The rarely visited Gambella region is an excellent alternative for cultural travellers who have already been to the tribal villages of South Omo Valley and would like to travel literally off the beaten track.

 

Day 1 Addis Ababa

Depending on your flight schedule, a short city tour through the capital of Ethiopia is possible. Spend the night in a hotel in Addis Ababa.

 

Day 2 Addis Ababa to Jimma

In the early morning drive from Addis Ababa through the old Oromo region to visit the 700 years old mysterious archaeological city of the Tiya stela and the rock-hewn church Adadi Mariam. Continue drive to Woliso for lunch. Along the 5Gibe river valley and savannah you reach the Kaffa region and continue your journey to Jimma the biggest city of western Ethiopia. Overnight Hotel in Jimma.

 

Day 2 Jimma

In Jimma, the capital of the Oromia region, you visit the Aba Jiffar Palace  in Jira, which was built by King Jiffar (1852-1933) one of the most important Kaffa kingdom rulers. Jira is the former capital of the Oromo region, which also offers a perfect view over Jimma and the surrounding forest. Overnight Hotel in Jimma.

 

Day 3 Jimma to Mizan Tefari

Along lush and intensively cultivated valleys drive to Mizan Teferi. Stop at Bonga and Wushwush to visit the Tea development plantation and pineapple farm. Continue drive to Mizan Tefari. Overnight Hotel.

 

Day 4 Mizan Tefari to Bebeka

After breakfast visit to Bebeka Ethiopia’s largest and oldest coffee plantation where coffee Arabica was first discovered. See how Ethiopians grow, harvest and produce coffee for export and domestic use and participate in a coffee ceremony. Overnight in a cottage at the plantation.

 

Day 5 Bebeka to Gambela

In the morning continue the scenic drive to Gambela.  Set on the banks of the navigable Baro River, Gambela was inaugurated as a port and custom station. Cultural tour to the surrounding villages of the Anuak and Nuer tribe.  Return to Gambela. Overnight Hotel.

 

Day 6 Gambela to Metu

After breakfast and a visit to the Nuer market you leave the western lowlands and continue the drive to Metu.   Explore the small village Bechu from where you hike through a dense forest and the green highlands of the Oromo region to visit the Sor River Waterfalls for a half-day trek. Enjoy lunch on the banks of the river before heading back to Metu.

 

Day 7 Metu to Ambo

Leaving Metu in the early morning and drive to Nekemte for lunch. Afterwards continue to Ambo, the city where the famous mineral water is bottled. Here you can see some fine Italian architecture from the 1930s. Overnight Hotel in Ambo.

 

Day 8 Ambo to Wenchi

In the early morning drive to Mount Wenchi and hike to the Crater Lake. From there little wooden boats take you on a boat ride across the tiny island monastery of Cherkos. Along Menagesha National Forest you can get idea how the countries ancient indigenous forests must have looked before the arrival of the eucalyptus and mass settlement. In the Afternoon continue drive to Woliso where you can relax in its hot springs. Overnight at Negash Lodge.

 

Day 9 Woliso to Addis Ababa

Enjoy some more time in Negash Lodge after breakfast before you head back to Addis Ababa. Visit the National Museum with “Lucy”, the oldest hominid skeleton of the world (3.8 M years old) that was found in Ethiopia around 40 years ago. Carry out some shopping on Merkato, the biggest open air market in Ethiopia if not Africa and hike up Entoto Mountain for a perfect view over the capital. The tour will end with a farewell dinner in a cultural restaurant where you can enjoy the best Ethiopian cuisine together with traditional music and dances from all over the country. Overnight Hotel in Addis Ababa.

 

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