Travel mates for Omo Valley "on the cheap" !!!
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Dec 9, 2012 6:48 AM Last Post By: letsgo1
Nov 5, 2012 8:01 PM
Travel mates for Omo Valley "on the cheap" !!!Anybody want to visit Omo Valley in december? I wish to get together a small group and visit this area as independently as possible so that i dont have to spend stupid amounts of money on rediculously expensive tours. I plan to leave Arbur Minch on 17th/18th december and need to be back in Addis for 27th december. We could either take local transport or hire a 4x4. I want to time things to see the local markets if possible. If anybody is interested please send me a pm. Everybody welcome.
Nov 5, 2012 8:35 PM
Nov 6, 2012 3:20 AM
2letsgo1, i'll arrive in Addis on Dec15 and will stay till Jan 1st.
I'm actually still undecided in what to do in that time--i'm waiting for the Bradt guidebook to arrive in my mailbox before i decide and make more precise plans.
I'm really interested in going to the Omo valley, but on the other hand, i still have some moral scruple to "sightsee" tribal people. I need to make up my mind about this. Where's the thread on TT where people discuss about the ethics of going to tribes?
Anyway, i might be interested in partnering up for a trip down south. I'm male/32/german easy going, fun loving and fairly experienced.
Nov 6, 2012 7:25 AM
3This is a very good post from a few days ago about how to visit the region without using a tour company.
Nov 7, 2012 3:22 AM
4Marc_foo, i have thought about this myself. There is certainly a moral element to going to the omo valley. I have always said to my wife and friends etc that i want to see a bit of everything once. Will i enjoy that part of it? Who knows..... I worry that it will be a kind of human zoo. But i am going to give it a go. The world is changing so fast that in 10 years the tribes at omo may all have mobile phones and suits. Marc i like the fact that you have pondered the morality of going to omo- says a lot about you. if you do decide to go give me a shout.
Kaz thanks for the link. In fact it was that thread that gave me the inspiration not to use a tour.
Still need a couple more people though to make the costs cheap
Nov 7, 2012 2:16 PM
Nov 7, 2012 10:07 PM
Nov 8, 2012 10:06 PM
Nov 9, 2012 4:21 AM
Nov 9, 2012 11:37 AM
Nov 13, 2012 8:27 AM
It will be my 2nd time in the Omo Valley. I was there 2 years ago. I'm arriving in Addis on the 9th of December. I hope to do a trip for 8 or so days. I have 12 days set aside and can squeeze in another ten if I decide to break the bank on a trip to the north. We only live once...... I'm in contact with my old driver and another driver. They are charging around 100 - 140 USD per day. I haven't started barginning with them as yet. I did read the blogg from the lad that did it for around 250 USD - This can be a good barginning tool for the operators in Addis. They seem to be making a big profit. I don't believe petrol is that expensive for the price to be 140 USD a day......
Any info would be great. I look forward to hearing from anyone that maybe interested in sharing costs on a trip. Cheers
Nov 13, 2012 9:45 AM
11I just wanted to share my experience from my first trip to the Omo valley in 2010. I went with a girlfriend. We wanted to visit and see the Africa that was long ago........ Yes I understand cultures evolve and change.
The first tribe we visited was the Erborate tribe and as soon as we got out of the vehicle we were pounced on to take photos. It was awful. We were pre warned what it was like by a group of tourists we met in Addis but couldn't fathom it. It wasn't at all what we were expecting. I honestly thought that we'd be able to sit, chat via the guide, walk around their village, enjoy a drink together….I don’t know to be honest. We both wore nervous (but warm) smiles as best we could and to be honest couldn't wait to leave. We didn't see their village or get a firsthand experience on their culture. It was disheartening to say the least. It really was pick who you want in your photo, snap away and pay. This wasn't what we wanted.
