South Ethiopia Tour

Round tour Minerals & Volcanoes & People & Culture

A great amazonite crystal
A great amazonite crystal

 

This journey is a great opportunity to discover the south part of Ethiopia and can be combined with the other tour that leads to north Ethiopia also., because this journey starts and ends at Addis Ababa. On our tour we will have a first stop at the volcanic crater lake of Bishoftu. The next stop will be at our camping site near the hot springs of Shala lake. Great photographic opportunities are to be expected. There are rare birds and other African animals to be watched. We will drive along the „Rift Valley“ and will see other volcanic crater lakes like the Tshitu lake. Our target will be the tropical town of Arbaminch where we will overnight in a romantic, African hotel with view to the volcanoes and lakes of the „Rift Valley“. On the Chamo lake we will have a boat tour to see crocodiles and hippos from a small distance. In the area of Konso we will get in contact with the so called people of Turmi. If we are lucky, we may discover the famous amazonite crystals. We will do another camping in a beautiful area and next day we will go on to the promising area of Yabello, where we may discover pegmatite parts that can contain turmaline, feldspar or even beryll. Also the El Sod volcano will be one of our targets and there will be time to explore the area. On our way back to Addis Ababa we will visit the lake of Hawassa and the Alutu volcano with its hydrothermal plant. If we get a permission to visit the mining area of Kenticha, we will change parts of the program, because Kenticha is one of the best areas on world to discover rare minerals.
You can combine this journey with the northern part of Ethiopia.

Day 1: Arrival at Addis Ababa

Flight over Ethiopia
Flight over Ethiopia
Before the landing at Addis Ababa Bole airport
Before the landing at Addis Ababa Bole airport
Possible stop over at Dubai airport if you arrive with with Emirates
Possible stop over at Dubai airport if you arrive with with Emirates

After your arrival and getting the visa (50$ in cash on location) our tour guide will expect you outside the airport building (it is not allowed for tour guides to wait inside). He will be together with you on your transfer to the hotel. At the evening you will meet Enku and Tobias Schorr at the lobby of your hotel. They will give you a first introduction to the program. If you have booked the first part of the program, you will stay at the same hotel and meet the new participants.

Day 2: Exploration of Addis Ababa

The Mariam church at the palace of Menelik II on the mountian tops of Addis Ababa
The Mariam church at the palace of Menelik II on the mountian tops of Addis Ababa
With Ethiopian friends at a typical restaurant in Addis Ababa
With Ethiopian friends at a typical restaurant in Addis Ababa
At an traditional market square at Addis Ababa
At an traditional market square at Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa is one of the most interesting and changing cities of Africa. There is a lot of modernization going on and still there are traditional market squares and lanes. On this round tour we will visit the national museum with the famous skeleton of "Lucy", our ancestor. Depending on weather and other facts we may visit also the palace of King Menelik II or stroll through the markets of the city. If you have already seen these highlights, you may take this as your free day, but you are invited to take place with the new participants. You surely will discovery things that you have not recognized on your first visit.

Day 3: Drive to the Bishoftu crater lake and to the Shala lake

Sunset over the Shala lake
Sunset over the Shala lake
Hot springs at the Shala lake
Hot springs at the Shala lake
Hot river that flows into the Shala lake
Hot river that flows into the Shala lake

In the morning we will drive from Addis Ababa to the south. The first stop will be at the volcanic crater lake Bishoftu. Later we will arrive at the Shala lake and will set up our camping gear to stay near the hot springs. There will be a romantic sunset over the lake. Our cook will introduce you to the tasty meals of Ethiopia.

Day 4: Drive to the crater lake Tshitu and to Arbaminch

A waterfall on our way to south
A waterfall on our way to south
African Rift Valley landscape
African Rift Valley landscape
The view from our hotel rooms to the Rift Valley
The view from our hotel rooms to the Rift Valley

We start our day with the visit of the volcanic crater lake Tshitu with its flamingos and other rare birds. Later we go on in south direction. We will travel through a tropical area with rivers, lakes and small forests. Always there will be a view towards the "Rift Valley". In the late afternoon we will arrive at a very beautiful hotel with a scenic view towards volcanoes and lakes.

Day 5: The Chamo lake and Konso

The landscape around Konso
The landscape around Konso
A African ground hornbill
A African ground hornbill
An old volcano and an typical house of the area
An old volcano and an typical house of the area

The Chamo lake is an unique opportunity to watch dangerous crocodiles and hippos from a safe distance. We will sail with a boat and we will have the opportunity to take great photographs. Later we go on with our journey and at Konso we will overnight at a nice hotel of small African huts.

