Omo Valley Safari
Omo Valley tour safari is a 10 days African safari tour in Ethiopia. This Omo Valley safari is a road safari in Ethiopia. You’ll enjoy culture, nature and history in the 10 day safari tour in Ethiopia.
About the Omo Valley Safari
Omo Valley safari is a 10 days African safari tour in Ethiopia. This Omo Valley safari is a road safari in Ethiopia. You’ll enjoy culture, nature and history in the tour.
We will assist you in discovering the most diverse cultures, customs and ceremonial events. This includes Ethiopia tour safaris to the most isolated areas of the Omo Valley. Discover the farmers, artesian and skilled craftsmen maintaining their ancestral traditions and workmanship.
Ethiopia is also incredibly diverse, both culturally and geographically. Travelling south from the capital, Omo Valley tour safari takes you past the Great Rift Valley and deep into the Omo Valley.
You’ll be going to the home to some of the most colorful and interesting tribal groups in the country. From Addis Ababa, Omo Valley safari will journey south, travelling through the spectacular landscapes of the East Africa Rift Valley.
On entering the Omo Valley you’ll visit the distinctive beehive house of the Dorze people, before taking in the crocodile market of Arba Minch and the waters of Lake Chamo.
The drive to Jinka then takes you through the remote heartlands of the Konso and the Banna people and on to the Mago National Park, home to the Mursi, with their distinctive lip plates.
The important market town of Turmi provides a chance to watch the tribes gather from all across the region. This is before your Omo Valley safari seeking out the Karo. They are the most threatened of all the Omo Valley tribes.
The Omo Valley is for those who want to see the best of Ethiopia. You will interact with different culture and scenes in this Ethiopian safari tour. Omo Valley safari will begin from and end in Addis Ababa.
Highlights of the 10 Day Omo Valley Safari
The highlights of thos 10 day Omo Valley safari in Ethiopia includes:
- Stelae of Tyia (UNESCO world heritage site)
- Boat Safari on lake Chamo with Africa’s biggest crocodiles, hippos and many bird species
- Mago National Park and Omo Valley (UNESCO world heritage site) with unique tribes
- Visit of the colourful markets of Key Afer and Dimeka in the Omo Valley
- Authentic encounters with locals during visits of several communities
- Visit of the Konso region (UNESCO world heritage site)
- Overnight at the Rift Valley lakes of Hawassa and Langano
10 Day Omo Valley Tour Safari Itinerary in Detail
Day 1: Addis Ababa – Awassa
You will be met on arrival in the morning at Bole International Airport. Our Ethiopia safari rep may also meet you at your hotel in Addis Ababa. Enjoy a short a briefing on this Omo Valley tour safari in Ethiopia. You will then leave and head South via Butajira.
There will be a few stops at archaeological sites along the way. You will have a stop at Tiya which is an ancient stelae field a “UNESCO” World Heritage Site. You’ll also stop at Adadi Maryam which is a rock church like the one in Lalibela.
The other stop will be at Melka Kunture that is a pre-historic tool making site. This is before you get to the final destination which is Awassa. You will spend the night at Tadesse Enjory Hotel.
Day 2: Awassa – Dorze
Start your day on the Omo Valley safari in Ethiopia with breakfast. This will be followed by a visit Lake Awassa and the fish market. Your Omo Valley safari in Ethiopia then proceeds to to Dorze. This is set in the highlands above the town of Arba Minch.
The people of Dorze are famous for their beehive-like houses. They are also known for their fine cotton weaving. A Village tour is on the cards that includes the local market. This will be if only if the market is open.
You may opt to go traditional and sleep at Dorze in traditional Dorze hut. The facility has shared toilet facilities. You may continue to Arba Minch for overnight at Tourist Hotel.
Day 3: Dorze – Lake Chamo
Your Omo Valley tour safari in Ethiopia will leave after breakfast. This will be followed by a short walk around. This is before you head off for the town of Arba Minch.
In the afternoon there will be a boat trip on Lake Chamo. You will make a visit to the “Crocodile Market” here. You will spend the night at Tourist Hotel.
