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Rock My Ethiopia Omo Valley Adventure

15 Nights – £3,295 £2,995 EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT

Tour Highlights

On this trip, we’re going off the beaten path, into Ethiopia’s intriguing Omo Valley.

We’ll start the trip in the capital Addis Ababa with a wonderful tour of the city and a welcome meal at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant, before making our way overland into the Omo Valley.

In the Omo Valley, we’ll spend time with the Mursi, Hamar, Karo, Aari, Dorze, Nyangatom and Dassanech tribes, who each have their own district culture and traditions.

During the trip, we’ll stay in beautiful lodges, but the trip also includes 2 nights camping with the Mursi and Hamar tribes – an unforgettable and immersive experience. If we are lucky we also will experience the famous bull jumping ceremony.

Leaving the Omo Valley, we’ll visit both Bale Mountains National Park and Abjatta Shala National Park where we will see animals and birdlife, before heading back to Addis for a final celebration together.

“Nothing but breathing the air of Africa, and actually walking through it, can communicate the indescribable sensations.” (William Burchell)

Addis Ababa

Lake Chamo

Mursi Tribe

Ngorongoro Crater Group Tour

Key Afer Market

Mount Kilimanjaro

Hamar Tribe

Tanzania & Zanzibar Group Tour

Awassa

Stone Town, Zanzibar at Sunset

Bale Mountains NP

Abjatta-Shalla NP

Tour Overview

 

Tour Dates

Cost – £3,295 £2,995 EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT

  • Payment Plan:
    • Deposit: £400 (non-refundable)
    • 2nd Payment: £2,095 (due 62 days before the departure date).
    • 3rd Payment: $700 (local payment, paid on arrival).

What’s Included

  • 15 Nights Accommodation
  • 15 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches and 14 Dinners
  • Rock My Adventure Group Leader & Local Guides
  • Comprehensive Pre-Departure Information
  • In-Country Transport
  • Welcome Meal
  • Addis Ababa City Tour
  • Tiya Stelae
  • Lake Chamo Boat Trip
  • Dorze Cultural Visit
  • Key Afer Market
  • Mago National Park
  • Camping with the Mursi Tribe
  • Aari Tribe Visit
  • Omo Valley Cultural Museum
  • Omo Child Foundation
  • Dimeka Market
  • Bull Jumping Ceremony (if happening)
  • Kara Tribe Visit
  • Coffee Ceremony
  • Nyangatom Tribe Visit
  • Camping with the Hamar Tribe
  • Evagadi Celebration Dance
  • Arbore Tribe Visit
  • Konso Village
  • Senkelle Swayne’s Hartebeest Sanctuary
  • Awassa Fish Market
  • Awassa Tour
  • Shashamene
  • Banana Art Gallery
  • Bale Mountains Game Drive
  • Lake Abiata
  • Lake Shala
  • Celebration Dinner

Please Note

  • We may adjust the itinerary slightly if it means we can attend any ceremonies/local events that we hear of.

“This is what traveling in Africa should be like. The Kenya & Tanzania adventure hits up all the highlights (and then some), and really lets you immerse yourself in East Africa in a way that’s still comfortable. The tour is great value for money, and don’t be surprised if by the end you’re already thinking about planning a return trip. It was even better than I expected! It was very well-organized, and I felt like we really did see the best of both Kenya and Tanzania. It was a nice mix of the “famous” highlights you expect to see, and also some unique local interaction.”

AMANDA / USA / ROCK MY KENYA & TANZANIA ADVENTURE 2019

Itinerary

 

 

Day 1: Addis Ababa

Arrive in Addis Ababa and transfer to your gorgeous hotel for the night.

Relax and get to know your fellow travellers during a welcome meal and a beer or two at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant!

Your Rock My Ethiopia Omo Valley Adventure starts here.

*  If you have the time and can arrive earlier, we can organise any other activities you wish to do. Additional accommodation and activities charged separately.

 

  • Meals: Dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel (Ensuite)
  • Activities: Welcome Meal

    Day 2: Addis Ababa

    We’ll spend our first full day settling into Ethiopian life and exploring the city.

    The tour includes stops at Entoto Mountain, a church (Holy Trinity Cathedral or St. George Church), a museum (The National Museum or Ethnological Museum) Shola Market and lunch.

    At 4pm, you can either go back to the hotel to relax and have dinner (we can recommend some local restaurants) or you can continue on a food tour of the city ($65). Which will last for approximately 3.5 – 4 hours.

