Journey to the South and the Great Rift


Trip description

Ethiopia

TRAVEL TO THE SOUTH

Meeting the people of Sidama and discovering the coffee region

Unforgettable encounters with the many ethnic groups of the South

The cultural treasures of ancient Abyssinia etc.

Discover the agency :
Gish Abay Ethiopia Tours


8 days

From : €1,700*

Day 1: HELLO ADDIS ABABA, CITY TOUR

Day 2: ADDIS ABABA - YIRGALEM

Day 3: YIRGALEM - ARBAMINCH

Day 4: ARBAMINCH - TURMI

Day 5: TURMI - KARO - TURMI

Day 6: TURMI - DASANECH - JINKA

Day 7: JINKA - MUSRI - JINKA - ADDIS ABABA

Day 8: VISIT TO THE CAPITAL ADDIS ABABA

Day 1 : HELLO ADDIS ABABA, CITY TOUR

Ethiopie ©jcarillet


Activity: Visit of the capital

In the morning, arrival at Addis Ababa airport. Welcome by your tour guide outside the arrivals hall and transfer to the hotel. Refreshment break if you arrive in the morning. Then, depending on your arrival time, visit Addis Ababa, a city in full mutation and headquarters of the African Union. You will make your first visits of Ethiopian Orthodox churches with the Holy Trinity Cathedral, climb Mount Entoto and visit the former imperial palace. You will discover the National Museums, you will go back to the origins of humanity by admiring the famous Lucy, the most famous Australopithecus; you will explore the history and traditions of Ethiopia. Visit the Merkato, one of Africa's greatest marches.

Overnight stay: Addis Ababa

Walking time: no

Driving distance: 90km

Elevation: 2, 300




Day 2 : ADDIS ABABA - YIRGALEM

Jeunes femmes triant des grains de café dans une plantation. ©hadynyah


Activity: Meet the people of Sidama (coffee region)

In the morning we head towards Yirgalem, via Ziway. Ziway is located at an altitude of 1,643 metres, on the shores of Lake Ziway. Walk along the shores of Lake Ziway, to observe the many birds such as swans, Senegal parakeets and fish eagles. Then visit the Abyata and Shalla National Park, home to alkaline lakes with an impressive colony of pink flamingos as well as many other bird species (cormorants, pelicans) and families of ostriches.

In the afternoon, accompanied by your local guide, you will travel through traditional Sidamo villages and discover the richness of the flora and fauna. You will meet the local population and discover the coffee culture. Through the green landscapes of this hinterland.

Overnight: Yirgalem

Accommodation: eco lodge

Walking time: 1h

Driving time: 4h

Elevation: 1560




Day 3 : YIRGALEM - ARBAMINCH

Ethiopie ©Matej Kastelic / Shutterstock.com


Activity: Drive to Arbaminch/Meeting with the Dorze people

In the morning visit the Fish Market on the shores of Lake Awassa, famous for its tilapia and catfish, to Amora Gedel Park for monkey and bird watching. Then drive to Arbaminch ("40 springs").  

Before reaching Arbaminch, in the afternoon we will drive into the surrounding mountains to Dorze, a village of the Dorze ethnic group. This visit of the village will be the occasion to evoke the importance for this ethnic group of the Ensat, false banana tree exploited from the roots to the leaves. Central to the survival of the Dorze, the Ensat will be explained by our guide. This plant, which resembles the banana tree, can reach 8 to 9 metres in height. It is found in many countries, Ethiopia being the only place where it is extracted as an edible product. Return to Arbamich for the night.

Overnight: Arbaminch

Accommodation: Hotel

Walking time: no

Driving time: 6h

Elevation: 1, 128m




Day 4 : ARBAMINCH - TURMI

Crocodile ©rgbspace - iStockphoto.com


Activity: Konso is one of the last stelae erectors

In the morning departure by boat on Lake Chamo which hosts an impressive population of crocodiles. On the shore of Azzo Gabaya, known as "the crocodile market", dozens of crocodiles, some of which can reach up to 6m, bask in a deceptive immobility. Further on, a cove is home to a colony of hippos and large birds such as great white pelicans, storks and ibises, as well as spoonbills and eagles.

