Hamer Tribe Ethiopia 2

Timket and South Ethiopia

12 days from £3,720/$4,465pp (excl. international flights)

Addis Ababa  – Harar  – Jinka  – Turmi  – Konso  – Arba Minch

Timket, Harar and Southern Ethiopia Adventure

Explore the incredible history and people of Ethiopia with this off the beaten track trip where you will witness the spectacular Timket Festival, see the famous Harar walled city and finish by exploring the different tribes and areas in Southern Ethiopia.

Start the tour by experiencing the Colourful Timket Ceremony in Addis Ababa, before heading to the ancient walled city of Harar for two nights. Harar is the second oldest settlement in Ethiopia and the fourth holiest city in the Islamic world.

Return to Addis and then head down to Ethiopia’s remote untouched south. A veritable paradise for photographers and naturalists, the area is dominated by many different ethnic groups who all share an omotic language as classified by linguistics.

All this in the company of one of our expert tour leaders – Assefa Genetu – who will explain the traditions of the Timket Festivities, make the historical sites come to life and introduce you to the fascinating tribes of the Omo Valley.

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The itinerary…

Day 1: 17th January 2025 - Start the adventure

Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa

Take the Ethiopia Airlines flight from the UK direct to Addis Ababa arriving early morning the following day.

Day 2: 18th January 2025 - Welcome to Addis

Timket Ethiopia

Ketera

On arrival in Addis Ababa in the early morning, you will be collected from the airport by your dedicated, English-speaking guide and your driver, who will then transfer you to the Golden Tulip Hotel where you will stay two nights with breakfast included. After check-in you will be able to relax for the rest of the morning.

After lunch, you will be taken for an afternoon city highlights tour. Stops include the Museum where the bones of ‘Lucy’ are exhibited (very interesting and like some of the country’s other museums, exhibits are impressively maintained and presented); Trinity Cathedral and Mt Entoto Park.

In the evening you will meet up with your guide and attend the beginning of the Timket festival – known as “Ketera” or the Eve of Epiphany. The “Tabot ” (replica of the Ark of the Covenant) is taken out of each church and borne aloft by high priests – usually to the nearest water source – where the communal baptism will happen the next day.

Day 3: 19th January 2025 - The Timket

Timket, Addis, Ethiopia

Timket

After a leisurely breakfast your tour leader and driver will collect you from the hotel to take you to the spectacular Timket celebrations.

Special passes will have been arranged for you, so that you have optimal positioning for enjoying the events – which take place in Addis Ababa’s Jan Meda district.

Day 4: 20th January 2025 - To Harar via Dire Dawa

Hyena Harar 2

Hyena feeding ritual in Harar

Fly Addis Ababa to Dire Dawa at 11h30.

Your private guide will travel with you from Addis. On arrival you’ll have the chance to visit the old Dire Dawa railway line (definitely recommend) before a short lunch in a local restaurant. After this depart by road directly for Harar (around 1.5 hours).

You will stay for the next two nights in a traditional Harari Guest house within the walled city (the best known of which is the Rowda Waber).

In the early evening, your guide will take you to view Harar's unique "Hyena Feeding Ritual". Conducted just outside the city walls, this eccentric ritual has been practiced by selected families for centuries.

Day 5: 21st January 2025 - Explore Harar

Harar Entrance

Harar walled city entrance

All the diversity in Harar is a testament to its deserving its position as a UNESCO-listed world heritage site, spend the day enjoying everything it has to offer.

Full day for a guided tour of Harar including:

  • The so-called "Christian Market" part of the modern Harar
  • The "Jegol Wall or enclosure" that shielded the old Harar built in 1551/52 by Emir Nur Mujahid in order to stop the advance of the Oromo people
  • The formidable gates to the walled city
  • Exploring the old town and its overwhelming Middle East ambiance on foot…. local markets, narrow passages, Mosques
  • Colourful local Hareri Houses,
  • The Hareri Museum
  • Arthur Rimbauds house

Day 6: 22nd January 2025 - Down to the Omo Valley

Market Omo

Market in the Omo Valley

Early start this morning as you depart by road for Dire Dawa for your 10h05 flight to Addis. You will then connect onto the 12h20 ET flight to Jinka, the gateway to the Omo Valley.