    On the tour, you’ll visit three restaurants where you will taste their best dish and hear the story behind the food. We’ll visit a range of places, from hole-in-the-wall restaurants to more upmarket eateries. Includes fresh juice, unlimited beers and soft drinks (wine & spirits are extra).

    The rest of the evening is free to go for drinks or rest up ready for our adventure tomorrow!

     

    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
    • Accommodation: Hotel (Ensuite)
    • Activities: Addis Ababa City Tour

      Day 3: Arba Minch

      Today is a drive day as we make our way from Addis Ababa to Arba Minch, a city at the edge of Ethiopia’s Omo Valley, overlooking Lake Chamo and Lake Abaya.

      On the way to Arba Minch, we’ll visit Tiya Stelae, one of Ethiopia’s 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Here you will find a group of mysterious large standing stones dating back thousands of years.

      In the evening, we’ll relax at our cosy lodge which has breath-taking views overlooking the area. The hotel is located on a hill that overlooks a narrow stretch of forested land, known locally as “the bridge of heaven”, which separates the two lakes. 

       

      • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
      • Accommodation: Hotel (Ensuite)
      • Activities: Tiya Stelae

        Day 4: Arba Minch

        In the morning, we’ll take a boat trip on beautiful Lake Chamo, which is part of Nechisar National Park. Here you have a good chance of seeing animals such as hippos and birds.

        Lake Chamo is also known as the ‘Crocodile Market’ due to the high concentration of large Nile crocodiles that gather at the lake.

        In the afternoon, we’ll get a great introduction to the tribes of the Omo valley by visiting a Dorze village, high up in the Gughe Mountains.

        At the village, we’ll learn about this tribe’s unique way of life and distinctive architecture, experience their traditional music and dance, see how they make their food and perhaps try their locally made alcohol.

        The Dorze people are renowned for their incredible weaving skills and their huts that are made from all-natural materials, are shaped like a beehive and look like the face of an elephant.

        The rest of the afternoon is free to relax at the lodge or have a swim in the pool. In the evening, we’ll eat at the hotel’s restaurant, which uses homegrown ingredients from its own on-site farm.

         

        • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
        • Accommodation: Hotel (Ensuite)
        • Activities: Lake Chamo Boat Trip, Dorze Cultural Village

          Day 5: Camping with the Mursi Tribe, Mago National Park

          Leaving Arba Minch, we’ll make our way towards Jinka through the lands of some of the tribes we will visit over the next few days.

          When we arrive, we will visit the vibrant and colourful Key Afer market, an important place where the local tribes meet weekly to trade and share news.

          This is a good opportunity to meet the local people and appreciate the similarities and differences between the tribes.

          From there, we’ll make our way into Mago National Park where we will camp overnight with the fascinating Mursi tribe. Spending time with the tribe like this will allow us to get a genuine insight into their lives.

          The Mursi are known for their distinctive lip plates, scarification and body painting and whilst we’re with them, we’ll learn about their culture and customs.

          Around the age of 15, a girl’s mother or other older relative cuts open the girl’s lip and it is held open by a wooden plate until it heals. Over the months and years, progressively larger plates are inserted to stretch the lip further.

          This practice was originally thought to be to disfigure themselves ward off slave traders, however over the years has become a sign of beauty.

           

          • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
          • Accommodation: Camping (All Camping Equipment & Bedding Provided)
          • Activities: Key Afer Market, Mago National Park, Camping with the Mursi Tribe

            Day 6: Jinka

            After saying goodbye to the Mursi, we’ll head towards the market town of Jinka, where we’ll take a fascinating walk through the local villages to visit the Aari tribe who live in the surrounding highlands.

            The Aari tribe are agriculturalists who have retained many of their traditional practices, many of which you will see on our walk. It is thought that the Aari are the original tribe from the Omo Valley, from whom many of the other tribes originated.

            Whilst we’re in Jinka, we’ll take the opportunity to visit the Omo Valley Cultural Museum where you will learn about the history and traditions of the Omo Valley tribes.

            We will also visit the Omo Child Foundation, to learn about their work and what they are doing to protect the children of the Omo Valley from a practice known as Mingi.

            We’ll then spend the evening at our homely eco-lodge.

             

            • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
            • Accommodation: Hotel (Ensuite)
            • Activities: Aari Tribe Visit, Omo Valley Cultural Museum, Omo Child Foundation

              Day 7: Turmi

              Leaving Jinka, we’ll head towards the town of Dimeka to visit the bustling Dimeka Market, where we will first encounter the Hamar people, who we will camp with tomorrow night.