Day 4: Lake Chamo – Turmi
Your Omo Valley tour safari in Ethiopia will leave after breakfast. You will be heading to the town of Turmi. You are expected to arrive in the afternoon. This journey will have a stop at the village of Weyto. This is home to the Tsemai tribe.
You will then head through the Weyto Valley to Erbore. Here you have the opportunity for a brief photography stop. Finally, you’ll be at Turmi, home of the Hamer tribe.
Traditional night dancing of the Hamer tribe is a must for all. Your overnight in Turmi will be at Evangadi Lodge.
Day 5: Turmi
Today your Omo Valley tour safari in Ethiopia visits the Dassenech tribe. This is in the town of Omorate. From Omorate you’ll cross the Omo River by boat and enter a Dassenech village.
You’ll return to Turmi in the afternoon. You have a chance to visit a local Hamer village. You’ll be lucky to have the Jumping of the Bulls ceremony. This is a coming-of-age ceremony that ushers young men into adulthood. You will spend your night in Turmi at Evangadi Lodge.
Day 6: Turmi – Jinka
You’ll begin your Omo Valley safari in Ethiopia with an early breakfast. This is to be followed by a departure to Jinka area. The drive takes you through the towns of Dimeka and Key Afar.
Dimeka offers one of the most colorful markets in the area. This is visited by many tribes, including Hamer, Benna and Karo. Your overnight in Jinka will be Orit Hotel.
Day 7: Jinka
Today you will begin your Omo Valley safari in Ethiopia early. This will be with breakfast before departure. You’ll drive through the Mago National Park. The Omo Valley tour safari in Ethiopia goes onto a village of the Mursi tribe.
The Mursi people are known for their lower lip and earlobe plates. You’ll return to Jinka in the afternoon. You’ll visit the visit the South Omo Museum & Research Center. Here you’ll learn more about the local tribes. As an alternative, you may hike in the surrounding hills to visit a local Ari village. Your overnight in Jinka will be Orit Hotel.
Day 8: Jinka – Konso
Enjoy an early breakfast in your Jinka hotel. Your Omo Valley safari in Ethiopia then proceeds to the town of Konso. You’ll stop of in Key Afar to witness the Benna and Tsemai tribes trading goods. You will expect to get to Konso in the afternoon.
Konso people are well known for their wooden statues (wakas). These are erected in honor of dead heroes. Konso people are also known for their innovative agricultural terracing. Time allowing, you may also visit the “natural New York Village”. This is named after the tall sand formations resembling skyscrapers. Your overnight in Konso will be at Strawberry Fields Ecolodge.
Day 9: Konso – Lake Langano
Today your Omo Valley tour safari in Ethiopia goes to Lake Langano. This will be after breakfast punctuated with several stops along the way.
You will stop at the Senkele Wildlife Sanctuary. This is famed for its endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest. Your overnight will be at Lake Langano at Abule Bassumo Hotel.
Day 10: Lake Langano – Addis Ababa
You will wake up to an early breakfast on this Omo Valley tour safari in Ethiopia. You got time to enjoy a stunning morning swim in Lake Langano. This is before your departure as you head off for Addis Ababa.
Depending on time you’ll have a visit to the Abiatta-Shala National Park. This park offers up two interesting lakes. There is the Lake Shala, with its deep blue waters is the deepest lake in Ethiopia at 236m. Lake Abiatta is a soda lake with thousands of flamingos can be seen at various times of the year.
———- End of Omo Valley tour safari in Ethiopia ———-
10 Day Omo Valley Tour Safari Costs:
What is included in the 10 Day Omo Valley Tour Safari cost?
- Accommodation on Twin/Double Bed Room sharing basis
- All entrance(admission) fees at places of visits in the itinerary
- All transfer in and outs
- Comfortable safari vehicle
- Gasoline (fuel) and driver’s allowance
- Professional experienced English-speaking guide for the entire route
- All on-site guides
- Bottled Water in the vehicle
- And, all related government taxes
10 Day Omo Valley Tour Safari Price excludes:
- Any meals and drinks
- Visa Fee
- Domestic flight fare
- Fees to take pictures and videos
- Any expense of personal nature such as souvenirs, laundry, tips for service people, etc
- And, any expense which is not mentioned in the “Included” List above
What to Carry on the 10 Day Omo Valley Safari?
