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Born Free Safaris and Tours
Safaris, Tours and Travel to Africa for 35 Years
Series: Spirit of Adventure
Location: Ethiopia
Length: 9 Days
Accommodation Comfort: Simple Pleasures
Priced From: $3918

Sheraton Addis Ababa
Aregash Lodge
Paradise Lodge
Jinka Hotel
Buska Lodge
or Evangadi Lodge

Addis Ababa
Omo Valley
Arba Minch

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Extraordinary Cultural Expedition Through Southern Ethiopia


In Ethiopia’s desolate Southern Omo River Valley, there are several tribes living as they have for centuries. This will be an extraordinary opportunity to meet some of the people of this fascinating region. This is not an easy trip, and conditions are basic. There will be little structure to what we will actual see or how we will be involved. Accompanied by an expert guide, we will aim to meet as many of the local people as possible. Highlights may include encountering the Karo, who are experts at body painting and scarification; the Mursi women, who stretch their lower lips as a sign of beauty; the Suri people, renowned for Donga stick-fighting; and possibly view the Hamer people’s coming-of-age ceremonies.

Born Free schedules tours around market days, which give the best opportunity to truly experience what life is like in the Omo. We also recommend traveling to Ethiopia to witness the annual Meskel celebration. For the adventurous traveler you will be rewarded with a rich, one-of-a-kind experience!

Cultural interactions in the Omo Valley

Beautiful, lush countryside

Colorful and exotic markets

Meetings with elders

Special departures for festivals

Day 01: Addis Ababa
Day 02: Yirgalem
Day 03: Arba Minch
Day 04: Jinka
Day 05: Mursi
Day 06: Turmi
Day 07: Murulle
Day 08: Konso
Day 09: Addis Ababa / Your Journey Onwards

Full Itinerary



DAY 01 Addis Ababa

Arrive in Addis Ababa from your overseas journey, or perhaps after visiting Northern Ethiopia. Dinner in a traditional Ethiopian restaurant tonight.

Sheraton Addis Ababa (Dinner)

DAY 02 Addis Ababa To Yirgalem

Journey into Ethiopia’s Omo region, one of “Africa’s last culturally untouched regions”. Its unique beauty starts to unfold just outside of Addis Ababa. Visit Yirgalem, with its clusters of unusual bamboo homes that look like straw hats, and travel through Leku. According to local lore, Queen Furra established a kingdom dominated by women here.

Aregash Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 03 Yirgalem To Arba Minch

Board your 4×4 vehicle and head to a beautiful forest, inhabited by birds found nowhere else in the world. Stop at one of the small Dorze villages, full of bamboo houses; the inhabitants used to be warriors but are now renowned for their phenomenal weaving. Continue on to the larger town of Arba Minch, full of freshwater springs, for the evening.

Paradise Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 04 Arba Minch To Jinka

Up early this morning and continue on to Jinka, with interesting cultural encounters along the way. The Konso, a pagan people, erect eerie wooden totems, have numerous cults based around serpents, and have developed a highly specialized and successful agricultural economy that from the less-than-fertile hills and valleys that surround them. This is an excellent day to meet the people, take photographs with them, and learn of a culture that has had very little outside influence.

Jinka Hotel (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 05 Jinka

Another exciting day amidst the spectacular topography of the Omo basin. Meet the Hamer people, who are some of the most beautiful and dignified in the area. Hamer women smear their hair with red mud and butter, and insert wooden and terra cotta discs into the ear lobes. You may also meet Mursi women, who split and stretch their lower lips to make room for increasingly larger discs – a sign of great beauty. Back to Jinka for the night.

Jinka Hotel (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 06 Jinka To Turmi

Visit the lively Dimeka market this morning, which attracts members of many different tribes. Drive towards the Murulle area, where you will see the Karo ethnic group. The Karo are famous for their unique body decorating culture, using clay and vegetable pigments to draw fantastic patterns on their faces, chests, arms and legs.

Buska Lodge or Evangadi Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 07 Turmi

Venture back out to the Murulle area. Visit the village of Dus before heading back to Turmi for over night stay. It is an extremely interesting day as your guide takes you to interact with several tribes to observe just how different they all are.

Buska Lodge or Evangadi Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 08 Turmi To Konso To Arba Minch

Continue your journey along the Mountains of Men, taking in the splendid panoramic views. See part of the 3,500 mile long Great Rift Valley, where the human race is believed to have originated. Stop en route to meet the Erbore people, and continue driving to Konso, a settlement known for its grave signs. Travel along Lake Chamo before arriving back in Arba Minch for the night.

Paradise Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 09 Addis Ababa And Your Journey Onwards

Head back to Addis Ababa on a long, winding drive, via the Hosana Road. You may visit the tribal Gurage settlement or Tiya, a large, prehistoric burial complex. Your journey ends today – but this truly will be one of the most interesting and special trips of your lifetime! A dayroom is available for your convenience before you bid farewell to Ethiopia.


Ethiopia Historic Route

Born Free Safaris 2013 Tariff Rates per person, US dollars

Season Double Occupancy Single Occupancy Solo Traveler*
All Seasons $3918.00 $4288.00 $5585.00

Rates are for land arrangements only. International airfare not included.
The Born Free Travel Desk will assist in the coordination of the most cost-effective air schedule.

* Solo Traveler rate is for a guest traveling alone, not joining a group.
Holiday surcharges may apply.

Contact the Born Free office for departure dates.

All departures are guaranteed, with some dates subject to a minimum number of passengers to operate. Specialty properties are subject to final confirmation. Should the minimum number of guests not be met, we will offer one of the following options: offer an alternative date; modify services, if necessary, with the approval of the traveler; or an optional supplement will be offered. Should no alternative be acceptable, Born Free will offer a full refund of all monies received.

Not to worry. Born Free will customize your trip. Custom does not mean more expensive – in some cases, it may even be less. Custom means doing what you want, when you want, in the style you want. A Born Free specialist will listen to your ideas and/or advise you of hidden gems that you may not be aware of. Call 800-372-3274.

Meet and greet services at the airport; All transfers to and from airports, hotels and lodges; Accommodations as specified in the itinerary (subject to confirmation); Meals as specified in the itinerary; All touring and game activities as specified in the itinerary; All entrance fees; Professional English-speaking guides; Hotel & local tourism taxes

Born Free is Fully Insured * U.S. Bank Account * Assistance with Visas and International Airfare

International airfare; internal airfare (required from Durban – Port Elizabeth; travel insurance; passport and visa fees; airport departure taxes, unless noted; gratuities to dining room and room staff; gratuities to private guides; meals other then what is stated; beverages; excess baggage charges; personal expenses such as laundry, communication charges.

Gratuities are not included for local guides and are at the traveler’s discretion and should be based on the level of satisfaction of the services received. Recommended guidelines for each safari will be provided on the Born Free pre-tour documentation.

Call the Born Free office at 800-372-3274 to request space availability and departure dates. We will also assist in coordinating the best airfares or guiding you on how to use your points or mileage. If you are planning to make your own air arrangements please request a suggested flight schedule from us first.