              In the afternoon, we’ll cross the Omo River to visit the Dassanech tribe near Omorate. The Dassanech are semi-nomadic, cattle-herding people whose land extend all the way to Sudan and Lake Turkana in Kenya.

              Bruce Parry met the Dassanech as part of his ‘Tribe’ series which is what inspired Helen to visit Africa in the first place.

              We’ll drive to Turmi, where the Hamar people live and in the evening, we’ll have dinner at our lovely lodge and relax around the campfire.

              The Hamar are famous for their ‘bull jumping’ ceremony, a coming of age ritual where a young man who wants to marry jumps over a line of bulls to show the bride’s family that he is worthy of her hand in marriage.

              Whilst we are in this area, we will try to attend a bull-jumping event. There are no guarantees as this is a real ceremony (not put on for tourists), but we have timed the trip to coincide with the season, plus having 3 nights in the area will also greatly help our chances.

              The Hamar welcome guests to the bull jumping ceremonies – catering for hundreds of guests isn’t cheap, so contributions from tourists are very much appreciated! 😉

               

              • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
              • Accommodation: Hotel (Ensuite)
              • Activities: Dimeka Market, Bull Jumping Ceremony (if happening when we are in the area) 

                Day 8: Turmi

                Today we’ll visit the Kara (Karo) tribe in a village overlooking the beautiful Omo River. The tribe are known for their incredible and elaborate face and body painting using natural materials such as chalk, iron ore and charcoal.

                They are thought to be one of the most endangered tribes in the Omo Valley and we will learn about their traditions, their progressive practices and how their world is changing.

                In the afternoon, we will take part in a traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony and you can relax or visit the on-site spa. They offer body, face, shoulder and foot massages, pedicures and manicures.

                 

                • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
                • Accommodation: Hotel (Ensuite)
                • Activities: Kara Tribe Visit, Coffee Ceremony

                  Day 9: Camping with the Hamar near Turmi

                  After breakfast, we’ll visit the Nyangatom tribe, whose women wear layers of beads around their neck and striking skirts. The men are known for being some of the fiercest warriors in the Omo Valley. But don’t worry – they are very hospitable to their guests!

                  We’ll then spend the evening camping with the Hamar tribe. As well as the bull jumping ceremony, the Hamar are famous for the Evagadi celebration dance, which we will get to experience whilst in the village.

                  The Hamar women are very striking in appearance, wearing their hair in braids covered in ochre, colourful beaded jewellery and displaying the scars on their backs, which are caused by thorns and whipping, a common practice in the tribe.

                   

                  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
                  • Accommodation: Camping (All Camping Equipment & Bedding Provided)
                  • Activities: Nyangatom Tribe Visit, Camping with the Hamar Tribe, Evagadi Celebration Dance 

                    Day 10: Konso

                    After saying goodbye to our new Hamar friends, we’ll visit the Arbore tribes on the way to Konso.

                    The Arbore are pastoralists who played an important role acting as the middlemen of the trade routes between the tribes of the Omo River and those in the Konso Highlands. The women are known for their beauty and elaborate jewellery.

                    In the afternoon, we’ll visit the Konso villages which are part of the Konso Cultural Landscape, which are one of Ethiopia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The villages are unique in appearance, with the fortified stone-walled walkways and terraces set around a ceremonial square.

                    The people of Konso are excellent farmers and we will explore by foot to get an insight into their lifestyle and traditions. If time permits, we will visit the Konso Museum.

                     

                    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
                    • Accommodation: Hotel (Ensuite)
                    • Activities: Arbore Tribe Visit, Konso Village

                      Day 11: Awassa

                      Today we’ll make our way out of the Omo Valley, through coffee plantations towards the town of Awassa.

                      In the afternoon, we’ll visit Senkelle Swayne’s Hartebeest Sanctuary. The sanctuary was set up to protect Ethiopia’s endangered and native hartebeest population.

                      The sanctuary, which overlooks Lake Awassa, has around 700 hartebeest, as well as warthogs, baboons, monkeys and bushbucks.

                      In the evening, we’ll enjoy dinner whilst watching the sunset over the lake.

                       

                      • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
                      • Accommodation: Hotel (Ensuite)
                      • Activities: Senkelle Swayne’s Hartebeest Sanctuary

                        Day 12: Bale Mountains National Park

                        In the morning, you’ll have the option to visit the fish market to see Lake Awassa’s skilled fishermen bringing in the daily catch of tilapia and catfish. Or you can have a bit of a lie-in, the choice is yours!

