Connecting travellers to guides around the world

Choose Currency

12 Days Culture tour itinerary for ethiopia: Set Up Adventure Tour To Southern Towns

Addis Ababa, Arba Minch, Konso, Lake Chamo, Mago National Park, Turmi, Yabelo

Bird Watching Tour
Nature Tour
Culture Tour
Set Up Adventure Tour to Southern Towns

Ethiopian tribes


Check out Southern Ethiopia which comprises of some of Africa’s most popular tours which bring one closer to their proud cultures, social structures, festivals, body decorations and unique traditional lifestyle. 

DAY 01

Addis Ababa

  • Arrive at any time and make your way to the joining point hotel.

  • Join a brief departure meeting held in the hotel reception area on Day 1 of your tour. Upon arrival, look for information from your tour leader on the hotel bulletin board from regarding the meeting time.

  • Head to the National Museum containing a wide array of Ethiopian historical artifacts focusing on the pre- Aksumite, Aksumite, Solomonic, and Gonderine periods. It also has a wide array of Ethiopian art ranging from 14th century parchment to 20th century canvas oil paintings by leading modern Ethiopian artists. The museum houses anthropological and archaeological displays including Lucy, the fossilized hominid discovered in 1974.

  • Go to Entoto, about 3000m above sea level, which is the highest point of the capital and the seat of Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia. Here you enjoy panoramic views of the capital and the museum adjacent to the church of St. Mary.

  • Wander around Merkato which is the largest open market in Africa where you can find a bit of everything. The spice market is very interesting for its colourful displays and aromas. For some travellers one of the highlights of the Merkato is the “recycling market” where old tires are turned into sandals, corrugated iron is made into metal buckets, and olive oil tins from Italy are made into coffee roasters and scoops. Also interesting is the section where the narcotic leaf “chat” is sold.

DAY 02

Arba Minch/Dorze Village

Estimated Travel Time: 10 hours

Approximate Distance: 450 km

  • Depart early on your journey to Arba Minch, which lies a hefty 450 km south of Addis Ababa. Arba Minch is set on an escarpment overlooking the Rift Valley Lakes, with Lake Abaya to the north and Lake Chamo to the south. The town's name in Amharic literally means "forty springs" that are found around the town.

  • The full day’s travel will take through some fantastic scenery, including the Wolayta farmlands, with views of the lush green hills and valleys. 

DAY 03

Lake Chamo

Estimated Travel Time: 2 hours

Approximate Distance: 30 km

  • In the morning, take a relaxing boat ride on Lake Chamo, in Nechisar National Park, where you will see crocodiles famous for their huge size, hippos and water birds.

  • After lunch in Arba Minch, drive high into the Guge Mountains to spend the night with the Dorze people. They are famous for their beehive-shaped bamboo houses and products produced from the Enset plant. The Dorze people use ingenious terracing and have a unique traditional lifestyle with their colourfully woven cotton products.

DAY 04


Estimated Travel Time: 3 hours

Approximate Distance: 85 km

  • Continue further south to Konso - a crossroads of the region, for a visit of the area with a local guide, including a stop at the local museum, and even a visit to the Konso chief's compound - which includes the family graveyard and house of mummies.

  • Learn about local conservation efforts at Gersale village nursery, where you can choose to participate in a tree planting and reforestation programme. The Konso are a rich agrarian culture. They construct ingenious terraces and walls that encircle their fields and villages for protection against livestock damage and flooding.

DAY 05


Estimated Travel Time: 4 hours

Approximate Distance: 205 km

  • Cross through Weito, a village where you may encounter the Cushitic-speaking Tsemay people, and on to Jinka before settling for the night at Mursi Campsite in Mago National Park. Jinka is a frontier town with a mix of northerners and southerners. The Ari people are found around Jinka, and also inhabit the northern border of Mago National Park. Ari villages have neat compounds, fertile and scenic land with coffee plantations. Ari people have large livestock herds and produce large quantities of honey. Traditionally, the women wore skirts from the banana-like plant, called Enset.

DAY 06


Estimated Travel Time: 4 hours

Approximate Distance: 115 km

  • Rise for tea and coffee ready at 6:30 am for early risers.

  • Have breakfast at 7 am, after which you will have a short visit to say goodbye to the Mursi while your tents are being dismantled and the vehicles packed.

  • Depart for Key Afar market by 8:30 am stopping briefly in Jinka for coffee. The Key Afar market is frequented mostly by the Benna, Ari and Tsemai people. Local town officials and business people are also doing their shopping there.

  • Upon parking, proceed to the market. Your CEO will be stocking up on food supplies in the market with the cook for the next nights camping in Turmi. Anyone who wishes to accompany the CEO is free to do so, or you can move around the market on your own. The local guide will assist you also with your market visit.

  • Meet back at the hotel for lunch and then drive on to your Hamer campsite near to Turmi to set up camp for the next 3 nights.

