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Hamlin Ethiopian Adventure

Join us for the trip of a lifetime

The Hamlin Ethiopian Adventure returns in 2024 with an all new 13-day Southern Ethiopia itinerary!

This trip of a lifetime will not only have a profound effect on your life but also the lives of many Ethiopian women.

You’ll have a unique opportunity to see the work of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia first-hand while also exploring the highlights of southern Ethiopia.

Registrations are now open. Places are strictly limited.

Expression of Interest

Why you'll love this trip

  • Witness traditional lifestyles of various tribal groups in the Omo Valley
  • Immerse yourself in weekly markets and meeting place of the ancient tribes of Mursi and Karo
  • Spectacular Rift Valley scenery
  • Insider’s tour of Hamlin's Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital
  • Visit Hamlin's regional fistula hospital and midwifery clinic in Yirgalem
  • Two-night stay at Aregash Lodge
  • Visit the twin lakes of Abiata and Shalla, famous for flamingos and great white pelicans
  • Take part in one of the best events in Africa - the 10km Great Ethiopian run (or walk!)
Full trip details

Trip notes

DAY 1: Arrive in Addis Ababa

After all your preparations and fundraising - the journey finally begins!

Upon arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, you will be met by our local Ethiopian guide and transferred to your hotel to freshen up and have lunch. Afternoon at leisure.

Jupiter Hotel Bole
Meals: L,D

DAY 2: Sightseeing in Addis Ababa

After breakfast your local Ethiopian guide will show you all the sights of Ethiopia.

Jupiter Hotel Bole
Meals: L,D

DAY 3: Hamlin's Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital

After breakfast we visit Hamlin's Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital on the western side of the city. We will have morning tea with key personnel and enjoy a tour of the grounds followed by lunch with the nursing and theatre staff.

In the evening we will enjoy dinner at one of the most fabulous cultural restaurants in Addis Ababa, where we will sample the food and drink and enjoy traditional dance.

Jupiter Hotel Bole
Meals: B,L,D

DAY 4: Visit Hamlin College of Midwives and Desta Mender

This morning we will visit the world famous Hamlin College of Midwives, meet key staff and tour the grounds. Lunch is at the Juniper cafe; a cafe run by former fistula patients.

The afternoon is spent at Desta Mender ('Joy Village'), a farm and training centre for long term fistula patients. Meet staff and residents and learn about education, reintegration and microfinance programs.

Jupiter Hotel Bole
Meals: B,L,D

DAY 5: Fly to Jinka and visit Ari Village

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for the flight to Jinka. We will visit the Ari village, who are the biggest tribal group in the Omo region. Ari women are famous for their pottery which they sell to support their families.

Ari villages have neat compounds in fertile and scenic land with coffee plantations. They have large livestock herds and produce large quantities of honey.

Eco-Omo Lodge (Jinka)
Meals: B,L,D

DAY 6: Visit Mursi inside Mago National Park, then to Turmi to visit Hamar tribe

This morning we travel to Mago National Park and visit the Mursi people. The Mursi women are famous for the insertion of wooden and terracotta discs into the ear lobes and the split and stretching of their lower lips to make room for similar discs. Though these ‘lip plates’ may appear bizarre to outsiders, the Mursi regard them as signs of beauty. In the afternoon continue to Turmi to visit a Hamer village.

The Hamer tribe (also called Hammer or Hamar) is one of the largest groups in the Valley. The Hamer cultivate millet, vegetables, tobacco and cotton as well as raising cattle and goats. They are known for the fine pottery they produce as well as their remarkable hair styling. Most dramatic of all are the clay hair buns with ostrich feathers that the men don when they have killed a fierce animal. These hair buns stay on for 3-6 months at a time. The women wear beaded necklaces and iron coils around their arms and decorate their skin with cowry shells.

Note: Although not guaranteed, there may be a chance to experience a bull jumping ceremony, a practice of the Hamer Tribe which represents the males transition from childhood to adulthood.

Total drive 130kms - approx 3 hours on gravel road in 4WD.

