Tailor-Made Holiday

Ethiopia - Tribes of the Omo Valley

9 days

from $3,650pp (excluding flights)

To travel through Ethiopia’s Omo Valley is to remind oneself that there are ways of life that still exist that are vastly different to our own. The Omo is renowned for the vibrancy and distinctiveness of its people.

  • Visit the crocodile-hunting Dassenach people, staying at a mobile camp nearby
  • Meet the colourful Kara, renowned for painting their bodies with a tapestry of colours
  • Explore the Omo Delta by boat, visiting isolated and rarely encountered communities

This holiday will put you in a position to meet with some of the Omo’s most fascinating tribes such as the Dassenach, Mursi, Hamar and Kara. While we will put together an itinerary for your holiday, rigid schedules will often be meaningless and counter to the experience most travellers will desire. It is imperative that you are given time and opportunity to get to know the various hosts on your trip. This will often mean reacting spontaneously to a chance encounter, so do not expect to follow your itinerary in a prescriptive fashion.

The Omo Valley is a wild place and is therefore not for everybody. This holiday does not attempt to sanitise your experience and will not cosset you from the realities of life in one of Africa’s least developed regions. We believe this makes for memorable and profound encounters with some of Africa’s most fascinating and charismatic tribes.

Sensitive photography and responsible travel in Ethiopia

We take great care to ensure the interaction you have with the people of the Omo Valley is done in a sustainable, respectful and non-exploitative fashion. Too often, cultural tourism of this kind is conducted with the emphasis on the experience and needs of the visitor rather than the host. The exchanges made possible on this trip will give equal consideration to both parties. This will enhance your enjoyment of the experience as well as giving the people of the Omo a positive impression of tourism.

The Omo Valley is an exciting place for photographers and you should return home with images with which you will be very happy, safe in the knowledge you have not exploited or antagonised the local people to obtain them.

How will I travel?

You will travel by a combination of air, river and road. The roads in the Omo are a combination of asphalt and dirt tracks. The asphalt roads are in a very good condition and there is a lot of work being done to extend the road network throughout the Omo. The guide price shown is based on scheduled flights between Addis and Jinka (return); however, speak to our travel experts to find out about travelling around Ethiopia and the Omo region by private charter flight or helicopter.

Accommodation

As well as staying at the excellent, river-side Lale’s Camp, you will also stay at a combination of mobile camps and fly camps, at locations that provide easy access to some of the Omo’s wildest places and most rewarding cultural interactions.

Blog

Read about Jarrod's experience in the Omo Valley, and how the region is changing, here.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights $Flight cost from 
$ 4927.5 $ 810
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Addis Ababa overnight

Day 2

Drive from Jinka to the Omo Valley


Drive from Jinka to the Omo River, which is around three and a half hours away. Then travel by boat to Lale's Camp, which is situated on the banks of the river.


The Omo River Valley is a beautiful, untouched area of south-west Ethiopia, where local tribes have lived for many years in complete isolation. A visit here offers a privileged and fascinating insight into the unique culture and ethnic traditions of some of these tribes, many of which have remained unchanged for centuries.


You will be staying at Lale's Camp, full board

Day 3

Visit a Hamer Village
In the morning, visit a remote Hamer village in the region. Watch how the early morning routine in these remote communities is carried out, returning to camp for breakfast, After a two to three-hour journey on the river, reach the southern extremities of the Mursi areas.

Here, expect to encounter remote villages coming down to the river during the day. Their villages are up in the nearby mountains and these villagers remain relatively cut off from outside influences. The Mursi are the most renowned of the Omo tribes, with their lip and ear plates.

A packed lunch will be had upriver. In the evening, take a boat cruise with a good chance of seeing wildlife.


You will be staying at Mursi Camp, full board

Day 4

Explore Mago National Park
Cruise up the river a short way and take a short walk into the park. Return to the camp for breakfast, before heading back down to Lale’s Camp.

In the afternoon, walk up a wide sandy river bed and camp under the stars for the night close to some Hamar villages.


You will be staying at Hamar Fly Camp, full board

Day 5

Visit the Kara in Dus
Spend the morning learning about the Kara in the village of Dus. Witness a body painting ceremony.

In the afternoon, there will be at a local celebration in the village of Dus before returning to camp late in the evening to hot showers and cold drinks around the fire.


You will be staying at Lale's Camp, full board

Day 6

Drive from the Omo to Jinka


Leave the Omo Valley and journey northwards to the town of Jinka. Pass through a number of small market towns before reaching Jinka. This journey should take around four hours.

Fly Jinka to Addis Ababa


Meaning 'New Flower' in Amharic, the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa contrasts strongly with preconceptions of this supposedly drought-ridden and barren country. Sitting on the temperate Abyssinian Plateau, the city's balmy climate makes it more tropical than desert-like.

A booming centre of commerce, Addis Ababa - often known merely as 'Addis' - is a city that seems to be constantly on the move.
Whilst it is full of culture, history and fine gastronomy, the city is also teeming with people which can at times seem overwhelming, but the more time spent exploring, the more the city will win you over.


You will be staying at Sapphire Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 7

Fly Addis Ababa to London

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Lale's Camp

Lale's Camp

Named after its owner, Lale, a proud local Kara, Lale's Camp sits on the edge of a sweeping ox-bow bend of the river Omo....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Ethiopia

Bridget Cohen, Travel Expert

"Bridget had a great knowledge of the areas being looked at and given I have spent time in both countries, it required someone who completely understood the type of camps preferred."

"Bridget's service was very personal and friendly whilst maintaining a professional manner. All my questions were dealt with promptly and efficiently."

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Illona Cross, Travel Expert

"Illona was quite simply brilliant. She listened and carefully noted what we thought we wanted, made suggestions and came up with an itinerary which suited us down to the ground."

"Excellent personal service; well-informed local knowledge; dependable outcome; quality of experience."

Read More

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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Holiday Ideas in Ethiopia

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