16 DAYS OF COMBINATION TOUR OF HISTORICAL ROUTES OF NORTH AND TRIBES OF OMO VALLEY SOUTH
Day 1: Arrival in Addis Ababa at Bole International Air port
Meet and greet Network Travel and Tour Agency representative at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, and transferred to the hotel. Overnight stay in Reliance Hotel Apartment.
Day 2: City tour in Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the third highest capital of the world on an altitude of 2300-2500 m. with a pleasant climate and a background of green with eucalyptus trees covered mountains. The city is founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II and Queen Taitu.
Visit Entoto Mountains, with very nice view over the capital, the National/Ethnographic museum, St George church and the Merkato, biggest open air market in Africa. Overnight stay in Reliance Hotel Apartment.
Day 3: Fly to Bahir dar and transfer hotel for check-in
Make a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit the medieval period island monasteries such as; Kibran Gabriel (only for men), Entos and on the Zegien peninsula visit Ura Kidan Mehiret, Azuwa Mariam, Mahal Giorgis. You will have lunch in Bahir Dar.
After lunch and a brief break drive to Tis Isat (smoking of Fire); since a dam has been built upstream, the waterfall is reduced a little. Also the walk to the waterfall is nice and you can enjoy nature and watch birds. Overnight stay in Kuriftu Resort and Spa or Avanti Blue Nile Resort.
Day 4: Drive to Gonder and City tour in Gondar
An early morning drive after breakfast will take you to Gonder. Upon arrival in Gonder check in to the hotel and visit the Royal Enclosure that is surrounded by high stone walls containing the 17th century palaces of King Fassiladas, Castle & Bath.
Continue your visit the rectangular Debre Brehan Selassie (Trinity at the Mount of Light) has a ceilings decorated with beautiful winged Angels, and its walls with impressive scene depicting biblical events, including; St. May, the Saints, martyrs and the life of Christ.
Depending on the time you can visit also Kweskwam Complex which is a royal compound built by the Empress Mentewab. Inside the palace look out the figures of crosses and Ethiopian characters and animals, such as St Samuel riding his lion. Overnight stay in Mintwabe Lodge.
Day 5: Flight to Lalibela
Lalibela and its rock-hewn church are thought, to date the 12th and 13th century during King Lalibela reign. The churches are remarkable since they are entirely freed from the rock, refined and concentrated in small land.
Start to visit the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela which are clustered in to three different places separated by River Jordan. Today visit the first and the third groups of churches. Overnight stay in Panoramic or Mountain View Hotel.
Day 6: Continue sightseeing around and in Lalibela
Make excursion to visit Asheton Mariam by mule or drive to 45km gravel road North of Lalibela to visit Yemrehan Christos church. In afternoon continue to visit the second groups of churches. Overnight stay in Panoramic or Mountain View Hotel.
Day 7: Fly to Addis and drive to Awassa via the Great Rift Valley
Arrival in Addis Ababa approximately at 11:30AM and after have a lunch drive to Awassa en route you will make a stop on Awash River and Lake Ziway to visit aquatic birds. Lake Ziway, the shallowest lake in the rift valley chain of lakes which depth 7m. Its extensive aquatic vegetation attracts a variety of water birds. Commonly seen and easily identified are; Saddle-billed stork, greater jacana, African fish eagle, darter, herons, darters and Wood hoope
In Awassa you can also walk around the ditch to for nice sunset and aquatic birds. Overnight stay in Lewi or Haile Resort.
Day 8: Drive to Dorze via Wolayta people
En route visit the Wolyita villages. The Wolayta belong to the vast Omotic language group. The Wolayta are good farmers cultivate most of the cereal crops as well as cotton and Inset (False Banana) and tobacco. Their huts are large and beehive-shaped built in the midst of gardens, with one or more ostrich eggs perched atop of the roof as fertility symbols. They are also well known for their music and dance, which is the original African tone. Overnight stay in Paradise or Swaynes lodge.
Day 9: Make a boat trip to L. Chamo and in afternoon drive to Dorze
Make a boat trip on Lake Chamo where the longest and fattest crocodiles of Africa take a sunbath on the shores. Hippo’s hide themselves under the water and you will also see a good range of birds including; weavers, sunbirds, waxbills and colonies of pelicans.
Having a lunch drive to Dorze, the road slowly ascends to the top, where it gives you a panoramic view to the Lake Abaya and Lake Chamo then visit the Dorze village. The Dorze are famous for constructing distinguished beehive shaped huts, terrace cultivation and the best weaving work of Ethiopia. Overnight stay in Paradise or Swaynes Lodge.
Day 10: Drive to Jinka via Key afar
Passing the terraced mountains of Konso with magnificent views into Weyto valley you drive to Jinka, if you the day is Thursday you will have the opportunities to visit the Key afar market, which gather; the Hammer, Benna, Ari and Tsmay tribes. Depending on your arrival you can visit also the Ethnographic museum of Jinka. Overnight stay in Jinka Resort or Jinka Eco-omo Lodge.
Day 11: Excursion to visit the Mursi village via Mago National Park
To visit the Mursi you cross a part of the Mago NP on a track through the bush where many Dikdiks (small antelopes) and gazelle can be seen on the savanna plains.
The Mursi are well known for the big clay plates the women bear in their lower lip and ear. The origin of this tradition is not known but the Mursi themselves consider it as something that makes them distinguish from the surrounding tribes and to make the women unattractive for slave-market. But nowadays it is considered as a sign of beauty and wealth. Overnight stay in Jinka Resort or Jinka Eco-omo Lodge.
Day 12: Drive to Turmi via Key afar-Dimeka
Drive to Turmi a small town of Hammer people. Visit the Hammer village. They are well-known for their Bull-Jumping ceremony and Evangadi dance. The Bull-Jumping occur when young boys reach the age of marriage he have to jump three times over the backs of a long row of bulls without falling. If this succeeds they have passed to adulthood from childhood. Overnight stay in Buska or Turmi Lodge.
Day 13: Excursion to Omorate (Dassench/Gleb) village
Today you drive through the wilderness of the Omo valley to the Dassanech (or Galeb) who are living on the other side of the Omo River. To reach their village you cross the river in a canoe which is made of a hollow tree. Overnight stay in Buska or Turmi Lodge.
Day 14: Excursion to Murille to visit the Karo villages
Drive to Murille to visit the Karo village Kolcho. The Karo people are thought to be one of the most endangered groups of the omo valley people. Overnight stay in Buska or Turmi Lodge.
Day 15: Drive to Arba Minch
An early morning drive after breakfast will take you to Arba Minch. You will have lunch in Konso. You will arrive in Arba Minch late in the afternoon. Overnight stay in Paradise Lodge or Swaynes lodge.
Day 16: Drive back to Addis Ababa via Tiya and Melka-Kuntare
On your way back to Addis Ababa via an alternative route through Ziway-Butajira, the green and fertile are of the Gurage people you can visit UNESCO registered the 600 – 800 years old Tiya stelae field and the interesting Melka-Kunture archeological site where thousands of Stone Age tools are found. There is also a small but interesting museum. Late in the afternoon have a farewell dinner then check-in for flight back home.