- Light and a few heavy clothing for evenings
- Closed, comfortable shoes
- Sun protection like sun cream, hat
Omo Valley Safari Destinations
Awasa, also called Hawassa, is a city in the Great Rift Valley of central Ethiopia. It lies at the eastern edge of large Lake Awasa, with its resident hippos.
Water birds gather around a popular fish market along the lake’s shore. Nearby, the waterside Amora Gedel National Park is inhabited by monkeys.
To the northwest, Senkele Swayne’s Hartebeest Sanctuary is home to these endangered African antelopes.
As the largest city in the Southern region of Ethiopia, Awasa is a common stop of the way to the Bale Mountains or the Omo Valley.
Awasa is also a popular weekend destination for those who live in Addis Ababa with its lakeside setting and fun party vibe making it a popular getaway from the capital.
Before getting to Awassa, your Ommo Valley tour will make a stop in Tiya. Tiya is a town in central Ethiopia. It is situated in the Gurage Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region south of Addis Ababa. It is also the location of an archaeological site.
Tiya is located in the Ethiopian highlands, about 70 km south of Addis Ababa. It is a place shrouded in mystery, where 36 stone stelae.
They are considered to be representative of similar stelae found elsewhere in the region – stand to attention in an area where tombs are also found. They are assumed to have some kind of funerary significance, but their age and origin is unknown.
Most of the stelae, which stand 1-5 m high, are carved with symbols, including depictions of swords and schematic human figures.
The Tiya stones are part of an archaeological site located in central Ethiopia, in an area known as the Gurage Zone. The 46 large, decorated Tiya megaliths have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Although the construction of such megaliths is an ancient tradition in Ethiopia, the Tiya stones are fairly ‘recent,’ dating to sometime between the 10th and 15th centuries.
Remarkably little is known about the Tiya stelae beyond descriptions of their physical appearance. These large monuments likely had some cultural significance when erected.
Their meaning remains unclear today and very few efforts have been made towards understanding these magnificent monoliths.
Omo Valley tour safari to the Dorze goes to a tiny ethnic group within Ethiopia whose language falls within the Omotic family. They live mainly in the southern area of Ethiopia. However, a number of them have moved to Addis Ababa plus other areas .
Most Dorze are in villages close to the cities of Arbaminch plus Chencha . Here your Omo Valley tour safari takes you to within the Semien Omo Zone.
You will find the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region (formerly in the Gamu-Gofa province). a major profession for most of the Dorze Weaving.
Widely recognized cotton weavers, this Dorze tribe once were warriors. They are renowned for their beehive huts as well as cotton woven cloths. The Dorze people stay in large communities just north of the beautiful Addis Ababa.
They grow their food and use terracing as preventive measure against soil erosion on the mountainside. They cultivate highland cereal in their farmlands. They as well grow tobacco, spices, fruits plus vegetables in their compound.
Their Women have the majority of the responsibility within the family. They have to take care of all the children as well as all the house chores. The women are additionally in charge of cooking, gathering firewood as well as spinning cotton.
The Male members spend the majority of their time on their farm or constructing huts. Occasionally you’ll find them weaving material that they will use for various things.
The Dorze members put on colorful toga robes known as shammas. They’re extremely well-known all through Ethiopia.
A Dorze hut is made up of hard-wood poles, additional natural materials, woven bamboo plus Enset. The hut can stand 2 stories high and last to Eighty years. Within the main hut is a fire place, a sitting area plus bedrooms.
The Smaller huts may include guest houses, a cattle shed, a workshop plus a kitchen. If termites attack their hut, these Dorze simply take it off its foundation and then relocate it. This enables their homes to last even longer, however each move shortens the initial height of their hut.
This Omo Valley tour safari then heads to Turmi, a market town in south-western Ethiopia. Located in the Debub Omo Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region.
The town has a latitude and longitude of 4°58′N 36°29′E with an elevation of 925 metres above sea level. Your Omo Valley tour safari will be going to the home to many of the Hamer people, Turmi has a weekly market on Mondays.
