HOME





TRAVEL BLOG
ABOUT US
ENQUIRE
BROCHURE
CONTACT US
PRIVACY & COOKIES
Although we are now working from home, if you are due to travel shortly we will be in touch to support and guide you in either postponing or cancelling your trip, based on Foreign Office advice and your insurance arrangements.
 
When you feel ready to do so, we are here to help you plan your next holiday, knowing availability in many key destinations is already tight for next year. To help you move forward with confidence, our booking conditions have been relaxed in case you are unable to travel due to COVID-19 issues beyond your control (eg a new wave of infections; visa restrictions; mandatory quarantine; or cancellation of your international flight).
 
Thank you for your ongoing kindness & support in these difficult times. And remember that all our holidays are fully financially protected, wherever in the world you live.

Warm regards

Claire Farley, Managing Director
Ethiopia Holidays Tours Omo Valley Lalibela Simien Bale Mountains Park

Tribes of the Omo Valley - small group tour


YYB10A
7 NIGHTS
FROM £2,295
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Cultural Tour Ethiopia Tribes Omo Valley Hamer Karo Turmi Jinka Arba Minch

This escorted cultural tour to Ethiopia visits the fascinating tribes of the remote Omo Valley in the south, travelling via Lake Langano to Arba Minch, where we visit the Dorze tribe & see Nile crocodiles in Lake Chamo. We continue to Turmi, the home of the Hamer tribe, where young men "jump the bulls" to prove their manhood & visit the Mursi & Karo tribes. One departure per month (min 2 / max 7).

Cultural Tour Ethiopia Tribes Omo Valley Hamer Karo Turmi Jinka Arba Minch
• 
Addis Adaba
• 
Lake Langano
• 
Arba Minch
• 
Dorze Village
• 
Lake Chamo
• 
Omo Valley Tribes
• 
Turmi & Jinka
• 
Hamer Tribe
• 
Karo Tribe
• 
Cultural Tour, Ethiopia
• 
Addis Adaba
• 
Lake Langano
• 
Arba Minch
• 
Dorze Village
• 
Lake Chamo
• 
Omo Valley Tribes
• 
Turmi & Jinka
• 
Hamer Tribe
• 
Karo Tribe
• 
Cultural Tour, Ethiopia
Day 1
You will be met at Addis Ababa Airport and transferred to your hotel in Ethiopia's capital city.
 
This beautiful high-altitude country was once ruled by the Queen of Sheba, with a fascinating and ancient history. With over 80 different languages and many different religions, its strong tribal traditions and festivals are world famous.
 
As Ethiopia is the birth place of coffee, do try to experience a typical Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony at some stage during your stay.
 
Note: On escorted group tours please note that for operational reasons it is sometimes necessary to substitute one hotel with another of similar quality.
Day 2
Today leave Addis Ababa with your guide and drive southwards for 3-hours, travelling through the beautiful Rift Valley with its chains of lakes - Lake Ziway, Lake Langano, Lake Abijatta and Lake Shala.
 
Along the way we stop to visit the rock-hewn church of Adadi Mariam that is believed to be the southernmost church founded by King Lalibela. We also stop at the pre-historic archeological site of Melka Kunture in the Awash River Valley, where many ancient stone tools and huge mammal fossils nearly 2-million years old have been discovered.
 
Our next stop is at the amazing Tiya Stelea - the remains of an ancient Ethiopian culture whose age has not yet been precisely determined. There are 36 monuments at this UNESCO World Heritage site, including 32 carved stone slabs covered with symbols that are difficult to decipher.
 
On arrival at Lake Langano relax and enjoy the wonderful views over the lake, with its prolific birdlife. You can hope to see birds such as the ugly Marabou stork, the Hamerkop, African jacana, Black crake, Great white pelican, Pink pelican, Black-winged stilt, Darter, African fish eagle, Goliath heron, Black crowned crane, Malachite kingfisher, flamingos and many other water birds. You can also swim in the lake.
Day 3
Today we leave Lake Langano and travel 3.5-hours through beautiful Rift Valley scenery to Arba Minch, the gateway to the tribes of the Omo Valley.
 
Along the way you will be introduced to the rural way of life, as we travel through the fertile land of the Wolayta and Alaba regions. The Alaba people are famous for their beautiful home painting style. We also visit Senkelle Wildlife Sanctuary, dedicated to the protection of the endemic Swain’s hartebeest.
 
