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ethiopia-safari-tours-text-of-the-printing-2  Ethiopia Tourism Attraction: Ethiopia the first...
ethiopia-safari-tours-text-of-the-printingDelving into Ethiopia’s ancient past and...

Southern Ethiopia

What can we see in Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia? 

The Lower Omo Valley is a spectacularly beautiful area with diverse ecosystems including grasslands, volcanic projections, and one of the few remaining ‘pristine’ Riverine forests in semi-arid Africa which supports a wide variety of wildlife.

The ancient tribes in the Omo Valley still retain their culture and traditions as their villages are relatively inaccessible.  You will witness ancient cultures except the culture is to disappear slowly but surely, in part because of effects of tourism. Over 16 diverse tribes reside following the Omo river bank. The Omo river bisects Ethiopia’s largest and wildest national parks, Mago and Omo (Mui) national parks and finally drained into Lake Turkana. 

The Mursi, Bodi (Me’en), Daasanach, Kara (or Karo), Kwegu (or Muguji) and Nyangatom live along the Omo and depend on it for their livelihood, having developed complex socio-economic and ecological practices intricately  adapted to the harsh and often unpredictable conditions of the region’s semi-arid climate. Other peoples, such as the Bana, Hamar, Maji, Chai, or Suri( Surma) and Turkana, live further from the river but a network of inter-ethnic alliances means that they too can access the flood plains, especially in times of scarcity. The annual flooding of the Omo River and its tributaries like the Neri and Magao river feeds the rich biodiversity of the region and guarantees the food security of the tribes especially as rainfall is low and inconsistent. 

They depend on it to practice ‘flood retreat cultivation’ using the rich silt left along the rivers banks by the slowly receding waters. They also practice rainfed, shifting cultivation growing sorghum, maize and beans on the flood plains. Some tribes, particularly the Kwegu, hunt game and fish from such rivers. 


What makes particularly, the Omo Valley so unique is that nowhere else on the earth does so many genetically and linguistically diverse people live as traditionally and in such a small space. 

Cattle, goats, and sheep are vital to most tribes’ livelihood producing blood, milk, meat and hides. Cattle are highly valued and used in payment for bride wealth. For instance in the Mursi tribe, the girl’s lip plate attracts the attention of the young men of the tribe, making the girl’s dowry of cattle or livestock larger, up to 35 heads of cows. 

In the tribes of the lower Omo Valley, as pastoralists they are, in certain seasons families travel to satellite camps to provide new pasture and grazing for herds.The Bodi sing poems to their favorite cattle; Young Karo and  Hamar boys are used  decorating their bodies with white ash;  Hamar women blowing their horns and shouting taunts to the Maza men who will whip them. These women regard the scars as a proof of devotion to their relative to whom they have been whipped during the procession of his rite of passage, like in time of the bull jumping ceremonies. In some tribes like the Mursi and Surma, the lip plate is one of the more famous of the tribes’ traditions. The Mursi women known to put on plates of clay or wood on their lower lips that is as big as 15 cm in diameter.  Generally speaking the men, women, and children here, in lower Omo area ritually adorn themselves to express status and tribal identity, sculpting their hair with animal fat and clay, scarifying limbs and upper bodies, wearing jewelry of beads, bone, and metal, and painting their entire bodies with white minerals, black charcoals, and red and yellowish-brown.Such popular customs and of course still-authentic rituals such as bull jumping, Evangadi, folkdances and gladiatorial stick fighting attracts many photographers and curious travelers from all corners of the earth. 

Safari tours in Omo Valley, Ethiopia, the remote corner of Africa.

 

 The Lower Omo Valley: Peoples, Tribes and Market Days 

Safari tours in Ethiopia are a very popular and unique. You will experience and see things found nowhere else in the world. A tour to the lower Omo Valley usually begins from Addis Ababa and continues through the Great East African Rift Valley. You can have a stop at  each of the Ethiopian Rift Valley Lakes on your way to the Lower Omo tribal sites. Such as Lake Ziway, Langano, Abiyatta, Shalla, Hawassa, Abaya and Lake Chamo. Whilst on your tour, in addition to the safaris at  various tribal villages, you will also definitely have the chance  to explore the Nechsar National park, Omo National Park and the Mago National Park depending on your timetable. 

As there are  several villages to visit on your journey through Omo Valley, You should try to meet the market days  where you will most likely see many different tribes at one place. But your day to day program should be planned ahead of time in such a way that itinerary should coincide with the market days of each tribe’s village. 

When is the best time to travel to the lower Omo Valley? 

These days it is possible to plan a trip to the south of Ethiopia/Omo valley almost at any time of the year as the road conditions are improved. However; sometimes are better than the others. June to early October is believed to be the best time because it is harvesting time and many celebrations like the bull jumping and the stick fighting are taking place. 

