HOOGTEPUNTEN: Kleurrijke stammen en bevolkingsgroepen met ieder hun eigen cultuur; een diversiteit aan landschappen (Rift Valley meren, bergen, semi woestijn; Nech Sar National Park (krokodillen, Nijlpaarden, Burchell's zebra, Grant's gazelle, baboons en vele vogelsoorten),
Wij proberen toeristische humbug te vermijden en de mensen te ontmoeten "in hun normale doen- en laten". Om nog dichter bij het dagelijks leven te komen, maken we graag wandeltochten naar wat meer afgelegen en minder toeristische dorpjes en is het tevens mogelijk om in- of nabij dorpjes te kamperen.
TOTALE RIJ AFSTAND: 2300 KM.
PRIJZEN P.P.: 2p.: v.a. 2.185 Euro; 3p. v.a. 1.725 Euro; 4p. v.a. 1.480 Euro; 5p. v.a. 1.345 Euro
Inclusief: huur landcruiser 4WD met Engels sprekende chauffeur, brandstof, overnachtingen (B&B) in middenklasse hotel, excursies, Indien je kiest voor kamperen: kampeer uitrusting, full board maaltijden tijdens het kamperen,
Exclusief: Intercontinentale vlucht, binnenlandse vlucht Lalibela-Addis, Lunches&diners, fooien
EXTRA OPTIES OP AANVRAAG: Trektocht in Bale Mountains; meerdaagse culturele trektochten met overnachtingen in dorpjes; op dag 9: Boottocht op de Omo rivier naar een afgelegen eiland met Dassanech dorp OF naar lake Turkana met 1 extra kampeer overnachting aan het meer (dit kan ook over land worden gedaan); Verlenging van de reis naar Zuid-west Ethiopie (Surma gebied); Oost Ethiopie (Harar), Noord Ethiopie enz.
SPECIAL: Verlenging naar Kenya (over land) is ook mogelijk!
BESTE TIJD Deze reis kan het hele jaar gemaakt worden. In Oktober en April is er echter meer kans op regen waardoor bijv. kamperen niet comfortabel is.
BELANGRIJK!: Deze reis is alleen geschikt voor mensen met een goede lichamelijke conditie want de temperatuur in de Danakil woestijn kan hoog oplopen.
DAG TOT DAG PROGRAMMA
Binnenkort publiceren we dit programma in het Nederlands
TRAVEL DAY: Depending on the airlines, you will arrive in the evening or night/early morning of Day 1. O/n in Adot Tina or similar 3* hotel
DAY 1: ADDIS ABEBA
Up on arrival in Addis Ababa you will be met by YTT representative and transferred to your hotel.
Addis Ababa Meaning new flower founded on 1886 by King Menelik and Queen Taitu. It is the third highest capital in the world on altitude of 2300- 2500 m. the city is a home to different attractions including the National archeological Museum where Lucy is found. Addis Ababa also serves as the head quarter of African Union.
Today make a city tour and the following excursions:
(1 museum is included in the tour price)
National Museum: Which comprises of many archeological and historical findings including the famous complete hominid fossil remain of Lucy locally known as Dinknesh meaning wonderful. Visiting this museum means having a good summary for your visit to the historic Ethiopia.
OR: Ethnological museum: It is found in the main campus of the Addis Ababa University by the institute of the Ethiopian studies with the aim to preserve the country’s historical and cultural heritages. It has complete collections that describe almost all the tribal groups in Ethiopia. Here you will have an overview about history, culture and traditions of the Ethiopian people. The collections include the nomadic tribal groups that are now living just as man’s forefather lived thousands years ago.
Holy Trinity Cathedral: A beautiful church with baroque style of European architecture which is unique to both Ethiopia and Africa and is dedicated to the Holy Trinity here you will find scripts of the imperial families, statues done by a Greek sculpture, stained glass window paintings from the old and new Testament in the bible and tombs of the emperor Haile Silassie I, the found of the church and his wife
Mount Entoto: It is the highest peak in Addis with an altitude of 3200meteres, which was the site for the first palace of Emperor Menelik II, the founder of Addis Ababa. Here there is historical St. Mary church & Museum where Emperor Menelik crowned in it and you will admire the panoramic view of the city with its surrounding forests with its breath taking air.
Merkato: It is the largest open air market in Africa. Here you will be presented with confusing, but fascinating glimpse of the vast range of good and artifacts available from all parts of the country and you will enjoy the Ethiopian trade exchange traditions in the open air, you can purchase anything you desire here.
