January 4 to January 18, 2020
The Northern Historial Rt. & The Tribes of the Omo Valley
Day 1 – The tribes of the Omo Valley tour:
The tour to The Notrhern Historical Route & The tribes of the Omo Valley tour starts in Bahir Dar.
Early in the morning, depart on an early flight for Bahir Dar. After arrival, take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit a selection of the monasteries hidden on the islands and shores of this sacred lake. Visit the Zege Penninsula and the monasteries of Azuwa Maryam and Ura Kidane Mehret and the island monastery of Debre Maryam near the outlet of the Blue Nile River. In the afternoon, drive out to the Blue Nile Falls for a short hike in the area. Finish the day with the sunset over the lake. Overnight in Bahir Dar. (hotel)
Day 2 – The tribes of the Omo Valley tour:
The charm of Gondar
After breakfast, continue north to Gondar. The four hour drive will take you through rural villages, offering wonderful insight into the Amhara culture. After briefly settling in your hotel, explore the sites of Gondar, including a visit to the Royal Enclosure, with six castles and several other buildings. Additionally, visit Fasilida’s Pool, still used for Timket celebrations today. Ras Gimb Palace Museum and the Debre Birhan Selassie church, with the most famous ceiling in Ethiopia. Overnight in Gondar. (hotel)
Day 3 – The tribes of the Omo Valley tour:
A full day visiting the sites of Axum
Early morning flight to Axum. Upon arrival to Axum, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Today will be a full day visiting the sites of Axum, including the famous obelisks (one that was recently erected after being returned from Italy) and the archeological museum, the Queen of Sheba’s Bath (which supplies water to Axum year-round,) Ezana’s enscription, King Kaleb’s tomb, King Bazen’s tomb, and the Queen of Sheba’s Palace. You can also visit the St. Mary of Zion church, where the Ark of the Covenant is kept. Men only are allowed to enter the old church. Unfortunately, no one (except one specially chosen guardian monk) is allowed to enter the chapel where the Ark is kept. Overnight in Axum (hotel)
Day 4 – The tribes of the Omo Valley tour:
Lalibela, the most famous of all the historical sites of Ethiopia
Depart on an early morning flight to Lalibela, the most famous of all the Ethiopian historical sites. After lunch, start your tour of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, visiting the Northwestern Cluster of churches – Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel, Bet Mikael, and Bet Golgotha (entry not permitted for women.) Overnight in Lalibela (hotel)
Day 5 – The tribes of the Omo Valley tour:
Yimrehanne Kristos. The most popular of the churches outside of Lalibela
In the morning, take a trip to vist the church of Yimrehanne Kristos. The most popular of the churches outside of Lalibela, this church is built with layers of wood and granite, set in the entrance to a large cavern, After the visit, return to Lalibela for lunch and in the afternoon, visit the Southeastern Cluster of churches – Bet Gabriel-Rufael, Bet Merkorios, Bet Amanual, and Bet Abba Libanos. Finally, you will visit the most famous of all the churches – Bet Giyorgis, constructed in honor of the patron saign of Ethiopia – Saint George. Overnight in Lalibela (hotel)
Day 6 – The tribes of the Omo Valley tour: Passing through Ziway Lake
In the morning, proceed to the airport for the return flight back to Addis Ababa. After arrival, depart south from Addis Ababa to Awassa. On the way, you will stop at Lake Ziway to visit the vibrant birdlife. Overnight in Awassa. (hotel)
Day 7 – The tribes of the Omo Valley tour: Visiting Dorze, located in the highlands above Arba Minch
In the morning after breakfast, visit the fish market on the shores of Lake Awassa and then proceed driving to Dorze, set in the highlands above Arba Minch. The Dorze people are known for their tall beehive-like houses and their fine cotton weaving. You will visit the village and learn about the daily lives of these industrious people. If today is market day (in Dorze village on Monday and Thursday and in nearby Chencha on Tuesday and Saturday), that will be visited. Overnight in Dorze in traditional Dorze hut (shared toilet facilities) or continue to Arba Minch for overnight (camping, hotel or lodge)
Day 8 – The tribes of the Omo Valley tour: Boat trip on Lake Chamo
In the morning, visit the local market in Dorze (Monday and Thursday) or Chencha (Tuesday and Saturday.) Afterwards, continue driving to Arba Minch. In the afternoon, take a boat trip on Lake Chamo to see crocodiles and the local hippos. Overnight in Arba Minch (camping, hotel or lodge)
Day 9 – The tribes of the Omo Valley tour: Arba Minch to Turmi.