DAY 07

Turmi Culture

Estimated Travel Time:7 hours

Approximate Distance: 110 km

  • Go on an excursion to visit the Karo people.

  • Eat breakfast at 7 am and depart for Karo at 8 am with your Ethiopian tour guide.

  • Visit a Karo village called Kolcho.

  • Get lunch back at your campsite after which your afternoon activity will depend on what is happening in the Hamer region.

  • Either visit a village or attend an Evangadi dance or if there is a bull-jumping ceremony, you will attend that.

DAY 08


Estimated Travel Time: 2 hours

Approximate Distance: 60 km

  • Savour coffee/tea available at 6:30 am for early risers.

  • Eat breakfast will be at 7:30.

  • Depart for Dimeka Market at 9:30 so you have some leisure time to walk along the river or relax.

  • Have a packed lunch in Dimeka and proceed from there if there is a bull-jumping ceremony going on. Your CEO will be purchasing food supplies in the market and anyone is welcome to join. There will also be a local guide here who can show you around.

  • Sit down for dinner back at your campsite.

DAY 09


Estimated Travel Time: 6 hours

Approximate Distance: 197 km

  • Consume tea and coffee ready at 6:30 am for early risers.

  • Eat breakfast at 7 am. Today is your excursion to the Dassanech people.

  • Depart for Omorate at 8 am. You must bring your passports for this excursion as they will be checked.

  • Cross the Omo River in dugout canoes to visit a Dassanech camp. The same principles of photo-taking with the Mursi apply with the Dassanech.

  • Come back to your campsite for lunch.

  • Pack vehicles, and depart at 2 pm for Konso where you spend the night at Strawberry Fields Ecolodge.

DAY 10


Estimated Travel Time: 2 hours

Approximate Distance: 105 km

  • Head west across various landscapes to the historic region of Yabelo, for a well deserved night in a hotel.

  • Visit a camel market, Borena village and then pay a visit to the Yabelo Wildlife Sanctuary to search for various species of antelope, warthog and zebra.

DAY 11


Estimated Travel Time: Day 10: 2 hours; Day 11: 8 hours

Approximate Distance: Day 10: 105 km; Day 11: 255 km

  • Start your journey back north to Yirgalem. This is a driving day to make it to your traditional Sidamo style lodge.

  • Drive through Borena and Sidamo areas.

  • Visit the Stele Yard at Tutu Fella.

DAY 12

Addis Ababa

Estimated Travel Time: 8 hours

Approximate Distance: 354 km

  • Depart Yirgalem, with a stop at Lake Ziway for some bird watching.

  • Visit communities near the Lake that are using energy-saving stoves, decreasing deforestation of the area.

  • Passing by the town of Shashemene, known for its Rastafarian community, continue to the modern and cosmopolitan Addis Ababa, perched on the slopes of the Entoto Mountains, where your tour ends upon arrival in the late afternoon.

  • 280 USD Per Adult (* Per Day. Discount for groups of more than 3 people.)
  •  An experienced, English-speaking local Ethiopian leader for sightseeing activities only.

  • Return airport transfers.

  • Accommodation.

  • A brilliant opportunity to explore the Omo Valley, home to a diverse and fascinating range of distinct tribal groups. Explore by 4WD with your local leader, stopping at local markets and villages to discover one of Africa's last great wilderness areas.

  • Addis Ababa, founded more than a century ago, means 'New Flower' in Amharic. At an elevation of 2400m, the third highest capital in the world, the climate is pleasantly cool. The city mixes past and present. Statues from the imperial times coexist with placards from the former Marxist Regime and huge billboards advertising current activities in the city, modern businesses, as well as development organizations' goodwill projects. The streets are a mesh of expensive cars, Old Russian “Lada model” taxis, as well as donkeys, sheep, goats, stray dogs and cats, medieval-looking priests and modern dressed working-class with mobile phones. Traditional mud houses stand not far from austere Fascist buildings and private-sector banks.

  • Southern Ethiopia comprises of some of Africa’s most popular tours which bring one closer to their proud cultures, social structures, festivals, body decorations and unique traditional lifestyle. 

Addis Ababa, Arba Minch, Konso, Lake Chamo, Mago National Park, Turmi, Yabelo

Bird Watching Tour
Nature Tour
Culture Tour

Contributed By

Mengistu Alemayehu

starting from
USD 280
Other Tours by this guide
  • tourHQ

    From USD


    Pack Your Bags for this ...

    15 Days

    Commence a historic route of Ethiopia beginning from the capital where you will cover all the major historical ...

  • tourHQ

    From USD


    4 Day trip to the ...

    4 Days

    Travel through the ancient Ethiopian towns, Addis Ababa and Lalibela. Explore the medieval rock-hewn churches, undiscovered ...

  • tourHQ

    From USD


    Attempt the Historic ...

    12 Days

    Witness Ethiopia’s attractions, which would be its abundance in historical sites, in the sub-Saharan parts which are ...