                        We’ll then take a short tour of Awassa, visiting St Gabriel’s Church, a modern Orthodox Church, decorated with colourful murals.

                        On the way to Bale Mountains National Park, we’ll stop for lunch in the Rastafarian town of Shashamene. Whilst we’re there, we’ll visit the Banana Art Gallery which is run by Ras Hailu, a Rastafarian who is originally from St Vincent in the Caribbean.

                        Many Rastafarians (but not all) believe that Haile Selassie, who was Ethiopia’s Emperor between 1930 and 1974, is the Messiah and the Second Coming of Jesus.

                        From there we’ll make our way across the Sanetti Plateau to our luxurious eco-lodge in the Bale Mountains, passing farms, villages and coffee plantations as we go.

                        Most of the rooms at the lodge are East facing so you can see the sunrise and have wood-burning stoves.

                         

                        • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
                        • Accommodation: Hotel (Ensuite)
                        • Activities: Awassa Fish Market, Awassa Tour, Shashamene Visit, Banana Art Gallery

                          Day 13: Bale Mountains National Park

                          Today is a free day to take part in some of the activities available at the lodge, or to have a bit of a rest whilst surrounded by nature.

                          Having a full day in the park will give us a great opportunity to enjoy the scenery and wildlife.

                          There are a few activities you can take part in, such as trekking, honey collecting, trekking and game drives to look for animals such as Mountain nyala, Ethiopian wolves, spotted hyena, lions, leopards, gelada monkeys and servals.

                           

                          • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
                          • Accommodation: Hotel (Ensuite)
                          • Activities: 

                            Day 14: Abjata-Shalla National Park

                            Leaving the mountains behind, we’ll make our way to Abjata-Shalla National Park, a beautiful part of the Rift Valley and a great place for spotting birds, hippos and crocodiles.

                            We’ll be spending the night at a resort on the shores of Lake Langano.

                            Once we arrive, there will be plenty of time to relax on the beach, visit the wellness centre, swim or play some games before dinner.

                             

                            • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
                            • Accommodation: Hotel (Ensuite)
                            • Activities: None

                              Day 15: Addis Ababa

                              After a leisurely morning, we’ll make our way back to Addis Ababa.

                              On the way, we’ll stop at Lake Abiata known for its population of wading birds and Lake Shala the largest by volume in Ethiopia.

                              In the evening, we’ll head out for dinner at one of Addis Ababa’s fun, traditional restaurants to celebrate an incredible trip to Ethiopia.

                               

                              • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
                              • Accommodation: Hotel (Ensuite)
                              • Activities: Lake Abiata, Lake Shala, Celebration Dinner 

                                Day 16: Departure Day

                                Today is always a sad day as we say goodbye to our new friends, but the memories and shared experiences of Ethiopia will last a lifetime!

                                We can arrange your transfer to Addis Ababa Bole International Airport or you can continue your Africa travels from there.

                                * Some of the group may be planning to take an add-on trip to the Danokil Depression – enquire for details!

                                If you need any support with your pre or post-tour Africa travels, please don’t hesitate to contact us. It’s all part of the Rock My Adventure service.

                                 

                                • Meals: Breakfast
                                • Accommodation: None
                                • Activities: None

                                  Please bear in mind that the itinerary is subject to minor changes, ‘This is Africa’! But whatever happens, we’ll ensure you have an amazing trip!!

                                  Have a question? Feel free contact us here or take a look at our FAQ’s page.

                                   

                                  Essential Info

                                  Duration: 15 Nights

                                  Dates: 

                                  Start: Addis Ababa

                                  Finish: Addis Ababa

                                  Maximum Group Size: 12 people

                                  Minimum Age: 18

                                  Total Cost: £3,295 EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT £2,995

                                  Payment Plan:

                                  • Deposit: £400 (non-refundable)
                                  • 2nd Payment: £2,095 (due 62 days before the departure date)
                                  • 3rd Payment: $700 (local payment, paid on arrival)

                                  Support

                                  • Rock My Adventure Group Leader, Local Guide, comprehensive pre-departure information & planning advice.

                                  Meals

                                  • 15 breakfasts, 14 lunches and 14 dinners.

                                  Accommodation

                                  • 15 nights accommodation in good quality/unique lodges, hotels and guesthouses. Includes 2 nights camping with the Mursi and Hamar tribes.