After breakfast, depart from Arba Minch to Turmi. On the way you will go through the village of Weyto (market day Saturday) which is home to the Tsemai tribe. Continue through the Weyto Valley to Arbore, where you will have a brief visit to a local Arbore village (market day is Saturday.) Finally, proceed to Turmi, home of the Hamer tribe, known as Evangadi. Overnight in Turmi (camping, hotel or lodge)
Day 10 – The tribes of the Omo Valley tour: Omorate day trip
In the morning, take a day trip to Omorate to visit the Dassanach tribe. Here you will cross the Omo River by local boat and enter a Dassanach village. Afterwards, return to Turmi (Monday is market day) for a visit to a local Hamer tribe. If there is a Jumping of the Bulls, a traditional Hamer coming-of-age ceremony, that will be visited. Overnight in Turmi (camping, basic hotel or lodge)
Day 11 – The tribes of the Omo Valley tour: Dimeka, one of the most colorful markets in the area
Depart for Jinka, via Dimeka and Key Afar. Tuesdays and Saturdays are market days in Dimeka, which is one of the most colorful markets in the area and is visited by many tribes, including Hamer, Benna and Karo. Afterwards, continue to Jinka. Overnight in Jinka (camping, hotel or lodge)
Day 12 – The tribes of the Omo Valley tour: From the Mago National Park to a local village of the Mursi tribe
In the morning, drive through Mago National Park to a local village of the Mursi tribe. The Mursi are known for their lower lip and earlobe plates. In the afternoon, after returning to Jinka, you can vist the South Omo Museum & Research Center to learn more about the local tribes. Alternatively, take a hike in the surrounding hills to visit a local Ari village. Overnight in Jinka (camping, hotel or lodge.
Day 13 – The tribes of the Omo Valley tour: Market day in Key Afar
After breakfast, depart from Jinka to Konso, via Key Afar. Thursday is market day in Key Afar, where you will see the Benna and Tsemai tribes trading goods. This is another very popular market in the region. After the visit, proceed to Konso. The Konso people are known for their wooden statues, known as wakas, which are erected in honor of dead heroes as well as their innovative agricultural terracing. Today you will have the opportunity to visit a local village and cultural museum displaying many waka statues. Time permitting, you can also visit the “natural New York Village,” named after the tall sand formations resembling skyscrapers. Overnight in Konso (camping, hotel or lodge)
Day 14 – The tribes of the Omo Valley tour: Senkele Wildlife Sanctuary
After breakfast, depart from Konso to Lake Langano. On the way you will visit the Senkele Wildlife Sanctuary, which was established to protect the endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest. Continue to Lake Langano for overnight (camping or lodge)
Day 15 – The tribes of the Omo Valley tour: Abiatta-Shala National Park.
After a morning swim in the lake, depart north to Addis Ababa. On the way, you may visit the Abiatta-Shala National Park. Lake Shala, with its deep blue waters is the deepest lake in Ethiopia at 236km. Lake Abiatta is a soda lake at which thousands of flamingos can be seen at various times of the year.
SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT LIST:
It is recommended that participants bring a digital SLR camera and laptop computer. A complete list of optional equipment will be sent at registration.
WHAT IS INCLUDED:
• Photography Instructor Fee
• Accommodation on full board as per the itinerary x 14 nights based on Double Occupancy rooms.
• Airport Transfers and ground transportation by Private AC minivan.
• Entries to the cultural villages as per the itinerary
• Expert English speaking local guide
• All meals on itinerary days
• Cold bottled mineral water
• Dinner on final day as per the itinerary
• All admission fees to sites on the itinerary
• AMREF Flying Doctors cover while on tour; evacuation insurance to an Addis Ababa hospital (transportation only, the cost of hospitalization is not included)
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:
• International flights to and from Ethiopia
• Overnight accommodation in Addis Ababa on the last day
• Personal Travel Insurance: we strongly recommend you purchase Travel, Medical and Cancellation Insurance.
• Alcoholic beverages
• Gratuities for the guides, staff at accommodations, and airport transfers
• Personal expenses, such as curios, telephone calls, internet and laundry
• Meals and accommodations before and after the tour dates
• Visa and Passport fees
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
A nonrefundable deposit of $2900 per person is required at time of booking. We recommend you reserve your spot as soon as possible. You can pay your deposit by Bank Wire Transfer. Bank details will be provided upon registration. The tour will be confirmed 8 weeks prior. Please do not make any travel arrangements to Kenya before we have confirmed the tour. Full payment is due when the tour is confirmed.
Please send us an email at email@example.com with your first and last name, your phone, which tour you are registering for, along with any additional information that you would like us to know.