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Ethiopia – Omo Valley & Lalibela Photo Tour 2025

US$7,459 person sharing

Spaces Available 

 

Please note that costs & dates for 2025 are subject to change as not all our partner properties and local airlines have released their rates. Should we need to revise costs, we will endeavour to keep fees & dates as close to the original.

14 Nov 2025 – 21 Nov 2025

ORYX’s “Omo Valley & Laibela Photo Tour” will explore one of the most ethnically diverse places on Earth – the Omo Valley. This is a cultural photo experience during which we will interact with several tribal communities who still live much as they did hundreds of years ago. This harsh and inhospitable place has over ten distinctly different tribes existing within a 38 mile / 60 km radius each with its own unique language, clothing, hairstyles and bodily ornamentation. Our photo tour focuses on four of these tribes: the Suri, Mursi, Karo and Hamar. Sadly, development and the ravages of modernization are threatening these unique peoples of the Omo Valley and as such it is a “see it while you can” destination.

 

Lalibela is home to the 12th century hand-carved rock churches of King Lalibela (1181 – 1221), after whom the town is named.

 

Lalibela is truly an ancient world and includes 11 magnificent, medieval, rock-hewn churches, dimly lit passageways, and hidden crypts and grottoes carved into the red volcanic rock underlying this remote Ethiopian town, constructed almost a millennia ago by the Zagwe dynasty. Today that world still remains, frozen in stone, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These brilliant feats of engineering and architecture are often referred to as the “Eighth wonder of the World”. You will begin your exploration at the first group of churches of Lalibela, which are found northeast of a stream named ‘River Jordan’, which represent the earthly Jerusalem. 

Why this Photo Tour is for You

Destination Allure

Capture four distinctive tribes found in the Omo Valley and photograph some of the most colourful and bizarrely-adorned tribes on this planet. We focus on the Suri, Karo, Hamar and Mursi tribes, affording visitors the rare opportunity to photograph and interact with people that have, until recently, escaped the onslaught of modernity before it’s too late. Most tribes in the Omo Valley are having their cultural identity, and indeed very way of life, placed under increasing pressure from the outside world, very much making it a “see it while you can” destination.

Accommodation

We make use of each area’s most suitable and best available accommodation and enjoy the exclusive experience of staying at our comfortable ORYX Mobile Camp in the Surma area.

Before it’s too late

The tribes in Omo Valley’s cultural identity, and indeed very way of life, is being placed under increasing pressure from the outside world, and it really is a case of “explore and photograph the Omo Valley while you can.”

Small Group Departures

Travel to this remote location in group no bigger than 4 participants with fellow like-minded individuals for a cultural experience like no other!

Guided experience

ORYX has been operating in Ethiopia for more than a decade, and our hard-won experience coupled with a strong relationship with the ground team ensure the ultimate photography tour experience.

Mike Dexter - Photo Tour Leader

ORYX LEADER
Mike Dexter

8 Days
4 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
Classic
Culture
  • Destination
  • Departure
    Addis Ababa
  • person sharing
    US$7,495
  • Single Supplement
    US$445
  • Photographic Highlights
    Suri, Karo, Hamar and Mursi tribes
  • Guide
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Day 1: Arrival in Addis Ababa

Today is set aside as an arrival day in the wonderous land of Abyssinia. After arrival in Bole International Airport and having taken care of passport control and luggage formalities, you will be met by an ORYX representative as you exit the arrivals hall and driven to your hotel nearby where your ORYX tour leader will meet you. 
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Day 2: Fly to Jinka, drive to Turmi and visit Hamar tribe

