Omo Valley guide recommendation

I want to recommend a guide, Lalo Desse, who worked for me in the Lower Omo River Valley in S. Ethiopia in 2006.  He was a magician, allowing me to travel in very hard circumstances with a measure of comfort and very inexpensively.  He has just started a small, shoestring touring company that can be googled at www.lalo-tours.com  They specialize in “alternative” travel, but can take anyone anywhere for any purpose in Ethiopia for a very reasonable price.  His telephone contact is 251 913 363 077 (int’l) or 0913 363 077 (in Ethiopia). I would highly recommend Lalo’s company for anyone wanting to travel anywhere in Ethiopia.

T. Miller

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2 thoughts on “Omo Valley guide recommendation

  1. Andrew says:

    can I ask how much did you pay? We plan to go to omo v. and I have just started “negotiations” with Lalo
    Andrew

  2. davidrayen says:

    We recently spent 9 day’s in Omo Valley and wanted to share our experiences with other people who are considering this destination–particularly other families, as we were traveling two of us . We were hesitant to go because we had read on this forum and elsewhere about the difficulty of having an experience beyond what posters have described as a “human safari” where you are mainly taking photos and negotiating fees for them. We managed to have a really amazing experience, which we owe primarily to our wonderful guide Mamaru (Mamaru Ethiopian Tours).

    We found Mamaru, a very articulate and kind young man, He speaks English very well but has also remained connected with his culture and speaks a number of the tribal languages and had good friends wherever we went who welcomed us with what felt like genuine hospitality.

    We arranged an all-inclusive tour with Mamaru, which included the Driver, Accommodation’s, Food, and Village Fees, And he handle all of the outlays for local tribe guides, entrance fees, food, and lodging. Price depends on number of nights, quality of lodging, and number of tribes.
    We visited the Dorze, Konso, Hamar, Mursi, Dassanach, tribes in their villages and then also saw the Bana and Ari people in the three different markets he took us to. Visitors to the area should understand that they will not likely be the first foreigners the tribal people will have met, but that the markets and tribal life do not at all simply exist for the sake of tourism. What is important is to keep an open mind and be in the right frame of mind: not everything will work as planned, but if you are friendly and respectful, you will likely have a memorable experience.
    We also really appreciated having one guide for the entire time, versus hiring local guides wherever we went, which is another route that some people take. ( Mamaru Ethiopian Tours ) had a lot of knowledge about the different tribes’ traditions and was very informative and interesting in explaining the different cultures and beliefs of each group. We also trusted Mamaru to help us navigate everything from buying souvenirs.
    In sum, we would recommend visiting the tribes and using someone who has strong relationships with them, he do professional job at arranging a tour and really catering to the kind of experience we wanted. He was also much less expensive than the other quotes we received.

    For those who are interested, our specific itinerary was that we met in Addis Ababa, and then traveled to Arba Minch (a long one-day drive), where we stayed in the Paradise Lodge, which was really nice, with a pool and good food and amazing views. We then visited the Dorze tribe, who are known for their weaving, and the Konso tribe, who are known for their terraced villages, and then spent the night in Jinka at the Jinka resort, then we go to Mursi tribe Village.. We then went to two different smaller village markets (Key Afer was especially colorful market) and made our way to Turmi, home of the Hamar people. We visited a Hamar Village, and then spent the night in the Buska Lodge. Next day we do a day trip to Omorate the Dassanach tribe… After night again in Buska Lodge next day headed back to Arba Minch in Arbaminch next day we had a boat trip on Chamo Lake … It was amazing…!!!
    Finally we back in Addis Ababa,
    Mamaru can advise you or help you to go off the more trafficked tourist trail.
    If you are planning to visit contact :
    Email : mamaruendris@gmail.com
    Phone : +251913048155

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