Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Dates: January 11–21, 2018
Begins & Ends: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Nearest Airport: Addis Ababa (ADD)
Leaders: Jeffrey Chapman & Winslow Lockhart
Maximum Participants: 8
(including 2 domestic flights)
(optional single supplement: $900)
Payment Policy: 3 Installments
• $500 deposit to confirm participation
• 50% due by June 1, 2017
• Balance due by October 1, 2017
This photographic adventure begins and ends in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Tuition includes hotels (based on double occupancy; single occupancy is available with payment of a single-occupancy supplement), meals, domestic flights (cost of flights are based on current rates and are subject to change if the airline increases prices), driver and guide tips, and local group transportation for the duration of the adventure. It does not include souvenirs, bar beverages, laundry, insurance (travel, medical, cancellation), nor any personal expenses.
This adventure is suitable for all levels of photographic experience. Participants must be in good health and able to spend each day walking and carrying their own equipment.
Tribes of Ethiopia Within The Frame Itinerary
The Lower Omo Valley of Ethiopia is as close as one can come to an Africa untouched by outside influences. This is Africa as it once was, and its mere existence is wonderful yet scarcely credible. It is home to some of the most incredible people and traditional culture in Africa.
Tribes of Ethiopia is about a deeper experience with some of the fascinating minority groups of the Lower Omo Valley, including the great weaving Dorze who live in bee-hive shaped bamboo houses, the Konso with their wooden totems, the Hamar and Benna who jump bulls, the Mursi and Surma who show their beauty by piercing their lips and inserting large clay plates, and the Karo with their chalk-painted bodies.
As exotic as we find some of these tribal minority groups, we will photograph these people with cultural respect and human dignity. Jeffrey and Winslow will work to promote an environment of mutual respect when we are photographing these minority groups. The photographs we create will be stronger as a result of the sincere care that will accompany our cultural curiosity.
This photographic adventure is about the passionate discovery and photography of people, place, and culture, with emphasis given to going deep not wide, and pursuing that most elusive of photographic necessities — our vision. It is appropriate for photographers of all levels, and you will be free to photograph independently or always with the assistance of one of the leaders.
Addis Ababa (Day One)
We will arrive in Addis Ababa in time for a meet-and-greet dinner and orientation to discuss our itinerary and events for our shared photographic adventure.
For the first and last nights, the group will stay at the luxurious Hilton Addis Ababa, which is set on 15 acres of lush foliage in the heart of Addis Ababa. It’s an oasis.
Arba Minch (Day Two)
After breakfast, we will transfer to the airport for a flight to Arba Minch in sourthern Ethiopia. We will check into our hotel, have lunch, and then take a boat trip on Lake Chamo, where we are likely to see a large number of hippos and crocodiles.
For two nights in Arba Minch, we will stay at the Paradise Lodge, which sits on a hill overlooking a stretch of forested land, known as “the bridge of heaven” that separates two lakes.
Chencha & Arba Minch (Day Three)
In the morning, we will drive to Chencha, home of the Dorze people, to photograph at the weekly market. The Dorze are renown cotton weavers whose tall, beehive-shaped homes are among the most distinctive traditional structures to be found anywhere in Africa. The “shama” cloth that is weaved around Chencha is regarded as the finest in Ethiopia. Plain white “Gabbi” robes and brightly colored scarf-like “netalas” are sold along the roadside.
Woito & Jinka (Day Four)
Today, on our way to Jinka, we will visit Woito Village, visiting the Benna tribes which are neighbors with the Hamar tribe. It is believed that the Benna actually originated from the Hamar centuries ago.
For two nights in Jinka, we will stay at Eco-Omo Lodge, which is located just outside of town in the heart of the Omo Valley.
Mago National Park, Mursi, & Jinka (Day Five)
After breakfast, we will drive into the Mago National Park where we may see Bushbuck, Dik Dik, Baboons, and Colobus Monkeys and then continue on to visit and photograph a Mursi tribe. The Mursi are known for their body scarification and the lip plates that the women wear. They live near the Omo River and in the Mago National Park. They remain nomadic, moving twice a year between winter and summer months. They herd cattle and grow crops along the banks of the Omo River.
Later in the afternoon, we will visit Ari villages, which are located in fertile and scenic lands with coffee plantations. They have large livestock herds and produce large quantites of honey. The women wear skirts from a banana-like tree called “Enset.” Ari women are famous for their pottery, which they sell to support their families.
Alduba & Turmi (Day Six)
On our way to Turmi, we will stop in Alduba to photograph the market where we will find Hamar, Karo, Oromo, and other tribes.
For two nights, we will stay at Buska Lodge in Turmi. Overlooking the plains of the Buska Mountain, Buska Lodge is an eco-lodge that works to foster assistance to the local Hamar community.
Omorate, Karo, & Turmi (Day Seven)
This morning we will drive to Omorate and then cross the Omo River by canoe to visit the Dasenech villages and the Galeb tribe.
Later in the afternoon, we will visit the Hamar village. Both Hamar men and women take great pride in their appearance. They shave and color their hair, oil their bodies, and decorate themselves with beads and bracelets worn around both their arms and legs. We will also visit the Duss and Korcho villages to photograph the Karo, who are considered masters of body painting when they prepare for dances, feasts, and celebrations.
Key Afer & Konso (Day Eight)
On our way to Konso, we will stop in Key Afer for the Thursday market, which is one of the most colorful markets in southern Ethiopia. Here we will find Tsemay, Ari, and Benna.
We will overnight at Konso Kanta Lodge.
Konso & Arba Minch (Day Nine)
Today we will visit Konso Village. The Konso are known for their intricately terraced hillsides, fine woven materials, and the carved totems with which they decorate their graves. Traditionally, the Konso live in hilltop settlements that are enclosed by stone walls measuring up to two meters high. Usually, these hilltop villages will have no more than three or four entrance gates and can be reached only by a limited number of steep footpaths.
After visiting the Konso, we will drive back to Arba Minch and overnight at Paradise Lodge.
Addis Ababa (Days Ten – Eleven)
After a relaxing morning, we will fly back to Addis Ababa for one last afternoon and evening in the capital before concluding our photographic adventure the following morning, enjoying the company of new friends, and planning our next adventures before saying our goodbyes and heading home.
Although this represents the photographic adventure’s planned itinerary, it is subject to change at the discretion of the adventure leaders.