Arrive Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa, once clearing through Customs & Immigration, you
will be met at the exit gate for a transfer to your hotel. Addis
Ababa, the name of the city, in Amharic, means "new
flower". Founded in 1886 by Menelik II, it is located at 2,500 m
(8202 ft) above sea level in one of the highest parts of the
Entoto Mountain chain (3,000 m/9842 ft above sea level). Addis
Ababa is a pleasant city with wide avenues of jacaranda trees,
interesting museums and one of the largest open-air markets in
Africa, known as the "Mercato". Check in time starts
from 1400 hrs.
Addis Ababa / Hosanna
morning departure takes us south of Addis Ababa towards the
south Western side of the country. Our first stop is at Melka
Kunture, one of the most important Paleolithic sites in
Ethiopia. Along the Awash River where Melka Kunture is located,
have been found the fossils of hippopotamus, rhinoceros, and
elephants. Continue to the church of Adadi Mariam, the
southern-most rock hewn church in Ethiopia. Contemporaneous with
those of Lalibela (in fact local tradition says that it was
built by King Lalibela in 1106), the church was carved below
ground level and contains 24 windows surrounded by a wide, high
tunnel. It is still being used today. Our next stop is at Tiya,
classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, where we can see
the northernmost example of a peculiar type of engraved,
standing stone monoliths that stretch across parts of south
Ethiopia. Then we drive down the beautiful landscape and
picturesque Oromo and Gurage people rural village to reach our
today’s destination, Hosanna.
Overnight Hotel, Hosanna.
Hosanna / Arba Minch
Hosanna to Arba Minch: Passing though the wonderful panoramic
landscape of the Hadiya and Wolayita People. En route we will
visit the highland people of Dorze who live high in the
mountains. They are famous for their beehive-shaped bamboo
houses. They use ingenious terracing and have a unique
traditional life style with their colorful weaving products.
Afterwards we commence descending towards the lakes of the Rift
Valley. The Rift Valley is a deep fission that extends for over
6,000 km from the Middle East to Mozambique – testimony to the
(most recent) violent and massive shifting of the earth’s
tectonic plates. The rift contains a marvelous series of lakes,
which are teeming with fish and provide a habitat for hundreds
of species of birds. We travel along the side of Lake Abaya and
arrive at Arba Minch late afternoon.
Overnight Hotel, Arba Minch.
Morning boats ride
on Lake Chamo to see crocodiles, hippopotamus and some aquatic
birds and more Overnight hotel. Afternoon free to relax.
Arba Minch / Jinka
drive to Jinka. On the way, visit the Cushitic speaking Tsemay
people in the Weyto Valley (where we will have lunch) and the
Bena and Ari people. There is a big Thursday market in Key Afer
where you can see the Tsemay, Ari and Bena people.
Jinka – Mago National Park –Mursi village- Jinka
Today you will
experience the most famous and extraordinary people of Mursi.
The Mursi people are typically known for the clay lip plates the
women insert in their lower lips. This practice is regarded as a
sign of beauty among the Mursi – the bigger the plate, the more
beautiful the wearer. You will have a light picnic lunch on the
way overnight hotel.
Jinka – Turmi
Jinka to Turmi, the settlement of the Hamer people, via Key Afer.
If this day is Thursday you will visit one of the most colorful
multicultural weekly markets whereby the Tsemai, the Ari, and
the Benna people meet. Around Turmi, visit the Hamer
people whose women are famous for their typical skirts and
hairdressings. The Hamer people are also noted for their ‘Bull
Jumping’ Ceremony where boys jump lines of bulls to show the
community that they are old and matured enough to carry the
responsibility of marriage. Hamers have remarkable hairstyles
made from ochre, water, and binding resin. They rub the mixture
into their hair then twist the strands repeatedly to create
coppery-coloured locks. This is a sign of wealth and welfare.
Hamers are considered to be masters of body decoration.
