ECOTRAVEL & CRUISES

 

KONSO, ETHIOPIA



Konso, Ethiopia

Konso, is a small town in Southern Ethiopia at 1650masl, with a population of about 5,000 souls who live primarily from cultivating and weaving cotton, beekeeping and general agriculture. There is a market on Mondays and Thursdays just out of town along the road towards Jinka.

 

Named after the Konso people, the town with 5,500ha of surrounding landscape has been declared a  World Heritage Site for its traditional landscape with terraced agriculture and typical villages in 2011. Important features are the unique designs of the houses, the organization of the 32 dwellings behind 1 to 6 rows of defensive stone walls as well as nearby fossil beds. The communities also build traditional reservoirs to supply the villages with water during the dry season. The terraces are built behind up to 5m high stone walls  to prevent soil erosion and maximize the collection of rainwater, so as to enhance agricultural production.

 

The wooden statues, called Wakas or Wagas and stone steles, represent important family members as well as heroic events at burial sites. Villagers will gather at the Mora, a public gathering spot where the pafta, a large hut, and Olahitas, the central location for cultural ceremonies. In these areas they would perform rituals, dances, food preparations, and weaving; all of the wonderful aspects of Konso heritage.

 

Konso is an excelent place to spend the night before going on to Jinka and entering Mago National Park and Omo National Park.

The architecture of the Konso villages is is different from traditional houses and dwellings elsewhere. The Konso people live in fortified villages enclosed by stone walls.

Waka or waga sculptures representing the dead at Konso, Ethiopia. Wakas or wagas are statues representing diseased family members at Konso, Ethiopia

Waka or waga sculptures representing the dead.

Wakas or wagas are statues representing diseased family members.

The primary cash crop in the Konso Region is cotton, which is sold at the local market. The women in Konso go beautifully dressed in long dresses, which are locally woven.

The primary cash crop in the Konso Region is cotton, which is sold at the local market.

The women in Konso go beautifully dressed in long dresses, which are locally woven.

Restaurant Kanta Lodge at Konso, Ethiopia Deluxe sleeping huts Kanta Lodge at Konso, Ethiopia Beautiful thatched roof Kanta Lodge at Konso, Ethiopia Inside restaurant of brand new Kanta Lodge at Konso, Ethiopia
Bourgainvillea Kanta Lodge at Konso, Ethiopia Deluxe bedroom Kanta Lodge at Konso, Ethiopia

Kanta Lodge at Konso, Ethiopia.

 

Konso is part of this fabulous travel itinerary:

Ethiopia Central and Southern Parks & Tribes Safari Tour

8 days. Price: starting at $890.

Day 1: ADDIS ABABA - AWASSA, ± 275km

  1. Stop at Lake Ziway for watching wetland birds;

  2. Abyjata-Shalla Lakes National Park to watch Ostriches and wetland birds at alkaline Lake Abijatta, including potentially Flamingos;

  3. Senkele Wildlife Sanctuary to watch the Swayne's Hartebeest. In this small nature reserve one almost can see the extremely rare Swayson's Hartebeest of which less than 500 survive in the wild, all in Ethiopia;

  4. Spend the night in Awassa.

 

Day 2: AWASSA - YABELLO, ± 410km

  1. Proposed Megado Podacarpus National Monument to take a look at one of the nicest Podocarpus forests of Ethiopia trees up to more than 1m wide and 35m high.

  2. Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary to see the endemic Stresemann's Bushcrow and White-tailed swallows, Burchell's Zebras and other wildlife.

  3. Spend the night at Yabello Motel.

 

Day 3: YABELLO - KONSO, ± 220km

  1. Konso tribal villages at Mecheke, including Konso tribal king's house. Konso is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site for its traditional landscape with terraces, its uniquely structured villages and huts and for their famous wooden statues;

  2. New York Village, so called after the vertical erosion formations that in the minds of local people look like sky-scrapers. In fact they are hoodoo formations of quartz minerals similar to those in Brice National Park in the USA.

