Surma People and Omo Valley

Surma People and Omo Valley

  • Tour Itinerary.
  • Tour: Surma and Omo valley Duration: 13 Nights & 14 days
  • Transportation: by car (two 4X4 land cruiser 2013 MODEL).
  • Accommodations: In camping and Hotel

 Day 1: Addis Ababa –Jimma

In the morning drive to Jimma the former capital of the Kaffa province where coffee is originated and the biggest town in the west part of the country. In the afternoon visit the palace of Abajifar.

Overnight Central Jimma hotel.

Day 2: Jimma –   - Bebeka

 After breakfast drive to Bebeka through the western direction of the country visiting the beautiful scenery and the Oromo tribe with their village. You will visit also the Bebeka coffee plantation, the Ethiopia's largest old coffee plantation.  Overnight Bebeka Guest House.

Day 3: Drive to Kibish

After your breakfast in the morning start continue driving further west to Tulgit and then to Kibish. Tulgit and Kibish are small towns of the Surma people. Much more Surma people live in Kibish town. The rest of the days walk around your campsite to visit the Surma people. Overnight camping at Kibish. (Altitude 1745m above sea level).

 Day 4: Around Kibish

In the morning if there is any Donga (Stick fighting of the Surma people) you will attend it otherwise you walk around the old Kibish village (14kms round trip) for the visit of more of the Surma villages-to visit and appreciate the attractive culture of Surma tribe, they are renowned for the strange custom followed by their women who, on reaching maturity, have their lower lips slit and circular or rectangular clay discs inserted. The Surma men are well known for their stick fighting, which is called Donga. Players are usually unmarried men. The winner is carried away on a platform of poles to a group of girls waiting at the side of the arena who decide among themselves which of them will ask for his hand in marriage. Taking part in a stick fight is considered to be more important than winning it. The men paint their bodies with a mixture of chalk and water before the fight. Overnight Camping at Kibish.

Day 5: Around Kibish

After breakfast start exploring Suri (surma) tribe’s villages; Suri’s live in a remote corner of south-western Ethiopia, virtually untouched by the modern world. According to Suri oral tradition, came to their present territory near Mount Naita about 200 years ago from the banks of the Nile River. The Surma have a sky god named Tuma. The Suri also believe in spirits and use medicine mento undertake sacrifices or prayers and directly send them to Tuma. Another belief of the Suri is the rain maker.

Piercing and lip plates are a strong part of the Suri culture. At the point of puberty most women have their bottom teeth removed in order to get their lower lip pierced. Once the lip is pierced, it’s then stretched and a lip plate is then placed in the hole of the piercing.

Overnight Camping in Kibish

Day 6: Omo National Park

 In the morning after your breakfast drive to Mui through Maji and visiting the Omo National Park. Overnight in camping.

Day 7: Omo National Park

Today you will visit the ethnic groups of Bume in the morning and in the afternoon explore the Omo National Park as well. The Bumi or Bume people are also known as the Nyangatom. They live south of the Omo National Park, but occasionally move to the lower regions if food or water is scarce. Known to be fierce fighters, they are often at war with Hamer and Karo tribes. Different from other tribes, the Bumi tribesmen hunt crocodiles using harpoons and a  canoe.

Scarification is practiced by both men and women in the tribe. The women do it to beautify themselves and the men to signify a kill. Both sexes wear a lot of multi colored necklaces and may also have a 
lower lip plug. The tribe practices both agriculture and cattle herding. Flood waters must recede along the river's banks before they will plant their crops. Beehives are smoked out by the Bume and they gorge themselves with the honey.

Overnight in the Omo National Park camping.

 Day 8: Omo National Park - Mago National Park

Drive to Omo River and then walk to the Omo River and cross the river through boat and then the other car will wait you in the other side of the river. Then proceed to the Mago National Park in the late afternoon> camping at Mago National Park.

Day 9: Mago National Park - Mursi tribes – Jinka

After breakfast drive to Mursi village to visit the culture of Mursi tribe. They are renowned for the strange custom followed by their women who, on reaching maturity, have their lower lips slit and circular clay discs inserted. Proceed to Mago National Park. After a picnic lunch in the late afternoon drive back to Jinka. Overnight Jinka, Orit or similar Hotel

Day 10: Jinka – Turmi

After breakfast drive to Turmi through Dimeka for the visit of Hamer people and their village. Turmi is a small town, which is the base to visit the Hamer village. Hamers have remarkable hairstyles made from ochre, water, and binding resin. They rub the mixture into their hair then twist the strands repeatedly to create coppery-colored locks. This is a sign of wealth and welfare. Hamers are considered to be masters of body decoration. Overnight camping at Turmi campsite.

