Ethiopia holiday, southern explorer

“Two week small group tour of southern Ethiopia starting with a flight from Addis Ababa to Harar. Some long drives through scenic river valleys en-route to tribal villages and national parks.”


Addis Ababa | Harar | Awash National Park | Sheikh Hussein | Wabe Shebelle Valley | Bale Goba | Bale National Park | Awassa | Konso | Turmi | Omorate | Karo | Mursi | Jinka | Arba Minch | Lake Chamo | Lake Langano |

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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

We have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the environments we visit in Ethiopia are not damaged or spoilt in any way. Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to this trip and as tour operators, it is something we are careful to promote. Your tour leader on this trip will have been trained to uphold this policy and all clients are fully briefed on appropriate and responsible behaviour whilst in wilderness areas. It is for this reason that we keep the group size to a maximum of 12 people so we can minimise the human impact on the fragile sites we visit like Awash National Park on days 4 and 5 - a region rich in wildlife and bird species.

On this tour there is a great opportunity to see the endemic Mountain Nyala and Menekil’s Bushbuck along with other fascinating animals like warthogs and baboons whilst exploring the local woodland of Dinsho in Bale National Park. Your visit to protected areas such as these will benefit local community’s efforts to protect and conserve these delicate ecosystems.

We aim to choose eco-friendly accommodation where possible on our trip. Not only is this an opportunity to harmonise with the natural surrounding environment but it shows support for the local community’s efforts in environment conservation and sustainability. For example on day 12 in Jinka our travellers will find themselves in the eco-friendly permanent safari tents at the Eco-Omo lodge on the banks of the Neri River.

The Impacts of this Trip

As part of our responsibility to support the communities we visit in Ethiopia on this trip we consider it extremely important to make a significant contribution to the local economy where possible. We do this by using local ground handlers, local drivers and incorporating locally owned hotels, guesthouses and local restaurants into this itinerary. In this way not only do the operational costs go directly into the local economy but we are supporting the demand for employment opportunities in remote regions.

We promote opportunities for travellers to engage directly with the local communities. After all it is extremely important to us that all local communities can benefit from our tourism. In a region as ethnically and culturally diverse as the Omo Valley we seek every opportunity to pay respectful visits to a variety of different tribes and peoples. Days 9-15 of the tour are devoted to travelling through this extraordinary region so that you can get a real insight into the unique lifestyles, traditions and customs of its inhabitants. For example on day 10 we will explore the villages of the Konso on foot so our travellers can observe closely how these hardworking agriculturalists farm on ancient terraced lands.

We consider visiting local markets a less intrusive way of interacting with local people as they go about their day to day lives. The daily fish market in Awassa on day 9 and the famous ‘qat’ market in the village of Awedae in Awash National Park are great opportunities to learn more about local produce and local culture.

There is also a lot we can do behind the scenes in order to facilitate an enduring support structure for the communities we visit. To show a commitment to these values, in January 2009, we set up a charitable foundation through which we can directly channel funds to both existing NGOs and our own development projects. In addition to organising ethically sensitive tours, having our own charitable foundation allows us to raise money – through the cost of our tours, charity trips and fund raising events – which can then be used to fund various projects in education, sanitation, reforestations and a number of other important issues facing developing communities. We also support several other Aid agencies and NGOs around the world which are all carefully selected to improve the standard of living for the communities we visit. In Ethiopia we are proud supporters of TESFA an excellent community based tourist project in Ethiopia, set up by one of our former guides.


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