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Explore Southern Ethiopia

Explore Southern Ethiopia

$9995 / per person
10 nights 11 days
18+ Age

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Our journey takes us into Southern Ethiopia and to the remote Omo Valley with its stunning variety of distinct tribal groups, each with adornments, costumes and customs that are a feast for photographers. As we drive through this region, languages, village communities and dress styles change dramatically and in rapid succession. Body painting, scarification and unique hair treatments are all part of the experience as is the stunning and varied landscape.

When on tour we will stay in the best available accommodation using lodges as the bases from which we venture out in different directions each day. Multiple nights in the same lodge allows us to settle in and explore each location in depth. This itinerary through the Southern Highlands and then the Omo Valley will bring you in contact with fascinating, timeless ways of life you may have thought to have disappeared long ago.


“Ethiopia is such a great country, beautiful place…you get there and it’s another world. It’s filled with art and music and poetry…“ – Flea (Red Hot Chilli Peppers)


As part of a small group, under the guidance of a passionate photographers, you are assured of being in the right place at the right time, to capture the multitude of sights and experiences you will encounter.


Your tour leader Clare Oliver with a Karo man.

2 Reviews
  • Departure/Return Location
    Jinka Hotel, Addis Ababa
  • Departure Time
    Please arrive by into Addis Abada by 13th March 2024 at 12:00pm
  • Return Time
    March 25th 2024
  • Dress Code
  • Included
    Internal Flights
    Tips and Gratuities
  • Not Included
    International Flights

Tour Plan

Day 1: Arrive in Addis Ababa

Arrive at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. A get-together and pre-tour briefing at our hotel will be a convivial and informative start to our adventure.

Accommodation: Ethiopian Skylight Hotel

Day 2: Addis Ababa - Jinka
After breakfast, we take a flight to the frontier town of Jinka, next to the Mago National Park. Our time in Jinka will be spent in the National Park visiting the eerily awesome Mursi people whose women proudly display scarification, headdresses of plumes, leather and bones, including enormous hippo teeth. Most remarkable are the large clay plates worn in the bottom lips of many women. The lip plates are worn by upper class women and were originally worn to discourage slave traders but were eventually seen by the Mursi as symbolic of beauty rather than disfigurement. Accommodation: Eco-Omo Lodge
Day 3: Jinka and Mago National Park
We take full advantage of the impressive location with its river- bed crossings, verdant hills distant mountains and remote pastoral scenes. The Mursi people live a harsh and rudimentary life in the bushland and counterbalance this with spectacular body adornments and displays. Your mentors, local guide and local tribal scout will all ensure the most rewarding interaction with these remarkably unique people. Accommodation: Eco-Omo Lodge
Day 4: Jinka - Turmi
Depart from Jinka and travel further south to Turmi, home of the Hamer people. On the way, we should visit one of the most colorful markets in South Omo which are attended by neighborhood Hamer, Benna, Karo, Tsemai and Ari tribes. In the evening, we have a good chance of attending the traditional night dancing of the Hamer people, known as Evangadi. The Hamer men decorate themselves with body scarring and hairstyles incorporating feathers and clay. The women cover their hair in animal fat, ochre and clay and their bodies with painted markings. Accommodation : Buska Lodge
Day 5: Karo People
Our day trip visits the people of the Karo tribe via the villages of Murulle, Kolcho and Dus on the shores of the Omo River. The Karo people are the smallest in number of all of the tribes of the Omo Valley, and they are known for their elaborate decorations, particularly during local ceremonies. It is possible to arrange private photography session with some of these people. Karo men place great importance on their physical appearance and carefully decorate their bodies in ochre and white paint. A well-maintained and cherished AK47 is also commonly carried by the men. The women favour beads in their hair, bracelets, necklaces and lip pins. Accommodation: Buska Lodge
Day 6: Hamer People
Today we will explore Turmi, a village of the Hamer people. The friendly Hamer people are well known for the remarkable body decoration and special hair style of the women. After having killed an enemy or wild animal the men are decorated with a clay-cap, painted in different colours and the feather of an ostrich. We should be able to witness a bull jumping ceremony at this time of year. Youths have to complete this rite of passage to officially become a man. It involves, in part, running naked across the backs of a line-up of bulls four times as tribal men assist in controlling the bulls and women cheer for the youth. Accommodation: Buska Lodge
Day 7: Dasennech tribe
We drive to Omorate and cross the Omo River by local boat to visit the Dasennech tribe (also known as Galeb tribe). These people are semi-nomadic with groups extending into neighboring Sudan and Kenya and their housing is very simple. The women insert a small iron plate into their lower lips. Young girls imitate this with a small leaf. Accommodation: Buska Lodge
Day 8: Arebore & Banna people
We drive to Konso to visit the Arebore people who are agriculturalists and practice flood-cultivation. They also enjoy hunting. When a man has killed a wild animal they have a big feast and the hero is decorated with clay-paint. The drive today will be picturesque through narrow valleys, remote hillside villages and along an expansive flood plain. Accommodation: Kanta Lodge
Day 9: Konso & Arba Minch
This morning we visit Konso Village. The Konso people are known for their totems erected in honor of the dead and their intricate agricultural terracing techniques. We then drive on to Arba Minch beside the Gughe Mountains home of the Dorze people who are known for their tall beehive-like elephant-faced huts their fine cotton weaving and polyphonic music. Our lodge for tonight is on a spectacular escarpment with stunning views of lakes and a land bridge. Accommodation: Paradise Lodge
Day 10:
In the morning, we will take a boat trip on Lake Chamo to visit the crocodile market and hippo pods. Along with wildlife we should see the local watercraft called ‘ambatchs’; a boat design which has existed since the times of Ancient Egypt.We will then be transferred to Arba Minch airport and fly back to Addis Ababa. Accommodation: Jupiter International Hotel
Day 11: Homeward bound
Today we transfer to Bole International Airport to say our goodbyes and departure for our flights home.

Tour Location

Tour Review Scores And Score Breakdown

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  • Roman Paolera
    9 March 2018

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    Overall Meals Accommodation Transport Destination Value for Money
  • Hart Coney
    9 March 2018

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