Ethiopia is a truly remarkable country that offers a variety of experiences across the land.
Full of culture, history and colour - whenever we visit Ethiopia we are always struck by the people; their pose and their hospitality is so welcoming.
This trip through Ethiopia will take you from top to bottom starting in the north Tigray region which is home to ancient hill churches - some 400m up and built into the sheer rock face.
After a brief stopover in Addis, you then head way off the beaten track using a lightweight mobile camp in the little visited south of the country.
From the remote region of Kibish, famous for early hominid remains, and home to the Surmi and Suri people, heading down the Omo River by boat and into the Omo Valley National Park, on Kenya’s northern border.
The Omo Valley is home to a plethora of tribes that amazingly still manage to exist largely in isolation from the outside world. These include the Kara - expert body painters who use clays and locally sourced vegetable pigments; the Hamar, whose women wear their hair in dense ringlets topped off with head-dresses of aluminium and the Mursi - one of the oldest tribes in Africa, best known for the heavy clay lip-plates worn by women.
This is a truly remarkable opportunity to visit one of Africa’s last unexplored frontiers; the Omo basin is a kaleidoscope of culture, tradition and terrain and tourists are still a rarity in these parts.
It’s truly unique and quite unlike the rest of Africa so I’d highly recommend that all Africa lovers go there at least once.”
You'll be met at Addis Ababa airport and transferred to the Tigray region where you'll have two nights in Korker Lodge - a perfect base to explore the northern regions of the country.
Exploring ancient churches
All fresh from a good nights sleep you'll head out with your private guide to view the ancient hill churches - some over thousands of years old and hewn out of sheer cliff faces. Exploring northern Ethiopia is a wonderful mix of history, culture and tradition.
Day 3 & 4
Arrive into camp in style
The next couple of days will be spent travelling south including a short stopover in Addis before flying into the Omo Valley by private charter. Your private guide will be with you all the way as you head into Lale's Camp in the Omo Valley.
Named after it's proud local Kara tribesman owner, Lale, this camp sits perfectly on a large bend of the Omo River. Each tent has it's own veranda and en-suite facilities.
Time with the Kara tribe
This is sure to be a fascinating and rewarding element of the intinerary with a visit into a Kara tribe village to see first hand their remarkable body painting skills and traditional cermonies.
Day 5 (continued)
Time with the Kara tribe
Men of the Kara Tribe, one of the smallest tribes in the Omo Valley - expert body painters and known for their ‘Bula’ or ‘Pilla’ initiation, a coming of age ceremony requiring the initiate to leap over rows of cattle without falling.
Day 6 & 7
Sleep under a blanket of stars
After a boat transfer up the Omo River you arrive at your camp for two nights - a stunning location on the dry bed of the river. Time to star gaze until your heart is content.
Day 6 & 7
Interaction with the Mursi people
During your two day stay in camp you will spend time with the Mursi people from the mountain areas of the Omo basin. A tribe well-known for their traditional clay lip-plates
After your final night back in Lale's Camp you'll transfer to Murulle Airstrip for a private charter back to Addis Ababa.
A note from Catherine
AFRICA'S LAST UNEXPLORED FRONTIER
Whenever I go back to Ethiopia I’m struck more than anything by the people; their poise and their hospitality above all. But also by the country’s dramatic scenery and its remarkable history.
It’s truly unique and quite unlike the rest of Africa so I’d highly recommend that all Africa lovers go there at least once.
I’d recommend heading north first. Take in the history and experience the culture, this is where you’ll find extraordinary rock-hewn churches built into the mountainside with relics dating back thousands of years, but it’s also an area with some wonderful trekking in the mountains.
When you’re ready for something highly unusual, head south deep into the Omo Valley as I did. The chance to spend time with tribes that have little or no contact with the outside world is a great privilege. Meeting the lip-plated Mursi tribe was an unforgettable few days; many of these tribes still live as they did in biblical times and when you’re interacting with people that have never come across a camera, iPad or even mirror - you know you’re in a very special place. Exploring with a private mobile camp adds hugely to the flexibility of the trip as well as making this a real luxury. As always, the chance to fly-camp under the stars tops it all. You’re deep in the wilderness so it’s not for the faint hearted, but in our experience it’s always a major highlight.
Our experienced travellers include:
It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.
All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.