We are thinking of flying out of the U.S. on 12/26, assumedly landing in Addis on the 27th or 28th.
12/29: fly to Arba Minch for 5-day Omo tour
12/30-1/3: Omo tour
1/4: uncommitted: prob travel from Arba to Addis
1/5-1/8: fly to Lalibela for Genna and churches
1/8: fly to Gondar; one full day probably
1/9-1/11: Gondar(3 hours, ground) to...Axum(10 hours, private ground transport)
1/13: Axum to Hawzen(3 hours ground)
1/13-1/15: Gheralta Lodge
1/16: uncommitted day; prob travel to Mekele
1/17-1/19: Danikil three-day tour
1/20: probably fly back to Addis...then....we want to go one more place...maybe Zanzibar? or is it too far and is it terribly expensive? or Djibouti, to swim with whale sharks and to relax?
I would appreciate any comments on the above itinerary, as I plan to begin making plans soon.
This Sound like a good itinerary.
My opinion will be based for you to go to Zanzibar.
I think going there looks like a good decision, there a lot of activities you can do over there. In my experience, your trip to Zanzibar from Addis Ababa can take from 2:30mins to 3.40mins, depending on your flight routes which may cost from $650 to $1000 for economy class, depending on the airline that you will travel with.
Zanzibar trip is not always expensive, it is you who you may decide whether it should be. If you will spend fewer days and stay in mid-range accommodation or less quality than that, then it will be expensive. But it is higher when you go in the other way.
So for the case of how much will possibly be, I suggest you have to list of the number of days, what you want to do and which type of accommodation will be your best fit.
My other recommendation
If you prefer to go to other destination in East Africa which I will also recommend (as Zanzibar is within), then I suggest you put Zanzibar in the end. If you have never been on safari, I will suggest adding two, three or more days for a safari in Tanzania. There is a lot of parks in Tanzania, located in each part of the country. I will recommend northern Tanzania, where Serengeti, Ngorongoro, and Mount Kilimanjaro rise on top of all East Africa, and possibly among of the best destinations you might've heard before.
So how your itinerary will look like now?
You will fly from Addis Ababa to Kilimanjaro International Airport, start your safari upon your arrival or take a rest in Arusha (A capital city for tourism in Tanzania). Whatever the days your safari trip may have, the last day you can take a flight from Kilimanjaro or if you're in Serengeti National Park, you can get a direct flight from the park to Zanzibar.
For all your safari and Zanzibar visits, It won't be easy to plan it yourself, I recommend you contact any of the travel specialists in Tanzania. This will be much easier than doing yourself.
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This is a detail day by day program of the Omo Valley Tribal Ring to discover the daily authentic and uninterrupted life of an untouched tribal communities.
Day 1, Sunday. Pick up from the airport and drive directly where we will make a right turn right before the city of Arba Minch and head to the Dorze tribe of Chencha and visit the village life of these people; famous for traditional cloth making by weaving cotton using locally made instruments. We will visit their late afternoon village life. Finally, we drive back to Arbamimch and overnight in forty spring hotel Arbaminch
Day 2. In the morning we drive directly to Jinka where we will make a stop in Konso and visit the village life of these hard working communities ,well known for their terracing culture that dates back to some 500 years, to cultivate crops especially Maize and Sorghum in a challenging topography which has been recognised by UNESCO as a heritage. After visiting this village for as long as you want and head to Jinka where we will visit the village life of the Ari tribe who live on the plateau lands surrounding Jinka town (The administrative town of the 16 different Tribal communities of the Omo valley area). Overnight Jinka
Day 3. In the morning we head to the unique tribe of Mursi (The women are famous for putting clay made circular lip and ear plates which symbolizes beauty in honor) crossing through Mago National Park in order to reach their village. We will visit the uninterrupted authentic daily life activities the entire afternoon where this will give an excellent time of interaction which makes it a once in a lifetime time experience. Overnight through camping with the tribes where we will have an excellent cook with us and a well organized team with complete and clean camping gears.
Day 4. In the morning after breakfast we drive back to Jinka and then continue driving directly to Turmi where we will have several village stops on our way down to meet the tribes we come across as such: Banna and Hammer tribes village life daily activity with no interruptions till late afternoon and overnight in Buska Lodge. Not forgetting to mention that we will attend any colorful tribal markets we come across which happen once in a week in each tribal destination. Overnight mango lodge
Day 5. In the morning we drive further down to Omorate which is a border town with the Northwest Kenya as to visit the Dasenech tribe deep in their remote villages leaving the commonly visited ones by going down as far as the Northern tip of Lake Turkana and experience a wonderful time you will never forget. Later on we drive back to Turmi and camp overnight with one of the most hospitable tribes of the Hammer people within their communal village compound with an excellent interaction time.
Day 6. In the morning after breakfast we drive to Karo Tribe's village of Korcho located in near by a panoramic omo rivers view after driving some 60Kms from Turmi and visit these amazing tribes who are considered to be the least numbered in terms of population size among the Omo Valley tribes. Return Turmi overnight mango lodge
Day 7. Morning drive to Demeka join one of the colorful tribal markets in Omo Valley where the Hamer and Banna tribes meet after the market visit drive to Arbore tribes camping
Day 9. Drive back to Addis Ababa through the rift valley region
This will be the detail day by day Itinerary which I assure you is going to be the best possible experience that you and your team will never forget as a once in a lifetime cultural adventure in one of the remote and untouched tribal communities that managed to keeping it unaffected by the continuous aggression of "Civilization". I do hope that the special and one of my favorite program I designed you above could be an excellent plan for your interests. If you have any questions or suggestions you might want to consider, then I would like to tell you that I am at your service.
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