Overnight stay in Adot Tina or similar 3*hotel.
DAY 2: DRIVE TO AREGASH LODGE (310 km. asphalt appr. 6-7 h.due to road construction)
OR if Aregash lodge is full: drive to AWASSA (270 km. asphalt, appr. 5 h.)
In the morning after breakfast you drive to Aregash lodge through a part of Omo- and Rift Valley, passing lake Koka and lake Ziway where you can have a short stop for bird watching. Than via lake Langano, Shalla&Abiata further south passing Shashemene (the “capital” city of the Rastafarians) and Awassa.
Your stay today will be in the beautiful Aregash lodge in the Sidama area, which is built in a green forest area, overlooking a peaceful valley and which is the habitat of many different bird species. Here you enjoy a stay in your own Sidama house, surrounded by enset trees.
Late afternoon you make a walk with a local guide to a Sidama house where the housewife shows you how flour is prepared from the stem of the enset (falls banana) tree. This flour is used for the basic food of the Sidama people.
Every afternoon around 17.00 h. the hyena’s appear from forest down in the valley to receive their daily “coffee meal” during the outside coffee ceremony which is often organized in the lodge. Overnight stay in Aregash lodge.
If you stay in Awassa: enjoy your stay at the lakeside in Haile Resort (or Lewi Resort) with beautiful garden and swimming pool. In this cosy city you can walk on a dike along the lake which is a “walking promenade” for the local youth. Here you can observe different aquatic birds. In the cosy city you can find many shops and terraces and hundreds of small, blue “badjach” (mini taxi’s) in the streets.
The Gabriel orthodox church is a famous building in the city. If your stay will be on Monday or Thursday you can visit the regional market.
DAY 3: DRIVE TO YABELO (230 km. from Yabelo, appr 6-7 h. due to road construction)
After breakfast in your lodge you will drive to the town of Yabello. You drive through the hills and mountains that are intensively cultivated in this densely populated area. Everywhere you see the beautiful round huts of the Gedeo and Sidama people, surrounded by coffee shrubs, sugar cane and enset (false banana) trees. The Yirgachefe coffee of the Sidama region is of the highest export quality. The Sidama are with 3 million on of the greatest of the 45 ethnic groups who live in the southern nation. They are grouped in clans and it is very important to know which clan you belong and who is the ancestor of the clan. The grave of the sacrificing animals on the grave of the ancestor is still widely spread. En route visit a coffee plantation and see how the coffee beans are picked by hand and processed.
Upon arrival check in to hotel. Overnight stay in Yabelo motel.
Day 4: SINGING WELL&CHEW BET CRATER LAKE (80 km. south of Yabelo; DRIVE FROM YABELO TO KONSO (120 Km. gravel, Appr. 3 H.)
After having breakfast you will drive 80 km. south to see a Borena singing well which are very deep wells used by the Borena to survive in their dry environment. The Borena men stand in a long row. The first man digs the water and the bucket is handed over from one man to the other while they are singing special songs. Hereafter visit the Chew Bet Crater Lake were the Borena people extract salt from the black, muddy water. Back to Yabelo for lunch.
After lunch & brief break you will drive to the town of Konso, which is named after the Konso people who are known for their religious traditions, waga sculptures and the nearby fossil beds. The people of Konso are also known for their efficient mountain terracing. You will arrive late in the afternoon to Konso. Overnight stay in Kanta lodge.
DAY 5: KONSO CULTURAL PROGRAM
Discuss with your local guide the program of today: the definite program depends on your interest and your physical condition. It is advicable to walk to different villages because it is the best way to reach less touristic villages and “taste” the landscape and get in touch with the local people.
Today you can visit different beautiful traditional Konso villages, partly by walking and partly by driving (There are several interesting villages such as Jarso, Busso, Kamole, Dekatu where you can see the weavers, potters and blacksmith at work. And the guide will show you the “generation poles” and “community house”. He will tell you about the ages old farming practices by which the Konso people have survived in this dry area. If you like, you can taste the traditional food as well.
You can visit also the natural phenomena “New York” which are huge sand pillars, made by erosion. Nearby “New York, is the beautiful traditional village of the Konso chief. If he is at home, it is interesting to talk with him because he speaks English very well and can tell you much about history, culture and social life of the Konso.
