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    The rooftop of Africa

    The rooftop of Africa

    Etnografia e specie endemiche dell'Etiopia

    • Periodo Ottimale: 9 - 22 Agosto 2020
    • Giorni: 14
    • Zona di interesse: Etiopia
    • Costo: € 2190 ,00
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    A spectacular and breathless immersion in culture, ethnography and wilderness of south-central Ethiopia. The  Konso, Arbore, Karo, Hamar, Daasanach, Mursi, Dorze people, the Ethiopian wolf, the Gelada, the mountain Nyala, the Swayne’s Hartebeest and all the incredible mountain endemisms: a unique place on Earth, a trip you will never forget.

    • The Semien Mountains –  the rooftop of Africa, a spectacular mountain system, the largest continuous area of its elevation in the continent and a UNESCO Heritage Site
    • The Bale Mountains – a cradle of stunning endemisms, such the Ethiopian wolf, the mountain Nyala, and the Bale Monkey
    • The Rift valley, the lakes and the Omo Valley – the very roots of our evolution
    • The Konso, Arbore, Karo, Hamar, Daasanach, Mursi, Dorze people –  labyrinthine villages, steles of Waga, Evangadi dances, “bull jump” ceremony and painted bodies
    • The Ethiopian Wolf – the most endangered canid on Earth, a specialist predator roaming the afroalpine highlands
    • The other protagonists –  The mountain Nyala, the Swayne’s Hartebeest, The Bale Monkey, the Gelada, The Semien Ibex, the Menelik Bushbuck and the stunning avifauna of eastern Africa

    ClimateBiogeographic ProvinceBiodiversity and Cultural Heritage

    Extremely dependent on the area considered. While The Somali Region and the Danakil Depression in the Afar Region have a hot, sunny and dry climate producing fully desert or semi-desert conditions, the majority of Ethiopia falls above 1200m above sea level, where climate is afroalpine with temperature ranging from 4 to 26°C annually and featuring three distinct seasons: winter, the cold season (October-February), the dry season (March-June) and the rainy season (June-September).

    Between the valley of the Upper Nile and Ethiopia’s border with Sudan and South Sudan is a region of elevated plateaus from which rise the various tablelands and mountains that constitute the Ethiopian Highlands, one of the most articulated mountain system of Africa. Characteristic of the country are the enormous fissures which divide it, formed over time by the erosive action of water. They are the valleys of the rivers, which rising on the uplands or mountain sides, have cut their way to the surrounding lowlands. One result of the action of the water has been the formation of numerous isolated flat-topped hills or small plateaus, known as ambas, with nearly perpendicular sides. The Rift Valley separates the Bale Mountain system from the other plateaus. The dramatic altitudinal range causes an articulated ecosystem mosaic , ranging from the tropical to the alpine in short space. Three different ecoregions can be found on the plateaus, distinguished by elevation: the Ethiopian montane forests lie between 1,100 and 1,800 meters’ elevation, above the lowland grasslands and savannas, the Ethiopian montane grasslands and woodlands is the largest of the highland ecoregions, occupying the area between 1,800 and 3,000 meters’ elevation, while remaining woodland in the drier areas contains much endemic flora and primarily consists of Podocarpus conifers and Juniperus procera, often with Hagenia abyssinica.

    Biodiversity:  the plateaus harbour  a large array of endemisms and endangered species. Among these, worth to mention are the Semien Ibex (Capra walie), the Gelada (Theropithecus gelada), the mountain  Nyala (Tragelaphus buxtoni), the ethiopian Wolf (Canis simensis) the Bale Monkey (Chlorocebus djamdjamensis) and the Menelik  Bushbuck(Tragelaphus scriptus meneliki). Other relevant mammals of the plateaus are the spotted hyena, the leopard, the guereza, the lion and the wild dog. Of great relevance is the rodent community, exclusive prey of the ethiopian Wolf. The endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest has its stronghold in the Oromia region (Senkelle Swayne’s Hartebeest Sanctuary). The avifauna is among the richest in Africa, featuring more than 863 species (39% of the african avifauna).

    Cultural Heritage: It is very hard to determine the exact number of Ethiopian ethnic groups. Some are very small, with only a few hundred people, while others have populations in the millions. Many groups are nomadic and some do not have much if any contact with the rest of the world. They live their traditional lifestyle and seem to be content to stay away from the world at large. Among the most conservative people are the animist Mursi, in the south of the country, famous for their body decorations. Another southern Ethiopia tribe is the Hamar. Hamar men do a bull jumping ceremony as a coming-of-age rite. Part of this ceremony includes whipping the backs of women and the women are proud of the scars left by the whip. Both men and women engage in body modification by using thorns to scar the skin. Other ethnic groups are the Konso, Arbore, Karo, Hamar, Daasanach, Dorze

