Holy Week trip to Ethiopia in a group that focuses on the Great South, inhabited by some of the most interesting ethnic groups in the country: the Dorze with their spectacular huts, the Konso, the Mursi warriors whose women carry the lip plate, the Karos with their body paintings, and the Hamers with their peculiar clothing and beautiful women who cover their bodies and hair with grease and reddish mud. A trip to Ethiopia during Holy Week in which we will take an ethnic tour, designed to be able to contact the great human wealth that this part of Ethiopia offers us.
MINIMUM GROUP 2
Guaranteed groups Vamos Africa Tours from 2 people, is a bet to offer the traveler guaranteed departures from a minimum of two people to a maximum of 12 people, and always with a local accompanying guide. We have selected some of the most authentic and desired destinations by our travelers. Best of all, they are groups designed for the Vamos Africa Tours traveler, made with our philosophy and essence. Departures throughout the year and with an important component of flexibility, which even offers you the possibility of adding trip extensions to your desired island, beach or hidden place.
DAY 01 // MAR 31 – FRIDAY: CITY OF ORIGIN – ADDIS ABABA
DAY 02 // 01 APR – SATURDAY: ADDIS ABABA
DAY 03 // 02 APR – SUNDAY: ADDIS ABABA – WOLAYITA SODO
DAY 04 // 03 APR – MONDAY: WOLAYITA SODO – P.N. MAZE – SAULA – ASHEKER – JINKA
DAY 05 // 04 APR – TUESDAY: JINKA – P.N. DEL MAGO – ALDUBA MARKET – TURMI
DAY 06 // 05 APR – WEDNESDAY: TURMI – OMORATE – TURMI
DAY 07 // 06 APR – THURSDAY: TURMI – KARO – KEY AFER – TURMI
DAY 08 // 07 APR – FRIDAY: TURMI – ARBORES – KONSO – ARBA MINCH
DAY 09 // 08 APR – SATURDAY: ARBA MINCH – AWASSA
DAY 10 // 09 APR – SUNDAY: AWASSA – ADDIS ABABA – DEPARTURE TO CITY OF ORIGIN
DAY 11 // APR 10 – MONDAY: ARRIVAL IN THE CITY OF ORIGIN
(B) BREAKFAST (L) LUNCH (D) DINNER
DAY 01 // 31 APR – FRIDAY: DEPARTURE TO ADDIS ABABA
Departure to Addis Ababa, schedules according to the airline.
DAY 02 // 01 APR – SATURDAY: ADDIS ABABA (B, -, -)
Welcome and transfer to the hotel to leave the luggage and departure for the full day visit of Addis.
Addis Ababa means “new flower” and is the largest city in Ethiopia, located at 2,500 m altitude, combines tall buildings with traditional houses. Visit of the Entoto mountains with beautiful views of the capital, the Church of St. George, dedicated to the patron saint of Ethiopia (Saint George), the National Museum where the skeleton of “Lucy” is exhibited, the skeleton of the hominid that the world’s oldest walking upright (3.5 million years) and the Merkato.
DAY 03 // 02 APR – SUNDAY: ADDIS ABABA – WOLAYITA SODO (B, L, D)
Breakfast very early. Departure in 4×4 vehicles towards the south of the country by paved road to Sodo. This route allows access to a chain of fascinating historical and archaeological sites on the other side of the Rift Valley, traversing lands mostly of the Oromos ethnic group and some Gurague. Continue to Butajira to visit the Tiya stele field, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
We will continue south until we find the great 6,000 km long Rift Fault, which begins in Syria and ends in Mozambique. It is really a large scar in the earth’s crust, which occurred 35 million years ago and which crosses all of Ethiopia, creating a corridor surrounded by volcanoes and mountains, where a string of lakes was formed that we will visit at this stage.
Lake Ziway is the first of this chain of water, which in turn includes three other very close lakes, Abiyata, Shalla and Lake Langano. Lunch in Shashemene center of the followers of Ras Tafari, originally from the Caribbean, predominantly Jamaicans who settled in this town in the 60s, when the then King Haile Silassie gave them a portion of land, because according to them Ethiopia was their promised land.
After eating we will continue the destination path towards Wolayta Sodo, a place for provisioning for the journeys in the south. The Wolaytas are a hard-working people and have the most fertile lands. On the way we will make stops to visit the Alabas ethnic group.