You depart Addis Ababa this morning by way of flight for Jinka, before continuing your journey as you head for Turmi. The Turmi area is home to the Hamar Tribe, one of the most well-known tribes in Southern Ethiopia.  They inhabit the territory east of the Omo River and have villages in both Turmi and Dimeka. They are especially well known for their unique rituals, including a cattle-leaping ceremony that the young men have to undergo in order to reach adulthood and to marry. They are a highly superstitious people, and to this day they consider twins to be babies born outside of wedlock, while children whose upper milk teeth develop before their lower teeth are deemed to be ‘evil’ or ‘unclean’.  For this reason, such children are discarded in the bush and simply left to die, as they would rather lose a single child than inflict any disaster upon their community.  The Hamar people are also known for one of the most bizarre rituals on Earth. This is when the women allow themselves to be whipped by the male members of their family as a symbol of their love! The scars of such encounters are conspicuously evident on the bodies of all Hamar women. These women take great pride in their appearance and wear traditional dresses consisting of a brown goatskin skirt adorned with dense vertical rows of red and yellow beads. Their hair is characteristically fixed in dense ringlets with butterfat mixed with red ochre. They also wear many bracelets and necklaces fashioned of beads or metal, depending on their age, wealth and marital status.  The men wear woven cloth wrapped around the waist and many elders wear delicately coloured clay head caps that are fashioned into their hair and adorned with an ostrich feather.  As mentioned, the young Hamar men are famous for their “Evangadi dance” and “Bull jumping” ceremony (it is as part of this ceremony that the afore-mentioned whipping occurs). This ritual entails young men who wish to marry jumping over a line of bulls, thereby proving their worth to their intended bride’s family. It also signifies their advent into adulthood.  This is a rarely seen event, however with luck, your local guide may hear of, and you may even be invited to attend this landmark event. 
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Day 3: Turmi area: Morning excursion to Karo tribe, afternoon to Arbore tribe

The Lower Omo Valley is situated within Africa’s famous and, geologically speaking, rapidly expanding Great Rift Valley (which will eventually split the continent into two landmasses). Here, in south-west Ethiopia’s awkwardly named “Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region”, bordering Kenya and Sudan, the great Omo River dominates this dry savanna valley, resulting in some of Africa’s most well developed and best preserved arid-zone riverine forests.  The Omo River rises from the Shewan highlands to the north (much of Ethiopia consists of high-lying mountains and fertile plateaus, despite the impression created by some international media bodies that Ethiopia is predominately desert!). It flows 470 miles (750km), mostly southwards, before entering Lake Turkana (previously Lake Rudolf – named in honour of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria by Teleki and Von Höhnel, the first European explorers to lay eyes on the lake) near the Kenyan border. Lake Turkana, the world’s largest permanent desert lake and also the planet’s largest alkaline lake, has no water outflow and so in effect it’s a dead-end for the Omo River. The importance of the Lower Omo Valley has been recognized by UNESCO, which has declared it a cultural World Heritage site. It also contains two massive national parks and several important bird areas.  This morning, we head to the Omo River and our tribe of interest is the Karo, another tribe known for its elaborate body and facial paintings. These people live along the east bank of the Omo River and practice flood retreat cultivation, their main crops being maize, sorghum and beans.  Unlike the other tribes, they keep only a small number of cattle due to the prevalence of tsetse flies. Like many of the tribes in the Omo, they paint their bodies and faces with white chalk to prepare for any ceremonies. The chalk is mixed with yellow rock, red iron ore and charcoal to make its requisite colour. Facemasks are worn at times and they have clay hair buns adorned with feathers. Scarification is also an important part in the Karo people’s lives. This includes the complete scarification of a man’s chest with which to indicate that he has killed an enemy or dangerous animal (amongst the Karo, killing one’s enemies isn’t viewed as an act of murder, but as an act of honour!). This scarification process involves lightly slicing the skin with knives or razor blades and then rubbing ash into the open wounds to produce a permanently raised effect. The Karo women have decoratively-scarred abdomens, which are considered sensual and very desirable.  In the afternoon, you visit the Arbore tribe (alternatively Erbore), who are a small tribe (less than 9,000 people) that live in the flat country near Lake Chew Bahir which is east of Turmi and are pastoralists with a preference for cattle (indeed, their name is said to translate to “land of the bulls”). Lake Chew Bahir (previously known as Lake Stephanie, named for Princess Stéphanie of Belgium, the wife of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria and also “discovered” by Teleki just stretches into northern Kenya when full. The Arbore are also known for their sorghum cultivation and are regarded as the “sorghum specialists of the Omo Valley, growing the crop in the region surrounding the lakes inflow rivers. The Arbore have a form of trade with the other Omo Valley tribes using the sorghum, and interestingly used to be the chief ivory traders in the area. The women are renowned for the preponderance of colourful beads that adorn their clothes and bodies, and you should have an interesting time photographing the Arbore this afternoon. 
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Day 4: Drive Turmi to Jinka, afternoon visit to Mursi tribe