 To explore and photograph these fascinating and the most extraordinary tribes in Africa  before  their indigenous but fragile cultures get displaced and disappear, We have put together an itinerary which brings travellers face to face with some of them and offers a  glimpse into a unique way of life. 

 

Tours with Safari Ethiopia Tours in Ethiopia 

Tour code: Sets 04 

Programs:  Tours to the south of Ethiopia, Omo Valley 

Duration: 11days /10 nights  

Transport:  Surface by land cruiser (4 by 4)  

Highlights

 

  • Nechsar and Mago National Parks
  • The Magnificent scenery and Landscapes
  • The Ethiopian Rift Valley Lakes  including boat excursion on lake Chamo
  • Local markets, authentic cultures and Tribal safaris to the  Omo Valley
  • Rock hewn churches of Addadi Mariam and the Tiya stele, world heritage site. 

Trip Outlines   

Day 1: Arrival.  Addis Ababa 

Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. Morning will be a free time to take rest in your hotel if your arrival time is in that morning. In the afternoon, make sightseeing tour of Addis Ababa that includes National Museum that  comprises of many archaeological and historical findings including the famous complete hominid fossil remain of ‘Lucy’ ; Mount Entoto, ethnological museum and Trinity Cathedral church. Hotel of your own choice. 

Day 2: Drive to Arbaminch Via Butajira. While on the way, sightseeing includes the Tiya stele dated back to the 12th century AD and the 13th century rock church of Addadi  Mariam. See the beautiful land and scenery, visit of the Dorze tribes and their villages, famous for huge bee hive huts. 

Day 3: Netch-Sar Park, Lake Abaya, and Chamo. In the morning sightseeing of the very beautiful Netch - Sar Park, ranked among the most scenic, most notable for its wildlife scenery and yet least visited. This  national park is among the most beautiful game reserves in Africa, encircling parts of Lakes Chamo and Abaya as well as the land 'Bridge of God' that lies between the two lakes. In the afternoon, have  boat trip on lake  Chamo to visit the ‘Crocodile basketing ’ where you can visit display of big African Crocodiles, hippos, and various low land water associated birds. 

Day 4: Drive to Jinka. Visit includes the Konso tribes and their villages who have an ancient, complex, and fascinating culture of their own. Sightseeing of the spectacular ‘Konso's New York' an extraordinary landscape of sand pinnacles formed by wind & rain. The other ethnic groups on the way are the Tsemay, Bana, and the Ari.  Expect to see the large and colorful Bana market in Keyafer if this day is Thursday. 

Day 5: Day Trip to Mursi Villages traversing the Mago National Park. After breakfast leave Jinka and drive to Mursi village to visit and appreciate the very extraordinary culture of Mursi tribe, they are renowned for the strange custom followed by the women who, on reaching maturity, have their lower lips slit and circular clay discs inserted. Whilst driving across the park expect to spot water bags, buffalo, gazelles, greater and lesser kudus, dik diks and so. Mago is rich in wildlife and their diversity. Eventually drive back to Jinka. 

Day 6: Drive to Turmi. In the morning you will drive in the direction to the town of the Hamar people, Turmi.  If this day is Saturday, you will have the chance to attend the Dimeka market of the Hamer and Bena people. Afternoon visit of the Hamar tribes and their villages as well as attend initiation ceremonies if there exist on this day. 

Day 7: Full day trip to Karo-Nyagatom- Omoratie  and back to the base camp, Turmi. After breakfast leave Turmi for Karo and Nyagtom  people and  eventually continue driving  to Omoratie the settlement of the Dasenech people who are known for their body scarifications. Overnight stay camping or at the lodge of your own choice in Turmi 

Day 8: Drive Turmi to Yabello. Visit en route includes the Arbore and Borena tribes and their villages. 

Day 9: Yabello. Day trip to Chew bet( Elsod) and to the singing well of Borena.Chew bet is a crater lake which is found after about 120 kms drive in the direction to the Kenyans boarders from the town of Yabello. This is going to be a trip accompanied by a picnic lunch as you may also stop on the way back so as to explore the singing wells of Borena. 

Day 10: Drive Yabello to Awassa.You pass through the interesting countryside, leaving the drier, acacia savanna for the lush and fertile areas around Yirgachafe where Ethiopia’s best coffee is grown.

Day 11: Drive Awassa to  Addis Ababa. In the morning you will be driving back to Addis Ababa after the sightseeing the so called in Amoragedel, the fish market at the lake shore of Awassa. Afterwards keep driving and enjoy the sightseeing on the crater lakes Hora and Bishoftu.  Evening fare well diners at one of the best National restaurant in Addis Ababa before your transfer out services. 

Day 12: Departure. Transfer to the airport.

 

Note: This itinerary could be shortened or could be prolonged upon request. It can be modified, rerouted, combined with other Ethiopian attractions like to one or to both of the following. The OMo Park, Suri people, the walled city of Harar, or  to the Bale Mountains National park in the manner that  suit travellers  interest, time, and budget.

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