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Tour 35 : Lower Omo Valley and the Rift Valley Lakes

Duration: 12 days

Highlights : Nechsar and Mago National Parks, magnificent wild scenery, the Ethiopian Rift Valley lakes including boat excursion on lake Chamo, local markets, authentic cultures and tribal settlements along the Omo Valley, rock hewn churches of Addadi Mariam and the Tiya Stele, a world heritage site. Transport by Landcruiser (4×4).

Day 1: Arrival in 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 from the 12th century AD and the 13th century rock hewn church of Addadi Mariam. See the beautiful land and scenery, visit of the Dorze tribes and their villages, famous for their huge, bee hive shaped, bamboo plainted 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 they are held 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 from 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 Kenyan boarder 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 to explore the singing wells of Borena. 

Day 10: Drive from 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 from Awassa to Addis.

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 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 suits traveller’s interest, time, and budget.

NB. All the hotels mentioned in the itinerary are subject to change depending on rooms availability and requests of clients.

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