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The Tribes of Ethiopia and the Rift Valley

14 days from £3680 per person

Located at the southern reaches of the Rift Valley, the Omo is an area renowned for the diversity of its peoples and the significant range of different cultures. This itinerary introduces the traveller to the people of this remote region, an ancient crossroads of trade routes which ultimately led to the migration, and subsequent settlement, of various ethnic groups. Starting in the capital Addis Ababa, the tour descends past the lakes of the lush Rift Valley to the Lower Omo Valley to meet the many different tribes.

Route: Addis Ababa – Lake Langano – Arba Minch – Jinka – Turmi – Omorate – Arba Minch – Wondo Genet – Addis Ababa

Itinerary Highlights

In the Ethiopian Highlands bordering on the Rift Valley, Addis Ababa is Ethiopia’s bustling capital. The National Museum features prehistoric fossils and arts and crafts.

Arba Minch (meaning Forty Springs) is the largest city in southern Ethiopia. Known for its fruits and fish farms, Arba Minch is the gateway to the tribal lands beyond.

Jinka is a market town in the hills of southern Ethiopia. It is the centre for many indigenous ethnic groups. The large market and modern local services attract local tribal visitors.

Itinerary: The Tribes of Ethiopia and the Rift Valley

Fly to Addis Ababa with Ethiopian Airlines. (N)
On arrival you will be met and transferred to your accommodation. The rest of the day is free to relax and acclimatise. (N)
Accommodation in Addis Ababa: Addis Regency Hotel (or similar)
Addis Ababa has a very laid back feel to it and the many Italian coffee shops and restaurants are a reminder of the city’s past. Today take a tour of the city, which will include the Archaeological Museum and Cathedral. The best-known exhibit in the museum is an accurate plaster cast of the remains of Lucy, a complete hominid skeleton dating back 3.5 million years. These remains were discovered in 1974, near a dried up lake near Hadar, in the far northeast of Ethiopia. The original remains are preserved in the basement. (B)
Accommodation in Addis Ababa: Addis Regency Hotel (or similar)
In the morning leave the city and drive south past the Rift Valley lakes of Abyata and Shalla, known for their prolific birdlife, to Bishangari Lodge at Lake Langano. In the afternoon enjoy the facilities of the lodge. (B)
Accommodation in Lake Langano: Bishangari Lodge (or similar)
Today drive on to Arba Minch, visiting en route the villages of the Dorze people, famous for their intricately woven bamboo huts and weaving of traditional clothes. Also enjoy a panoramic view of the twin lakes of Abaya and Chamo. (B)
Accommodation in Arba Minch: Paradise Lodge (or similar)
In the morning take a boat trip on Lake Chamo to see crocodiles and hippopotami. In the afternoon walk in the forest between Lake Chamo and Abaya to see the Forty Springs. (B)
Accommodation in Arba Minch: Paradise Lodge (or similar)
Continue the journey south to Jinka, visiting the distinctive tribes of Konso, Tsemay, Benna and Ari. (B)
Accommodation in Jinka: Jinka Resort Hotel (or similar)
Drive through the Mago National Park to visit the famous Mursi people, one of the most renowned tribes of the Omo Valley, the Mursi pierce their lower lip to put in circular or square clay shapes to make themselves more beautiful. (B)
Accommodation in Jinka: Jinka Resort Hotel (or similar)
In the morning continue south through the Rift Valley to Turmi. Visit the Hamer people. Thursday, Saturday and Monday are the market days of Keyafer, Dimeka and Turmi respectively where the people of the nearby regions gather in large numbers. (B)
Accommodation in Turmi: Buska Lodge (or similar)
Today drive to Omorate (Kelem). Cross the Omo River by dugout canoe to visit the Geleb people. Stay overnight at a campsite. (B)
Accommodation in Omorate: Tented accommodation
Return by car to Arba Minch. (B)
Accommodation in Arba Minch: Paradise Lodge (or similar)
Drive back through beautiful landscape to Wondo Genet, a resort town in forests near Lake Asawa. Bathe in the hot springs and walk in the forest. (B)
Accommodation in Wondo Genet: Wabe Shebelle Hotel (or similar)
Return to Addis Ababa. (B)
Accommodation in Addis Ababa: Addis Regency Hotel (or similar)
Transfer to the airport and fly back to London with Ethiopian Airlines. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Ethiopia Holiday Review

“This is just a note to thank you for organising a splendid holiday in Ethiopia. We had an excellent time and would recommend the driver, Johnny, as a safe and responsible driver/ guide who had the confidence to adapt the given programme as appropriate.”

SD - Ethiopia - March 2015

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Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

Please call us for more information or complete the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

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