A little more time will be spent with the Hamar this morning before heading north to Jinka, where you will stay for one night. This afternoon will be spent visiting the Mursi tribe. Most famous for the clay lip plates that the women insert in their lower lips, the Mursi are probably one of the last tribes in Africa amongst whom it is still the norm for women to wear these large pottery or wooden discs or plates.  The lip plate (dhebi a tugoin) has become the chief visible distinguishing characteristic of the fascinating Mursi people. A girl’s lower lip is cut, typically by her mother or another woman of her settlement, when she reaches the age of 15 or 16. The cut is then held open by a wooden plug until the wound heals. It appears to be up to the individual girl to decide how far to stretch the lip, which she does by inserting progressively larger plugs over several months. Some girls even persevere until their lips can take plates of 5 inches (12 cm) or more in diameter!  The Mursi and their neighbours became part of the Ethiopian State in the final years of the 19th century, when Emperor Menelik II established control over the southwestern lowlands bordering Kenya and Sudan.  This was an area inhabited by several small tribes with fluid identities, highly adaptable to environmental conditions and capable of easily absorbing outsiders into their communities. The Mursi as we know them today are the product of a large-scale migratory movement of cattle herding peoples in the general direction of the Ethiopian highlands. Three separate movements may be distinguished in the recent history of the Mursi, each the result of growing environmental pressure associated with the drying out of the Omo basin over the last 150 – 200 years.  The Mursi attribute overwhelming cultural importance to cattle. Almost every significant social relationship – particularly marriage – is marked and authenticated by exchanging cattle. The “Bride wealth” (ideally consisting of 38 head of cattle) is handed over by the groom’s family to the bride’s father, who must meet the demands of a wide range of relatives from different clans. This ensures that cattle are continually redistributed around the community, thereby helping to provide for the long-term economic security of individuals as well as their families. 
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Day 5: Fly to Addis Ababa

This morning your incredible time in the Omo comes to an end as you drive to the airport in time for your flight back to Addis Ababa.  Founded in 1886 by Emp. Menelik II, Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia and the seat of the African Union (AU). Addis Ababa is the third highest capital in the world and one of the largest cities in Africa with a population well over 5 million. It is located at 2,500 m above sea level at the foot of the highest peak of the Entoto Mountain chain (3,200m above sea level), and enjoys an excellent climate all year round with an average temperature of 16 degrees C. Addis Ababa is a pleasant city with wide avenues of Jacarandas, interesting museums and one of the largest open-air markets in Africa, known as Merkato.  Some of the highlights in Addis Ababa, which depending on time available may include the following (depending on flight arrival into Addis – not all of the below are possible to be explored properly in a half day, and your ORYX Photo Tour leader will discuss with you which to visit): 
  • National Museum: It comprises of many archaeological and historical findings including the famous complete hominid fossil remain of ‘Lucy’ locally known as ‘Dinknesh’ meaning wonderful. 
  • Ethnological Museum: Found on the main campus of the Addis Ababa University with the aim to preserve the country's historical and cultural heritages. It has complete collections that describe almost all the tribal groups in Ethiopia. Here you will have an overview about the history, culture and traditions of the people of Ethiopia. The collections include the nomadic tribal groups. 
  • Trinity Cathedral: A beautiful church with a baroque style of European architecture which is unique to both Ethiopia and Africa and is dedicated to the Holy Trinity. Here you will find scripts of the imperial families, statues done by a Greek sculptor, stained glass window paintings from the Old and New Testament in the Bible and coffins of Emperor Haile Selassie I, as well as the founder of the church and his wife. 
  • Merkato: This is the largest open-air market in Africa. Here you will be presented with a confusing but fascinating glimpse of the vast range of goods and artifacts available from all parts of the country, and you will enjoy the Ethiopian trade exchange tradition in the open air. You can purchase almost anything you desire here! 
  • St. George Cathedral: The church of St. George is a very traditionally structured building. 
  • Menelik II, following his victory over the Italians at the Battle of Adwa, built the octagonal church in 1896. St. George the dragon killer was the patron saint of soldiers, and it is to him that the church is dedicated. Of interest in St. George Church is that the artwork spans both modern and traditional church painting styles. 
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Day 6: Fly Addis Ababa to Lalibela