We continue driving through these spectacular green hills to Arba Minch, whose name means 'Forty Springs'.
 
Note: You will be expected to pay a small fee to photograph local tribal people.
Day 4
This morning we travel 2-hours to Chencha, where the main occupation is subsistence farming and cotton weaving, to visit the Dorze Tribe.
 
Their tall beehive-shaped homes that resemble elephant faces are among the most distinctive traditional structures to be seen anywhere in Africa. Their shama cloth is regarded as the finest in Ethiopia and white gabbi robes and brightly coloured fabrics can be purchased along the roadside.
 
We drive back to Arba Minch for lunch. In the afternoon enjoy a boat ride on Lake Chamo, where you can see the Crocodile Market - the point at which the Kolfo River empties into the lake and a popular place for giant Nile crocodiles to sunbathe. Here fishing for Nile perch and many other species by locals on their traditional boats is by far the best in the country. You can also see many hippos and many waterbirds such as the African fish eagle, great white pelican and egret.
Day 5
Today we leave Arba Minch and travel 5-hours along a rough road to the market town of Jinka, located in the hills north of the Tama Plains, crossing the Weito Valley and visiting a Tsemay village and the Woito people living in the area around Woito River.
 
Along the way we stop at a Konso Village situated in an isolated region of basalt hills. All Konso villages are located on hilltops and organised like wood fortesses, with an entrance gate and series of alleys you need to pass through to gain entrance. This tribe is known for their intricately terraced hillsides, as well as making colourful hand-woven cotton cloth. They also sculpt wooden totem poles called "waka" to mark their graves.
 
On arrival check into your hotel in Jinka and absorb yourself in the culture of this region.
 
Note: You will be expected to pay a small fee to photograph local tribal people.
Day 6
Today we leave Jinka and drive 3-hours along a rough road to the market town of Turmi.
 
Along the way we stop at Mago National Park to visit the extraordinary Mursi people, known for the clay lip plates the women insert in their lower lips when they reach maturity. This practice is regarded as a sign of beauty among the Mursi – the bigger the plate, the more beautiful the wearer.
 
We continue to Turmi, which is the home of the cattle herding Hamer tribe. On market days tribesmen and women of all ages gathering under open blue skies to buy and sell goods and participate in traditional ‘evangadi’ (night dancing).
 
Note: On Saturdays and Tuesdays we will stop at the colourful weekly market of the Hamer and Benna people at Dimeka.
 
Day 7
This morning we drive 2-hours to Murulle to visit the Karo Tribe, travelling along rough tracks and passing through vast meadowlands covered with shrubs and umbellifers ('umbrella' acacia trees).
 
The Karo people are the smallest ethnic group in the Omo Valley and are experts in tatooing and body painting - using clay and vegetable pigments to paint fantastic patterns on each other's faces, chests, arms and legs. The scars are cut with a knife or razor blade and ash is rubbed in to produce a raised effect, with the scarification of a man's chest indicating that he has killed an enemy or a dangerous animal. These decorations are an elaborate process, ranging from fine detail to rough but striking paintings, traced with the palms or fingers. One of the most beautiful combines white (chalk), black (charcoal), yellow, ochre and red earth - often immitating the spotted plumage of a guinea fowl. Karo men also sculpt and shave their hair into extravagant shapes, with special grey and ochre clay hair buns that usually contain several ostrich feathers.
 
Afterwards we return to Turmi and experience the culture of the Hamer people, pastoralists who live on sheep-raising and agriculture. The Hamer women wear colourful leather skirts embellished with beads and shells, and are known for their distinctive red clay hairstyles ('gosca'). These remarkable hair decorations are created from ochre, water, and binding resin, which is rubbed into their hair then twisted repeatedly to create copper-coloured locks. From August to December, on certain days the 'Jumping of the Bulls' ceremony occurs – when young Hamer men have to prove they are ready to come-of-age and carry the responsibility of marriage.
Day 8
This morning we leave Turmi and drive 5-hours to Arba Minch Airport for your flight to Addis Ababa.
 
Here you will be met and transferred into the city for an included dinner at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant with local music, folk dancing and a variety of local food.
 
Afterwards transfer to Addis Ababa Airport for your flight home.
Contact us
Order a brochure
Feedback