01. THU. Arrival in Addis Ababa. Transfer to the chosen hotel. Have a free morning. Afternoon (1400 hrs from the hotel) tour of the capital: visit the Ethnographic museum, view from Entoto mountain and the Mercato, biggest open air market in Africa. Meals free. ON (overnight) hotel.
02. FRI. Drive to the Rift Valley lake of Zway & Awasa for very nice nature and lot of birds. If time permits make also a boat trip on lake Awasa. Lunch on the way; dinner & ON hotel
03. SAT. Early morning around 06 visit the fish market in Awasa. After breakfast drive to the Arbaminch. Ones arrived, check-in and lunch at Emerald Resort Arbaminch. Emerald Resort is a beautiful Resort with a spectacular view over the Rift Valley lakes of Chamo and Abaya which are divided by a mountain called in Amharic “Yezghier dildi” which means “Bridge of Heaven” and the Netch Sar National park, in Amharic meaning “white grass”. www.emeraldresortandlodge.com
Afternoon drive to Chencha mountain to visit the Dorze people, with their unique culture, houses and traditions. The Dorze are famous for their elephant truck shaped houses, their cultivation of the false banana (from which root they extract their traditional bread called Kotcho), the weaving works, cultivation of sorghum and more. If time permits visit also their Saturday’s market. Meals & ON Emerald Resort Arbaminch
04. Morning drive about 2 hrs from Arbaminch south to the Omo valley and visit a Konso people village, famous for being the first in Africa to start the terracing agriculture. Visit their culture, lifestyle, way of counting the age of the village, the community works and much more. Note well that this is a UNESCO heritage site! Have spectacular view over the hills too. Afternoon proceed to Turmi, the famous colorful Hamer people town.
Have lunch in Konso; dinner & ON Emerald lodge Turmi
05. MON. Morning walk with the Hamer people to the colorful Turmi’s village weekly market. This is the Monday’s market of Hamer, Dassanech, Karo and Tsemay people. Enjoy this vibrant market, meet different people and see how they merchandise. Afternoon visit a Hamer villages and understand their way of life and culture. With luck we’ll try to participate to ceremonies as the bull jumping and the Evangadi dances. The Hamer are known for their unique custom of “bull jumping” which initiates a boy into manhood. First, female relatives dance and invite whipping from men who have recently been initiated; this shows their support of the initiate, and their scars give them a right to demand his help in time of need.
The boy must jump back and forth twice across the backs of a row of bulls or castrated steers, and is ridiculed if he fails. Have meals & ON Emerald lodge Turmi
06. Morning drive to Omorate, at bank of the Omo river, to visit the Dassanech people.
Are very colorful villages and interesting culture. We are at border with Kenya. Afternoon relax and make walks around Turmi for the Hamer people and villages. Have meals & ON Emerald lodge Turmi
07. Very early morning drive to Jinka town (about 2 hrs driving); then enter into the Mago National park, cross it to proceed to visit the Mursi people and their villages. Here for beauty women use to put round plates into their lips and men different scarifications all over their body. Their villages and way of life is very unique. Have a lunch box before or after the Mursi village visit; dinner & ON in a hotel in Jinka.
08. THU. Early morning drive to visit one Ari people village with very interesting traditions. Then proceed to KeyAfer village to visit the weekly market of the Tsemay & Erbore people. After the market’s visit, proceed to Konso. Have lunch on the way (KeyAfer or Konso); dinner & ON Kanta lodge or Korebta lodge.
09. Drive to Yabelo and visit the Borena people and villages. Visit Dublock singing wells and walk to ElSod crater, where down from a marshy lake Borena men extract salt for their cattle. ON Moyale in a hotel
10. Conclude the border process and then drive to Marsabit national park. Far to the north of Kenya, a densely forested mountain and three crater lakes provide a haven for a variety of birdlife, mammals and reptiles. The beautiful Marsabit National Park is a refuge for huge tusked bull elephants, diverse birdlife and reptiles. Late afternoon make a game drive. ON lodge in the park
11. Full day Marsabit. Hikes in the dense forest, wreathed in mist can be enjoyed along with camel rides, bird watching and visits to the singing wells. ON lodge in the park.
12. Cross the Chalbi desert. Visit also the Gabra, Turkana, ElMolo and Samburu people.
The Chalbi Desert, a 100,000 square kilometer area (38,610 square miles) that is aptly named in the native language of the Gabra people as “salty and bare.” was once part of an extensive lake, as evidenced by the basin that fills with shallow water during heavy rains and fossilized remains of snail shells and fish vertebrae. Prepare yourself for an eerie landscape edged by rocky lava flows, cracked earth and a sandy mixture of white salt and clay. Even in this barren and desolate location, you may see a shadow emerge in the distance, as ostriches, grevy’s zebras, oryx, spotted hyena and other animals are often observed in the desert.
On the northern edge is a gorgeous area of oases with groves of palm trees that attract sand grouse and other birds including vulturine guinea fowls. The oases are also used by the Gabra people as water sources for their camels.
Another contrasting landscape in the desert are the Huri Hills and Mount Forole to the north, at the Kenya-Ethiopia border, where temperatures are slightly lower and the wilderness is much greener, giving you a private escape from the desert heat while enjoying expansive views of the hottest location in Kenya.
Reach late afternoon Loiyangalani. Loiyangalani is a small town located on the southeastern coast of Lake Turkana. Loiyangalani means “a place of many trees” in the native Samburu tongue. It is home to Turkana people and was founded near a freshwater spring in the 1960s where the El Molo people live. Its main industries include fishing, tourism and gold panning. It is a popular tourist destination in Northern Kenya, as the surrounding El Molo and Turkana villages offer unique experiences.
In June 2008, the 1st Cultural Festival took place at Loiyangalani and united all tribes of the Lake in celebration for one weekend.
The town is home to an airstrip and lies near Mount Kulal (50 km), known for its forest and stones. There are a few Lodges in the area, the “Oasis Lodge”, the “Palmshade Camp”, the “Mosaretu Women’s Groupe Lodge”, and the “Sailo Bandas” all located only a few hundred meters from the airstrip.
Loiyangalani was the setting for John le Carre’s novel, The Constant Gardener, and was also a location for the film of the same title. Dinner & ON Oasis lodge or similar
13. A day to enjoy these very interesting tribes, and also Elmolo bay, or south island. Optional make a boat excursion too to be organized & paid locally. Have a lunch box; dinner & ON Oasis lodge or similar
14. Proceed to the Samburu National Reserve. The reserve is rich in wildlife such as the Grevy Zebra, Somali Ostrich, Reticulated Giraffe, Gerenuk and the Beisa Oryx (Also referred as Samburu Special). The reserve is also popular with a minimum of 900 elephants. Large predators such as the Lion, Leopard and Cheetah are an important attraction. Wild dog sightings are also a common attraction to this unique protected area. Birdlife is abundant with over 450 species recorded. Birds of the arid northern bush country are augmented by a number of riverine forest species. Lesser Kestrel and the Taita Falcon are species of global conservation concern and they both utilize the reserve. Five species categorized as vulnerable have recorded in the reserve. These are African Darter, Great Egret, White-headed Vulture, Martial Eagle and the Yellow-billed Ox-pecker. Critically endangered species under CITIES – Pancake tortoise (malacochersus tornieri) is found in the reserve. Dinner & ON lodge
15. Full day game drive and visit of Samburu National Reserve. Meals & ON Lodge
16. Drive to Nairobi to reach at evening. Dinner at the famous carnivore restaurant, before transfer to airport for departure (or if next day, ON hotel in Nairobi).