- Written by Keb
The Central and Southern Ethiopia community tourism revolve around the Great Rift Valley Lake Ziway & Lepis forest, the Dorze and the Konso peoples. Lake Ziway with its island monasteries Tulu Gudo, hippos’, and different aquatic birds a fascinating place to visit. The Lepis forest where you hike through the stunning forest to the waterfall. On the Dorze highland you will visit the Dorze village with handicraft workshops and their fruit farms. The Konso Cultural Community takes you through the UNESCO registered World Heritage Site of Walled villages, and a participatory activity such as; Gerseral cultural dance and tree planting experience.
For more details visit Ethiopia Community Tourism www.rootsofethiopia.com
Tour Code: FET – CBT 01 Tour Program to Southern Ethiopia Community Tourism
Attractions: Scenery, Wildlife/Wilderness, Birds, Tribal Culture
Duration: 11 Days & 10 Nights
Transportation: Surface drive & Boat
Day 1: Arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Air port
Meet and greet you FANOS Ethiopia Tours representative at exit of luggage claim and transfer you to the hotel. Overnight stay Harmony hotel Addis Ababa.
Day 2: Addis Ababa City Tour
You will have an early breakfast and your first visit in Addis Ababa will be the National Museum (pre historic, cultural, archaeological attractions), Ethnographic Museum of Addis Ababa University (culture, dressing style, traditional practices of over 80 ethnic groups, and collection of traditional musical instruments). Lunch at Lucy Restaurant.
Your visit also comprises tourist attraction sites like Emperor Minelik’s Palace, St. Raguel’s Church (after a drive to Entoto Mountain - 3000 meter above sea level), Merkato, (the largest open market in Africa).In the evening, we will host you at one of the best traditional restaurants of Addis where you can see the folk dances of the Ethiopian people and taste Ethiopian variety of meals. Overnight stay Harmony hotel Addis Ababa.
Day 3: Drive to Sabana Beach Resort or Lake Langano
You will have an early breakfast and drive to Ziway (142 km from Addis Ababa). Upon arrival in Ziway take a short break and make a boat ride to Lake Ziway to visit Island monastery. Visit Zay people village and learn their culture and visit the St. Mary Tsion monastery (the Ark of the Covenant supposed to be placed during the 4th century). Then continue your drive to Langano for overnight stay in Sabana Beach Resort. Then you will arrive in Langano (late afternoon). You will check into a hotel. You will have dinner, rest & spend the night there. Overnight stay in Sabana Beach Resort.
Day 4: Drive to Awassa (78 km) & on the way visit Lepis Forest
After breakfast, you will drive to Awassa/Hawassa/ (78 Km from Sabana Beach Resort). On the way you make a detour in Arsi Negele to Lepis Forest (the forest is among this region’s most pristine and secluded natural wonders, with breathtaking and stunning views, endemic bird and wildlife species, and a natural waterfall. Make Hiking in the forest to visit different wildlife including; leopards, warthogs, bushbuck, mountain nyala, colobus monkeys, thick-billed ravens, African white backed vultures, and blue-breasted bee-eaters). You will have a lunch in the bush.
You will arrive in Axum late in the afternoon. You will check into a hotel and take a break. Dinner will be at the hotel. Overnight stay in Lewi or Haile Resort.
Day 5: Drive to Dorze via Wolayta
Today before starting drive to Dorze (280 km from Awassa) you will visit the scenic morning Fish market in Awassa where the fisher man sell his fresh Tilapia, Catfish, and Barbus whereas Pelicans and Storks are competing to take the left over. You can also spot Black and White Colbous monkey around the Amor Gedele. En route make a stop and visit Wolayta villages. You will arrive in Axum late in the afternoon. You will check into a lodge and take a break. Dinner will be at the lodge. Overnight stay in Dorze Lodge or at Mekonen House.
Day 6: Visit the Dorze Highland Community Tourism
You will have an early breakfast and make a visit to Dorze village where you can learn about the unique Dorze culture through experiential cultural hikes through the village. You can also try making clay posts, brewing local beer & spinning cotton at Dorze Cultural Hike. Overnight stay in Dorze Lodge or at Mekonen House.
Day 7: Drive to Arba Minch then visit Nech Sar NP & make a boat trip to Lake Chamo
In the morning, after breakfast you will drive to Arba Minch (48km from Dorze). Then you will check into a lodge and after a brief break, you will drive to Nech Sar National Park (a natural habitat for many wild animals: Zebra, Gazelle, & Antelope etc.). You will have lunch break at Arba Minch.
After a brief break, you will take a boat ride on Lake Chamo and visit to huge crocodiles, hippos and a variety of birdlife. In the evening you will have dinner at the lodge and stay the night there. Overnight stay in Paradise/Swaynes Lodge.
Day 8: Drive to Konso to visit the UNESCO registered Konso Cultural Landscape
You will be driven to Konso (90 Km from Arba Minch) right after breakfast. There you will check into a lodge and after a brief break, you will have lunch. Then, you will visit to the dramatic landscape that provides a stunning view of the Konso Cultural Landscape. Konso is well known for their colorful clothing, quaint huts, and detailed handcrafts, Konso offers so much for visitors. Overnight stay in Kanta Lodge.
Day 9: Drive to Yabelo
An early morning drive will take you to Yabelo (130km gravel road from Konso) through semi-arid area of Borena (the Borenas are semi-nomadic tribe and you can see a small flock of camels with their Borena owners here and there). Then you will check into a motel and after a brief break, you will have lunch. After lunch you will visit El Sod (home for a large salt deposit, also called the House of Salt), and a deep crater lake where salt is extracted. You will also visit the village of the Borena people. In the evening you will have dinner at the lodge and stay the night there. Overnight stay in Yabelo Motel.
Day 10: Drive to Yireg Alem
In the morning, after breakfast, you will drive to Yireg Alem (230 km from Yabelo) through the region of the Gedeo and Sidama people (where the hills and mountains are intensively cultivated in this densely populated area). You will arrive in Yireg Alem late in the afternoon. You will check into a lodge and take a break. Dinner will be at the lodge. Overnight stay in Aregash lodge, a peaceful view to green valley and to intense tranquility, with hayena and the sound of many birds. Overnight stay in Argash Lodge.
Day 11: Drive back to Addis Ababa via Tiya and Melka-Kuntare
After breakfast, you will be driving to Addis Ababa (325 Km from Yiregalem). On your way back to Addis Ababa via an alternative route through Ziway-Butajira, the green and fertile are of the Gurage people you can visit UNESCO registered the 600 – 800 years old Tiya stelae field and the interesting Melka-Kunture archeological site where thousands of Stone Age tools are found. There is also a small but interesting museum.
You will arrive in Addis Ababa late afternoon where you will do some shopping for souvenirs. Finally you will be taken to a farewell dinner depending on your scheduled flight; you will be transferred out to Bole International Airport for return flight back home.