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South Omo and Denakil Depression 14 days

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US$2,243.28
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What to Expect
Itinerary

Day 1: Drive Addis Ababa to Aribaminch

Stop At: Arba Minch Crocodile Farm, Ethiopia
The name of Addis Ababa, in Amharic, means “new flower”. Founded in 1886 by Menelik II, it is located at 2,500 meters above sea level in one of the highest parts of the Entoto mountain chain. It enjoys an excellent climate all year round, with an average temperature of 25°C. You will need to fly in a day prior to the trip departure; Addis Ababa is the third highest capital city in the world and the altitude may fatigue you easily... so take it easy when you arrive. If you have time in Addis Ababa before/after the trip you can undertake a tour of this fascinating city, and visit the National Museum, take in the city’s wide, tree-lined streets or the bustle of the “Mercato” (market). This colorful market has an array of fascinating goods and curios, providing a great place for exploration and people watching. Throughout the city there are shops that sell typical artisan wares, materials and antiques. This morning we depart Addis Ababa at 08:00 PM. Please be ready in the lobby of the hotel specified on your tour voucher at 07:30 hours. There is a long drive to Arbaminch via Hossana (450km). This is the region inhabited by the people of the Guragie, who were once nomads but are now farmers. A long section of the road offers magnificent views of Lake Abaya, surrounded by mountains. The lake has volcanic origins and is almost pink in colour.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Mora Height Lodge or Similar

Day 2: Boat Trip Abaya and Drive to Jinka

Stop At: Omo National Park and River, Jinka 1000 Ethiopia
This morning we enjoy a boat trip on Lake Chamo - one of the best in Ethiopia. There is a chance to spot many hippos and large concentrations of giant crocodiles. Water birds abound and the scenery is truly unforgettable. The lake is about 32km long and provides a lush wetland habitat for many species of flora and fauna. In the afternoon we drive to Jinka (250km, 5-6 hours’ drive).
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Jinka Resort or Similar

Day 3: Mursi village visit, Jinka Museum, drive to Turmi

Stop At: Dasenech Village, Omorate Dasenech, Turmi 1000 Ethiopia
Today our journey begins with an excursion to a Mursi village (approximately 66km from Jinka). The Mursi are one of the original ethnic groups in Ethiopia. They live in very low huts made of straw leaves. The women like to wear terra cotta jeweler on their enormously stretched lower lips and ear lobes. The men are famous for their hairstyle. Then we visit the Jinka Museum, which contains the Southern Omo Research Centre's permanent cultural collection and continuing research of the various ethnic groups and provides an in-depth overview into the people and traditions of the Omo Valley. This afternoon we drive to Turmi (120km), one of the largest towns in the region.
Duration: 7 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Dinner
• Lunch
Accommodation included: Turmi Lodeg or Similar

Day 4: Karo and Hamer villages

Stop At: Dasenech Village, Omorate Dasenech, Turmi 1000 Ethiopia
This morning we begin with a memorable excursion to the Karo Tribe (approximately 63km drive), who are very famous for their body painting. The Karo people use clays and locally available vegetable pigments to trace fantastic patterns on each other’s faces, chests, arms, and legs. Karo men, as with neighboring tribes, are also famous for their unique hairstyle. In the afternoon we visit a Hamer village. The Hamer tribe (also called Hammer or Hamar) is one of the largest groups in the Valley. The Hamer cultivate millet, vegetables, tobacco and cotton as well as raising cattle and goats. They are known for the fine pottery they produce as well as their remarkable hairstyling. Most dramatic of all are the clay hair buns with ostrich feathers that the men don when they have killed a fierce animal. These hair buns stay on for 3-6 months at a time. The women wear beaded necklaces and iron coils around their arms and decorate their skin with cowry shells. These decorations indicate the wealth and prestige of a woman’s husband. We return to Turmi in the evening.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Turmi Lodge

Day 5: Drive To Aribaminch Via Konso

Stop At: Arba Minch Crocodile Farm, Ethiopia
As we have seen already, Ethiopia has a huge diversity of ethnic groups and today we will witness the distinguishing behavior of another of these. We travel north to Arbaminch (approximately 270km), en-route visiting a Konso tribal village - a World Heritage listed site of cultural significance. Invariably built on hilltops as protection from the lowland tribes, traditional Konso villages are surrounded by high stonewalls and encompass separate compounds, with outlying terraced agricultural fields. You will be fascinated by the unique architectural aspects, largely unchanged cultural heritage and social cohesion of the village, and how it has adapted to its harsh environment. Another highlight is the famous 'wagas' - a funerary tradition where magnificent carved wooden sculptures were created in honor of Konso warrior heroes who have killed an enemy or animal, and often grouped to represent the man, his wives and his adversaries.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Mora Height Lodge or similar