Our second tribe was the Hammer tribe where we went to a bull jumping ceremony. We didn't take out our cameras at first. Our guides were asking us why we weren't taking photos. They thought we were not enjoying ourselves and if we are not enjoying ourselves then they think they will not get tipped. We told them we have just arrived and it is a privilege for us to be a part of the ceremony and to watch the day’s events without a camera. We watched the other tourist's: there where 6 or 8 4x4's in total and they were all part of one group or European tourists. The prices work like this. At a Bull jumping ceremony you pay a fix rate let’s call it to be there and this includes taking photos whereas at villages and markets you pay for who is in the photo. The going rate back then was 2 birr for an adult and 1 for a child. As I said awful, nothing natural about it picking and choosing who you want in your photo to get that perfect snap. Anyway, we watched the other tourist who were zooming in and out snapping away and really upsetting some of the tribes people with their behaviour. So what if you have paid a fix rate, if a person doesn't wont there photo taken - DONT TAKE IT! You paid for the privilege to see the ceremony and be with the people. Sorry I am ranting here. Anyway, just as much as you are looking at the tribes people, they are also looking at you. We stood back/away from the other tourists and just watched what was going on, people arriving, etc etc. Been a man it was easier for me to I guess spark up a conversation, a wave here a nob there. We befriended a group of people and our guide translated for us as best he could. It was very nice, calm and far different to our first experience. We asked if we could take a photo and they were more than happy. We had a photo taken together and showed it to them, they loved it. I taught one lad how to take photos and off he went taking photos of the other tourists...too funny. My guide was more worried that the lad would break the camera, steal it or something of the likes and therefore his tip would be less. But when I gave him my camera he gave me his seat/head stool to look after, sort of like an exchange. Anyway, our little group of new friends soon got bigger. The tribes men took us around, to their friends, around the village etc it was great. The bull jumpers brother wanted us to stand with him while the ceremony went on, it was just a really nice experience. I loved it and that's why I want to go back. When we got to the Mursi tribe we had some young tough lads come up to us and try to bully us into taking their photo. They were like "Photo now" We again didn’t have cameras out flashing them about and with sign language saying “no camera”. After some pointing and repeating our names they understood and told us their names. They kept looking at my friend as she has long reddish hair and wanted to touch it. My hair is curly so they wanted to touch it also and the hair on my arms. They then took hold of our hands and showed us where their hut was and to introduce us to mamma. Not so tough after all :-) mamma wore the pants in the family that was for sure. It was a lovely experience. While other tourists snapped away and went around the village, we just sat with a group of people and chilled with them. We visited other tribes but the best experience we had was with the Hammer and Mursi. We even gave people lifts who would otherwise have had to walk for 65 kms, we took people to the hospital who needed medical care, paid for their medicine etc We watched people in 4x4's put there electric windows up as soon any kids went up to their car, were as we said hello and smiled. I guess what I am saying is that it doesn't have to be a circus if you don't let it! Don't take out your camera as soon as you arrive at a village. Sit with the people. Even though you can't speak each other’s languages’ you can still sit and smile and be together without talking. Tell your guides to slow down when driving. When they zoom along to the next point your 4x4 is flicking up stones and dust and there are people walking along the road. It’s their land and you are a visitor. It's not a race. Educate your drives to slow down when they see people, there are also many many kids out there on the roads some on stilts painted up wanting to get your attention for a water bottle. Their life is worth more than a water bottle and unfortunately they have as much road sense as a puppy. If you are drinking from water bottles, save them and give them out. Make sure if there are ten kids wanting a water bottle you have one for each..... Goes without saying really... If not don’t give them out also make sure they are hidden in your vehicle from curious eyes :-) Also have blades for the men in the village. You can buy makes of ten. Much appreciated and small cakes of soap. They all know these items and you will be asked many times for them. Is it wrong to give out these things, are we just as much to blame for their disappearing cultures ?? I don’t know, it’s something we individually need to sort out for yourselves when deciding whether or not to go. We could say this for any culture …
I hope by sharing my experience you can gain something from it. I am heading back in December so if anyone is up for sharing the cost of a trip please do let me know.
Thanks for your time.
Nov 14, 2012 10:34 PM
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