nomadic origins, as they could be easily and quickly dismantled. Women wear a pleated cow skin skirt with necklaces and bracelets. Men wear a checkered cloth around their waist only.

Afterwards, you will return to Turmi and visit the Hamar traditional colorful market. Please note the Market day in Hamar on Monday & Thursday.

Day 6: Turmi - Murulle and drive back to Arba Minch

In the morning after breakfast, you will continue through the savannah along tracks that are barely visible, passing through a vast meadowland with shrubs and umbellifers ('umbrella' acacia trees) for an excursion to the Murulle area.

When you arrive at Korcho village you will witness the beautiful views over the Omo River to see the Karo ethnic group who are experts in body painting, using clay and locally available vegetable pigments to paint fantastic patterns on each other's faces, chests, arms and legs.

Korcho village
Konso Houses. Unesco Work Heritag
Konso Houses. Unesco Work Heritag

These designs have no special symbolic significance, but are created purely for fun and aesthetic effect, each artist vying to out-do their fellow artists. Karo men also sculpt and shave their hair into extravagant shapes, with special ochre "caps" of hair usually containing several ostrich feathers. In the early afternoon, you will start driving to Konso to stay over.

Day 7: Konso - Arba Minch

In the Morning after breakfast, drive for 70km to north towards Arba Minch and drive through Nechisar National Park then will embark on a private boat trip on Lake Chamo for about an hour to explore the wildlife, to see big African Crocodiles, families of hippos, and a number of lowland water birds.

Crocodile at Lake chamo,Arbaminch
Crocodile at Lake chamo,Arbaminch

Lake Chamo is known primarily for its large population of Nile crocodiles, many of which also allegedly reach sizes there larger than in other areas.

The area of the lake known as the "crocodile market”, where significant numbers of crocodiles were sunning themselves on the banks adjacent to shore and cruising around in the nearby waters, then the car picked you and transferred to hotel for stay over.

Breathtaking view from Haile Resort
Breathtaking view from Haile Resort

Day 8: Fly back to Addis Ababa

Morning you will have a relaxed breakfast and leisure morning in the resort, then transfer to Arba Minch Airport to fly back to Addis Ababa. When you arrive in Addis Ababa in late afternoon you will meet your driver and you might be interested in the last minute souvenir shopping at the markets.

Breathtaking view from Haile Resort
Live folklore Music & dance

In the evening, we will go out to one of the best cultural restaurants for the Farewell Dinner at a traditional restaurant with a live traditional dance program. Then, transfer to the airport for your departure to Home.

Download Detailed Itinerary

Day 1:

Golden Tulip Addis Ababa Hotel ,
Addis Ababa


Day 2:

Paradise Lodge,


Day 3:

Eco omo Lodge,


Day 4 - 5:

Paradise Lodge,


Day 6:

Kanta Lodge,


Day 7:

Haile Resort,