Astonishing South Omo Valley Tribes Tour 8 days

 
  • Private tour
  • Solo friendly
  • Family friendly
  • Eco Responsible

The charming costumes, colourful rituals and celebrations, arts, crafts, music, local market and dance of the Dorze, Konso, Ari, Benna, Hamer, Mursi, Karo, Geleb, Arbore and Borena people are special ones to name a few. In the Omo Valley region, many of the tribal groups have changed little over hundreds of years and they offer the visitor extraordinary insight into a variety of traditional cultures.


Day 1 Addis Ababa

Upon your arrival at Bole International Airport, you will collect your checked bags, clear customs and pass through the arrival hall where you will be met by our representative, who will assist you with your transfer to your hotel.

After a break in the afternoon, you will enjoy a half-day guided tour of the Ethnological Museum, with its artefacts and displays of the cultures and handicrafts of Ethiopia’s many ethnic groups. At the famous National Museum, with its cultural and archaeological relics, you will visit the famous “Lucy,” a 3.2 million-year-old female hominid who was discovered in Ethiopia’s Awash Valley in 1974.

The open-air market of Addis, the Marcato, is the largest on the continent, and you will take a drive through it. Time permitting: you may also visit Ba’ata Church, also known as Menelik’s Mausoleum, one of the oldest of the churches in Addis built-in 1911, and the Emperor house with beautiful paintings and the royal tombs of past emperors, including Emperor Haile Selassie.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Accommodation: Monarch Hotel

We will drive approximately 80 km including pick up in 7 hours

Day 2 Arba Minch - Dorze Village

Starting off from Addis Ababa early in the morning, you will be heading down south to Arba Mminch via Butajira and Hosaina.

At Tiya, you will have a brief stopover to visit the UNESCO registered Stele fields of Tiya. Further ahead, with a lunch break at Wolayita Sodo, you will get to Arba Minch arriving late afternoon.

Enroute, we ascend the Gughe Mountains to visit the Dorze people. After, about one hour, we travel to Ariba Minch at an altitude of 1400m and to the highland village of Dorze at 2600m enjoying beautiful views over Lake Abaya and Lake Chamo on the way.

Dorze people are known for their tall beehive-like houses & fine cotton weaving. We see the preparation of their staple food made of false banana - of course, we will try their food. Market days in Dorze village are Mondays and Thursdays and in Chencha on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

After the visit, we drive back to Arba Minch.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Accommodation: Mora Hight lodge

We will drive approximately 480 km in 7 hours

Day 3 Nechisar National Park - Boat Trip Lake Chamo

The very beautiful Nechisar Park is ranked among the most scenic, most notable for its wildlife and yet, it's the least visited. There is a sweeping view over the plains to the majestic volcanic hills on the eastern boundary. Lake Abaya the largest of the Rift Valley lakes and Lake Chamo are not to be missed spectacles. This 750 square km national park is among the most beautiful game reserves in Africa, encompassing parts of Lakes Chamo and Abaya, as well as the mountains 'Bridge of God' that lies between the two lakes.

After the boat trip, you will drive to Konso for overnight.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Accommodation: Mora Hight Lodge

We will drive approximately 110 km in 7 hours

Note: The roads within the park are sometimes impassable if there has been heavy rain. If this should happen, you’ll take a guided walking tour within the park instead.

Day 4 Konso - Turmi

Early in the morning, you will visit Konso tribal village - a World Heritage-listed site of cultural significance. Invariably built on hilltops as protection from the lowland tribes, traditional Konso villages are surrounded by high stonewalls and encompass separate compounds, with outlying terraced agricultural fields.

You will be fascinated by the unique architectural aspects, which remain largely unchanged cultural heritage and social cohesion of the village, and how it has adapted to its harsh environment. Another highlight is the famous 'wagas' - a funerary tradition where magnificent carved wooden sculptures were created in honour of Konso warrior heroes who have killed an enemy or animal and often grouped to represent the man, his wives and his adversaries. The Konso people are known for their totems erected in honour of the dead and their intricate agricultural terracing techniques.