    Detailed Program

    • Day 1. Arrival at Bole International Airport. City tour Addis Ababa. Welcome dinner in cultural restaurant. Overnight stay at hotel.
    • Day 2. Drive Addis Ababa to Dorze, en route visit one of the historical sites along Butajira Road: Melka Kunture, Adadi Maryam or Tiya. Overnight stay at lodge.
    • Day 3. Visit Dorze people and market in Chencha. The Dorze tribe are famous for their hut-style hives. We’ll attend the preparation of the typical false banana course. Drive (1 hr) Dorze to Arba Minch. Then transfer to Arba Minch and boat trip on the Chamo lake for close encounters with some of the largest crocodiles in the country. Hippos and water birds sightings. Later, very scenic transfer to the village of Dorse, situated on a plateau on Guge mountains, at 2600 m of altitude, with scenic view of the Abaya and Chamo lakes. If possible visit to the Dorze market. Overnight stay at lodge. Overnight stay at lodge.
    • Day 4. Drive Arba Minch to Jinka (considered the “Paris of southern Ethiopia” for its prosperity and opulence), en route visit Konso people. Exploration of a very interesting area, where people still live in a very tribal lifestyle. Morning visit to Konso people, known for their labyrinthine villages , the agricultural terraces and the Waga steles erected for important people and heroes. The cultural background of Konso people is among the most recent  UNESCO Heritage Site in the country. Visit Ari people and Jinka museum. Overnight stay at lodge.
    • Day 5. Morning transfer to Mago National Park, where the most renowned tribe of the Omo valley live: the Mursi .Visit Mago National Park and Mursi people. Drive Jinka to Turmi, en route visit Key Afar market. Optional ‘Evangadi’ dance and/ or ‘Bull jump’ ceremony if it coincides with our stay in Turmi (non included in the final price). Overnight stay at lodge camp.
    • Day 6. Visit Karo people in Kolcho and Nyangatom people in Kangatan. The Karo tribe live on the Omo riverside and are famous for their magnificent body painting art. Overnight stay at lodge camp.
    • Day 7. Visit Dassanech people in Omerate. Drive Turmi to Arba Minch, en route visit Dimeka market. Overnight stay at lodge.
    • Day 8. Game drive Nech Sar National Park. Drive Arba Minch to Hawassa, en route visit Senkele Game Sanctuary, with its typical fauna of savannah, including the endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest. Overnight stay at hotel.
    • Day 9. Drive  Hawassa to Goba. Before leaving Hawassa, visit to the fish market, and chances for birdwatching of the incredible pool of water birds waiting for fish. Transfer to Dinsho, the gate for the Bale Mountains National Park. Exploration of the park on foot, along the incredible forests of Juniperus and Hagenia. Good chances for spotting the endemic mountain Nyala and the Menelik Bushbuck. Overnight stay at hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
    • Day 10. Road permitting, transfer to Sof Omar caves, the largest limestone cave system in the whole Africa. Alternative exploration of the Bale mountains. Overnight stay at hotel.
    • Day 11. Full day exploration of the Bale mountains, renowned for the scenic landscapes and the endemic wildlife, including many bird species and the iconic Ethiopian Wolf. The Sanetti  Plateau and the Harenna Forest, where the Bale monkey lives. Overnight stay at hotel.
    • Day 12. Drive Goba to Langano, en route visit Abijatta-Shalla National Park. Overnight stay at lodge.
    • Day 13: Drive Langano to Ankober, en route visit Lake Ziway for wildlife observations. Overnight stay at lodge.
    • Day 14. Visit Ankober, the ancient capital of Ethiopia, and surrounding historical area. Among these the tomb of Orazio Antinori, one of the founder of the Italian Geographic Society and the Geographic Station at Let Marefia. Observations of the Gelada in the wild. In the afternoon drive back to Addis Abeba. Evening transfer to Bole International Airport for international flight.
    The wide variety of restaurant choice during the trip suggests to adopt a flexible scheme for meals, to respond to individual needs and desires.
    € 2190,00 based on 8 pax. The travel package price can vary in case of change of the currency exchange rate.

    **Please note that main meals are not included. From time to time along the way we will decide together where to eat. For this reason a common fund will be created (listed in the “not included” section below).

    The price includes:
    • All land transfers with 4X4 private vehicle
    • All excursions as in the Detailed Itinerary and Program
    • Driver and guidance from a Biosfera Itinerari Biologist from Italy
    • All taxes imposed by government authorities and Park entry fees
    • Double bedroom B&B
    • A comprehensive travel insurance package
    Not included:
    • International flight and airport taxes
    • Cost of Management Procedure (euro 30)
    • Common fund for main meals (about 200 €)
    • Evangadi dance and “Bull jump” ceremony if present (day 2)
    • Cancelling insurance (optional)
    • International visa
    • Alcohlic drinks
    • Voluntary activities and service tips, and in general everything not mentioned in section “The price includes”

    Disclaimer 1: Please note this is an indicative and standard itinerary. Dates, activities and the succession and length of each part of the itinerary may change each year, and can be rearranged with the participants. Upon request by the participants, we will send the definitive and detailed programme to be evaluated at least some weeks prior to the confirmation deadline.

    Disclaimer 2: We will generally honor the posted prices, but these are subject to change at any time due to action or decisions made by local authorities. In such situations, and in the hope that will not happen, we will send all the ministries official communications to all participants, free from ambiguity and in total transparency. We reserve the right to correct the final price to the fullest extent permitted by law.

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