Rift Valley, Omo Valley and the Bale Mountains

A journey to discover southern Ethiopia. An immersive experience between a unique nature and populations rich in culture, resilience and history.

13 days

Hotel

Camping

Trekking

Program

Day 1

Arrival in Addis Ababa and City Tour

Upon arrival at Bole International Airport, you will be met by an Adimasu Tours representative and be taken to your reserved hotel. Depending on your arrival time, we have various sightseeing options:

Mount Entoto with the best views over the capital.

Institute of Ethiopian Studies, where you can see a variety of artefacts from all the different regions reflecting the history and culture of the country

National Museum which among other exhibits the 3.5-million-year-old bones of Lucy.

George Cathedral, where paintings by the famous Ethiopian artist Afework Tekele and other ecclesiastical wealth and cultural heritage of the past are displayed.

Trinity Cathedral: this is the burial place of members of the imperial family and noted patriots; the cathedral is the most magnificent of its kind in the country, ornamented with carvings, mosaics and other artistic works.

The Mercato, the largest open-air market in Africa. Overnight in Hilton Hotel.

Day 2

Addis Ababa – Arba Minch (410km)

After breakfast, we drive to Arba Minch (approx. 7hrs.), with a stop on the way at Tiya (80km from Addis Ababa) to explore the Stelae field of Tiya, listed as UNESCO world heritage site. Mysterious engraved stelae stretch across Southern Ethiopia. The field comprises some 45 stones of up to 2-3m in height.

We then continue to Arba Minch with some fantastic scenery, including the best spot to view the two rift valley lakes, Lake Abaya to the north and Lake Chamo to the South. We will arrive at the lodge in the late afternoon where you may relax at the lodge with stunning views from the terrace.

Hotel: Paradise Lodge, Arba Minch.

Day 3

Arba Minch – Lake Chamo – Arba Minch

Morning: after breakfast, we will visit Dorze people with some fantastic scenery, including the Wolayta farmlands, with views of the lush green hills and valleys. The Dorze village is found high in the Guge Mountains overlooking lake Abaya and Lake Chamo.

Afternoon: we undertake a boat cruise on Lake Chamo and search for Africa’s biggest crocodiles (up to 6m long), hippos and a large variety of birdlife.

Hotel: Paradise Lodge, Arba Minch

Day 4

Arba Minch – Konso – Key Afer Market – Jinka (240 km)

After breakfast, we drive to Konso approx. (travelling time 3.5 hrs.). Konso is another UNESCO Cultural Heritage site. We will visit the village compound and the local museum, and usually, we are also welcomed in the Konso chief’s compound, which includes the family graveyard and house mummies.

The Konso people have a rich agrarian culture and construct ingenious terraces and walls that encircle their fields and villages for protection against livestock damage and flooding.
From Konso we continue our journey to the colourful market of Key Afer (Thursdays only) frequented by several tribes of the Omo valley, such as Derase, Tsemay, Benna and Ari, before reaching Jinka in the late afternoon.

Hotel: Basic: Jinka Resort

Day 5

Jinka – Mago National Park (Mursi) — Turmi (160 km)

Morning: we enter the Mago National park (travelling time approx. 2hrs), admiring different animals and birds on the way; and proceed to visit the Mursi tribe and their villages. One of the most unique tribes in Africa. Here women use huge round lips plates for beauty reasons

Afternoon: after lunch, we continue our trip to Turmi (approx. 3 hrs), where we will meet the fascinating Hamer tribe. Turmi is our base to explore the southern tribes of the Omo Valley. The whole region of the Southern Omo is UNESCO world heritage site since 1980.

Hotel: Basic: Turmi Lodge or Camping

Day 6

Turmi – Dimeka Market – Turmi

Morning: after breakfast, we visit the colourful market in Dimeka near Turmi (Saturdays only), frequented by several tribes of the Omo Valley.

Afternoon: Turmi is well known for its traditional events and with some luck, we will even participate in a Hamer marriage ceremony, with its bull jumping ceremony and more! In the late afternoon, we will also visit a nearby Hamer village and encounter the tribe in its daily life surroundings. With some luck, we may even witness a moonshine dance (Evangadi), a traditional dance of young Hamer men and women.

Hotel: Turmi Lodge or Camping near Buska Lodge, Turmi

Day 7

Turmi – Omorate – Konso

Morning: Turmi – Omorate- Turmi (140 km): we take an excursion to visit the Dassanech Ethnic group (70 km, one way), famous for their nomad lifestyle and very interesting decoration and scarification on their bodies. There are also great views of the Omo river when crossing in a dugout canoe.