Despite being an important transit and tourist hub, Turmi (ቱርሚ) is just a speck of a town. It’s surrounded by Hamer villages and on Monday the villagers, along with nearly every tourist on the Omo Valley tour safari descend on the large market.
Hamer women, with their shimmering coppery-coloured tresses, sell vegetables, spices, butter, milk and traditional items. These include incised calabashes, head stools, metal arm bracelets and fantastically smelly goatskins.
The skins are decorated with beads and cowrie shells – it doesn’t get more atmospheric than this. The smaller Thursday market is almost tourist-free. Turmi is also a handy base from which to arrange day Ethiopia trips to Omorate.
Your Omo Valley tour safari visits another Market town. Jinka is a market town in southern Ethiopia. Located in the hills north of the Tama Plains, this town is the capital of the Debub Omo Zone.
On the Omo Valley tour safari, you will find the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region currently Jinka is the center of Jinka town administration.
Jinka is a market town in southern Ethiopia, located in the hills north of the Tama Plains and close to Mago National Park. The extremely remote Mago National Park is located on the eastern bank of the River Omo.
An Omo Valley tour safari here goes to the home to the wildest and most magnificent scenery in Ethiopia and boasts an abundance of wildlife. Other major attractions of this area are the local tribes.
The famous of the tribes here include the Mursi Tribe, famous for piercing their lower lips and inserting disks made of clay. Much is written but little is known about the reason for this mutulation.
Is it to increase the dowry or was it the become unattractive for slavery? The Mursi don’t give an clear answer themselves.
The Ari people are the biggest group in the Omo region, numbering over 100,000. Speaking an omotic language (like Hamar and Banna).
Their origin must be close to the area they live now but they are very different from the other people living here. Ari are living in wider villages with private compounds on which they have their huts/ houses and grow a variety of crops.
They have adapted ‘western’ clothing. Much of the vegetables and fruits found on the markets in the area are grown by the Ari. They are very hospitable and are not following the ‘pay per click’ approach.
Omo Valley tour safari to Konso takes you on the Sagan River in south-western Ethiopia. The administrative center of the Konso special woreda of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region.
This town has a latitude and longitude of 5°15′N 37°29′E and an elevation of 1650 meters.
Konso, ethnolinguistic group is located in the arid highlands of southwestern Ethiopia. Their sharply delimited traditional territory is surrounded by lands of Oromo peoples, to whom the Konso are culturally and linguistically related. They are a Cushitic people.
Unlike most Ethiopian peoples, the Konso live in large towns, each governed by an autonomous council of elders. The social status of all males, and of some females, is defined by a generation-grading system.
Although a generation grade theoretically encompasses the men in an entire region, it does not actually function beyond each town’s borders and therefore does not prevent conflicts between towns.
Kinship is reckoned in nine exogamous, patrilineal clans and in lineages that are headed by priests and through which property is inherited. Craftsmen form a distinct social class. Although polygyny is accepted, few men can afford more than one wife.
Senkele Wildlife Sanctuary
The Omo Valley tour then takes a detour to Senkele Wildlife Sanctuary. Senkelle Swayne’s Hartebeest Sanctuary is a protected area in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia.
It is dedicated especially to the protection of the Swayne’s Hartebeest. Covering 58 square kilometers. The reserve is located some 10 kilometers south of the Shashemene-Arba Minch road near the town of Aje.
Senkelle Wldlife Sanctuary is located 48km west of Hawassa, it is 340 kms south of Addis Ababa and covers an area of 54km2. The sanctuary was originally established to protect the endemic and endangered antelope species called Swayne’s hartebeests.
The sanctuary is located in between Oromia and SNNPRS and managed by the Ethiopian Wildlife Cconservation Authority. The open acacia woodland of the reserve is quite scenic and some of the animals are easily spotted on your Omo Valley tour safari, specially the Swayne’s hartebeests.
The population of which is currently estimated at between 600 and 800. The sanctuary harbor other wild animals which you can spot on your Omo Valley tour safari.
They include Bohor, reedbucks, greater kudus, orbis antelopes, spotted hyenas, serval and civet cats, caracals, warthogs, common jackals as well as 91 species of bird.