Travel with Adventure Photographer and writer Kevin Dooley
Kevin Dooley is an award-winning Wildlife and Wedding Photographer who grew up in Placitas, New Mexico. At the age of 18, he enlisted into the Navy and served on an aircraft carrier. After he completed his service he returned to New Mexico and opened his own photography studio in Albuquerque which is still running 37 years later. His passion for wildlife photography and Africa, led him to his safari adventures and he eventually opened Idube Photo Safaris. Kevin is a certified FGASA (Field Guide Association of South Africa), Wildlife Guide, a PPA Master Photographer and takes guests from all over the world on amazing photographic safaris in Africa, Alaska, the Amazon, India and the Antarctic. He also teaches wildlife and wedding photography workshops
Comfortable, good walking/trekking shoes and sandals. Ankle support is strongly recommended. If you are going to the mountains, mountain trekking shoes is advisable.
Sun cream and a torch. Take supplies of photographic film, memory card with you as supplies available locally are unreliable. An insect repellent that works against fleas could be useful. Also consider taking walking poles for support on walks.
There is no vaccination needed to come to Ethiopia, unless you are coming from yellow fever infested area. Even though Addis Ababa and most places on the Historic Route are high for Malaria, anti-malaria pills are advisable and please advise your doctor for suitable anti-malaria pills.
Electricity: 220 volts
For people going on trekking as there is no electric city while trekking if, possible it is better they do bring a solar charger or extra batteries.
How to call to U.S number?
You need to add +1 or 001 before the number you want to deal.
Food and Drinks
With people from so many different ethnic groups, the food and drinks of Ethiopia are varied. A typical dish is Wot, a hot spicy stew of meat or vegetables, seasoned with a blend of Berbere. It is often made with Doro (Chicken), and normally served with injera, the traditional spongy pancake made from a fermented teff flour batter. In the hotels, and most good restaurants, or in the local coffee house, you will find delicious dishes that reflect the customs and the ingredients of the region.
In your hotels, and different restaurants in different cities, visitors will also find a wide range of restaurants that reflect the influences of other cuisines. All large hotels have international restaurants, but elsewhere in the city you can sample Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, Italian, French, Greek and other cuisines.
Ethiopia is famous honey wine, or Tej, is found all over the country as is Tela, a local beer and Katikala, a distilled liquor.
Other Items to remember
Anti Maleria Tablets
Day 1: Arrive Addis Ababa
Arrive at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Welcome to Ethiopia. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by your local tour leader and transferred to Golden Tulip Hotel.
Addis Ababa, founded in 1886 by Menelik II, is situated at 2,500 meters (8000 ft) above sea level. It is the highest capital city in the world, after La Paz and Quito in South America. The city enjoys an excellent climate all year round, with an average temperature of 25C (77F). Addis Ababa is a pleasant city with wide avenues of jacarandas, interesting museums, and one of the largest open-air markets in Africa, known as the “Mercato.”
The rest of the day, relax in your beautiful hotel and get ready for the unique adventure awaiting.
Overnight at Jupiter Hotel-Addis Abab.
Day 2: Addis Ababa-Arbaminch (B-L-D)
Wake up early in the morning to enjoy your breakfast enjoy with the best coffee at its birthplace.
After breakfast, we have a pre-tour briefing. Here we will discuss different useful information before you go ahead on your photo trip to the Omo Valley, one of the most remote places on the planet.
After the pre-tour briefing, we will meet our driver for the transfer to Addis Ababa Airport for our flight to Arbaminch. A 40 minute flight takes us to the Great Rift Valley.
Upon arrival at Arbaminch Airport, you will meet with your drivers and start driving north to mountain village of Chencha located on the South Western escarpment of the Great Rift Valley running north south all the way to Mozambique. This is the home of the Dorze people. The Dorze people, once famous warriors in the region, they are now renowned cotton weavers whose tall beehive shaped and bamboo woven dwellings are among the most distinctive structures to be seen any where in Africa.
Our visit to this village and the unique cultural experience is a nice way to get slowly and perfectly away from the modern life we are leaving behind and to the authentic tribal experience awaiting for us deep in the Omo Valley. As the sun goes down, we will drive back to Arbaminch enjoying the beautiful view with the sun set and drive through hundreds and hundreds of cattle herds here and there as they come back from their field.
Overnight – Paradise Lodge-Arbaminch
After breakfast, we will continue driving further to the Omo Valley. Driving from Arbaminch to Turmi, noting prepares you for the exciting experience awaiting you as we will be driving through many tribal villages and small towns including the Tsemay and Konso.
Our last destination today is the Turmi, home to the beautiful Nomadic Hamer Tribe living on side of Keske River.
