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Ethiopia Photo Tour 2020

  Safari OverviewPhoto SafarisPrivate ToursPhoto HidesBook a Safari with Shem
 

Introduction

This exclusive, small group tour provides a rare opportunity to photograph the “best of the OMO” in Ethiopia, with the most efficient travel itinerary possible.

Split by the Great Rift Valley and rippling with seemingly endless mountains, Ethiopia’s geography is as dramatic as its history and culture. Ethiopia is the cradle of our earliest known ancestors; a hub for some of the first Christians, Muslims, Jews and a last frontier for some of Africa’s most intriguing wildlife and photogenic tribal traditions.

It simply is a wonderland of exotic tribes and cultural mix and in recent times, the Omo valley has become the most famous of Ethiopia’s tribal groups. The Omo is remote lowland area of the country split be the languid and meandering Omo River. To qualify the word remote, don’t expect to see any other westerners on this expedition. We won’t be visiting the towns of Turmi, and nor will we be driving through the areas that other western tourists visit. Rather, we will be driving into the heart of the Omo and take you into sections of the Omo where few others go, to find as most authentic groups of tribes as possible. Here, with our local guides we will share with you the heart of the Omo. Expect boat rides up the Omo river for a night of fly camping - where you will sleep in amongst the Mursi tribe, expect to be invited into the homes of Kara people along the river bank working their fields in the early morning and expect to drive out to Hamar villages bustling with life. 

Shem Compion has been photographing African culture for the past 15 years and has a special affinity for Ethiopia, where he finds being in the remote areas stimulates people’s creativity and allows them to express themselves naturally: creating wonderful connections with the people and then making magic as photographers. Shem’s gentle approach combined with his technical expertise will guide you in taking some of the most amazing images of culture you have ever taken.

Come and join Shem in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley on this safari. It will be a journey of a lifetime and with images to last a lifetime.

 

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Why These Particular Destinations & Subjects?


A person can visit Africa many times to photograph its spectacular wildlife, scenery and cultures, but it requires a discerning eye to discover and appreciate photographic opportunities in uniquely iconic destinations. I continually seek ‘less-travelled-by-others’ destinations for each photo safari and tour and this one introduces you to destinations that reveal an Africa, you possibly may not have known existed. It is not about seeking lions, leopards or other ‘big cats’ as I anticipate those interested in joining me on this tour will already have undertaken a number of such photo safaris.

I wish to introduce you to subjects of Ethiopia, each unquestionably unique in its own right but when brought together into the one journey, offers a kaleidoscopic selection of travel and cultural photography. The photography you will experience on this trip is some of the richest you will find in Africa, if not the world. The itinerary is a carefully selected set of unforgettable experiences for those who dare to find them. It has been created for photographers who have a passion for travelling “towards the edge” in search of compelling images.

PLEASE TAKE NOTE
In many of the areas we are travelling to, there are few roads and very little protocol with regards a ‘formal’ itinerary. If some of the tribes are not in the area when we are there, then we won’t see them. To make sure we have the best opportunity to witness the Omo valley at its best, we are working very closely with our local guides, who have lived in Ethiopia their whole lives and who specialize in the Omo Valley. Over this time they have gained a reputation for running the best photo based groups into the valley and their reputation amongst the tribes in the valley is excellent; allowing us to get into places that many visitors cannot.


Below are a few highlights of what this tour offers you as the visitor and as the photographer.


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Highlights

 

  • This is a true photographic journey into the “best of the best” of Ethiopia’s Omo Valley, one of the most culturally rich tribal destinations on the African continent. 
  • You will visit the villages of the Kara, Mursi, Arbori, Hamar, and Suri tribes to photograph their daily activities, stunning portraits, and timeless ceremonies. 
  • In one trip you will have the opportunity to photograph the UNESCO cultural sites of the Konso people and will witness them planting crops, herding livestock, tribal dancing, Head dresses, scarification, body painting, lip plates, beaded skins and ornate necklaces. 
  • The tribes live in a remote locations where there are no upmarket hotels or lodges. We will be based in excellent upmarket mobile-tented camps away from any other tourists. 
  • Shem Compion will use his experience and knowledge of working in Ethiopia many times to give you the opportunity of gaining the best possible images on this trip.

 

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Itinerary

Day 1 - 2

Best Western Hotel, Addis Ababa 

We will be met at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport and transferred to the Best Western Hotel for one nights stay. The day includes a full city tour of Addis with highlights.

 

Day 2 - 5

Kibish Tented Camp, Omo valley.

We will catch a charter flight from Addis to Mizan Teferi and then drive to Kibish where we will spend the next 3 nights in a tented camp along the banks of a river. Here we’ll sit with and get to know the Suri and their ways. The Suri are also renowned for the stick fighting ceremonies.