Today you depart Addis and fly from Bole International Airport to Lalibela, located in northern Ethiopia. Lalibela is home to the 12th century hand-carved rock churches of King Lalibela (1181 - 1221), after whom the town is named.  Lalibela is truly an ancient world and includes 11 magnificent, medieval, rock-hewn churches, dimly lit passageways, and hidden crypts and grottoes carved into the red volcanic rock underlying this remote Ethiopian town, constructed almost a millennia ago by the Zagwe dynasty. Today that world still remains, frozen in stone, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These brilliant feats of engineering and architecture are often referred to as the "Eighth wonder of the World". You will begin your exploration at the first group of churches of Lalibela, which are found northeast of a stream named ‘River Jordan’, which represent the earthly Jerusalem.  The first group of churches are:  The twin churches of Bete Debre Sina and Golgotha with Selassie Chapel Bete Medhane Alem (the house of the Redeemer of the World) Bete Mariam (the house of St. Mary) Bete Meskel (the house of Cross) Bete Danagil (the house of Virgins)  Standing 38 feet tall with seventy-two pillars, Medhane Alem is not only the largest in Lalibela, but it is the largest monolithic rock-hewn church in the world. Bet Golgotha houses remarkable reliefs of figures, early Christian art rarely seen in other parts of Ethiopia.  At the end of the day, you will retire to your hotel, which has expansive views of the countryside and makes for a pleasant place to relax and soak up the atmosphere. 
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Day 7: Full day Lalibela

Today will be a full day of exploring this ancient town, focusing on the churches that represent the heavenly Jerusalem.  After breakfast, your first stop will be at the church of Asheten Mariam or ‘Nakutola’ab’, which sits atop a mountain overlooking Lalibela. The vantage point from the mountain offers stunning and panoramic views, making it easy to understand why the priests at this church believe they are the “closest to God” at this height. There is an optional mule ride to and from the road to the church.  Your afternoon commences as you visit the second group of Group Rock-Hewn Churches, which represent the heavenly Jerusalem. The second group of churches are:  Bete Gabriel & Raphael  Bete Merquorios  Bete Emmanuel  Bete Abba Libanos  Perhaps the most interesting church here is the cross-shaped church of Bete Giorgis (Church of St. George), which is said to be the symbolization of Noah’s Ark. Carved out of the ground, and shaped from the inside out, it is one, unbroken piece of stone. Bete Giyorgis is connected to the other sunken stone churches through a series of elaborate tunnels. We will spend time photographing it as the sun sinks lower in the sky, and it is bathed in warm afternoon light. 
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Day 8: Fly Lalibela to Addis Ababa and depart

At a time to be advised, you will head back to the airport to check in for your flight from Lalibela back to Addis Ababa, where this tour sadly comes to an end. 
Private Omo ValleyPaul Bride, Canada

WOW what an incredible experience! I can’t say enough about Hanok and Abebe. Hanok was incredible such a great person. He took care of everything thank you so very much to everyone for such a fantastic trip, I didn’t want leave. I will definitely be in touch again to use your services.