  Day 11: Turmi – Murulle – Turmi

Turmi is our base as we explore the different regions and to meet the different tribes who live a life of their own. This day we drive towards the Murulle area. Murile (also spelled Muelle and Murli) lies on the banks of the Omo River, and is a popular base for exploring what is essentially a rugged area. There is a fair amount of wildlife in the area, and a good chance of seeing some form of antelope and possibly raptors overhead. The two main tribes who live in the area are the Karo and the Hamer, both of whom practice scarification and have elaborate hairstyles. The Karo ethnic groups are experts in body painting, using clays and locally available vegetable pigments to trace fantastic patterns on their faces, chests, arms and legs. These designs have no special symbolic significance but are created purely for fun and aesthetic effect, each artist vying to outdo his fellows. Karo men also sculpt and shave their hair into extravagant shapes, with special ochre "caps" of hair usually containing several ostrich feathers. Overnight camping in Turmi.

 Day 12: Turmi - Arba Minch

In the morning start driving to Arbaminch on the way you will continue to have an experience with tribal life with a visit to the Konso. A pagan society, the Konso erect eerie wooden totems replete with phallic symbols over the graves of the dead and have numerous cults based around the breeding and veneration of serpents. The cornerstone of Konso culture, however, is a highly specialized and successful agricultural economy that, through terracing buttressed with stone, enable these people to extract a productive living from the none-too-fertile hills and valleys that surround them. Overnight Paradise Lodge.

Day 13: Arba Minch – Addis Ababa

Drive to Addis Ababa through the Rift Valley Lakes. This drive will take us along some of the Rift Valley Lakes and we will stop shortly at Lake Ziway, best known for its birdlife. Proceed to the Abiyata Shalla National Park for visiting the other two Rift Valley Lakes and the Shot Springs of Shalla Lake and you will have an opportunity to see the flamingos in the Abiyata Lake and then keep driving to Addis Ababa for your final stop.

End of the Program.


Pricing based on - 6 pax

  • - $ 2270/person

Program Cost Inclusions:

Accommodation in a single bed basis in a standard hotels & camping as listed in the itinerary

Meals as listed(full BOARD) in the program with water, one beer or glass of wine (if available) at lunch and dinner:B,L,D

All sightseeing in an air-conditioned Toyota Landcrusier vehicle 4x4 suitable for the rough road. Using one 4x4 from Addis up to Omo & one from Mago all the way to Addis.

  • All entrance fee listed
  • The service of a local guide
  • The services of professional English speaking Lal Tours escort who will accompany throughout the trip.
  • Canoe service at Omorate & crossing to Mago National park from Omo.
  • Photography expense where allowed.
  • Fuel Expense.
  • Scout fees, Village and embarkation fee.
  • Driver allowance.
  • Governmental taxes.

Program Cost Exclusion:

  • International airfare
  • Pre or Post tour services
  • Independent travel arrangements
  • Visa or passport fees, visa fees
  • Medical and trip cancellation
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry,alcohol,telephone expense, excess baggage fees
  • Other items not expressly listed as included; anything not listed

Airfare: Lal Tours can assist you with your air arrangements. The tour Operator does not accept the liability for any airline cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a non-refundable airline ticket. The air ticket when issued shall constitute the sole contract between the passenger and the airline concerned.

What to Expect: Meals will have a variety of western and traditional dishes .Most breakfasts will be taken at the hotels. Vegetarians can be accommodated. It’s essential that persons with any medical issues should inform before departure. Any impairment must be disclosed to Lal Tours prior booking.

Reservations, Deposits &

Final payment:To reserve a space on this program, partially refundable of 50 % from the amount is required per person. Final payments must be made with wire transfer. It must be paid in full 60 days prior to departure.

  • No refunds shall be issued after the tour has commenced. No refunds shall be issued for missed meals, sightseeing tours or any unused services.

Insurance: We recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance.

Changes in Itinerary,

 program and costs: We reserve the right to change a staff (including tour guide), accommodations as conditions warrant. Deviations from the scheduled itinerary are at the expense of the individual. All prices quoted are based on prevailing fuel prices and currency exchange rates in effect as of OCTOBER 2014 and are subject to change.



23 March 2019


Cultural Tours