Kibish Tented Camps are very comfortable. The ‘igloo’ tents are standing height and fully insect proofed with integral ground sheets and an awning over the door. Your bedding is freshly made up each day and the cot beds have comfortable mattresses and a decent pillow. Each tent has its own shower and toilet (long drop) tent. The food is very good and wines, beers and some spirits are available. The camp chef is a ‘miracle worker’ in this remote area and the packed lunches are as good as the hearty breakfasts and delightful dinners. 

From here we will spend extended periods photographing the Suri and their lifestyles. The Suri are renowned for their stick fighting ceremonies. The Suri people are semi-nomadic cattle herders and live on the west side of the Omo River. This area is still much undeveloped, only an unpaved road leads to the heart of the Suri settlements: Kibish. Suri people have a cattle-centred culture, the wealth of a family is measured by the number of animals owned. Usually the animals are not eaten unless a big ceremony takes place. The animals are used for milk and blood which they both drink. Sometimes Suri warriors are preparing a mixture of cattle blood and milk for a ceremonial rite called ‘cow bleeding’. Like the Mursi people the Suri women are wearing lip plates. The Suri culture demands that the men are trained as warriors as well as cattle herders.

 

Day 5 - 6

Omo Valley Fly Camp, Omo valley.

After breakfast you will be transferred by road to the Omo Valley Fly camp for your one nights stay.

 

 

Day 6 - 9

Lale's Camp, Omo valley.

A road transfer will take you to Lale’s camp for your 3 nights stay. For the next 3 days we will spend exploring the Hamar, Kara, Nyangatom and Kwegu tribes and their lifestyles. During our stay in this region we will access the fly camp, Mursi Camp, up the Omo river for one night. 

The Hamar women wear beautiful, colourful, beaded skins, ornate necklaces and metal bangles around their wrist and ankles. They are well-known for their unique hairstyle, which is made up of a crown of long dread-lock braids covered in ochre. The Dassenech (known for their unique and ornate hair buns) are a semi-nomadic tribe that stretches across Sudan, Kenya and southern Ethiopia.   

DAY 7 - 8

A flight transfer to Mursi Camp, a fly camp situated up the Omo river. We will visit the Mursi tribes as they are one of the most photogenic tribes in Omo Valley. The Mursi women paint their bodies and face in white. They and their counter cousins the Surma and the Chai and Tirma tribes are probably the last groups in Africa amongst whom it is still the norm for women to wear large pottery or wooden discs or ‘plates’ in their lower lips. A girl’s lower lip is cut, by her mother or by another woman of her settlement, when she reaches the age of 15 or 16. The cut is held open by a wooden plug until the wound heals, which can take around 3 months. It appears to be up to the individual girl to decide how far to stretch the lip, by inserting progressively larger plugs over a period of several months. Some, but by no means all, girls persevere until their lips can take plates of 12 centimetres or more in diameter. The larger the plate, the more it is valued by the Mursi women. Men of the Mursi also use white paint for their bodies and faces. 


 

The tribes of the Omo Valley

For millennia, the Omo Valley has been inhabited by a kaleidoscopic variety of ethnic groups having rich and distinctive cultural identities. Tribes living in the more remote lower Omo Valley are among the most fascinating on the African continent. The Arbore, Ari, Bena, Bodi, Bumi, Dassanech, Dorze, Hamer, Kara, Kwegu, Mursi, Tsemay, and Turkana tribes are out of sight of the cities and towns of modern life and their way of life is still largely untouched by modernity. This is a true photographic adventure into the remote region of southern Ethiopia’s Omo Valley; one of the most culturally rich tribal regions on the African continent. Inspired by their habitat of lush vegetation, abundant trees and colourful flowers the people use the bright yellows, startling whites and red clay soils to paint each other’s bodies to create stunningly photogenic body “costumes” which at festival times are a walking body of art. These tribes have been sheltered from much of the modern world in a place that is still primeval, natural, and apparently ageless.

This photo tour will visit tribes on both sides of the Omo River. We will spend sufficient time in each location to ensure a deeper experience, which always produces more intimate and compelling images. As we are fellow travellers/photographers in an amazing part of the world we have retained flexibility in the itinerary to ensure we can immerse ourselves in spontaneous photographic opportunities that will inevitably arise. The time spent in each village will depend on what activities are taking place and the richness of the photography. It is likely we will also meet several other tribes en-route. I wish to give you the opportunity to photographically document their daily lives, capture stunning portraits, and experience some of their timeless ceremonies – truly be an experience of a lifetime!

The incredible photography available in Ethiopia captures a moment in time in the ancient world of people who live peacefully and close to nature in one of the most far flung, yet beautiful parts of the world. It is a special opportunity to photographically document their daily lives, capture enthralling portraits, photograph timeless ceremonies whilst feeling you are an integral part of a very special personal experience.