In the afternoon you can visit the Kako market, before returning to the Eco Omo Lodge where you will be staying for the next two nights.

Day 7: 23rd January 2025 - Mago National Park and the Mursi

Omo Valley

Members of the Mursi Tribe

In the morning, drive to the Mursi village in the Mago National Park. This is a very scenic 1.5 hour drive down into Mago NP, with an enjoyable mixture of birdlife and savannah scenery.

Return to Jinka for a late lunch and in the afternoon, visit Jinka’s South Omo Research Center and Museum which will provide a very useful overview of the many different tribal groups of the region. Overnight for second night Eco Omo Lodge in Jinka.

Day 8: 24th January 2025 - Onto Turmi

Hamer Tribe Ethiopia

Young lady of the Hammer Tribe

This morning depart for Dimeka (1.5 hrs) to arrive in time for the midweek Market of the Hammer tribe.

In the afternoon proceed back to Turmi to stay for the next two nights at Buska Lodge. You can visit the Hammer Market in Turmi on your way there.

Day 9: 25th January 2025 - The Omo River

Karo Tribe Ethiopia

Boys of the Karo Tribe on the Omo River

Drive from Turmi in the morning to visit a Karo Village on the banks of the Omo River at Murule. In the afternoon, proceed to Omorate to visit the Dassenech tribes, and if you are lucky a village of the Nyangatom may also be included.

Overnight for second night at Buska Lodge in Turmi.

Day 10: 26th January 2025 - To Konso

Konso Village Overview

A traditional Konso village

Drive to Konso (3.5hrs). Spend day here exploring the 11 villages that have all recently been registered as UNESCO world heritage sites.

As Bradt guide author Philip Briggs writes: “The Konso rank among the most singular of African peoples”. With your guide you will learn about their unique village structures, their communities that are centred around ‘generation sets’ and their interesting burial practices.

Day 11: 27th January 2025 - Arba Minch and Lake Champ

Crocodile Chamo

Crocodile in Lake Chamo

After breakfast, depart on the long but scenic drive through varying countryside back to Arba Minch arriving in time for lunch.

In the afternoon enjoy a short boat ride on Lake Chamo to ‘the Crocodile Market’, then enjoy a guided tour of a Dorze Village.

The Dorze are best known for the design of their homes ('like bee-hives on steroids' as Philip Briggs calls them) and their weaving abilities.

Stay overnight in Paradise Lodge

Day 12: 28th January 2025 - Home Time

Paradise Lodge View

Paradise Lodge view

Spend the morning and lunch at leisure at Paradise Lodge.

In the mid afternoon fly back to Addis, arriving at approx. 17h10. Here you will say your goodbyes to your guide and continue with your onward journey back to the UK.


Duration: 12 Days

Location: Ethiopia Holidays, Africa

Price: £3720pp

This trip is for 12 days from £3720pp (or $4465pp)

Cost includes:

  • An expert English speaking guide throughout the tour.
  • All hotel accommodation in twin / double sharing basis.
  • All meals throughout, except in Addis which is on a breakfast only basis.
  • All the ground transportation and transfers. Comfortable mini buses are used in Addis and Harar. Expedition-equipped 4x4s are used for the South.
  • All entrance fees to museums, and historical and archaeological sites. Plus government taxes and service charges.
  • All third-party activities - including a boat trip on Lake Chamo, and the rangers that will accompany the group in Mago National Park.
  • Drinking water is provided throughout

Not included:

  • International and domestic flights (domestic flights should be purchased at the same time as international flights to benefit from greatly reduced ‘add-on’ fares – speak to our team).
  • Lunch and dinner in Addis (this is due to the busy and changeable schedule involved in the Ketera and Timket festivities).
  • Drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature.
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