North Historic, South Omo Valley Tribes And Danakil Depression 21 days

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

This tour combines the highlights of North historic route, Denakil Depression and South Omo Valley tribes of Ethiopia. The tour is ideal for travelers, who wish to combine three completely different parts of the country in one intense, yet very comfortable trip. You will be surprised and fascinated by this incredibly diverse journey.


Day 1 Addis - Mekelle - Afdera

Fly from Addis to Mekelle by the morning flight and drive to Afdera 220km - Danakil Depression can be said to 'begin' here. It is one of the most inhospitable regions of the world, but is nonetheless spectacular. Drive to Afdera via small village of Eribt. Afdera is one of the city in the Afar Region of Ethiopia. It is named after the saline Lake Afdera, located in the southern part of the Afar Depression. Swimming on the Salt Lake and enjoy the hot spring near the lake.

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: High-Roof Mid Van and Domestic Flight

Accommodation: Camping

Consultant Note

You will cover approximately 220km

Day 2 Afdera - Erta’ale

Afdera - Dodom 70km. Visit the salt mainers (local people are pumping the salt water and evaporating the water) near the lake, start let drive to Dodom (at the base of Erta Ale). Dodom is about 8.5km from Erta Ale and it takes about 3 hrs trekking. Early dinner around 17:00 and trek up to Ertale at 20:00 hours. Camels transport all the camping materials and some food (sleeping materials like light mattresses and water) to the rim of the volcano, where we spend the night watching the dramatic action of the boiling lava. Erta Ale ranks one of the most alluring and physically challenging natural attractions anywhere in Ethiopia. It is a shield volcano with a base diameter of 30 km and 1km square caldera at its summit. Erta’Ale contains the world’s only permanent lava lake. Erta’Ale is 613 meters high, with a lava lake one of the five in the world with two craters: north crater with native (sleepy) crater. It is notable for being the longest existing lava lake, and south crater is the most active with lava lake summit. Present since the early years of the twentieth century.

You will cover approximately 70km

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Camping on the top of the mountain

Day 3 Erta Ale - Hamadela

Wake up early for sunset and visit north crater. Descend from Erta Ale around 7:00am. Leave back to Dodom which you will reach the latest at 9:30am at the camp, after breakfast time to relax. At 10:30 drive to Hamad’ela 100km, picnic lunch on the way on shed of palm tree, reach Hamad Ela at 4:30pm, better village with a total population about 500 people.

You will cover approximately 170km

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Camping in Hamede’ela

Day 4 Hamad Ela - Dallol - Mekelle

Morning drive to Ragad (Asebo), the place where the localities are mining salt. 1,200 km2 (460 sq mi) the Afar Depression is covered by salt. Watch the activity of breaking the salt from the ground, local people are cutting in to rectangular pieces and loading on camels. You drive ahead to Dallol and visit the difference landscape formed by volcanic activity, Dallol + Lake Assal + salt canon, camel caravans, follow up camel caravans and drive back to Hamedela and proceed to Mekele.

You will cover approximately 140km

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Planet Hotel or Similar

Day 5 Mekelle - Hawzien

Morning drive to Hawzen to visit the rock churches of Gheralta cluster, on the way visit Abreha we Atsbeha and then proceed to Mariam Korkor. You will have time to have your lunch in the Gheralta Lodge. After lunch, drive 10 km to Abune Yemata around one hour walking then turn to climbing foot hold and hand hold chipped in to the sandstone rock, after few minute climbing visit Abune Yemata church.

You will cover approximately 145km

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Gheralta Lodge or Similar

Day 6 Hawzien - Axum

After having breakfast, drive to Axum. On the way visit monastery of Debre Damo (not allowed for women and accessible only by rope) and Yeha Temple. Lunch: takeaway. After lunch proceed to Axum and visit the stelas and St. Marry church and the grave of queen Shaba.

