Surma are people of Nilotic origin, similar to Mursi, who live on the western shore of the river Omo, at the border of the Omo Park. The itineraries we propose combine the trekking in this far region of Ethiopia with a journey by off road vehicles through the Keffa areas, Illubador and Welega regions or with the more classic Mago Park and the Rift Valley. A journey in regions almost unknown to tourism: the coffee and the ancient Sidamo Kingdom region, the region of the subtropical wood and of the Nuer and Anuak tribes.
The girl pictured here shows some of the typical Surma characteristics for both men and women: large earplugs, decorative body painting, the hair shaved in patterns. Women wear a leather garment fastened at one shoulder which encircles the waist like a skirt. Men and children typically wear no clothing. Surma women are noted for the large clay lip plates worn in the lower lip.
They have very famous traditional game called “Donga”
Donga : is a stick fighting festival of the Surma young men. At a fight, each challenger is armed with a hardwood stick. Each player beats his opponent with his stick as many times as possible with the intention of knocking him down, and eliminating him from the game. Players are usually unmarried men. The winner will be carried on a platform of poles to a group of girls waiting at the open field. The winner holds the privilege to ask among those girls for his own wife.
8 Nights/ 9 Days
Title: Surma and Gambella
Tour Code: SET 020
Duration: 8 Nights/ 9 Days
Means of Transport: Surface/Flight
Description: Adventure trekking in the Surma region, Gambella National Park.
Day 1: Drive Addis Ababa- Ambo. On the way visit the Menagesha state forest and have a short hike through the beautiful old forest. See the Mariyam church and the museum in Addis Alem. This town was supposd to be the new capital under Emperor Menelik II, because of shortage of firewood in Addis Ababa. When fast-growing Eukalyptus was brought from Australia, the capital was moved back to Addis Ababa. Arrival in Ambo, the origin of the famous Ethiopian mineral water. Visit the Gouder Falls in the vicinity of Ambo.
Day 2: Drive Ambo- Weliso. Have a hike or even a horse ride at the Wenchi crater lake and take a boat trip to the Cherkos monastery island. Drive on to Weliso. Dinner and overnight in a lodge with thermal pool.
Day 3: Drive Weliso- Jimma via Welkite, passing all around the scenic Gibe dam. City tour in Jimma with visit of the Jimma museum, the Abba Jiffar palace and the fascist architecture.
Day 4: Drive Jimma- Mizan Teferi. On the way have a short hike in the beautiful surroundings of Bonga and visit the Wushwush tea plantation.
Day 5: Drive Mizan Teferi- Bebeka coffee plantation. After a short drive you reach the biggest and oldest plantation of Ethiopia. Have a guided tour through the coffee plantation and facilities and stay overnight in the coffee plantation’s beautiful guesthouse.
Day 6: Drive Bebeka- Metu via Tepi on a scenic route through wild forests and tea and coffe plantations.
Day 7: Visit the Sor Waterfalls within a short drive and a small hike and drive on further west into the hot humid lowlands of Gambela.
Day 8: Full day excursion into the Gambela National Park. Within a safri drive you will probably see different wild animals like elephants, leopards , buffaloes and many other species of mammals and birds. On the way visit some of the villages of the local tribes anuak and nuer, famous for their body scarifications.
Day 9: Short city tour in Gambela and flight back Gambela- Addis Ababa (not daily). Free afternoon or city tour in Addis Ababa.
12 Nights/ 13 Days
Title: Surma and Omo Park
Tour Code: SET 021
Duration: 12 Nights/ 13 Days
Means of Transport: Surface
Description: Adventure trekking in the Surma region, the Omo- National Park and the eastern Omo- Valley by car (optional flights)
Day 1: Arrival in Addis Ababa, transfer to the hotel and City Tour.
Day 2: Drive Addis Ababa- Jimma crossing the Gibe Gorge and visiting Wonchi Crater Lake and Gouder Falls. (optional flight- not daily)
Day 3: Drive Jimma- Mizan Teferi En route visit the Kefficho people at Bonga and the Wushwush Tea Plantation.
Day 4: Drive Mizan Teferi- Tum. Visit the Bebeka Coffee Estate (the oldest and biggest plantation of the country) and see the Dizi people and their villages. The vehicles leave you in Tum to meet you again in Omo Mursi on day 12 on the eastern bank of the Omo River Overnight in camping.
Day 5: Start 5-6 hours trekking from Tum to Maji, passing the Yekir Demoze Mountains. Overnight in camping
Day 6: 4-5 hours trekking from Maji to Adikas, visiting the Zimamo people. Overnight in camping.
Day 7: 5 hours trekking from Adikas to Kibish – the very heart of the Surma people’s region. On the way and camp at Lala Meru, near Kibish River. Overnight in camping
Day 8: 3 hours trekking to Kormu. Overnight in camping near the chief’s house.
Day 9: 3 hours trekking from Kormu to Magalogne. Overnight in camping near the hot springs.
Day 10: 4 hours trekking from Magalogne to Colo. Overnight in camping.
Day 11: 8 hours trekking to the Mui River in the Omo National Park. Here the park headquarters are located. Overnight in camping.
Day 12: Early in the morning go on a game drive through the Omo National Park using the park’s vehicle. If you are lucky, there are a fair number of animals to be seen, such as elephant, lion, cheetah and buffalo. Proceed to Omo Mursi which is 35kms away from Mui, Cross the Omo River by wooden canoes. Overnight in camping.
Day 13: This morning you will meet the vehicles and drive to Jinka. En route visit the Mursi people in the Mago National Park.