Day 1: Addis Ababa city tour
On your arrival, you will be welcomed by our staff, then transferred to your hotel. The name of the capital city of Ethiopia in Amharic (the national language of Ethiopia) means “New flower”. Addis, which was founded in 1886 by Menelik II, is located 2,500 metres above sea level in one of the highest parts of Entoto mountain chain (3,000 metres above sea level). It enjoys an excellent climate all year round, with an average temperature of 25ºC. Addis Ababa is a pleasant city with side avenues of jacaranda trees, interesting museums and one of the largest open-air markets in Africa, known as the “Merkato”. It also has a good number of restaurants, hotels and discotheques. A tour of the city will be provided upon request – depending on your energy levels after your long-haul flights!
Day 2: Drive to Arba Minch. (515 kms)
On the way to Arba Minch we will visit several different tribes, including the Gurage and Wolaita people. If we leave Addis early enough, we will have the chance to visit Dorze Village to see the Dorze people with their intricate huts and weavings and their way of living.
Day 3: Excursion to Lake Chamo
In the morning we will visit Nechisar National Park, a lush green environment of lakes and grasslands, teeming with wildlife. After lunch, we make a boat trip on Lake Chamo where we should see Nile crocodile, hippopotamus, fish and various bird species (greater and lesser flamingos, along with white-necked cormorants several species of herons, storks, spoonbills, African ducks, gulls and sterns) and check out what is fondly referred to as “the crocodile market”, a daily gathering spot on the banks of Lake Chamo where crocodiles seem to go to see and be seen. Later, we drive to Konso for the night.
Day 4: Visit Konso Village, then Drive to Jinka (276 kms)
In the morning, we visit the Konso people, traditional farmers who cultivate cotton and rear cows and goats. With ties to the land dating back more than 400 years, the traditions of the Konso tribe, including their ancient walled settlements and stone waga sculptures, have been recognized as a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site. We’ll enjoy a scenic picnic lunch and then learn about the tradition of carving and erecting stone waga statues to honor the deceased. Later in the day, we drive on to Jinka.
Day 5: Drive through Mago National Park and Mursi Village to Turmi. (115 kms)
Drive to Mursi Village through Mago National Park. The Park was established in 1979 in order to conserve the large numbers of plains animals in the area, particularly buffalo, giraffe, and elephant. Also seen here are topi and lelwel hartebeest, as well as lion, leopard, Burchell’s zebra, gerenuk, and greater and lesser kudu. The birds are also typical of the dry grassland habitat, featuring bustards, hornbills, weavers, and starlings. Kingfishers and herons feed in and around the Neri River, which provides an alternative habitat.
The Mursi people are well known for the large clay discs their women wear, inserted in their lower split lip. The Mursi women start cutting their lips between the ages of 12 and 16, and thereafter they put small wooden plugs into the hole, changing them every night for a bigger one to stretch the lip till it can hold a 6 inch (15cm) round clay disc. The Mursi men wear very little, although a cotton wrap is becoming more common now. From Mursi, we drive to Turmi.
Day 6: Hamar Village, then on to Awassa (511 kms) or Arba Minch (337 kms)
After a relaxed breakfast, we will visit Hamer Village. The Hamer people have a bull jumping ceremony which marks the transition of young boys into adulthood. During the ceremony, we will see the Hamer traditional dance called Evangadi. In the afternoon, we will drive to Awassa (or Arba Minch).
Day 7 (Option A): Visiting Lake Awassa
Today you will visit the scenic morning Fish Market in Awassa and have a boat trip on Lake Awassa.
Day 7 (Option B): Drive from Arba Minch to Awassa (175 kms)
Travel back to Awassa during the morning, and then enjoy a boat trip on Lake Awassa during the afternoon.
Day 8 Drive back to Addis Ababa.
After breakfast we start the drive back to Addis Ababa. On the way we will visit Lake Ziway, Lake Abijatta, and Shalla National Park, which is well known for bird species. On arrival in Addis Ababa, prepare for your departure.
End of the tour.