Ethiopia Photo Tour 2019

TOUR DETAILS
TOUR DATES
6 October 2019 - 14 October 2019 Space available

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 fly directly 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.

Most visits to the Omo that combine the east and west sides take a 2 day drive to get from one side to the other. We have chartered a plane to get us across in 1 hour to give us more time in the field. Here we will visit the Suri people – some of the most elaborately decorated and designed tribes and it will conclude what can only be described as a fitting ending to the “best of the Omo” The last day we will fly out on direct charter to Addis Ababa.

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.

 

https://www.c4photosafaris.com/uploader/images/181104_SCO_4191.jpg

 

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.


https://www.c4photosafaris.com/uploader/images/181104_SCO_4384.jpg

 

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.
  • This is a fly in safari. From Addis we will fly directly into the heart of the Omo Valley giving us unprecedented access to the tribes. The same goes for the last day when we fly directly back to Addis.
  • We have chartered a plane to fly us from the east side to the west of the Omo- saving us two days drive.
  • 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.

 

https://www.c4photosafaris.com/uploader/images/181104_SCO_4353.jpg

 

About your host, Shem Compion

Shem Compion is the founder and owner of C4 Photo Safaris. He uses his intricate knowledge of travel in Africa, its wildlife and fantastic photographic locations to give you the best photographic tour experience you will ever have. Shem grew up roaming the wilds and this interest in Nature led to him studying a National Diploma in Nature conservation and Wildlife Management.

View Profile >


Day 1 - 2

Sapphire Hotel, Addis Ababa 

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

Day 2 - 5

Lale's Camp, Omo valley.

We catch a charter flight into the heart of the Omo Valley. We will be met at the airstrip by a Lale’s camp representative who will transfer us to camp for one nights stay. For the next 3 days we will spend exploring the Hamar, Kara, Nyangatom and Kwegu tribes and their lifestyles - a true photographic adventure into the remote region of southern Ethiopia’s Omo Valley. During our stay in this region we will access the fly camp, Mursi Camp, up the Omo river.

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 3 - 4
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.

 

https://www.c4photosafaris.com/uploader/images/181107_SCO_5253.jpg

 

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.


https://www.c4photosafaris.com/uploader/images/170220_SCO_9485.jpg

 

Day 5 - 8

Kibish Tented Camp, Omo Valley

We will catch a charter flight from Murulle airstrip to Mizan Teferi and then drive to Kibish where we will spend the next 3 nights in a tented camp along the banks of the 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.

https://www.c4photosafaris.com/uploader/images/181103_SCO_3938.jpg

 

Day 8 - 9

Sapphire Hotel, Addis Ababa

After breakfast we will make our way back to the Mizan Teferi airstrip for our charter flight back across the mountains to Addis Ababa. Staying at the Sapphire Hotel, we will enjoy our farewell dinner together at a restaurant in the city.

 

Day 9

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.

 

https://www.c4photosafaris.com/uploader/images/170222_SCO_26.jpg

Sapphire Hotel

ocated in the city’s central zone, one kilometre away from Bole International Airport, 3 minutes drive adjacent to the renowned Bole Medanailam Church. The Hotel is settled on 1300 sq. m of land, located on Namibia Avenue. Sapphire Addis Hotel offers Luxurious Restaurant, Bar and Lounge, Spa and Fitness Centre, Conference halls and ATM service. The Hotel boasts its grandeur and elegance at the same time.

The Hotel owns 130 delicately furnished guest rooms of various types, with each and every facility and amenity displaying taste and elegance as well as meticulous care. We will offer you the most tender and comfortable embrace and enjoyment.

 

http://www.c4photosafaris.com/uploader/images/op2.jpg

  
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

 

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.

 

https://www.c4photosafaris.com/uploader/images/image001.jpg

$10 850.00 price per sharing person

$12 950.00 price per single person

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

Maximum of 10 participants and a minimum of 6 participants is required for the tour to proceed.
Please note there are a limited number of unshared rooms/tents available on this photo safari and these will be allocated in order of receipt of registration and payment of the single supplement

The above costs include

  • All accommodation and meals.
  • Bottled water in transport vehicles and during meals.
  • Private ground and boat transportation.
  • Park and Ranger fees.
  • National English speaking escort guide and local tribal guides.
  • Local guide fees.
  • Gratuities for guides and drivers.
  • All alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Internal flights: Addis - Omo valley (Return Charter flight)

The above costs don't include

  • International flights.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal purchases (including shopping, spirits, laundry, telephone calls, etc.).
  • Optional extra activities not included on the itinerary.
  • Pre- and Post- expeditions tours.
  • Meals or accommodations before or after the tour (except as noted in the detailed itinerary).

Day 1

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

Day 2

We catch a charter flight into the heart of the Omo Valley. We will be met at the airstrip by a Lale’s camp representative who will transfer us to camp for one 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.

Day 5

We will catch a charter flight from Murulle airstrip 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 8

After breakfast we will make our way back to the Mizan Teferi  for our charter flight back across the mountains to Addis Ababa. Staying at our hotel, we will spend the last night  enjoying a meal at a restaurant in town.

Day 9

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.

 
Thank you for your Testimonial, it's much appreciated!







Your enquiry submitted successfully.