Welcome to Origins Safaris Special Events

NEWS FLASH! Unique "Dimi ceremony" has started in the Omo, will last until September 2012 - probably the last of its kind. Contact us to find out how to join one of our existing groups.

We specialise in outfitting and leading unique expeditions to the truly remote areas to witness special happenings, ceremonies and wildlife phenomena. In the main these trips are one-offs, led by Origins Safaris founder: Steve Turner. They are exclusive and inventive... relying on our special contacts with tribal groups or wildlife conservation organisations to gain access and insight into these marvels. Whether an eclipse, cultural festival, a naming or circumcision ceremony or the wildebeest calving, the migration river crossings, the arrival and ringing of palearctic migrants... Origins Safaris will keep you up to date with trip reports and photos and news of forthcoming events.


Event: The Ultimate Cultural Adventure
Location: Ethiopia

Next Trip: 25th June & 10th September 2012

Download Detailed Itinerary

Mursi woman in ceremonial dress

Join Steve Turner for the most amazing cultural expedition of your life, to see people and lifestyles totally unaffected by the western world that you will feel nothing but sheer privilege at being able to travel amongst them. The Omo River of south western Ethiopia is nothing less than the last great tribal land left in the world today, a real kaleidoscope of vanishing cultures. This trip introduces us to people and lifestyles so totally unaffected by the western world - a voyage back in tim along the Omo River of south western Ethiopia.

It is an expensive trip, but then it is possibly the most unique cultural expedition left in the world today - and unfortunately it is disappearing fast - literally by the day as NGO's, Missionaries, Governments exert their influence.

In the Hamar Mountains - we will search for the "Bull Jumping Ceremonies" - these are rites of passage when young men pass into adulthood. The women are absolutely beautiful with their long braided hair - and all so proud of the welts and scars that marked their lower backs. The scars are a symbol of a woman's strength, love and devotion to the initiate, which they receive - at their request - in ritualized whippings at the bull jumping ceremonies - and we will witness this important ceremony.

Karo men prepare for ceremony

With the Karo we will see absolutely amazing and beautiful body art of white and yellow clay covering semi naked bodies. In the villages there is tremendous care and pride taken as they adorned themselves in preparation for the incredibly provocative dancing that would unfold throughout the evening.

We will then navigate upstream to find the Mursi - where the women practice some of the most profound forms of body adornment in the world - inserting a seven inch diameter clay plate into their lower lips. The reasons and beliefs are too many and complex to discuss here, as are the reasons and beliefs behind the still practiced rituals of infanticide amongst many Omo tribes, but it all created extremely interesting campfire debate.

The nearby Kwegu, practice amazing decorative body scarification, where small incisions are made in the body skin with a sharp blade, making a flap where fire ash is rubbed into the wound to make a permanent welt or scar.

Downstream the pastoralist Nyangatom are one of the largest and most feared of the warlike Omo tribes - like all the young men of the region, the Nyangatom are heavily armed with Russian made AK47 rifles...

In the delta itself, a beautiful 3000 sq km wetland that fans out into northern Lake Turkana are the Dassenech - tall, dark, semi-naked, heavily armed agriculturalists - like so many of the Omo peoples - we will spend at least two days immersing ourselves in their culture - a familiar sight are the young warriors with specially decorated hairdos signifying that they have achieved the ultimate Dassenech rite of passage - killing a tribal enemy in battle - they walk around the village as national heroes, followed by a throng of young maidens - like a popstar back home!

Camp on the banks of the Omo

Fly camp on the Omo River

This is not a luxury destination, far from it, but we will camp in out of the way places in comfort.  Camp is already set up wherever we arrive, in gorgeous shady campsites along the river, and we will be looked after by a superbe camp crew of 8 - so no need for any chores... The tents are small - but more than adequately comfortable, and the amazing food, drink and wine is asgood as any first class lodge in East Africa .

Before the Omo trip - we will spend 3-4 days in the north of Ethiopia at Lalibela - where the massive rock hewn churches have stood as living museums for

A Prayer in Stone: sunken church, Lalibela

centuries - we found pilgrims worshiping completely oblivious of these foreigners walking around in absolute amazement.

This is such a contrast to the Omo - where this religious Coptic Christian culture has survived so long, and yet in the Omo -  it's unlikely that those cultures will survive this decade of westernization. Ethiopia is The Cultural Crossroads of Africa ....... the message is simple - travel now to the Omo River - or never.

This year's date: To be advised


More amazing images from our last trip


  Want more photo's?

View our Slide Show

Pick a category, activity or destination

home | about us | terms of service | Origins Safaris ©2007