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Hamlin Ethiopian Adventure

Ready for a life-changing adventure?

The November Hamlin Ethiopian Adventure is the trip of a lifetime!

It will have a profound effect on your life and the lives of many Ethiopian women, as the funds you raise go towards restoring their lives after suffering the trauma of obstetric fistula.

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

Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to visit this extraordinary country that Dr Catherine Hamlin called home for more than half a century.

Places are strictly limited and filling fast.

Why you'll love this trip

  • Witness the traditional lifestyles of various tribal groups in the Omo Valley
  • Immerse yourself in the markets and meeting places of the ancient tribes of Mursi and Karo
  • Enjoy spectacular Rift Valley scenery
  • A full day to explore Addis Ababa and surrounding sites
  • Insider’s tour of Hamlin's Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, the Hamlin College of Midwives and Desta Mender rehabilitation centre
  • Visit Hamlin's regional fistula hospital and two Hamlin-supported midwifery clinics in Yirgalem
  • Enjoy traditional Ethiopian and European cuisine
  • Visit the twin lakes of Abiata and Shalla, famous for flamingos and great white pelicans.

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 your local Ethiopian guide and transferred to your hotel. Afternoon at leisure. Dinner at local restaurant. Jupiter Hotel Bole

Meals:  D

DAY 2: Hamlin's Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital

After breakfast we set off to 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. Later visit Sabahar to see traditional Ethiopian weavers and spinners at work. Dinner tonight at the Addis Ababa restaurant, one of the oldest restaurants in Addis Ababa. Jupiter Hotel Bole

Meals:  B,L,D

DAY 3: 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 past fistula patients. The afternoon is spent at Desta Mender (Joy Village), a farm and training center for long term fistula patients. Meet staff and residents and learn about education, reintegration and microfinance programs. Later we'll head out to a mountain community where the women create the Hamlin "Bullets to Beads" jewelry, made from melted down bullet casings found on Ethiopian farm land. Jupiter Hotel Bole

Meals:  B,L,D

DAY 4: Addis Ababa sightseeing

Today we'll spend a day exploring Addis Ababa. After coffee at Tomoca Cafe we spend the morning visiting the historical sites including the Red Terrors Martyrs Museum which honors the victims of Mengistu Haile Mariam’s Derg Regime. Anywhere between 500,000 and 750,000 people were tortured and killed during the brutality. We will continue to Mount Entoto which rises to an altitude of 3200m and offers a panoramic view of the metropolis. If time allows we will also visit the National Archaeological Museum, which houses the 3.6 million year old remains of “Lucy”, discovered in Ethiopia 40 years ago. Dinner at the famous Louver Restaurant. 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 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 terra-cotta 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. Total drive 130kms - approx 3 hours on gravel road 4WD Emerald 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 neighboring tribes, are also famous for their unique hairstyle. Continue to Konso for overnight. Drive 185kms - approx 3 hours on gravel road 4WD Kanta Lodge (Konso)

Meals:  B,L,D

DAY 8: Morning visit to Konso Tribe before driving to Arba Minch

After breakfast, we will visit the Konso tribal village, who have managed to develop a highly specialized 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 Arba Minch for overnight. Drive 112kms - approx 3 hours on asphalt road 4WD Paradise Lodge (Arba Minch)

Meals:  B,L,D

DAY 9: Drive to Yirgalem, visit Hamlin-supported Gebire Kiristos midwifery clinic

After breakfast, drive to Yirgalem. After settling into the lovely Aregash Lodge, this afternoon we visit a Hamlin-supported midwifery clinic. Evening at leisure. Drive 196kms - approx 3 hours on asphalt road 4WD Aregash Lodge (Yirgalem)

Meals:  B,L,D

DAY 10: Visit Hamlin's Yirgalme fistula hospital and Hamlin-supported Teticha midwifery clinic

This morning we visit Hamlin's Yirgalem fistula hospital and Hamlin-supported midwifery clinic. After lunch we walk to the traditional Sidama village for a cultural visit and coffee ceremony. Later, an amazing walk through the nearby forest where you will come face to face with bushbuck, hyena, baboons and colobus. Aregash Lodge (Yirgalem)

Meals:  B,L,D

DAY 11: Boat trip in Hawassa and twin Lakes Abiata & Shalla

After breakfast, we drive to a fishing port to commence a boat trip in Hawassa to see maribou storks and hippos. Continue to the 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 sulphure 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. Drive 100kms - approx 2 hours on asphalt road 4WD Sabanna Beach Resort (Langano)

Meals:  B,L,D

DAY 12: Drive to Addis Ababa

After breakfast, we will drive back to Addis Ababa. This afternoon you are free to enjoy Addis Ababa or relax at the hotel before dinner. Tonight we'll celebrate the end of an incredible journey with a fabulous cultural experience of food, wine and traditional dance at the Yod Abissinya restaurant. Jupiter Hotel Bole Drive 150kms - approx 3 hours on sealed road 4WD 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

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Trip of a lifetime

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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.