Afternoon: Turmi – Konso (180 km): after lunch, we drive back to Konso (approx. 3.5 hrs.). We will reach the well-kept Kanta Lodge in the late afternoon.

Day 8

Konso – Soddo

Relaxing afternoon at Lewi resort Soddo and trekking to Damot Mountain.

Day 9

Soddo – Hawassa (125 km)

the morning after breakfast, we drive to Hawassa (approx. 3hrs), the capital town of the southern people’s nations and nicknamed as “The town of endless Love”. In Hawassa you can recover from the strengths of travelling in the 5-star resort of the famous Ethiopian runner Haile Gebre Selassie. From Sauna, steam bath to beauty treatment nothing should be missing here and the sunset is usually fantastic.

Afternoon: we arrive at the luxurious Haile Resort in Hawassa early enough to enjoy the beautiful sunset over the lake.

Day 10

Hawassa – Dinsho – Goba (200 km)

Morning: we drive from Hawassa to the Bale Mountains National Park headquarters in Dinsho, where we will take a gentle but very interesting walk and usually encounter a great variety of animals and birds, particularly a large number of the endemic Mountain Nyala.

Afternoon: we continue to Goba or to the Bale Mountains Lodge, where we will spend

Overnight: Basic: Wabeshebele Hotel, Goba

Higher standard: Bale Mountains Lodge, Bale Mountains National Park

Day 11

Goba – Senette Plateau (Bale Mountains) – Goba

Morning /Afternoon: we drive into the Bale Mountain National Park (34 km), the second national park in Ethiopia underway to be become soon an UNESCO world nature site due to its stunning landscapes, rich flora and fauna. We explore the highest all-weather road of Africa to the largest moorland tract in Africa, the Senetti plateau. With a little luck, here we should encounter the endemic Ethiopian Wolf and its favourite prey, the Giant Mole Rat.

In addition to the Senetti Plateau, we will also explore the Harena escarpments and its rainforests. Highland birding includes the Abyssinian Catbird, Abyssinian Woodpecker, White-backed Black Tit, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Yellow-crowned Canary, Somali Chestnut-winged Starling, Olive Pigeon and Mountain Buzzard. In the late afternoon, we drive to the Bale Mountain Lodge for the night.

Overnight. Basic: Wabeshebele Hotel, Goba. Higher Standard: Bale Mountains Lodge, Bale National Park

Day 12

Goba – Lake Langano (250 km)

Morning: we leave the mountains and drive to Lake Langano in the heart of the Great Rift Valley (approx. 4hrs).

Afternoon: we may either visit Lake Abyata Shalla National Park with great views over the Rift Valley or you may relax at the beach of the Lake Resort (swimming is possible).

Overnight: Sabana Lodge, Langano.

Day 13

Lake Langano – Addis Ababa (200 km)

Morning / Afternoon: we drive back to Addis through Debre Zeyt (approx. 4hrs.) and reach Addis late in the afternoon (a day room until departure will be provided).

Evening: you will be invited for a traditional Ethiopian dinner and dance show at a renowned restaurant of Addis Ababa. Then you will be transferred to the airport for departure.

Images by our customers

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FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

Yes, absolutely. Adimasu Travel is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. We ask that you carefully consider whether you are physically and mentally able to complete the itinerary you have chosen, recognising that on many trips you will be required to carry your bags and use public transport.

Where we can we will make reasonable adjustments to the operation of our trips to facilitate the requirements of disabled travellers – such as booking ground floor accommodation, or having our leaders communicate important directions in writing as well as verbally.

Many travellers with disabilities have been able to enjoy our trips by travelling with a friend or companion who can assist with specific needs. If joining a group trip is not practical we may be able to provide you with a private departure. Please contact our team for further information on any of our itineraries.

We will try our very hardest to accommodate all dietary requirements but in some out-of-the-way places it can be very difficult to guarantee. We will let you know if there are places on your itinerary where this is the case.

Please let us know at the time of booking of any food requirements or allergies and we’ll pass the information onto your leader. It is also a great idea to bring a card with your dietary requirements written in the local language for those times you are eating away from the group.

Our camping sites have all the creature comforts to bush camping. We provide the tent and sleeping mats, but you will need to bring your sleeping bag.

What you need to bring will vary according to your style… Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you can carry and lift your luggage, and walk with it for short distances.

Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You’ll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

Closed in shoes. As this trip includes camping and some bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.

Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is not recommended.

Waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening game activities when it can be cool.

Sun protection: hat, sunscreen, sunglasses.

This tour outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel.
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