                                  Transport

                                  • All transport within Ethiopia to and from included excursions and between the main destinations on the tour.

                                  Activities

                                   

                                  • Welcome Meal
                                  • Addis Ababa City Tour
                                  • Tiya Stelae
                                  • Lake Chamo Boat Trip
                                  • Dorze Cultural Visit
                                  • Key Afer Market
                                  • Mago National Park
                                  • Camping with the Mursi Tribe
                                  • Aari Tribe Visit
                                  • Omo Valley Cultural Museum
                                  • Omo Child Foundation
                                  • Dimeka Market
                                  • Bull Jumping Ceremony (if happening)
                                  • Kara Tribe Visit
                                  • Coffee Ceremony
                                  • Nyangatom Tribe Visit
                                  • Camping with the Hamar Tribe
                                  • Evagadi Celebration Dance
                                  • Arbore Tribe Visit
                                  • Konso Village
                                  • Senkelle Swayne’s Hartebeest Sanctuary
                                  • Awassa Fish Market
                                  • Awassa Tour
                                  • Shashamene
                                  • Banana Art Gallery
                                  • Bale Mountains Game Drive
                                  • Lake Abiata
                                  • Lake Shala
                                  • Celebration Dinner
                                  • Flights.
                                  • Airport transfers (however we can arrange these for you).
                                  • Visas (if needed).
                                  • Medications, antimalarials or vaccinations.
                                  • Travel/health insurance (required).
                                  • Drinks & meals not mentioned.
                                  • Optional activities.
                                  • Tips for local guides.

                                  You will make 3 payments:

                                  • Deposit: Paid in GBP upon booking.
                                  • Balance: The remainder of the GBP balance (minus deposit) paid 62 days before arrival.
                                  • Local Payment: Paid on arrival to your Tour Leader in Africa

                                  The local payment is separate from the initial price you pay prior to the trip. You pay the local payment to your Tour Leader in US Dollars upon arrival in Africa.

                                  This includes the on tour expenses that we cannot pay prior to arrival, such as national park entry fees, food, local transport and some activities.

                                  Travel insurance is essential for ALL Rock My Adventure trips.

                                  Your health and safety when travelling is of the utmost importance, so it is vital that you have travel insurance policy that covers you for your trip to Africa. Adequate travel insurance is a condition of your contract with us and you will not be able to join a trip without it.

                                  You must be satisfied that your insurance fully covers all your personal requirements including cancellation charges, theft, medical expenses and repatriation in the event of accident or illness. 

                                  Your insurance should also cover you for any adventurous activities that you wish to do – this includes the ‘included’ activities on the tour and any ‘optional’ activities.

                                  Please be aware that some hazardous activities such as (but not limited to) white water rafting on grade 5 rapids, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, safari walks, bungee jumping and sky diving may not be covered by all policies, so you may have to take out a higher level of cover.

                                  Medical care is not free in Africa and even the cost of getting to hospital can be super expensive, so you need to be covered in case of a medical emergency, including air ambulance evacuation and repatriation in the event of accident or illness. For example, if your appendix bursts whilst we are in the Serengeti, you will need to be evacuated by helicopter to Nairobi. Without insurance you would need to pay for that out of your own pocket. 

                                  If you are bringing along any electrical equipment such as cameras and laptops, you should also ensure your insurance covers those items too. Some policies only have this as an add-on. 

                                  If you are travelling to an area that is subject to foreign office warnings, this may void your travel insurance, so you may need to take out an additional policy for the days you are in the danger zones. 

                                  Please always read the small print.

                                  Your tour leader will collect your travel insurance details on the first day of your trip, so please have the following information ready for them:

                                  • Name of insurance provider.
                                  • Your policy number.
                                  • The telephone number to call in the event of an emergency.
                                  • Your next of kin name and number.

                                  What are you waiting for?

                                  Have a question? Then contact us using the form below!

                                  Contact Us

                                  If you’d prefer to talk to us over the phone, just let us know and we can set up a Skype/Whatsapp call!

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                                  Sign up for the Rock My Adventure mailing list to be the first to know when we launch new tours and to receive exclusive offers and discounts!

                                  And as a thank you, you will receive a FREE Africa Packing Checklist!

                                  CONTACT INFO

                                  Email: [email protected]

                                  Phone: +447809710257

                                  Address: 353 - 355 Station Road, Bamber Bridge, Preston PR5 6EE

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