Overnight Lodge Turmi.
Day 08: Turmi - Murulle – Turmi
Make an excursion
trip to Murulle to visit the Karo people who
are the fewest ethnic groups in the Omo Valley numbering only
about 1,500 individuals. The Karos are famous for tattooing,
scaring and body painting. They reside by the side of the Omo
River. Then, your guide will arrange you a typical Ethiopian
coffee ceremony at Turmi overnight Lodge.
Day 9: Turmi / Yebello
we depart the Lower Omo Valley. Our route today continues into
the savannah, running alongside the mountains of Men, and then
rises up into the Karkerte Mountains – providing splendid
panoramic views – Visit the Erbore people before we reach the
soft, terraced hills of Konso. The people of Konso are known for
their terraced agriculture and wooden totems commemorating their
ancestors. After lunch drive to Yabelo to see the Borena Oromo
people. For 500 years the Borena, Ethiopia’s semi-nomadic
pastoralists, have survived their harsh environment by
ingeniously sourcing water from wells that are up to 30 meters
deep. The dust kicks up as a long line of camels and cows wander
down a path dug below ground level, leading to a deep well. Men
stand on top of each other, forming a human chain down the well;
they toss buckets between each other on a precarious ladder,
gathering one of the world’s most precious resources – water.
There is a loud chorus of singing, which keeps the rhythm going;
the yellow buckets are lowered and raised at a mesmerizing pace
and the troughs are gradually filled at the mouth of the well.
Overnight Hotel -
Day 10: Yebello /
Yebello to Yirgalem , you will travel back crossing fertile land
planted with bananas, cereal and tobacco, and inhabited first by
the Oromo people and then by the Sidamo. visit the Sidama people
way of life, enjoy the evergreen place of the country, one of
the most known coffee plantation field ,Continue northward to
reach the lodge at mid afternoon. Nestled between coffee fields
and lush vegetation in Yirgalem town, the lodge is a peaceful
haven for those who seek relaxation and is also a welcome break
from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Overnight Lodge - Awassa
Day 11: Yirgalem / Addis Ababa
departure takes us to Lake Awasa. Set in a volcanic crater,
Awassa Lake is the smallest in the Ethiopian Rift Valley. Here,
we may view hippos, grivet monkeys, and colobus monkeys with
their wonderful white faces encircled by deep ebony crowns.
Birdwatchers will especially enjoy such avian wonders as the
silvery-cheeked hornbill, black-winged lovebird, and Abyssinian
black-headedoriole. The city of Awassa with its diverse ethnic
mix will be especially enjoyable as we walk through the daily
market where colorful villagers negotiate for fish. Visit the
Rift Valley Lakes of Abyata and Shala, part of a national park,
to view the rich concentration of brightly colored flamingoes.
Shala, the southern lake, fills a crater almost 1000 feet deep,
while nearby Abyata is a shallow pond – each creating its own
Overnight: Siyonat Hotel - Addis
Ababa (2 nights) (B, L, D)
Day 12: Addis Ababa
We spend the day
exploring Addis Ababa beginning with a visit to the National
Museum, one of the most important sub- Saharan museums in all of
Africa. The museum is home to the fossilized humanoid Lucy, as
well as an amazing collection of artifacts, royal items and art.
We then visit the Ethnological Museum, which was the former
palace of Haile Selassie. After lunch, we take time in St.
George Cathedral, built in 1896 by Emperor Menelik and then
continue on to Holy Trinity Cathedral. Holy Trinity Cathedral is
the largest Orthodox Church in Ethiopia and has survived through
many historical periods, as its interesting architecture can
attest to. The Cathedral contains the thrones and the tombs of
the emperor and some of the royal family. Visit Mercato, the
largest open air market in Africa. This evening we will enjoy a
farewell dinner in the best Ethiopian traditional restaurant
then you will be transferred to the airport for your departure
flight out and it will be end of the trip.