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Addis Ababa to Arba Minch

Overlanding is the only way to see East Africa! Dragoman have been leading the way in African overland expeditions since 1981, so take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. Africa's Rift Valley is home to some remarkable tribal groups and visiting them is one of the biggest highlights of this adventurous trip. It's a challenging region to travel in, and overlanding provides the only real access to these isolated communities. You'll spend time on Lake Ziway exploring the beautiful Tulu Gudo island and learning about the unique culture of the Zay people, before trekking through the stunning scenery of the Bale Mountain National Park. We will then explore the remote tribal area of Ethiopia's Omo Valley, visit several villages and learn all about the traditional ways of life here - it is not for the faint hearted, but the rewards of visiting these rarely-visited areas are very worthwhile! Join us for an unforgettable and adventurous trip into some of the most fascinating and remote regions of East Africa!


Duration: 15 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Active/Adrenaline, Community Project, Trekking, Hiking, Local Culture & Cuisine, Historical Sites, Parks & Nature Reserves Physical rating: Demanding
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 162961
Starts: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Finishes: Arba Minch, Ethiopia
You will Visit
  • Addis Ababa
  • Lake Ziway
  • Bale Mountains National Park
  • Wendo Genet
  • Awassa
  • Arba Minch
  • Omo Valley Region
  • Konso
  • Moyale
  • Samburu Village

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Addis Ababa

Border Information: If joining in Addis Ababa, you will most likely enter Ethiopia at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (IATA code: ADD).

There will be a group meeting at the joining hotel at 6:00pm. Please look out for a note from your tour leader at the reception when you arrive giving more details about this important meeting.

The rest of the day before this meeting will be free to explore Addis Ababa and visit the city's many museums - we recommend that you arrive early (or the night before) if you would like the chance to fully explore the sights of Addis Ababa. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Addis Ababa before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Addis Ababa.

In Addis Ababa we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

02

Day 2: Lake Ziway

Today we will leave Addis Ababa and head to the small town of Ziway.

After lunch we will take an included boat trip across Lake Ziway to Tulu Gudo Island, where we will have a short guided tour of the ancient monastery there and view some of the old religious manuscripts.

In Ziway we will stay in a small local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

03

Day 3-5: Bale Mountains National Park

Today we will leave Ziway and drive to the stunning Bale Mountains National Park.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.

We will enjoy 2 full days to explore the National Park. We will keep one day completely free to head out for optional guided walks - there are several possibilities for routes, including highland routes up the hills and moorlands searching for mountain nyalas, or lowland walks through the forest areas to look for Bale monkeys! On the other day we will drive in the truck up to the Sanetti Plateau, all the way to the fourth-highest point in Ethiopia (the 4359m summit of Tulu Dimtu) to explore the primeval landscape and search for Ethiopian wolves.

In the Bale Mountains we will stay in dorms in a basic lodge near the entrance to the National Park.

04

Day 6-7: Wendo Genet

Today we will head north to the small town of Awassa, where we will have an included visit to the Awassa Children's Project in the afternoon. This is a home for local children orphaned by the HIV epidemic, and we will be shown around and see how public donations and the support of Dragoman goes towards feeding, sheltering and educating the children.

After our visit we will head to Wendo Genet, a small town in the hills above Awassa, where we will stay for the 2 nights.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to explore the region, go on an optional walk to some nearby waterfalls, or take a dip in the nearby hot springs.

In Wendo Genet we will camp in the grounds of a small local hotel.

05

Day 8: Arba Minch

Today we will travel to the town of Arba Minch, a small town overlooking Lake Chamo. 

In Arba Minch we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

06

Day 9: Arba Minch

Today we will have a free day to relax and explore the scenic area, or to take an optional boat trip on Lake Chamo to the view the crocodiles that reside there.

07

Day 10-12: Omo Valley Region

Over the next 4 days/3 nights we will be exploring the remote and rarely-visited tribal areas of the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia.

We will keep these days on a flexible itinerary so that we can react to news of special events being hosted by particular villages or tribes; as such, we cannot provide an exact itinerary for these days. However, we will aim to visit various tribal villages in the area, such as villages of the Hamer, the Mursi and the Konso tribes. 

In the Omo Valley we will camp in basic campsites on each night without the possibility of upgrades, and we will try to spend at least one of the nights camping in one of the tribal villages (this is not guaranteed to be possible on every trip). 

Estimated Drive Times - between 4-9 hours each day.

Please note that we will be travelling through very remote areas with rough roads and basic conditions on these days. Please also note that it is absolutely vital that you follow your tour leader's directions regarding responsible tourism in these regions, especially with regards to giving things away for free and taking photographs of the locals.

08

Day 13: Konso

Today we will arrive in the town of Konso, marking the end of our time in the Omo Valley region.

In Konso we will camp in the grounds of a basic lodge.

09

Day 14: Moyale

Today our group will split between those finishing in Arba Minch and those continuing towards Nairobi.

Those ending their trip in Arba Minch will have a local transfer back to Arba Minch today, where you stay in a local hotel. 

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

Those continuing south will have a full drive day across the Kenyan border to Moyale, where we will stay in a basic local hotel or camp in a local campsite.

Border Information: Exit Ethiopia at Moyale, enter Kenya at Moyale.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

 

 

10

Day 15: Arba Minch

Border Information: If you are leaving in Arba Minch, you will most likely exit Ethiopia at Arba Minch Airport (IATA code: AMH).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Arba Minch. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Those continuing towards Nairobi will travel to the Samburu region today.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Take a boat trip across Lake Ziway to Tulu Gudo Island, and explore the old Coptic monastery on the island
    • Head out on various walks through the forests, moors, and mountains of the beautiful Bale Mountains National Park
    • Head up to the incredible Sanetti Plateau on a day trip with our overland truck, stopping to explore the area on foot and search for Ethiopian Wolves
    • Relax in the hot springs at Wendo Genet
    • Visit the Dragoman-supported Awassa Children's Project, a home for orphaned children from the area
    • Journey through the remote Omo Valley, visiting several tribal communities along the way (possibly including the Hamer, Banna, Mursi, Ari, Konso or Danesesch tribes)
    Tour Staff
    • 2 crew, 1 local guide In the Omo Valley in Ethiopia you also be accompanied on the truck by a local guide
    Accomodation
    • 45% Camping - 55% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • Adventure Activities
  • Community Project
  • Hiking & Trekking
  • History & Culture
  • Nature & Wildlife