You will cover approximately 165km

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Sabean Hotel

Day 7 Axum

Full day visit of Axum, the cradle of Ethiopian culture & christianity and the first capital of Ethiopia until the 9th century A.D. On this day you will visit the small but rich archaeological museum, the famous stelae park, where the magnificent single block of stones erected since 3rd century, the Saint Mary of Zion Cathedral, where the original Holy Ark of the Covenant is still sheltered, however except one guardian (priest) no one is allowed to enter in to the sanctuary where the ark is stayed. Continuing your visit which includes the subterranean tomb of king Kalbe and his son king Gebremeskel, 6th Century AD, the trilingual inscription of king Ezana and finally visit the ruin palace and bath of Queen of Sheba who was the mother of king Menilik I of the 950 B.C.

You will cover approximately 70km

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Sabean Hotel or Similar

Day 8 Axum - Debark

The morning after breakfast we visit the rest of the sites in Axum and drive from Axum to Semien National park through Lima limo road and Tekeze Gorge, then continue driving to head office for the Semien National Park (Debark), after completing the facilities we proceed to Sankaber the gateway to the Semien Mountains National Park and the first campsite in the park. For the sake of altitude acclimatization, you can enjoy some light hiking in the afternoon, depending on your interest.

You will cover approximately 360km

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Ras Dashen Hotel or Similar

Day 9 Debark - Sankaber - Gich

Drive from Debarek to Sankaber and then trek from Sankaber to Gich. Our first trekking will be from Sankaber to Geech. The driver will drop you at a point and then we will have 4-6 hours walk. Along the way, you will experience the beautiful landscapes of the Semien Mountains, enjoy a packed lunch at one of the best viewpoints and most likely run into the endemic Gelada baboon. These red-chested baboons are pretty sociable so you will be able to get quite close to them.

You will cover approximately 70km

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Ras Dashen Hotel or Similar

Day 10 Debark - Gondar

On this day morning after having breakfast in the camp we will be driving to Debark and proceed to Gondar to reach lunchtime. In the afternoon visit Gondar (the Royal Enclosure). This 70,000-sq meter UNESCO World Heritage site was once the seat of Emperor Fasilides and his successors in the 16th and 17th century. The numerous castles and palaces that remain within the walls of the enclosure are a testament to the royal capital’s former splendor and visit Emperor Fasilides’ Bath. During the Timket festival, the pool is filled with blessed water and devotees are invited to swim and frolic in the pool in a ceremonial replication of Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River. Finally visit the church of Debre Birhan Selassie, famous for its religious art and especially its iconic ceiling depicting angels. Dinner at the cultural restaurant of Gondar.

You will cover approximately 70km

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Goha Hotel or Similar

Day 11 Gondar - Bahir Dar

Drive 185km from Gondar to Bahir Dar and start visiting when you reach Bahir Dar. After check in to the hotel, we will have a boat tour on Lake Tana to explore the hidden monasteries on the islands and shores of this sacred lake. We will visit the monasteries of Azuwa Maryam and Ura Kidane Mihret on the Zege Peninsula and before the tour ends we will have time at the out late of the Blue Nile River.

You will cover approximately 70km

Meal: Breakfast, lunch in your hotel and dinner at cultural restaurant

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Camping on the top of the mountain

Day 12 Bahir Dar - Woreta - Lalibela

In the morning, proceed driving to Lalibela via Woreta, passing through Amhara state. On the way visit Awra Amba village. Awra Amba community are famous in their work activity. Any member, whatever the type of task or knowledge they perform, the share distribution among them is equal. They believe any member of the community should be treated fairly (denying the difference of knowledge, skill & task hardship) & get their support until death. When a member dies, only two people bury the dead body. No one cries for the dead but go working!! The founder of the community is called Zumra, an old man, still alive!! You will also have stunning views of the Guna Mountains as you travel through this dramatic landscape. Mount Guna is the source of Gumara, Rib, and other rivers which flow down to form the Lake Tana catchment, one of Africa's most unique wetland ecosystems and the source of 50% of Ethiopia's freshwater. The Lake Tana catchment is the source of the Blue Nile River, which, after joining with the White Nile in Khartoum, flows through Sudan to Egypt. This makes Mt. Guna an area of significant international importance. Millions of local communities directly depend on the catchment and its resources for their livelihoods. Continue to Debre Tabor - Gashena - Lalibela.