Day 6: Drive to Yabello

A scenic drive through African landscapes
A scenic drive through African landscapes
Birds at the edge of the road (Acryllium vulturinum)
Birds at the edge of the road (Acryllium vulturinum)
A negative imprint in a block of quartz, probably a gem (garnet? turmaline?)
A negative imprint in a block of quartz, probably a gem (garnet? turmaline?)

The route to Yabello is one of the most scenic landscapes and there will be many opportunities to watch the digidi, wartdogs, antilopes and lots of birds. There are also some interesting geological sites where we may find pegmatites that contain rare minerals. If we are lucky, we will discover turmaline or even beryll.

Day 7: Exploring the sourroundings of Yabello

A digidi
A digidi
Our guide & geologist Enku at an interesting geological site
Our guide & geologist Enku at an interesting geological site
An amazonite crystal from the region of Finchava
An amazonite crystal from the region of Finchava

This day is reserved for the exploration of the area around Yabello or for spontaneous activities. If we are lucky, we may discover pegmatites nad other resources of rare minerals. We will overnight in our camping equipment or in a simple hotel at Yabello.

Day: 8: Visit of the volcano El Sod

View into the volcano crater of El Sod volcano
View into the volcano crater of El Sod volcano
The salt lake in the crater center of El Sod volcano
The salt lake in the crater center of El Sod volcano
The hospital people of El Sod
The hospital people of El Sod

The volcano El Sod is situated around 100 km south of Yabello town and it is one of the most interesting volcanoes in the are. In its crater the local people concentrate salt. Like all volcanoes, they bring up rare materia from the earth crust and so also this volcano. We may find products of these old eruptions. We will set up a camping site in the area.

Day 9: Scenic dirve to Hagere Maryam

Colourful African house
Colourful African house
Girl from Hagere Maryam
Girl from Hagere Maryam
The area of coffee plantation
The area of coffee plantation

We will leave El Sod volcano and will drive to north. There will be stops for a fresh Ethiopian coffee, photos or even to explore minerals. The scenic landscape will offer many nice spots to take photographs and at Hagere Maryam we will overnight in a camping site or in a simple hotel.

Day 10: Drive to Yirga

The area around Yirka
The area around Yirka
Old volcanoes at the Bale mountains
Old volcanoes at the Bale mountains
A wartdog at the area of the national park
A wartdog at the area of the national park

The area we will drive to Yirga is characterized by the coffee plantations. It is the most important area for the coffee that we will get also in our countries, It is a green area with tropical forests and small mountains. We may visit also the graves of Tutiti with its strange grave stele. Overnight in a nice hotel in Yirka town.

Day 11: The Corbeti-Caldera near Hawassa

Fishermen at Hawassa lake
Fishermen at Hawassa lake
Fresh fish is a recommended speciality at the lake Hawassa
Fresh fish is a recommended speciality at the lake Hawassa
Pelicanes at the Hawassa lake
Pelicanes at the Hawassa lake

The Rift Valley is famous for its volcanoes and also on this tour we will discover one of the most interesting areas, the so called Corbeti-Caldera with lots of volcanic eruption centers. The lake of Hawassa is situated in the center of a huge volcanic caldera. Hawassa itself is a famous city with its own university. We will stay at a local hotel there.

Day 12: The Langano-lake

The scenic lake landscape
The scenic lake landscape
A marabu bird at flight
A marabu bird at flight
Storks on their flight over Ethiopia
Storks on their flight over Ethiopia

The next target will be the famous Lagano lake. One of the few lakes where you may take a bath without danger for your live. The most other lakes are a homeland for crocodiles or dangerous bacteria. Of course there we will be able to watch rare birds.

Day 13: Drive to the volcano Alutu

One of our 4X4 Jeeps
One of our 4X4 Jeeps
Zeolithe crystals from a lava flow
Zeolithe crystals from a lava flow
Volcanic landscape
Volcanic landscape

The stratovolcano of Alutu is one of the most acvtive hydrothermal areas in southern Ethiopia and there is also a hydtothermal power plant. We will visit this area and discover the old volcanic craters and obsidian flows. May be we will also discover minerals like zeolithe or quartz. In any way there will be a great volcanic landscape. Later we will drive back to Addis Ababa and overnight at the hotel.

Day 14: Departure from Addis Abeba

Ethiopian airlines is a recommended airline to get to Ethiopia
Ethiopian airlines is a recommended airline to get to Ethiopia
Flight over Ethiopia
Flight over Ethiopia
Also Emirates offers flights to Ethiopia on economic rates
Also Emirates offers flights to Ethiopia on economic rates

Depending on what time your flight leaves from Addis Ababa Bole airport, you will get a transfer to the airport or you can leave your baggage still in the hotel until you are leaving in the evening or at night.