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Omo Valley and Bale Excursion

These tours visit the tribes of Ethiopia’s rapidly changing Omo Valley.  Of the many small groups in this area we regularly visit the Hamer and Banna, the Mursi, the Ari, the Dasanech, the Konso and Dorze.  Less frequently we also visit the Karo.  We do not provide tours to the Surmi tribe.  Our itineraries are scheduled to include some of the local weekly markets in the region.

Arrival   Bole International Airport
Awaze Tours  will meet all clients arriving at the airport regardless of arrival time. 

 Day 01   Addis Ababa – Arba Minch
Drive to Arba Minch via Hoseana. En route visit Melka Kunture, a stone-age archeological site; Adadi Mariam, a 12th century rock- hewn church; and Tiya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its mysterious stelae, thought to be grave markers, dating from the 12th century. 
Overnight Lodge  (B, L, D)

Day 02   Arba Minch
Take a boat trip on Lake Chamo and view some of the largest crocodiles in the world sunning on the banks of the lake; hippopotami and beautiful aquatic birds are also abundant. Visit Nechisar Park, known for its “white grass” which is only accessible via boat.
Overnight Lodge  (B, L, D)

Day 03   Arba Minch – Jinka
Drive to Jinka via Key Afar and visit the weekly market (thursdays only) and wander among the various tribes such as the Benna and Ari that have gathered to barter their goods. Continue to Jinka.​
Overnight Lodge  (B, L, D)

Day 04   Mago National Park
Early morning drive to the Mago National Park to visit the Mursi people. The Mursi women are known for the clay plates they insert into their lower lips. Time permitting, visit the Omo Valley Museum in Jinka.
Overnight Lodge  (B, L, D)

Day 05   Jinka – Turmi
Drive to Turmi to visit the Hame eople who are well known for the scarring of their bodies, using clay to shape their hairstyles, and the unique practice of “bull-jumping” which every young man must accomplish prior to marriage. En route to Turmi, visit the Benna and Ari people. ​
Overnight Lodge  (B, L, D)

Day 06   Omorate Excursion
Excursion to Omorate visiting the Dassanech people.  Return to Turmi for the evening.
 Overnight Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 07   Turmi – Konso
Drive to Konso, recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. A highland people, the Konso are known for the ancient and intricate terraces that encircle their well-planned villages.
 Overnight Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 08   Konso –  Hawassa
Drive to the lakeside town of Hawassa. En route, visit a Dorze Village in the Guge Mountains. The Dorze are known for their tall, beehive- shaped bamboo houses. If the base becomes infested with termites, the entire house can be lifted and moved to another location.
Overnight Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 09   Hawassa – Bale Mountains
Drive to the Bale Mountains National Park and meet with park guide. Arrive at the park headquarters in the afternoon, in time for a leisurely afternoon hike, possibly spotting two endemic mammals that frequent the area: Menelik’s Bushbuck and the Mountain Nyala. Birds in this area include the Blue-Winged Goose, the Spot-Breasted Lapwing, the Abyssinian Long Claw, the Wattled Ibis, the Black- Headed Siskin, Rouget’s Rail, and numerous other species.
Overnight Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 10   Bale Mountains – Addis Ababa
Drive to Addis Ababa. Optional souvenir shopping if time permits. Enjoy a Farewell dinner at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant featuring dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s many ethnic groups. Transfer to airport for late night departure if needed.
 (B, L, D)End of Tour

(Black Kite Tours will arrange additional hotel nights in Addis Ababa upon request.)

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