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Maribela hotel or Similar

Day 13 Lalibela

After breakfast you will visit the magnificent first group rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. In this first group of six churches lies in rock cradles, one behind the other: Bete Golgotha, Bete Mikeal, Bete Mariam, Bete Maskel, Bete Dangal, and Bete Medhanealem. This group of churches is located to the symbolizing south of the river Jordan. The rock-hewn church of Lalibela is one of the registered UNESCO World Heritage sites of Ethiopia. This group of monolithic and semi-monolithic structures was carved directly into the stone of the mountainside at least 800 years ago. Both the complexes boast the largest monolithic church in the world, a maze of passageways and tunnels, intricately carved reliefs, and fabulous examples of icon paintings. After the visit, you will stop for lunch and, in the afternoon, we will continue to visit the second group of four churches located on the symbolizing south of the river Jordan. This group comprises Bete Emanuel, Bete Merkorios, Bete Aba Libanos, Bete Gabriel and Rufael and possibly the most elegant of all the Lalibela churches Bete Giyorgis which lies somewhat isolated on a slopping rock terrace and can only be reached through a tunnel.

You will cover approximately 70km

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Maribela hotel or Similar

Day 14 Lalibela - Addis Ababa - Langano

You will take a morning flight to Addis Ababa. Depends on your arrival time you will drive to Lake Langano. If time permits you will visit the rock-hewn church of Adadi Mariam that is believed to be the south most church founded by King Lalibela, the prehistoric archeological site of Melka Kunture, and the stelea field of Tiya (UNESCO World Heritage Site). At Lake Langano enjoy swimming and bird watching around.

You will cover approximately 240km

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Sabana Beach resort or Similar

Day 15 Langano - Arba Minch

Early in the morning after breakfast you will start your journey to Arbaminch. You will pass through the fertile land of Wolayta and Alaba regions. The Alaba people are very famous for their beautiful home painting style. And on the way visit Sinkile Wildlife Sanctuary, here you will see the endemic Swain’s heart best and other mammals. In route we ascend into the Gughe Mountains to visit the Dorze people. In about one hour left we travel to Arbaminch at an altitude of 1400 m to the highland village of Dorze at 2600 m enjoying beautiful views over Lake Abaya and Lake Chamo on the way. Dorze people are known for their tall beehive-like houses, their fine cotton weaving. Watch them preparing of their staple food made of false banana of course we try their food. Market days in Dorze village are Mondays and Thursdays and in Chencha on Tuesdays and Saturdays. After we visit drive back to Arbaminch.

You will cover approximately 320km

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Paradise Lodge or Similar

Day 16 Arbaminch - Turmi

Early in the morning drive to the shore of the lake to have a boat trip on Lake Chamo. Boat trip on Lake Chamo is along the best anywhere in Ethiopia. One can spot many Hippos and the world's most spectacular concentrations of Giant Nile Crocodiles which measure about 6 meter with the water birds are great the scenery is truly unforgettable then further drive to Turmi. On the way stop at KONSO to visit the Konso tribe with their king- UNESCO registered site for their extensive terracing and practice of making a wooden grave mark for their hero and kings. 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, 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 honor of Konso warrior heroes who have killed an enemy or animal, and often grouped to represent the man, his wives and his adversaries.

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.

The cultural landscape of Konso is the youngest World Heritage Site of Ethiopia. Continue drive late afternoon arrival to Turmi.

You will cover approximately 260km

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Buska Loge or Similar

Day 17 Turmi - Dassench Tribe - Hamar Tribe

These day early in the morning after breakfast drive 73 km west to visit the Dassench/Geleb people who inhabit a bank of Omo River and we cross the Omo River by locally made boat to see the village. These tribes are semi nomadic with very little agriculture on the bank of the Omo River. In the afternoon you will drive back to Turmi and have a visit of Hamer village nearby.

