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Ethiopia: Journey through the Omo Valley

Not only one of the most fascinating countries on the continent, Ethiopia is also incredibly diverse, both culturally and geographically. Travelling south from the capital, this spectacular journey takes you past the Great Rift Valley and deep into the Omo Valley, home to some of the most colourful and interesting tribal groups in the country.

From Addis Ababa you will journey south by 4WD, travelling through the spectacular landscapes of the East Africa Rift Valley. On entering the Omo Valley you will visit the distinctive beehive house of the Dorze people, before taking in the crocodile market of Arba Minch and the waters of Lake Chamo. The drive to Jinka then takes you through the remote heartlands of the Konso and the Banna people and on to the Mago National Park, home to the Mursi, with their distinctive lip plates.

The important market town of Turmi provides a chance to watch the tribes gather from all across the region, before seeking out the Karo, the most threatened of all the Omo Valley tribes. The return journey towards Addis then offers an opportunity to enjoy more of the Rift Valley’s natural charms and abundant birdlife.


Tour Includes:
  • 11 nights characterful three star lodge accommodation, 1 night locally graded four star hotel
  • 11 breakfasts
  • Accompanied by a local driver and separate English speaking guide for the duration of the holiday
  • Private 4WD Land Cruiser for one or two people
  • Sightseeing programme including all entrance fees
  • Private guided transfers to and from all airports


  • Please note the prices shown are per person and based on two persons sharing a twin or double room

Ethiopia in 60 Seconds


Ethiopia reviews

Quotation Mark

One of the best Wild Frontiers tours in 14 years of travelling with the company - Ethiopia is a delight to the......

Jane Clayton-Jones


Talk to us about Ethiopia
Nigel

Wear slip on shoes - you're not allowed to wear them in the churches so you'll be taking them off a lot.

Jonny
Jonny

When visiting the Simien Mountains, take binoculars - they're great for spotting Ibex and Gelada baboons.

Lulu
Lulu

The cuisine of Ethiopia is underrated, but the coffee as most people know is out of this world.

Peter

Limalimo Lodge is a wonderful property in the Simien Mountains with outstanding views.

Speak to one of our team on 1 844 867 4928 or use the simple online form below

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Wild Miles Explained

How it works

When you book a holiday with Wild Frontiers you are awarded ‘miles’, which are based on the return distance from London to the arrival city of your trip. Wild Miles are awarded for all our holidays, from walking tours to riding holidays and from escorted group tours to tailor-made trips. When you accrue Wild Miles, you will qualify for the following discounts on all future bookings:

Blue: More than 10,000 miles travelled - 2.5% discount
Bronze: More than 30,000 miles travelled - 5% discount
Silver: More than 45,000 miles travelled - 7.5% discount
Gold: More than 60,000 miles travelled - 10% discount

For more info please click here

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Private Tour Pricing Policy

Land Only prices usually include all accommodation, meals, private driver and vehicle, experienced local guides, excursions including entrance fees, airport transfers mentioned in the itinerary. They may also include certain domestic flights. But please bear in mind the tour price is only an estimate and for specific pricing exact dates of travel must be known. Please contact us for more information.

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Travel Tips

• Take a torch to Lalibela - you'll need it for the churches.

• Wear slip on shoes - as you're not allowed to wear them in the churches you'll be taking them off a lot.

• If you like a bit of nightlife, check out one of the jazz bars in Addis.

• When visiting the Simien Mountains, take binoculars - they're great for spotting Ibex and Gelada baboons.

• And in the Omo Valley take plenty of small change - locals charge to have their picture taken.

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Practical Info

Time: The Julian calendar is used in Ethiopia and their current year is 7 years behind us. Christmas is celebrated on 7th January and New Year on 11th September. Some Ethiopians set their clocks from dawn to dusk and there is a six-hour difference between Ethiopian time and Western time.

Ethiopia is 3 hours ahead of GMT. A useful website to check the time zone differences is [http://www.worldtimezone.com | www.worldtimezone.com]

Food and Alcohol: The Ethiopian Highlands are predominantly Orthodox Christian with ‘fasting’ each Wednesday, Friday and during Lent when only vegetarian dishes are available. The main hotels do not worry about this and therefore it should not be something that affects you.

As far as alcohol is concerned everything is available but the quality is sometimes questionable. For a decent spirits it’s probably best to buy duty free. Beer is very good and wine – of a reasonable quality – is available, but will need to be carried in the vehicle.

Electricity: Those bringing video & digital cameras that require battery chargers should also bring a 3 pin (round), ‘Swiss’ style adapter. In the Ethiopia they use 220v. In most hotels you can charge from the mains using a travel adaptor plug, but electricity supplies can be erratic.

Money: In Ethiopia the official unit of currency is the Birr.
To check out the latest exchange rate for the places that you are visiting you can go to [http://www.oanda.com | www.oanda.com]

A few points to help you plan: • Only the few large hotels and banks accept credit cards and Travellers Cheques so they are basically useless. • It is strongly recommended you travel with US dollars, Euros or Sterling in cash.
• It is useful to bring lots of small denomination notes. • By keeping the receipt you get when you change money in Addis you can change back any spare currency prior to departure.

Language & Religion: Ethiopia has 83 different languages with up to 200 different dialects spoken. The largest ethnic and linguistic groups are the Oromos, Amharas and Tigrayans. Amharic is the official national language of Ethiopia. English, Arabic, Italian and French are widely spoken by many Ethiopians.

The main religions in Ethiopia are Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Paganism. Ethiopia is a predominantly Christian country and the majority of Christians are Orthodox Tewahedo Christians.

Cultural Sensitivity: At Wild Frontiers we are very aware of the ethical impact tourism can have on ancient cultures. We realise that taking a group of tourists through such a region can have a negative impact on the lives of those who live there and on all our tours we go to great lengths to minimise the negative and accentuate the positive…after all, there are also many good things that the tourist can bring.

To help this process we ask that our clients do not hand out pens or sweets to children. As one sign in Egypt emphatically put it, ‘Please don't make beggars out of our children!' No matter how well intentioned, in our opinion the dolling out of free gifts fosters a ‘beggar mentality' that is ultimately extremely destructive to a society. In addition we do not condone giving out money to beggars or ‘students'.

However, we also realise that we are exceptionally privileged to be travelling in areas where most of the people have far less than us and that the desire to ‘help' can be very powerful. As a result we ask that you refer to the Wild Frontiers Foundation which supports specific projects in the areas where we travel.

Photography: Please remember, we are guests in Ethiopia and we may sometimes inadvertently cause offence by taking photographs without first asking permission. Many countries have very strict rules about taking photos of army, police or any official personnel; restrictions apply at borders, bridges and any government building. Please exercise care in this regard as the penalty is often confiscation.

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When To Go

The weather in Ethiopia, at least in terms of the heat, is fairly consistent all year round. The only real change is in rainfall and as all our trips go between the end of the long rains (September) and the beginning of the short ones (April) this should not be a problem. During the day the temperature hovers around the mid 20’s, falling to an overnight low of 6-8 degrees (and perhaps even colder in the mountains).

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Flight Information

The flight time from London Heathrow to Addis Ababa is 7:45hrs direct with either Ethiopian Airlines and BMI.

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