Day 6: Drive to Hawassa via Dorze Tribes

Stop At: Fish Market at Awassa Lake, Awassa Lake, Awasa Ethiopia
We visit a Dorze village this morning (approximately 30km drive). One of the smaller ethnic groups, the Dorze are known for their textile weaving and bee hive shaped huts. In the afternoon we drive to the shores of Lake Hawassa, a freshwater lake popular with locals and tourists alike for its wildlife and water sports.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Haile Resort Hotel or Similar

Day 7: Drive to Awash National Park

Stop At: Yangudi Rassa National Park, Addis Ababa Ethiopia
After breakfast, visit the local fish market on the shores of Lake Awassa and drive to Awash National Park. If time permitting, you may visit the Abijatta-Shala National Park. Lake Shala, with its deep blue waters is the deepest lake in Ethiopia at 236m. Lake Abijatta is a soda lake at which thousands of flamingos can be seen at various times of the year. Photo Stop at Lake Beseka (Nearby the park) for several birdlife. Game view after having entrance tickets at the head office of the Awash National Park
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Genet Pension or Similar

Day 8: Drive to Semera

Stop At: Yangudi Rassa National Park, Addis Ababa Ethiopia
After breakfast we will pick you from your hotel for the journey to Semera. You will drive via Awash National Park. You are likely to see beisa oryx, kudu, defassa waterbuck, Soemmering's gazelle, warthog and baboon. The park is also a great place for birdwatchers. The long drive through the Rift Valley leads us into the Afar regional people in which homeland we will be traveling the coming week. When you are lucky you might see some game while traversing the Yangudi Rassa NP which holds the last population of the African wild ass.
Duration: 7 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Semera Locla Hotel

Day 9: Drive to Afdera Sal Lake

Stop At: Afdera, Afar Zone 2, Ethiopia
Today we entering the Danakil but before we do so we have to finalize our entry permits (which have been applied for well before departure from Addis Ababa) in Semera, the regional capital. The destination for today is the Salt Lake of Afrera where we see the salt extraction from the lake.
Duration: 7 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Comping

Day 10: Drive to Ertala

Stop At: Erta Ale, 6611 Ethiopia
We continue our journey through the Danakil towards Dodom, a small settlement and the base for approaching the Erta Ale volcano. Around at 9 PM you will, taking advantage of the 'cooler' hours of the day, we start our ascent to the rim of the caldera of Erta Ale. It takes about 3 hours to cover the distance of 10 km and 500 m in altitude. A camel caravan is accompanying us with our luggage and equipment. The rest of the day we explore the fascinating features of the volcano.
Duration: 7 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Comping

Day 11: Drive to Hamed Ela

Stop At: Danakil Depression, Ethiopia
After observing sunset over the spectacular, fire spitting, crater lake we return to our base camp in Dodom. Sometimes very rough track leads us northwards to the settlement of Ahmed Ela, base for the salt caravans transporting the precious salt from the nearby Lake Asale to the market in Mekele. It is a place with lots of activity connected to the arrival and departure of the endless caravans. Ahmed Ale is our base for the coming days to explore the surrounding area.
Duration: 7 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Comping

Day 12: Drive to Mekele

Stop At: Emperor Yohannes IV Palace, Zesilasea Square, Mek'ele Ethiopia
Today we follow the camel caravans to Lake Asale to observe the harvesting of the salt. It is a centuries old handcraft of cutting and shaping the salt blocks. Sometimes thousands of camels are present to take the load and transport it to Mekele. We have ample time to follow the caravans on foot. Be prepared to visit the place recorded as the hottest inhabited place on our planet. The ghost town of Dallol is an abandoned miner’s town and mostly constructed out of salt. Nearby lies the fantastic and extraordinary beautiful Dalol volcano where we spent most of our day. Some say it is the most colorful place on the planet.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
No accommodation included on this day.

Day 13: Drive to Kombolcha

Stop At: Kombolcha Mosque, Kombolcha, Ethiopia
It is time to leave the heat and dust behind on go for a decent bath. Today we travel back into civilization and reach Mekele, the capital of Tigray. Many options are available to continue our tour along the 'Historic Route' for example the nearby rock-hewn churches of Tigray or the most famous rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. When our journey is heading back to Addis Ababa we follow the tar road to the south through beautiful mountainous area.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Yegofe Hotel or Similar

Day 14: Drive to Addis Ababa

Stop At: Addis Mercato, Kenya St Addis Ketema, Addis Ababa Ethiopia
The last day of your unforgettable visit to Ethiopia brings us back to Addis Ababa. A hotel room for day-use is available. We say goodbye to dear friends with a visit to a cultural restaurant, enjoying the great Ethiopian food together with traditional music and dance from all over this fascinating country. After diner we take you to the airport for your flight back home.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
No accommodation included on this day.
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