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Travel experience rich in interactions with ethnicities and contact with nature

Ethiopia is a country with an emblematic culture, one of the only African countries not colonized by Europeans. Its authentic cuisine received Italian influence in the 20th century. It is known as the cradle of humanity because it is believed that the first hominid appeared here. Our expedition begins in the capital, Addis Ababa and then we head to the south of the country, where the highlight is the different ethnicities that we will meet in the Omo River valley. Culture, gastronomy and nature in a 9-day trip.

Day 1

Ethiopia one of the best cuisines on the African continent. Arrival at Addis Ababa Airport (ADD) in the late afternoon (see our suggested flights at the end of the program).
Meeting at the airport with our reception team and transfer to the hotel for check-in.
Group meeting at 9pm in the hotel restaurant for a welcome drink. Rest.

Day 2

At 11 am we will go on a gastronomic walking tour of some food & beverage establishments where we highlight their best dishes. Our guide tells the story behind the food and the traditions involved in preparing the food and drinks. A walk full of aromas and flavors where we will have the opportunity to do several tastings.

In the middle of the afternoon we will be presented with a challenge: how to make Injera, a type of giant pancake that is the basis for almost all Ethiopian dishes. A group of women experts will be guiding us with their preparation techniques and we will have the opportunity to prepare our own Injera.

Return to the hotel in the late afternoon and free evening.

Day 3

Departure after breakfast for a tour of the capital with a visit to the National Museum, which has one of the most important collections in Africa.

Next we will visit the Ethnographic Museum located inside a palace in the gardens of the Federal University. It explains the history of Ethiopia, describes the life and culture of various tribes, presents elements of the spirituality of the Ethiopian people, among other topics.

Before hunger sets in, we will be at Merkato, considered the largest street market in Africa. It’s a true cultural immersion through Ethiopia led by a local expert guide to understand all the dynamics of commerce and get to know local habits better. Products range from live animals, spices, raw and ready-made foods, handicrafts, clothing, footwear and even antique objects stores.

Before the sun sets, we will be at the panoramic viewpoint of Mount Entoto, which offers panoramic views of the city. There we will enjoy a few drinks and exchange information about the experience we had on that day.

Day 4

Departure at 7am south of Addis Ababa through the Rift Valley. From today onwards our transport will be in 4×4 vehicles for greater passenger comfort. We will spend the morning traveling with a special stop in the Lake Ziway region to observe the birdlife on the banks of the lake, including one of the largest birds in the world, the marabou stork, and try the local fish that is fried whole and served with tubers. We will arrive in the city of Yirgalem around 1pm for lunch and check-in at Aregash Lodge. The accommodation was built in the middle of a coffee plantation and made up of Tukuls – huts with bamboo roofs in the style of a traditional Ethiopian village. Accommodation offers the services and comfort necessary to have an excellent travel experience.

In the early afternoon we will visit the coffee farm and learn about the production processes of what is considered the best coffee in the world. On this visit we will learn more about the care of the coffee plantation, from the plant to the harvest and understand how cooperatives work to meet the high demands of the international coffee market. The coffee harvest runs from October to January, so we will follow the harvest and processing of the beans during our visit.

At the beginning of the evening we will participate in a traditional coffee ceremony. We will taste it collectively and also understand the details surrounding the ritual. Free dinner and rest.

Day 5

After breakfast at Aregash Lodge we will continue our investigation into coffee and learn more about its history, cultural aspects in production and consumption, social issues and the employment chain, as well as its relevance to the Ethiopian economy.

We will leave late in the morning for an approximately 4-hour trip to Arba Minch. We will stop for lunch in Sodo and then climb the Gughe Mountains to visit the Dorze people, famous for their huge huts, a classic example of simple architecture, resembling a giant beehive. Although these hardwood and woven bamboo huts appear fragile, they can last up to 60 years. Each hut has a sort of “nose” at the south end, serving as a reception room. In the middle of the cabin there is a fireplace for cooking and also low benches for sitting around the fire.

Thursday is market day in the village of Dorze and that’s why we chose that date to visit them. During the visit we will learn how to prepare the local bread called Kochoo, made from a fake type of banana tree, and we will follow the female tradition of weaving. Weaving is the main profession for many but there are also farmers who plant crops through ingenious terraces on the mountainsides.

In the late afternoon we will check in at the Haile Arbaminch resort where we will again stay in an urban hotel, this time with a view of the Abaya and Chamo lakes. Free dinner and rest.

Day 6

Resting morning in the apartment or taking advantage of some of the hotel’s wellness services. We will leave late in the morning for the city of Konso, home to one of the World Heritage sites in Ethiopia. Konso is known for its stone walled villages and significant cultural landscape: In an arid location, organized into terraced dwellings and stone walls, a community has lived for 21 generations.
The landscape demonstrates the common values, social cohesion and engineering knowledge of its communities. After our lunch break, we will continue our journey to Turmi, home of the Hamer people. On the way there, we will receive information about this unique culture, its symbols and social organization. The Hamers are one of the most populous ethnicities in the Omo Valley (almost 50 thousand). The community welcomes us for a visit and will show us their art in colorful bead necklaces and other handcrafted accessories full of meaning. On the outskirts of the village we observed its production activity, involving the raising of goats and cattle, planting corn, tobacco and cereals. We will arrive at the hotel in the early evening to check in. Free dinner and rest.

Day 7

We will go in the morning to the city of Omorate, close to the border with Kenya, to meet the Banna ethnic group whose body paintings are full of meanings.

We will return for lunch at the hotel and check-out.
Then we will leave for Dimeka to visit the local market – one of the largest in the south of the Omo River valley and frequented by people from various tribes such as Hamer, Benna, Tsemai and others. The high point of the market is from 1pm as most participants travel on foot from their communities. We will find several ethnicities together selling different products.

In the middle of the afternoon we will arrive in the city of Jinka and have a cooking class with an Ari tribe. The Ari are agricultural people, using their own technologies for planting coffee and sorghum and producing livestock. They make honey and their own alcohol. They produce their own tools and some women make pottery to use and sell. Check-in at the hotel with free dinner and rest.

Day 8

After breakfast we will visit a tribe of the Mursi ethnic group, known for their plaques on their lower lips and earlobes. But its culture goes far beyond the props. The Mursi people live in the Mago National Park and their population is around 8,000 inhabitants. They are not farmers, raising livestock is the most important thing for them. They make their clothes from cattle skins and also sleep on them. It will be our farewell activity to the people of the Omo River Valley.
We will return for lunch at the hotel and check-out. We will board the Ethiopian Airlines flight that leaves at 2:15 pm for Addis Ababa. Arrival in the capital and transfer to the hotel.
Special dinner to end the trip and rest.

Day 9

Breakfast, check-out and departure to the airport to catch the flight back to Brazil.

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Food Safari