Rondreis Omo Valley - Active Group Tour South Ethiopia

Active Group Tour South Ethiopia

This active group tour is special because of the unique trekking in Omo Valley & other multi-day treks.

Day 1: Welcome in Ethiopia - Addis Abeba

Welcome to Ethiopia! You’ll be stepping off the plane into Africa’s fourth largest city and diplomatic capital, Addis Ababa. Your Yared Tour & Travel guide will be there to meet you at Bole International Airport and drive you to your hotel for a rest.

The direct translation of Addis Ababa is ‘new’ ‘flower’ and you are likely to find this rapidly growing city a fascinating place full of contrasts between traditional and modern Ethiopia, making it a great starting point for your Active Ethiopia tour.

Day 2: City tour Addis Abeba

Today begins with a drive to Entoto Mountain where we visit the historical site of Emperor Menelik’s Palace and Maryam church, the oldest in Addis Ababa. From here we drive through Shiro Meda which hosts the city’s largest market for traditional clothing, continuing to the campus of Addis Ababa University, home to one of Africa’s best Ethnological museums and the former palace of Emperor Haile Selassie. You visit the Ethnological or Ethiopia's National Museum with ‘Lucy’, the world-famous fossilized hominid. The museum also showcases ancient artefacts from Axum and Gondar, and an exhibition of Ethiopian art. Then visit the Holy Trinity Cathedral (built in 1933), the largest Orthodox church in Ethiopia and the final resting place of Haile Selassie. To conclude, you will visit the busy life of traders in Mercato - Africa’s biggest outdoor market.

Day 3: Via Tiya and Dorze to Arba Minch

Today you’re heading to the south! It’s a 6-7 hour drive to Arba Minch and we’ll be stopping off along the way to visit Tiya – one of Ethiopia’s most important, and least understood World Heritage stelae fields containing 41 obelisks engraved with interesting symbols thought to be around 600 years old.
We arrive in Arba Minch region, meaning ‘forty’ ‘springs’, in the afternoon. The southern city, situated in the Gamo Gofa region is rich in natural resources including two Rift Valley lakes – Chamo and Abaya – home to large populations of hippos and crocodiles, innumerable little springs, Nech Sar (‘white’ ‘grass’) National Park and huge irrigated fruit farms which provide an important source of bananas, apples, oranges, mangos and avocados.

Day 4: Visit Konso tribe

In the morning we set off to Konso, the first place in Ethiopia recognised as a ‘cultural landscape’. You’ll have a chance to walk around the fortress like villages (‘kantas’) with their uniquely designed stone-walled walkways, thatched huts and terraced farms. Konso is also known for its natural phenomenon "New York" - interesting pinnacles of red earth, reminiscent of city skyscrapers with a legendary tale.

Day 5: Via Key Afar Market to Turmi

The journey from Konso to Turmi is an exciting 5-hour drive with plenty to observe from the window. You’ll witness the landscape dramatically change to wild, dry, acacia tree savannah and feel the warmth and humidity rise. You’ll also notice colourful wraps change to animal skins, shoes to rubber sandals, and the diverse fashions of passers-by wearing brightly coloured adornments and fantastic hairstyles.
On route to Turmi, we’ll stop at a small town called KeyAfar in Banna where a colourful market is held every Thursday. At the market, you’ll have the chance to soak in tribal life and barter for traditional handmade products. After the market we continue the final leg of the journey to Hamar.

Day 6 & 7: Camping in Karo

The Kara are one of the smallest ethnic groups in the Omo Valley, linguistically and culturally, they share characteristics with Hamar but they also have their own unique traditions. The Kara can be reached on a narrow dirt road which takes 2 hours to reach northwest from Turmi. The group are well-known for their beautiful body painting skills. They use a white-colored clay to decorate patterns over their bodies for rituals and ceremonies. The Kara live on the banks of the Omo river further upstream than the Dassenech, they also fish and irrigate crops during the annual flood. To get to know the Karo, you will camp in the village. You will notice how the ambiance will change after you stay in the village for a longer time.

Day 8: Start of Hamar trek to Dega Keja

This unique community hike takes you through the remote Hamar mountains in the Lower Omo Valley - an authentic experience for hiking enthusiasts who would love the chance to immerse in traditional tribal life and wilderness.
Starting from the community campsite in Turmi, we drive to the drop-off point at Arkale village where you’ll meet your Hamar guide along with donkeys to carry your bags. From Arkale we hike for 4-5 hours through valleys and up hillsides stopping off along the trek to enjoy a refreshing ‘bunno’ - traditional hot drink made from coffee husks served in a gourd. We reach our camping ground in Dega Keja village with eco-toilets in the evening. Later on, you’ll wrap up warm in blankets, enjoy a tasty local meal and listen to traditional folklore with a Hamar family.

Day 9: Trek to Kufuri village

The following morning we continue on a 5-hour hike to Kufri village. You will climb the highest peak with breathtaking views over Waito valley then follow a path along the mountain ridge until you arrive at the picteresque village of Kufri. In the evening you, we relax with the local community and observe domestic life and chores such as goat milking and grinding flour before dinner.

Day 10: To Buska, discover an ancient forest & the origin of Hamar

Today is a 5-hour hike through an ancient mountain forest to reach the remote Hamar villages in Buska. You will notice crops are more abundant here and we stop for a picnic lunch and you will have the chance to join in with seasonal activities such as harvesting or ploughing land by oxen. In the late afternoon you will be picked up and driven back to Turmi via a traditional Hamar market (depending on the day) and a celebratory BBQ campfire evening.

Day 11: Addis Abeba and farewell

Today you will fly from Jinka to Addis Ababa, where you will enjoy a farewell meal and celebration in one of the city’s cultural restaurants before your journey home. You will have some time to relax and enjoy a wonderful dinner before we take you to the airport in Addis Abeba.

This tour can be made as a full journey through the south and north of Ethiopia. But it can also be made as a journey through the north alone. Have a look on the site of the other exact travel programs.