DAY 04 // 03 APR – MONDAY: WOLAYITA SODO – P.N. MAZE – SAULA – ASHEKER – JINKA (B, L, D)
Breakfast very early. Departure in 4×4 vehicles to the west to reach the Maze National Park, through the territory of the Wolayta and after the Gamo. The route is an area little frequented by tourists and offers spectacular landscapes with green forests and false banana plantations “ensete”, a typical food from southern Ethiopia.
Exploration of the Maze National Park with an average height of between 1,000-1,200 meters. The park is one of the few sanctuaries where the ‘Swayne’s hartebeest’ (Swayne’s buffalo), an endemic species of antelope in the country, is still protected. After visiting the park we will head towards Saula on a journey that will take us through an area of idyllic landscapes of the Gamo peoples, who are divided into different clans and each one with their specific traditions.
We will continue the road to Asheker, where the Bezo River is the border between the territories of the Gamo and the peoples of Male. In this village we will visit the Omotic language peoples of Male, who live in a region of variable altitude. The inhabitants in the highlands are dedicated to agriculture, while in the lowlands to livestock. Some women still follow the custom of tattooing their faces. After the visit, we will follow the path along the road that goes up the slopes of the mountains of Senegal, until we reach the pass that leads to the green valleys inhabited by the “Ari” peoples, farmers of Cushite origin and we will visit their very well organized villages, and their decorations with natural paints. Jinka arrival.
JINKA is a city in southern Ethiopia. Located in the hills north of the Tama Plains. It is located at 1,490 m above sea level. It is one of the three cities of the “woreda” BakoGazer. It has an estimated total population of 22,475 inhabitants. It is the last big city in the south of the country.
DAY 05 // 04 APR – TUESDAY: JINKA – P.N. DEL MAGO – ALDUBA MARKET – TURMI (B, L D)
Breakfast. We will leave first thing in the morning to enter the P.N. of the Magician
Winding tracks will lead us to the Mursi, an ethnic group of the Surmic family (Nilo-Saharans) characterized by the large labial and lobular plates that women wear. The corpulent and semi-nude bodies of the men are covered with symbolic or decorative paintings, scarifications, necklaces, etc. We will continue the visit to Alduba (Tuesday market) where we will find different ethnic groups such as the Banna, the Ari and some Hamer. Arrival in Turmi.
The Mursi: they speak a Nilotic language and form a group of about 4,000 people. They build villages with small huts made of branches superimposed on a precarious structure of flexible poles. They were hunter gatherers, then shepherds, and because of the endemic Tsetse fly that inhabits the banks of the Omo River and an epidemic that decimated the animal population in the 1970s, they have gradually become farmers and shepherds. They have occasional exchanges with neighboring towns, but they also fiercely defend their territory from theft of cattle and women, until recently with spears, but now with a Kalachnikov, which has become a tool everyone must carry, as a symbol of strength. . They fight regularly with the Nyangatom, and the Hamer, but they don’t get along with the Bodi who live on the other side of the river. They have initiation rites. The men must fight among themselves in the Donga (not to the death), a fight in which they use long sticks and for this they paint and decorate their bodies.
Adolescent women are incised in the earlobes and lower lip where they place a clay plate, getting bigger and bigger until it is so deformed that a couple of teeth have to be knocked out for it to fit. It really has an aesthetic function and only high caste women can wear them. Everyone, men and women, shave their heads and for this reason they love razors with which men also scarify their skin. They are very proud and reluctantly accept the visit.
The Banna: There are about 35,000 and they are part of the same family as the Hamer, with whom they share a language and can marry freely. They live around the eastern part of Mago Park. War is prohibited in this tribe.
DAY 06 // 05 APR – WEDNESDAY: TURMI – OMORATE – TURMI (B, L, D)
Breakfast. Day dedicated to delving into other Nilotic ethnic groups of the Omo Valley. Route to Omorate where we will meet the Dassanech who build cabins with metal sheets, USAID sacks, and everything they find in the urban population of Omorate. This region is undergoing a transformation due to the discovery of oil. Return to Turmi. Lunch at the Lodge. Quiet afternoon and sunset visit the Hamers in a very authentic village.
The Hamer: They are an agro-pastoral tribe that occupies the southwestern lands of the Mago National Park, close to the border with Kenya. They subsist mainly on the cultivation of sorghum, millet, vegetables and some tobacco and cotton, as well as herds of sheep and goats. They usually paint their bodies in many colors and wear lots of beads. Its most significant ceremony is the “jumping of the ox” (ukuli bula) performed by young people after leaving puberty. Days before the ceremony, invitations are distributed in the form of knotted leaves of dry grass. The ceremony lasts three days, but the most important is the last. At sunset thirty bulls are lined up, and the naked young man runs towards them and jumps on the back of the first. Then he starts running over the animals, and at the end of the line he turns around and walks the other way. If the initiate falls, it is considered a symbol of bad luck.