Day 9 - 10

Best Western Hotel, Addis Ababa

After breakfast we will make our way to the airstrip  for your commercial flight back to Addis Ababa. Staying at Best Western Hotel, we will spend the last night  enjoying a meal at a restaurant in town.

 

Day 10

Bole International Airport, Ethiopia.    

After breakfast you will be transferred back to Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, Ethiopia for your international flights home. This is the end of the safari.

 

 


Acommodation

Best Western Hotel

The Best Western Plus Addis Ababa is ideally located in the heart of the commercial and entertainment district of Addis Ababa, the bustling capital city of Ethiopia. Nearby attractions such as business centers, religious centers, restaurants, bars and Bole International Airport are all within walking distance of the hotel.

Guests can relax and unwind in all of our 160 rooms and suites, each designed specifically with the guest in mind to offer them a home away from home. The hotel also provides free parking on site.

 

Kibish Tented Camp

Both the Luxury mobile tented camps on the Dus river bank and Kibish in the Omo Valley are spacious and have all the amenities that you would need on your photographic safari.

 

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Omo Valley Fly Camp

Enroute to Lale’s Camp you will stay in a camp set-up next to the road for your one nights say.

 

Lale's Camp

Lumale Camp is a very comfortable but a simple base on the riverbanks. The ‘igloo’ tents are standing height and fully insect proofed with integral ground sheets and an awning over the door. Your bedding is freshly made up each day and the cot beds have comfortable mattresses and a decent pillow. Each tent has its own shower and toilet (long drop) tent. The food is very good and wines, beers and some spirits are available. The camp chef is a miracle worker in this remote area and the packed lunches are as good as the hearty breakfasts and welcome, delicious dinners.

 

https://www.c4photosafaris.com/uploader/images/Lales-Camp-Ethiopia-Omo-Valley-Double-Bedroom.jpg

 

Mursi Camp

Both the Luxury mobile tented camps on the Dus river bank and Kibish in the Omo Valley are spacious and have all the amenities that you would need on your photographic safari.

 

https://www.c4photosafaris.com/uploader/images/Mursi-Fly-Camp-2-1520x1024.jpg

 


Flights

Day 1

We will be met at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport and transferred to the Best Western Hotel for one nights stay. The day includes a full city tour of Addis with highlights.

Day 2

We will catch a charter flight from Addis to Mizan Teferi and then drive to Kibish where we will spend the next 3 nights in a tented camp along the banks of a river. Here we’ll sit with and get to know the Suri and their ways. The Suri are also renowned for the stick fighting ceremonies.

Day 5

After breakfast you will be transferred by road to the Omo Valley Fly camp for your one nights stay.

Day 6

A road transfer will take you to Lale’s camp for your 3 nights stay. For the next 3 days we will spend exploring the Hamar, Kara, Nyangatom and Kwegu tribes and their lifestyles. During our stay in this region we will access the fly camp, Mursi Camp, up the Omo river for one night. 

Day 9

After breakfast we will make our way to the airstrip  for your commercial flight back to Addis Ababa. Staying at Best Western Hotel, we will spend the last night  enjoying a meal at a restaurant in town.

Day 10

After breakfast you will be transferred back to Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, Ethiopia for your international flights home. This is the end of the safari.



30% deposit confirms your booking. Balance payable 8 week before tour start date.

 Maximum of 4 participants for the tour.

The above costs include

  • All Activities and Entrance fees
  • All local and national guide fees
  • Road transfers:
    • Bole International Airport – Best Western Hotel (Return).
    • Mizan Teferu – Kibish Tented Camp
    • Kibish Tented Camp – Omo Fly Camp
    • Omo Fly Camp – Lale’s Camp
  • Charter flights:
    • Addis – Mizan Teferu
  • Commercial Flights:
    • Jinka – Addis Ababa
  • All accommodation and meals.
  • All vehicle hire costs.
  • All taxes included.
  • Services of Shem Compion as your guide.

The above costs don't include

  • Visas and Vaccinations.
  • Extra activities.
  • Bar Purchases.
  • Purchases of a personal nature. 
  • Gratuities to staff and guides.
  • International flights.

 

Travel Insurance

Is vital for any tour anywhere in the world. The foresight to protect not only the experimental investment of the safari i.e trip cancellation, travel interruption/ban, flight cancellation, but also the traveller themselves when in need of primary medical care, evacuation to the hospital of choice most of the time in nearby countries is one of the most important decision you can make to assist in a stress free trip. Please speak to your travel agent/insurer for available options that will best suite your needs. Please note that when travelling with C4 Photo Safaris, that Travel Insurance is mandatory for all of our tours.

 

 

Costs

$0.00 per person sharing
$13500.00 per single suppliment

Single Suppliment - Booking Deposit 30% Qty $4050.00




Per Person Sharing Booking Deposit - Booking Deposit 30% Qty $0.00




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