You will visit the Konso people who have an ancient, complex, and fascinating culture of their own. Here are found human fossils dating from between 1.3 and 1.9 million years. Witness the spectacle of ‘Konso's New York' an extraordinary landscape of sand pinnacles formed by wind & rain. Konso people with their maze-like villages and terraces are well known for agriculture.

The cultural landscape of Konso is the youngest World Heritage Site of Ethiopia.

After the visit, you will drive to Turmi for overnight.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Accommodation: Turmi lodge

We will drive approximately 240 km in 7 hours

Note: If there is any ceremonial activity like traditional dance, Bull jumping ceremony you will be informed by your guide.

Day 5 Karo Tribes - Turmi - Hamar Tribe - Jinka

Early in the morning, after breakfast, we drive into a new tribal area. Here, our tribe of interest is the Karo, another tribe known for its elaborate body and facial paintings. These people live along the east bank of the Omo River and practice flood retreat cultivation, their main crops being maize, sorghum and beans. Unlike the other tribes, they keep only a small number of cattle due to the prevalence of tsetse flies.

Like many of the Omo Valley tribes, they paint their bodies and faces with white chalk to prepare for any ceremonies. The chalk is mixed with yellow rock, red iron ore and charcoal to make its requisite colour. Face masks are worn at times and they have clay hair buns adorned with feathers.

Late in the afternoon, you will drive back Turmi.

The Hamar is one of the most well-known tribes in Southern Ethiopia. They inhabit the territory east of the Omo River and have villages in both Turmi and Dimeka. They are especially well known for their unique rituals, including a cattle-leaping ceremony that the young men have to undergo in order to reach adulthood and to marry. They are a highly ‘superstitious’ people, and to this day they consider twins to be babies born outside of wedlock, while children whose upper milk teeth develop before their lower teeth are deemed to be ‘evil’ or ‘unclean’.

As mentioned, the young Hamar men are famous for their “Evangadi dance” and “Bull-jumping” ceremony (it is as part of this ceremony that the aforementioned whipping occurs). This ritual entails young men who wish to marry jumping over a line of bulls, thereby proving their worth to their intended bride’s family. It also signifies their advent into adulthood. This is a rarely seen event, however, with luck, we may hear of one on our Omo Valley tribe photography tour, and even be invited to attend this landmark event.

Then drive to Jinka on the way enjoy the interaction of different tribes with their way of life.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Accommodation: Jinka Resort

We will drive approximately 280 km in 6 hours

Day 6 Mursi Tribes - Key Afer - Konso

After breakfast, early in the morning, we will leave Jinka and drive to Mursi village to visit and appreciate the very attractive culture of Mursi tribe. They are renowned for the strange custom followed by their women who, on reaching maturity, have their lower lips slit and circular clay discs inserted.

Afterwards, you drive to Key Afer Tribal Market one of the best markets in the Omo Valley as at least four different tribes are coming to attend this weekly market. Take a walking tour of the market with a local guide and explore different sections of the market including animal, vegetable, cereals and much more. Then continue to drive back to Konso for overnight.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Accommodation: Mora Height Lodge

We will drive approximately 260 km in 8 hours

Day 7 Abijata-Shalla National Park - Hawassa

After breakfast, we will drive to Hawassa. Stop at the hot spring and visit to Abijata and Shalla National Park different varieties of birds and mammals. On the way, you will visit Abijaita-Shalla Lakes National Park to see many species of aquatic birds, particularly great white pelicans and greater and lesser flamingoes, Ostrich Farming, and also endemic mammals such Warthogs, Grand Gazelles and others which can be seen there.

NB: Abijatta-Shalla National Park is one of the National Parks of Ethiopia. Located 200 kilometres south of Addis Ababa, it contains the Rift Valley lakes of Abijatta and Shalla. The two lakes are separated by three kilometres of hilly land. Besides the two lakes, the primary attraction of this national park is a number of hot springs on the northeast corner of Lake Abijatta, and large numbers of flamingoes on the lake.