Note.- The proposals in these days of Turmi may vary according to the interest of the group. Celebration of a “ukuli bula”, some interesting event.
DAY 07 // 06 APR – THURSDAY: TURMI – KARO – KEY AFER – TURMI (B, L, D)
Breakfast. Departure to the Omo River to visit the Karo in the village of Korcho located on the Omo River in a strategic place where the river makes a bend.
The Karo people are made up of about 1,000 people and are the only sedentary people in the area. They are seasonal farmers, herders and honey collectors. They practice fishing, which until recently was taboo and is only done by young singles. Their villages are a bit more sophisticated with well-crafted huts and barns. They get along well with the Hamers whom they hire as herdsmen and sell them sorghum. With the Nyangatom and the Mursi they always have conflicts. Physical beauty has a very important value among the Karo; the men, more presumptuous, decorate their bodies with white and ocher vegetable paints and always carry the “borkota” (a kind of head-resting stool) and a Kalasnikov with cartridge belts full of bullets. The women wear their hair in balls, wear a nail in their lower lip, and are laden with necklaces and bracelets. They are quite sociable and make a mead-type drink that they drink at parties at the end of the harvest. It can last several days and is the occasion to dance, decorate and form a couple. Like the Hamers, the young people practice the Salto del Toro, an unavoidable initiation rite that negatively stigmatizes those who fail.
Departure by road towards Key Afer (Thursday market) where we will find different ethnic groups such as the Banna, the Ari and some Hamer. We will return to Turmi.
DAY 08 // 07 APR – FRIDAY: TURMI – ARBORES – KONSO – ARBA MINCH (B, L, D)
After breakfast we will start the road on the paved road where we will enter the Weito desert, until we reach the towns of Los Arbores. A general visit of the culture of the nomadic Arbores peoples.
Continuation of our trip to Konso. This town is made up of about 180,000 people spread over numerous villages. Sedentary farmers in a difficult and mountainous environment, they have worked very hard to build terraces on the slopes of these mountains and grow up to 28 different products. The towns are walled to defend themselves against attacks by wild animals and other ethnic groups. They have a very particular structure because in the labyrinthine interior they have comfortable public spaces for social life. They are animists and practice a cult of the dead and in some cases they embalm them for years before burying them. They also make a wooden totem pole (waga) which they place next to the grave or fields of the deceased. They really are the “civilized” frontier against the semi-nomadic peoples of the Omo River. They are good musicians, blacksmiths, potters and weavers that are highly recognized by neighboring towns.
Food. Transfer by road for 82 km until arriving at Arba Minch. In the afternoon departure to Lake Chamo. Sunset is the best time to observe, through a boat trip, the beauty of the lake: fishermen with fragile trunks, flocks of pelicans, the occasional group of hippos and, above all, the impressive Nile crocodiles. Their size exceeds all imagination.
DAY 09 // 08 APR – SATURDAY: ARBA MINCH – AWASSA (B, L, D)
In the morning we will make an excursion to the nearby mountains of Chencha (3,000 m) where the unique Dorze people live. The vegetation changes and you can see bamboo and false banana plants. Their huts are very tall with sloping roofs topped at the front in the shape of an elephant’s nose or trunk. They are good weavers and farmers and from the false banana trunk they extract a paste called “kocho” which is a very important part of their diet. The “kocho” is wrapped in large leaves and fermented for months to make it edible. From these heights there are spectacular views over the Chamo and Abaya lakes. We will continue our journey to the city of Awasa, capital of the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of the South. It is a quiet city with large modern avenues and a nice promenade along the lake. Arrival in Awasa.
DAY 10 // 09 APR – SUNDAY: AWASSA – ADDIS ABABA – DEPARTURE TO CITY OF ORIGIN (B, L, -)
In the morning visit the fish market where they sell the night catches of Nile perch or Tilapia and catfish, all in the midst of a large crowd. Departure to Addis Ababa, stop for lunch and arrival in the capital. Dedicated afternoon to make the last purchases and rest a little before making the transfer to the airport to take the flight back to Spain.
Hotel day use.
DAY 11 // APR 10 – MONDAY: ARRIVAL IN THE CITY OF ORIGIN (- , -, -)
Arrival to our city of origin and end of our services.