The Hamer, display an elaborate and diverse selection of body decorations. They are also identifiable for their high cheekbones, elaborate custom of beads, cowries and leather, and thick copper necklaces The Hamar women are striking; wearing beautiful colorful beaded skins, ornate necklaces, and metal bangles around their wrist and ankles. Famous for their hairstyle — a crown of long dread-lock braids covered in ocher — the Hamer women are the most decorated of the Omo people. We expect to arrive at the lodge for late lunch be in time to visit Hamer village with good light.
For the next two nights, we will be based here at Turmi Village the center of the Hamer Tribes and other tribes living in the surrounding area. This will give us a great chance to attend different rituals including, Evangad and Bull Jumping Ceremonies in some of the off-road tribal villages. From our base here, will help us great deal to create a wonderful photographic opportunity for the next three nights. This allows us to be flexible and capitalize on all the photographic opportunities in the area. During our stay in Turmi, we will visit the Abore and Dassenech tribes.
Isolated for millennia from the rest of the world, the beautiful Omo Valley is home to an exciting mix of many small and distinctive tribal groups. Amongst others, we find the Karo, the Mursi and the Hamer-all of whom have retained their own unique customs and traditions. Lifestyles are as varied as the tribes themselves. Lacking any material, culture and artifacts common to other cultures, these tribes find unique ways in which to express their artistic impulses. Arbore women are well known for their long headdresses. The girls shave their heads to indicate virginity, and only start growing hair after marriage. The Daasanech are a semi-nomadic tribe living on the shore of Omo. Their clans stretch across Sudan, Kenya and Southern Ethiopia. They are known for their very unique and ornate hair buns. Both the Surma and the Karo, for example, are experts at body painting, using clays and locally available vegetable pigments to trace fantastic patterns on each other’s faces, chests, arms, and legs. These designs are created purely for fun and aesthetic effect, each artist vying to outdo his fellows.
In this captivating region, you are privileged to witness age-old customs and rituals, learning of the symbolisms that remain an integral part of everyday life, it’s absolutely a unique wilderness.
Overnight at Buska Lodge- BLD
Dec 5-6: Karo-Dus
This morning, one final shooting with the Hamerr before we continue our drive to the Kara Tribe residing on the shore of the beautiful Omo River. The Kara are the masters in body & face painting which they practice on daily bases. Before their rituals and dances they carefully paint their faces and body as well as the faces of their friends using different color soil, mineral, plan pigments, flowers, white chalks and black charcoal. Men are mostly will be well decorated with red clay hair buns, mostly prepared for days to be ready for the event. The men create highly decorated clay hair buns, which can take several days to complete.
For the next couple of days, you will have the chance to mingle with Karar and sepend quality time with them, learning about their dayly activities including attending different rituals, follow them as they herd their cattle and farm. Over the next three days, you will spend quality time with them in their villages going about their daily activates, along the river planting their crops, watching the livestock being herded into the village, and enjoying their traditional tribal dancing in the evening. There will also be plenty of time to create stunning individual or group portraits. We will also visit Kocho village and possibly the village of Lubuk.
Dus, the main village of the Kara Tribe, will be our home for the next three nights. We have set up a proper mobile safari camp with canvas tents, along the banks of the Omo River, in a lush forest area, near the village. This will allow you to immerse yourself into their culture and maximize the amount of time you will be able to spend with them.
Overnight in Dus -Proper mobile camp BLD
Day 7: Karo-Mursi
In the morning, drive to Jinka en-route visiting different tribal villages like the Bena and possibly small tribal markets depending on the day of the week. At Jinka we will visit the Ari tribal villages and we will witness their daily activities and a great photography opportunity to photograph when they do beekeeping, blacksmith work as well as different hand crafts.
Overnight: Eco Omo Lodge-Jinka. BLD
Day 8: Visit Mursi-Addis Ababa-Departure
In the morning, we will drive through Mago National Park to visit Mursi Village. We will arrive at the Mursi Village at good time to photograph the Mursi Tribes at good lunch.
The Mursi, undoubtedly the most celebrated residents of South Omo are distinctive group of pastoralists. The Mursi are best known for their unique item of decoration, the lip plates. Women of Mursi wear a circular clay plate on their lower lip and the bigger a women can wear, the greater her value when she gets married. Late afternoon, we take the flight back to Addis Ababa. You will have a room to refresh. In the evening, there will be farewell dinner party with traditional special buffet and local drinks. There will also be cultural dance show of the different ethnic groups living in the country. There will not be any better way of ending a trip. In the evening, transfer to Bole International airport for the flight back.