DAY 6: DRIVE TO JINKA (185kms most asphalted appx. 4 hrs)
On the way down into Weyto valley, you pass Weyto village where you possibly meet the beautiful Tsemay people (their villages are too far from the asphalt road to visit). Make a walk in the green mountain area of the Benna people and visit one of their family compounds. On Thursday you can visit the market of the Benna- and Ari people in Key Afer and on Monday a smaller market in Kako.
If there is no market day, you can ask your driver to visit a non-touristic Ari village (if time allows: Benatta which is 35 km. gravel road from the main asphalt road. There is a market on Thursday of Male and Ari people). Overnight Jinka Resort or similar hotel.
DAY 7: VISIT REMOTE MURSI VILLAGES (85 kms 1 way gravel road)
After breakfast drive to Mago National Park to visit Mursi people who are famous for the lip plates the women insert on their lips. The Mursi women are the most photographed and known in the Omo Valley in relation with their practice of inserting clay plates in their lower lips. This tradition is said to avoid the devil entering the body by way of mouth. Another theory is that they started with this habit to make the women unattractive for slave traders. But this days it is valuable display of beauty and wealth – so the bigger the plate the more beautiful and wealthy the bearer for the Mursi.
Don’t visit the very touristic and commercial village directly at the left side of the road. Here people ornament themselves and line up, waiting for the landcruisers with tourists. Ask your driver to drive appr.20 minutes further to Mareke village where normal life still has its course. Walk around in the village without camera and try to introduce yourself as a guest who is interested in the people and their way of life.
With a very early start, you can arrive early in Mareke and walk with a local guide appr. 1-1.5 h. to the even remoter village Dokuzo and with some luck, you can find there the Mursi medicine man who can show you some plants with healing properties. It is a hot area so take sun protection and a cap. Taking some gifts such as razor blade and soap or food items such as coffee, cooking oil, sugar, flour or other basic things (which can be bought in Jinka) is much appreciated by the Mursi people. Specially for the women this can be more useful than giving money.
Drive back to Jinka and if time allows: visit the small but interesting ethnological museum or walk to a nearby Ari village Overnight Jinka Resort or similar hotel.
DAY 8: DRIVE TO TURMI (128 kms asphalt/track, appr. 3 hrs) AND VISIT A HAMER VILLAGE
Today you will head to Turmi the main town of the Hammer people. In afternoon you make a walking trip with a local guide through the bush to more remote Hamer villages which are difficult to reach by landcruiser. Visit the people in their houses to chat with them. It is also possible to visit Hamer villages by landcruiser if you like, you can see the evangadi cultural dance in the evening. Overnight Buska or Turmi lodge.
DAY 9: OMORATE AND DASSANECH VILLAGE (72 kms gravel road 1 way appr 2.30 hrs); AFTERNOON MARKET (in Turmi or Dimeka)
Today you make an excursion trip to Omorate which is found east of the Omo River the sole feeder of Lake Turkana or Lake Rudolf. In Omorate there is a daily market and it is interesting to make a walk in the small town or to sit for a while at the shores of Omo River where the local Dassanech people cross the river by traditional wooden canoe (cut out of 1 solid stem) or bring their cattle down to the river to drink. You can cross Omo River by the same canoe and walk 2 to the nearby Dassenech tribal village. This village is very touristic, people ornamented and painted, asking you to make a picture of them (5 birr per photo) or selling souvenirs. If you like to visit a non-touristic village, ask your local guide to walk further OR don’t cross the river and ask the driver to bring you by car to a remoter village for which you have to follow a sandy track (this may be difficult in the rain season which is April/May and October/November).
Hereafter drive to one of the regional markets in Turmi (on Monday), Dimeka (Tuesday and Saturday) or Alduba (Tuesday). Specially the cattle markets are interesting to visit and see the cattle trade between the men in their colorful and sometimes extravagant outfit wich is partly traditional and partly “western”
Overnight Buska or Turmi lodge
DAY 10: KARO VILLAGES AND (if track condition allows) NYANGATOM VILLAGE.
After having your breakfast drive to Kolcho the settlement of the Karo people who are famous for the Men’s extravagant hairstyles and for the different ornaments and painting all over the bodies of men, women and children. Kolcho is very touristic, people decorate themselves and line up for the tourists to make photo’s of them against payment of 5 birr per photo. If you don’t want this humbug (or only for a short time), you can drive further down to less touristic village Dus on a sandy track, passing a huge sugar plantation. Make a walk into the village with a local guide. Because the area is hot, people spend the day sitting under grassroofs where they do their daily work such as grinding grain between 2 stones, preparing coffee and so on. You can sit with the people, try to grind grain and have some cultural interaction. If possible (depending on the road condition), visit a village of the Nyangatom people at the other side of Omo river. Men as well as women use body scarifications for cosmetic purposes, tribal identification and indications of prowess in battle. Overnight Buska or Turmi lodge
DAY 11: DRIVE TO ARBA MINCH (280 km. track/asphalt, appr.7-8 h.)