  3. Kanta Lodge, a beautiful brand new lodge in Konso style luxury sleeping cabins and restaurant.

 

Day 4: KONSO - BUSKA LODGE, ± 130km

  1. Drive to Turmi to visit the Hamer People.

  2. Birding at the floodplane of Chelbi Wildlife Reserve

  3. Spend the night at Buska Lodge

 

Day 5:  BUSKA LODGE - JINKA, ± 140km

  1. Early in the morning, drive to the Mursi village in Mago National Park. Mursi women wear clay lip plates that they make from locally dug clay. The men adorn themselves with clay;

  2. game viewing Mago National Park. While wildlife stocks in Mago National Park are down, it is still one of the better places to see extraordinary wildlife;

  3. Sleep at Jinka Resort Hotel.

 

Day 6: JINKA - ARBA MINCH, ± 275km

  1. Long drive until arrival at hotel in Arba Minch, overlooking Nechsar National Park.

  2. If we can get permission from the park we go looking for the mysterious Nechisar Nightjar.

 

Day 7: NETCH SAR PARK AND LAKE CHAMO EXCURSIONS

  1. In the morning drive to Netchsar National Park on the istmus seperating Lake Abaya and Chamo. There still is a herd of the endemic Swayne's hartebeests, Burchell's zebra are very common, greater and lesser kudus are frequently seen, as well as grants gazelle. Out of the more than 180 species of birds recorded, you have a good chance at seeing Secretary bird, Ground hornbill, different species of bustards, etc.

  2. In the afternoon we go on boat ride along the western shore of Lake Chamo to watch African Crocodiles, Hippopotamus and a large variety of wetland birds.

  3. Return to the hotel at night and if permission granted again look for the Nechisar Nightjar.

 

Day 8: ARBA MINCH - ADDIS ABABA, ± 505km

  1. Return to Addis Ababa. Alternatively you have the option to fly back to Addis Ababa at additional costs for the flight, which we would recommend as it is a long ride back to Addis Ababa.

Price starting at $890 includes transportation, entry fees, non-alcoholic beverages, tee/coffee at meals, hotels.

 

Ethiopia modernizes and changes more rapidly than any other country in Africa. Many features may not be there anymore in the near future. If you want to see it the way it was for thousands of years, see it now before it has changed forever! Compose your own once-in-a-lifetime Ethiopia-Africa-Adventure from our affordable modules:

Famous Ethiopia Historical Circuit

Simien Mountains trek or car visit

Danakil Depression and Erte Ale Volcano Expedition

Awash Babile Harar Safari Tour

Ethiopia Central and Southern Parks & Tribes Safari Tour

Bale Mountains National Park and Sof Omar Caves Tour

Gambella National Park Safari

Addis Ababa City Tour & Airport Transfer

All Ethiopia modules and prices together

We designed our itineraries in such a way that you can compose a 2 to 4 weeks journey from different modules that can show you the entire country or just the parts that interest you, all depending on your personal preferences, available time and budget. Email us on your interests and we can discuss a custom program with you by phone (we have phone lines from the USA and Europe) or skype. So, weather you have a great ethnic affinity, are a birdwatcher or want to go on safari, contact us and we work out a customized program that focuses on YOUR interests.

Blue Nile Falls, Ethiopia Ethiopian Wolf, Bale National Park St. George Church, Lalibela Stellas, Axum, Ethiopia Tukuls, Lalibela, Ethiopia Elephant bull, Babile, Ethiopia
Gelada, Simien Mountains National Park Facilides Bathroom, Gondar, Etiopia Wabia Ibex, Simien Mountains Church, Lake Tana, Ethiopia Erica trees, Bale Mountains National Park. Facilides Castle, Gondar, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is home of Ethiopian Airlines, featuring Africa's youngest fleet of the latest intercontinental jet airplanes - including 2 Dreamliners - as well as short-distance Bombardier turboprops for very comfortable, affordable and reliable in-country flights servicing all major cities of Ethiopia. The second best airline of Africa, will fly you non-stop from the USA and Europe to Addis Ababa. Take our 1-week Ethiopia Cultural Monuments Tour and than continue for your Kenya or Tanzania safari - or any other East African capital - thus completing your journey.

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Phone Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (++251) (0) 911 440 915
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