We will then drive to Konso and visit a fortified village of the Konso people, the only farmers in Ethiopia who engage in terraced farming. The villages have cobbled lanes, small squares with generational totem poles and surrounded by walls for protection against wild animals and enemies. Visit also the Konso museum, created in partnership with France in 2009, to protect and honour the wooden funerary statues of the Konso people, the Waka, this museum is full of fascinating explanations about this incredible people, their culture, their villages and their way of life. In 1996, 200 wakas destined to be sold on the black art market were seized by Ethiopian customs. The local authorities then wondered what would happen to these works, which bear witness to the culture and religious beliefs of the small Konso ethnic group in southwestern Ethiopia.

Overnight: Turmi

Accommodation: Lodge

Walking time: 2h

Driving time: 4h

Elevation: 925m




Day 5 : TURMI - KARO - TURMI

Portrait de famille. ©Bartosz HADYNIAK - iStockphoto


Activity: In the heart of the last Ethiopian tribes

In the morning, excursion to Koricho to meet the Karo tribe, one of the most endangered tribes, as their culture tends to disappear. The region is extremely wild, the landscapes and the view on the Omo river are magnificent. The Karo are farmers (cereals, cotton and sugar cane) who also raise cattle. They have passed the time in the art of decorating their bodies, especially during festivals. They use chalk to imitate the spotted plumage of the guinea fowl. They are also very inventive in making their jewellery, made from whatever they can find! 

Afterwards, you will return to Turmi for a visit to a village and the Hamer tribe. They are mainly cattle breeders, so cattle are very important in their culture. The Hamers are semi-nomadic. They follow a route, traced by their ancestors, with many stopping points. After the market we return to Turmi.

Overnight stay: Turmi

Accommodation: Lodge

Walking time: no

Driving time: 5h

Elevation: 925m




Day 6 : TURMI - DASANECH - JINKA

Femme tamisant du sorgho. ©hadyniak


Activity: Dassanech, a people full of customs and meeting with the Ari tribe

In the morning, a day trip to Omorate to visit the Dassanech tribe. Here you will cross the Omo River by local boat and enter a Dassanech village which is home to an Omotic tribe with their own language. The Dassanech men raise livestock, around which many social systems are built, and the women grow cereals on the banks of the Omo Kibish River.

We then continue to Jinka and visit the Ari people. The Ari people live in the north of the Mago National Park, around Jinka, and number 120,000. They are the tribe with the largest territory in this area. Their land is exceptionally green and fertile, which allows them to grow a variety of crops such as cereals, coffee and fruit. They also harvest a lot of honey, which they often use as a currency, and have many head of cattle.

Overnight stay: Jinka

Accommodation: Hotel

Walking time: 1h

Driving time: 4h

Elevation: 1, 250m




Day 7 : JINKA - MUSRI - JINKA - ADDIS ABABA

Omo Valley, Ethiopia - May 7, 2015 : Woman from the african tribe Mursi with a big lip plate in her village. ©miroslav


Activity: Meeting with the Mursi, famous for their lip plates 

Early morning departure to meet the Mursi people. The Mursi, agro-pastoralists, are located in the Mago National Park. The piercing of the lip of the Mursi women, carried out with a fire-reddened point, is accompanied by the removal of the lower incisors. Smeared with butter to hasten healing and ensure the elasticity of the flesh, the lip will receive increasingly large labrets up to the most imposing of which can reach 18 cm in diameter. Return to Jinka then flight to Addis Ababa according to Ethiopian airlines timetable, 1 hour flight then transfer to hotel.  

Overnight stay: Addis Ababa

Accommodation: Hotel

Walking time: No

Driving time: 3h

Elevation: 2, 300m




Day 8 : VISIT TO THE CAPITAL ADDIS ABABA

Musiciens ethiopiens. ©Narvikk - iStockphoto


Activity: Covered tour of the capital

The last day of your Ethiopian adventure. Today you will visit the new Unity Park, located on the grounds of the former Grand Imperial Palace. The palace was originally built during the reign of Emperor Menelik and has since been the decision-making seat of Ethiopia: successive occupants have included both the last Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie and the Marxist President Mengistu. After lunch, you will have time for shopping. Afterwards, you will be transferred to your hotel to pack and prepare for your flight home. In the evening, before your international flight, farewell dinner at the Ethiopian Traditional restaurant. Finally, your driver will drive you to Bole International Airport and take your flight home. Your Ethiopian adventure ends here.




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