The Lost Tribes of the Omo Valley

A Photographic Journey of a Lifetime
9-20 November 2016

Join professional photographer Randy Hanna as he leads you on a journey of a lifetime to photograph the lost tribes of the Omo Valley in Ethiopia.

Deep in the Omo Valley you will find a number of tribes that have yet to be touched by the outside, still living their lives as they did hundreds of years ago. As the popularity of travel to remote locations grows and the impacts of global trade, it will not be long until most of these tribes lose their authentic way of life. In addition, there are government discussions concerning the potential relocation of several of these tribes to make way for commercial agriculture. Soon, these tribes will be lost forever with only stories and photographs serving as their only record of existence. Join me as we step back in time to photograph a number of tribes in the Omo Valley.

A key point of our focus will be the exotic looking and highly decorated Suri tribe and the Mursi tribe, best known for their wear of large lip plates. Other tribes that we will be visiting include the Hamar, Kara, Abore, and Dassanech tribes. As other opportunities present themselves, we will be ready to adjust our schedule to take full advantage of them.

During this adventure, you will learn how to use of reflectors, balancing natural light with flash, effective techniques for environmental portraits as well as the wonderful history of the Omo Valley tribes. You will be returning home with scores of wonderful images to keep you busy for long time as well as an experience that is unlike anything you have experienced before. You will have an incredible opportunity to document the tribal face and body painting, their way of life and potentially lay witness to a tribal ceremony. Despite our days being full, we will find time for image reviews and discussions about post processing.

Ethiopia is the cradle of mankind, where the oldest human remains have been found. Home to a population that represents more than 16 Nations and some 50 unique tribes, Ethiopia is a nation that has had peace among its numerous religious parties for hundreds of years.

Although our distances will be significant, our Itinerary has been custom designed by Randy to minimize our travel time and maximize our shooting opportunities, photographing as many tribes as we possibly can in the best possible light. Our schedule is also built around Market Day, an event in the Omo Valley that is a gathering for all major tribes in the area, certainly something to observe.

Our mode of transport will consist of commercial air, privately chartered air, and land transportation using Toyota Land Cruisers. We will overnight in a number of lodges as well as making use of our private safari camp in Suri Land, complete with our own personal chef.

Detailed Itinerary:

  • 9 November: Our adventure starts with your arrival into Addis Ababa where you will overnight. A group dinner is planned to review the final itinerary and prepare everyone for this wonderful adventure. Overnight at Jupiter Hotel.
  • 10 November: Rise early for breakfast and transfer to the local airport to our commercial flight to Arba Minch. After our arrival, we will connect with our drive team and guide who will be with us for the rest of the trip. From Arba Minch we will begin our drive which will take us deep into the Omo Valley. Overnight at Paradise Lodge.
  • 11 November: An early rise as we journey into the Mago National Park to photograph the Mursi tribe. We will be with this tribe most of the day. Overnight at Eco Omo Lodge.
  • 12 November: We will return early in the morning to photograph the Mursi tibe for a wonderful morning shoot. Following this shoot, we will drive to into the Trumi area where we will photograph the Dassanech tribe in the afternoon. Overnight at Buska Lodge which will serve as our base of operations for the next several days.
  • 13 November: We are up early to photograph the Abore tribe with an early return to the lodge for a little down time, photo processing and image criticques. Overnight at Buska Lodge.
  • 14 November: Today is Market Day in the Turmi area. The market is where we will obtain information about the location of a cattle camp and a potential bull jumping ceremony. Although we will visit the market, our primary effort will to be photograph the Hamar tribe and hopefully locate a ceremony site. This could likely be a very long day and involve some walking to the ceremony site. Overnight at Buska Lodge.
  • 15 November: Our final day in the Trumi area will be a full day with am and pm shooting at the Kara tribe. Overnight at Buska Lodge.
  • 16 November: After breakfast, we depart the Turmi area and head for the even more remote area of the Omo, an area known as Suri Land. Here we will meet our camp staff and our personal chef. After setting up for a shoot along the river banks, we will return to our safari camp for our first night of bush camping. Overnight at our private safari bush camp.
  • 17 – 18 November: Spend all day photographing the famous and remote Suri Tribe. Overnight at our private safari bush camp
  • 19 November: After our final morning shoot with the Suri, we will head to a cattle camp at Tulgit. Following this shoot, we will continue onward to catch our private charter flight from Mizan to Addis. Overnight at Addis.
  • 20 November: Transfer to the airport for your homeward flight. End of Services.

Included in this trip:

  • Hotel accommodation on a full board (all meals) basis everywhere including Addis
  • All airport transfers and ground transport as outlined in the above itinerary
  • Private charter flight from Mizan Tereri – ADD (75 lb per person weight allowance)
  • Approximate fare for scheduled flight from ADD to Arba Minchi
  • Bottled water in the vehicles throughout the trip Professional English speaking escort throughout the trip
  • Porters
  • All entrance fees
  • Scouts
  • Camping at Suri Land with professional cook
  • All pertinent tribal photographic fees and permits to the tribes

Excluded in this trip:

  • International airfare
  • Trip Insurance
  • Gratuities for drivers and guide.
  • Beverages (other than those mentioned above)
  • Personal expenses

This trip is limited to a maximum of 5 photographers (see note below).
The cost for this adventure is $11, 995.00 per person sharing. A single supplement is available for and additional $875.00.

Is this trip for you? If you are expecting 4 or 5 star lodging with room service and light days, you should most likely consider another of my photographic tours. While our lodges in the valley will be clean and provide healthy food, and will be the best in the area, they are not the likes of the Hilton. Our camp in Suri Land, will a tented safari style camp complete with our personal chef. You should be a bit on the adventurous side and willing to accept last minute changes to our schedule to take advantage of opportunities that may come our way throughout this adventure. Lastly, should we get an opportunity to photograph a bull jumping ceremony, you should be in reasonable fitness level, as this could involve walking on uneven ground for a mile or so. Capturing quality tribal images does not come without effort. You should be willing to put the effort into your photography to reap the rewards that will be available to you. Randy will always be available to assist you throughout this trip to ensure that you return with incredible images.

If you are interested in joining me, please contact Eyes on Africa 1-800-457-9575 to secure your slot on this limited offering.

NOTE: (i) Schedule Airfare Note: Please note all airfares are subject to change without notice from the Ethiopian Airline and seat availability when the reservation is made. Fares and seats are only guaranteed once the tickets have been issued. The airlines reserves the right to change their flight schedules at any time without warning. Full first names and Surnames as per the passports are required to make airline and charter reservations. Name changes are not allowed once the ticket has been issued. Baggage allowance on Ethiopian Airlines is 44lbs per person. Should you exceed this limit you must contact Randy as soon as possible to avoid excessive baggage charges?
NOTE (ii) In order to minimize the impact that we could have on the tribes and to ensure a high quality photographic experience, the group size for this trip is limited to 5 photographers with 4 participants being the minimum required number to run the trip.