Meals: Lunch and dinner

Accommodation: Haile Resort Hotel

We will drive approximately 340 km

Day 8 Lake Hawassa - Shashemene - Addis Ababa

On the final day, we leave Hawassa, returning to Addis Ababa by road. Visit “Amora Gedel” - the daily fishing market on the shore of Lake Hawassa and get really close to pelicans, storks and other birds very much used to human company. On the way, we will stop to visit Ras Taferian village in Shashemene town. Shashemene is a town given to Ras Tefreian /Rasta/ community by His Majesty Haile Selassie I. After you see the Rasta community head to Wendo Genet Spa to swim on thermal bath and relax after a long visit in the Omo Valley tribes before heading to Addis Ababa.

In the evening we enjoy a traditional Ethiopian buffet dinner and local drinks, celebrating our journey through this culturally rich and fascinating country.

After dinner, you will be transferred to the hotel in Addis for your last night in Ethiopia. This evening you will be transferred to the international airport in Addis Ababa for your onward flight, bringing this unique Ethiopia tour to an end.

Meals: Lunch and dinner

Accommodation: -

We will drive approximately 280 km

* Please check prices for full list of inclusions and exclusions


Inclusions and exclusions

  • Accommodation
  • Cold drinks
  • Guiding in selected language
  • Pick up and drop off
  • Park/ museum entrance fees
  • Transportation in Toyota Land Cruiser 4WD
  • Meals mentioned in the itinerary
  • Taxes
  • Visas

Available in

English, French, German
(Amharic)


Available for

Infants, Children, Students, Adults, Seniors



Departure & Return

Start city: Addis Abba , Ethiopia

Pick up times available: 08:00

Pick up location: Bole International Airport

Ends at: Bole International Aiport

Nearest airport: Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD)



We are Eco Responsible:

  • Contributing to nature conservation or indigenous project(s)
    Contributing to nature conservation or indigenous project(s)
    A percentage of product income is contributing to local nature conservation or indigenous project(s)
  • Eco-friendly accommodation
    Eco-friendly accommodation
    Most of accommodation is provided in indigenous or local community or eco-lodge
  • Eco-friendly meals
    Eco-friendly meals
    Meal(s) in restaurant or snack(s) that is produced using locally sourced products, saving energy, recycling, biodegradable cleaning products, saving water resources etc.
  • Education & exploration
    Education & exploration
    The product is educational rather than entertainment focused - it respects and gives insight into local traditions and/or environment
  • Interaction with locals or nature
    Interaction with locals or nature
    The major part of the tour is spent on interacting with local communities, their representative(s) (other than guides) or observing the nature or animals without disturbing their natural habitat and environment
  • Licensed tour guide
  • Local or indigenous tour guide(s)

Cancellation policy

0% cancellation fee - 7 days or more before the travel date
50% cancellation fee - between 3-6 days before the travel date
100% cancellation fee - between 0-2 days before the travel date

Question and answer

There are no questions about the product. Be the first to ask a question.


from $1855 per person

* Minimum of 1 adults are required on this tour

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* Free cancellation until 7 days before departure


  • South Omo Valley Tribes
  • Hamer Tribe
  • Mursi Tribes
  • Konso
  • Omo Valley
  • Dorze
  • Benna Tribe
  • Ethnological Museum
  • Haile Selassie
  • Haile Selassie Home
  • Lucy
  • Menelik’s Mausoleum
  • National Museum
  • Ba’ata Church
  • Tiya Stelae
  • Lake Abaya
  • Lake Chamo
  • Nechisar National Park
  • Karo Tribe
  • Abijata-Shalla National Park
  • Abiata-Shalla
  • Jinka
  • Key Afer
  • Turmi
  • Shashemene
  • Thermal Pool
  • Wendo Genet Spa