The Hamar is one of the most well-known tribes in Southern Ethiopia. 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). Young men who wish to marry need to jump over a line of bulls, thereby proving he's worth to their intended bride’s family. It also signifies his advent into adulthood. This is a rarely seen event however, with luck, we may hear of one on our Omo Valley tribe tour, and even be invited to attend this landmark event. Afterwards, return to Turmi (Monday is market day) for a visit to a local Hamer village.

You will cover approximately 170km

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Buska Lodge or Similar

Day 18 Turmi - 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 color. Face masks are worn at times and they have clay hair buns adorned with feathers. Then you will drive to JINKA on the way visit the tribal market at Key Afer - one of the best market in the Omo Valley since at least four different tribes are coming to attend it. 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. You will walk around the market and explore different section of the market including animal, vegetable, cereals and much more. Late afternoon arrival Jinka.

You will cover approximately 210km

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Eco Omo Tour

Day 19 Mursi - Jinka

In the morning, drive through the Mago National Park to a local village of the Mursi tribe and to visit and appreciate the very attractive culture of its memebrs. 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. In the afternoon, after returning to Jinka, you can visit 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.

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Eco Omo Resort

Day 20 Jinka - Arbaminch

After breakfast, depart from Jinka to Arbaminch via Key Afar and Konso. 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 (market days are Mondays and Thursdays). You will stop for lunch at Aribaminch. After lunch you will continue and drive to Hawassa. On the way visit more tribes like Alaba through the Great Rift Valley passing interesting villages and settlements and after lunch arrival to the resort. Arrival at Hawassa, a lively town set on the shores of Lake Hawassa. Lake Hawassa is the south most lake of the Rift Valley lakes.

You will cover approximately 380km

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: Haile resort or Similar

Day 21 Addis Ababa

In the morning, you will be going to Amora Gedel where you will be able to see the local fish market where a variety of birdlife is also to be seen. Mid-morning, you will proceed to Addis Ababa via Shashamane and Ziway with stops at Rift Valley lakes for its scenic attraction and further on at the Crater Lake region of Debrezeit. In the evening we will invite you for a farewell dinner party in one of the traditional Ethiopian restaurants with the traditional music and dances from the different ethnic groups, then you will be transferred to Bole International Airport to fly back home.

You will cover approximately 270km

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transportation: Land Cruiser 4X4

Accommodation: -

* Please check prices for full list of inclusions and exclusions


Inclusions and exclusions

  • Accommodation
  • Cold drinks
  • Guiding in selected language
  • Meals (full board)
  • Pick up and drop off
  • Transportation as per itinerary
  • Park/ museum entrance fees
  • Taxes
  • Domestic flight
  • Visas
  • Any price which is not listed in the inclusion section

Available in

English, French, German
(Amharic)


Available for

Infants, Children, Students, Adults, Seniors



Departure & Return

Start city: Addis Ababa , Ethiopia

Pick up times available: 08:00

Pick up location: Bole International Airport

Ends at: Bole International Airport

Nearest airport: Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD)



We are Eco Responsible:

  • 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 $3855 per person

* Minimum of 1 adults are required on this tour

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* Free cancellation until 7 days before departure


  • Glada Baboon
  • Denakil Depression
  • South Omo Valley Tribes
  • Gelada Baboon
  • Danakil
  • Danakil Depression
  • South Omo Valley
  • Lake Afdera
  • Hot Springs
  • Erta Ale Volcano
  • Omo Valley
  • Dodom
  • Trekking
  • Hamedila
  • Dallol
  • Gheralta
  • Mariam Korkor
  • Abune Yemata
  • Debre Damo
  • Temple of Yeha
  • Axum
  • Saint Mary of Zion Cathedral
  • Holy Ark of the Covenant
  • Tekeze River Gorge
  • Simien Mountains
  • Lake Chamo
  • Turmi
  • Konso
  • Konso village
  • Hamer Tribe
  • Dasenech
  • Jinka
  • Hamer Bull Jumping
  • Tiya Stelae
  • Shashemene
  • Debrezeit
  • Ari Tribe