After having breakfast you drive back to Arba Minch. If road condition allows, you can take the route via Arebore and visit one of their villages en route. Arba Minch Meaning forty springs named after its several bubbling streams around the town. The town is also famous for being home of the two beautiful Rift Valley Lakes Abay and Chamo. Check in to your hotel and enjoy a great view on both lakes right from your hotel.
Overnight Paradise lodge or Swaynes hotel.
DAY 12: BOAT TRIP ON LAKE CHAMO AND WALK IN NECH SAR NATIONAL PARK
This morning you make a boat trip on Lake Chamo which is among the best anywhere in Ethiopia. One can spot many hippos and the world’s most spectacular concentrations of Giant Crocodiles. (It is locally called as the crocodile market) the water birds are great the scenery is truly unforgettable. Fishing for Nile perch and many other species by locals on their traditional boat is by far the best in the country. You will also watch various low land water birds like the African Fish Eagle, Great white pelicans, egrets, etc
Hereafter the boat will bring you to the other side of the lake where you enter Nech Sar National Park for a walk of app. 3 hours on the savannah plain where you can watch Burchell’s zebra’s, different bird species, baboons and probably also gazelle and Swayne’s hartebeest. (The tracks in the Park are not maintained and too bad to drive into the Park with landcruiser) Overnight Paradise lodge or Swaynes hotel.
DAY 13: DORZE EXCURSIONS
After having your breakfast in your hotel you drive to the beautiful and green mountain area of the Dorze.
You visit a family compound of the Dorze people to see their special beehive shaped houses which are entirely made of bamboo stem and leave The family can tell you about their life style and culture and the housewife shows you how their basic food is prepared from the stem of the enset tree.
If possible, visit one of the local markets (Chencha: tue, sat. Dorze: Mon, Thu) or make a walk in the mountains and visit the weaving cooperation. Overnight Paradise lodge or Swaynes hotel. OR Overnight Dorze lodge on an altitude of >3000 m. with breathtaking view over Rift Valley. The huts in Dorze style are very basic, most huts have common shower and toilet. It can be cold in the night.
DAY 14: DRIVE TO LANGANO (275 kms, asphalt road, appr 4.5hrs)
Early in the morning you drive to Lake Langano via part of the Rift Valley which is inhabited by Wolayta, Oromo and Alaba people. On the way you can stop at a compound of Alaba people to see their huts which are beautiful decorated. .
Overnight in Sabana Beach Resort (bungalow on a cliff with wonderful view over the lake. You can relax on the beach, play beach volley ball, swim in the lake or use a canoe or rent a motor boat).
DAY 15: RELAX AT LAKE LANGANO
If you like you can make an early morning or late afternoon trip to Shalla/Abyata NP (optional excursion), near to the lodge. It has 2 beautiful lakes with much bird life and you can also observe ostrich, warthog, Grant’s gazelle and baboons. Near 220 m. deep Crater Lake Shalla are hot springs.
Overnight in Sabana Beach Resort.
ALTERNATIVE: Lake Ziway cultural experience and o/n in Ziway Haile Resort (at the lakeside of lake Ziway).
DAY 16: DRIVE BACK TO ADDIS ABEBA (200 km. asphalt, appr 4 h.) AND NIGHT FLIGHT BACK HOME
Via lake Ziway (where you can observe different water birds, lake Koka and Debre Zeit with its 7 crater lakes, drive back to Addis. (200 km. asphalt, appr. 3 h.)
You can also choose the alternative route via Butajira and visit the Tiya Stella field (600 years old grave monuments) and/or Adadi Maryam rock hewn church and/or Melka Konture archaeological site en route (all optional excursions)
In afternoon you can do your last shopping and after dinner drive to the airport for in check.
Options for shorter Tour:
-Day 7: Only half day Mursi and drive to Turmi (spend 1 day shorter in Turmi)
OR cancel Mursi visit and drive day 6 to Turmi
-Only short visit to Dorze on day 13 and drive directly to Langano (save 1 day)
-Fly back from Arba Minch to Addis
-Cancel day 15 (relax at lake Langano)