The Omo Valley in Ethiopia is unlike anywhere else in Africa, indeed it is unlike anywhere else on Earth. The authentic ethnic diversity in this remote destination is unparalleled and this cultural photo tour has been meticulously crafted to take you to the very best that the Omo has to offer. This unique place has over ten distinctly different tribes existing within a 38 mile / 60 km radius, each with its own language, clothing, hairstyles, bodily ornamentation and customs. On this photo tour we will interact with and photograph 4 of these tribes; the Suri, Mursi, Karo and Hamar as they welcome us into their lives and allow us the privilege of witnessing lifestyles that have been carrying on for hundreds of years.

Mike's approach to cultural photography is that authenticity and mutual respect are key - you will not be visiting "cultural villages" that are put on for tourists, this is the real deal. Each and every cultural photo tour to the Omo Valley is different but one thing that always remains the same is that horizons are broadened, egos are humbled and an incredible portfolio of images is created.

Photographic possibilities on this photo tour...


Arrival in Addis Ababa

Today is set aside as an arrival day in Ethiopia's fascinating capital city. After landing in Bole International Airport and taking care of passport control and luggage formalities, you will be met by a tour representative and driven to the nearby Sheraton Hotel. That evening you will meet Mike, our Ethiopian guide and the other tour participants and discuss in detail the adventures that lie ahead, followed by a scrumptious meal and good nights rest.

Overnight Sheraton Hotel
Fly from Addis Ababa to Jimma

At a time to be advised you we will head back to Bole International Airport to check in for the flight to Jimma. Jimma is the largest city in south western Ethiopia and is our destination for the night. It used to be the capital of the former Kaffa Province, the region which is widely recognised as the home coffee.

Overnight Dololo Hotel
Drive Jimma to Mizan Teferi

Today we will be continuing on our south westerly journey, making our way to Mizan Teferi. The 240km drive takes approximately 7 hours and is made up of a mosaic of forest and cultivated land, dominated by coffee, tea and various spices. We will have ample opportunity to stop and take advantage of any photographic opportunities that we may encounter along the way.

Overnight Kashinin Hotel
Drive Mizan Teferi to Kibish

This is an exciting travel day as we head deep into the seldom-visited portion of south western Ethiopia. En route we pass through Bebeka coffee plantation which is the largest and oldest coffee plantation in Ethiopia. After passing through the town of Tulgit we will finally arrive in Kibish where we will be camping for the next 3 nights. Our focus here will be photographing the famulous Suri people who, due to their remoteness, are one of the least visited of the Omo Valley's tribes. The Suri are known for their incredibly ornate and creative bodily decorations which they achieve through painting, scarification and adornment with flowers and other natural objects.

Overnight Mobile Camping
Kibish area (Suri Tribe)

We have two full days to explore and photograph the fascinating Suri people, making the most of our time in this remote area. We have good relations with the Suri and our local guide will keep an ear to the ground for any interesting ceremonies or events that might be taking place e.g. stick fighting contests, weddings, coming of age ceremonies etc.

Overnight Mobile Camping
Drive Kibish to Jimma

After a scrumptious breakfast prepared by our camp crew we depart for a full day drive (approximately 10 hours) back to Jimma where we will overnight.

Overnight Dololo Hotel
Drive Jimma to Arba Minch

Today is another full day drive (approximately 10 hours) from Jimma to Arba Minch, the gateway to the Eastern Omo Valley. We will take regular stops enroute to stretch our legs and will take advantage of any possible photo opportunities along the way.

Overnight Paradise Lodge
Drive Arba Minch to Turmi (Hamar Tribe)

This morning we have an early start as we depart Arba Minch shortly after breakfast for the town of Turmi. The Hamar is one of the most well known tribes in Southern Ethiopia, inhabiting the territory east of the Omo River and have villages in both Turmi and Dimeka. With our local knowledge we will aim to time our visits to coincide with the best light of the day and the most activity in the villages to ensure a host of photographic subjects.

Overnight accommodation to be confirmed closer to the time
Turmi area (Karo & Hamar Tribe)

Our main focus today is the Karo tribe who are also known for their elaborate body and facial paintings. In the afternoon we will head back to the nearby Hamar village to continue photographing this fascinating tribe in all its glory.

Overnight accommodation to be confirmed closer to the time
Drive Turmi to Jinka

This morning we will spend further time with the Hamar, maximising our opportunities to capture these interesting people. In the afternoon we will drive to Jinka where we will be staying for the night.

Overnight accommodation to be confirmed
Fly Jinka to Addis Ababa and Depart (Mursi Tribe)

We have an early morning start as we enter Mago National Park at 06:00 in order to reach the Mursi Tribe while the light is still soft. Most famous for the clay lip plates that the women insert in their lower lips, the Mursi are probably one of the last tribes in Africa for whom this is still the norm.

After a morning's photographic session with the Mursi our incredible time in the lower Omo Valley comes to an end and we drive to the airport in Jinka in time for our flight back to Addis. Sadly our time in Ethiopia has come to an end as you make your way home after an incredible adventure.

Book your spot on this photo tour now!


This photo tour is for you if...

– You are interested in experiencing ancient cultures that are almost untouched by the influences of the modern world.
– You have a passion for photographing people who are living lifestyles that are centuries old.
– You are happy with accommodation that is clean, comfortable but not lavish.
– You enjoy travelling with a small group of like-minded individuals. The small group size means that Mike will be on hand throughout this cultural photo tour as both your host and photographic tutor.
– You want to travel with the support of a team that has been operating in Ethiopia for over a decade.
– You want to experience the very best photographic opportunities that the Omo Valley has to offer, cherry picked to ensure that you have the ultimate cultural photo tour.

Tour cost includes...

– All accommodation as per the itinerary
– All meals
– Photographic fees for when photographing people
– Gratuities for local guides and services
– Photographic fees in national parks
– Portage fees
– All entrance fees as per the itinerary
– All airport transfers
– All ground transportation using 4x4 vehicles
– Professional local English speaking guide
– All local guide fees
– Bottled mineral water
– Government tax
– Hands on photographic tutoring by Mike Dexter

And excludes...

– All international flights
– Internal flights (US$ 399 pp which will be booked on your behalf and added to the final invoice)
– All beverages other than bottled mineral water
– Visa costs
– Laundry
– Travel insurance
– Personal expenses such as souvenirs, telephone calls etc.

Book your spot on this photo tour now!