Buska Lodge (Turmi)
Meals: B,L,D

DAY 7: Drive to Konso via visiting the Karo Tribe

This morning we will drive to Koricho, a settlement for the Karo ethnic group. With its lofty views over the Omo River and traditional Karo dwellings, this is perhaps the most beautiful tribal village. The Karo people are famous for their body painting, using locally available vegetable pigments traced in fantastic patterns on each other’s faces, chests, arms and legs. Karo men, as with neighbouring tribes, are also famous for their unique hairstyle.

Continue to Konso for overnight stay.

Drive 185kms - approx 3 hours on gravel road in 4WD.

Kanta Lodge (Konso)
Meals: B,L,D

DAY 8: Morning visit to Konso Tribe before driving to Yirgalem

After breakfast, we will visit the Konso tribal village, who have managed to develop a highly specialised agriculture economy and in the process, one of Africa’s most fascinating cultures. We also have the chance to visit the Chief of Konso’s house and hopefully meet the Chief himself to learn about the tribe and how they live.

Continue to Yirgalem for overnight stay.

Drive 335kms - approx 6 hours on asphalt road in 4WD.

Aregash Lodge (Yirgalem)
Meals: B,L,D

DAY 9: Visit Hamlin's Yirgalem Fistula Hospital and midwifery clinic

This morning we visit Yirgalem fistula hospital and the midwifery clinic to see the work being done. This afternoon we have a cultural village visit to see the traditional Sidama and in the evening, there will be a coffee ceremony.

If time allows, a walk through the nearby forest is worthwhile. The wildlife you can see includes bushbuck, hyena, baboons and colobus.

Aregash Lodge (Yirgalem)
Meals: B,L,D

DAY 10: Visit twin Lakes Abiata and Shalla

After breakfast, we drive to visit twin lakes Abiata and Shalla, famous for flocks of flamingos and great white pelicans. Abiata is a shallow brackish lake, home to colonies of flamingos. While Lake Shalla is a crater lake that has a depth of about 820 feet and is surrounded by sulphur springs.

We plan to take some recommended walks in the areas surrounded by podocarpus and wild fig trees, and full of Columbus monkeys and many species of birds, seven of which are endemic to Ethiopia.

Continue to Langano for overnight stay.

Drive 100kms - approx 2 hours on asphalt road in 4WD.

Sabanna Beach Resort (Langano)
Meals: B,L,D

DAY 11: Drive to Addis Ababa

After breakfast, we will drive back to Addis Ababa. Drive 150kms - approx 3 hours on sealed road in 4WD.

Jupiter Hotel Bole (or similar)
Meals: B,L,D

DAY 12: The Great Ethiopian 10km run (or walk!)

This morning women will be transferred to the start line of the The Great Ethiopian 10km run.

This event is an experience of a lifetime, competing with the staff at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, 7,000 Ethiopians and some of the best female athletes in the world! For those spectating, you’ll be able to be part of the festive and fun atmosphere and be an awesome support crew.

In the evening we will celebrate with dinner at a local restaurant in Addis Ababa.

Jupiter Hotel Bole
Meals: B,L,D

DAY 13: Depart Addis Ababa

This morning is free before we head to the Makush Art Gallery to check out local artists and do some last minute shopping, followed by an early lunch at the Art Gallery.

At midday we check out of our hotel and transfer to Addis Ababa airport for your flight home.

Meals: B

How to join

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Secure your place and register for the trip of a lifetime to Ethiopia

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Set up your own unique fundraising page and ask your friends and family to donate

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Trip of a lifetime

Pack your bags and set off on your AMAZING Ethiopian Adventure!

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All rights reserved 2023 Catherine Hamlin Foundation (R) (ABN58159647499)
Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation is fiscally sponsored by KBFUS (EIN582277856) and KBF Canada (RCO769784893RR0001)

Photography credits to Cameron Bloom, Nigel Brennan, Mary F. Calvert, Kate Geraghty, Amber Hooper, Joni Kabana, Johannes Remling and Martha Tadesse.

Patient names have been changed to protect the identities of those we help.