Ethiopia – Wolves & Geladas and Omo ValleyIlya & Vera Raskin, USA

Vera and I really enjoyed our month-long Ethiopian adventure! Everything went well, and eventually I will be able to process and stare the photos I took. Thank you very much for putting a great program for us. Your photo tour leaders and local guides were superb and a pleasure to travel with!

Ethiopia – Omo ValleyShobha Gopinath, Singapore

I thought I should write to you of the amazing photo tour we had to the Omo Valley with Dale. The trip was well organised and we were well taken care of. Dale was a wonderful leader. He was generous with his knowledge and we learnt a lot from him. He was kind, considerate and a lot of fun!

The local arrangements were excellent too, the drivers were very pleasant and Melkamu in particular was fantastic.

It would be remiss of me not to also mention Kirsty, who was always responsive and efficient.

You can be sure we will be recommending ORYX Photo Tours to our friends!

Ethiopia – Omo ValleyShyam Thilagaratnam, Singapore

I second all of what Shobha has said. We had such an amazing time. The Dale-Melkamu combination was fabulous, as were all our drivers. We always felt well taken care of and safe.

Dale was not only generous with his knowledge but also his lenses. He truly has a wealth of information and we really learnt so much from him.  His wicked sense of humour was also much appreciated :)

Thank you as well the ever efficient Kirsty!

We hope to be doing more photo tours with ORYX in the not too distant future!

Ethiopia – Omo ValleyTriVid, India

My trip to the Omo Valley with ORYX Photo Tours and Marius Coetzee was like a dream, like a walking meditation. Every detail was so very well ironed out that you forget you are in some of the remotest parts of the world. He will always have his ear to the ground for the rumblings in the valley. Giving you indelible memories is what he is after. No corners are ever cut to ensure your comfort. If some unexpected situation does arise, his steady and calm leadership will keep you centered. You know that he will put your safety first no matter what.

From photography point of view, his genius is talked about a lot all over the internet so I won’t delve on it. What I would like to highlight however is how generous and patient he is as a teacher. He quickly assesses your level of expertise and gives you appropriate pointers. His passion and zeal is consistent whether you are amateur fumbling with a new camera or a well versed photographer yourself. Sometimes he will push you out of your comfort zone to get better images and and then other times he knows to give you creative space.

I have wondered at times if he has more than two eyes. Not sure how he picks on you making faulty composition, helping someone set their camera, keeping an eye out for the senior member so that she does not fall and watching where the “red bag” of a forgetful client went all at the same time!

This is not a photo expedition. This is treasure of life experiences. You genuinely forget that Marius is your expedition leader. He becomes your friend and family.

Ethiopia – Omo ValleyAdalberto Mangini, Italy

Game over. All the good things come to an end and it is now the time to say bye bye to Ethiopia.

The trip to the Omo Valley has been a real photographic expedition and a great adventure. I travelled to lot of places with different people but I must say that this photo tour was very special. I had the chance to meet Marius Coetzee few years ago and I had the impression that, besides the fact the he his really a great photographer, he is also a real tour leader with clear ideas of what he is doing. I do normally travel with my wife and not too much oriented to groups but this time it was different. We acted like a team and everybody was just fantastic and I was honoured to share this time with you all.

Now, many companies sell the Omo Valley photo tours. Just forget about. If you are a photographer just Google "ORYX Photo Tours" and sign a tour with them! This was not only a ‘photo tour’ this was a real experience with real people and a real leader.

Thanks Marius and thanks ORYX! I also had the chance to improve my photography with you, and thanks to my entire companion. You were all great and it was a pleasure to share this experience, and I will gladly travel with you again (and this time with my wife!) on the Mongolia photo tour in 2016. Travel safe, travel with ORYX Photo Tours!

Ethiopia – Omo ValleyDebbie Smail, United Kingdom

Last day of a fabulous and extraordinary three week adventure in Ethiopia! Massive thanks to Marius Coetzee and Kirsty Horne at ORYX Photo Tours for a superbly organized trip and also to Eyob our legendary local guide!

Anyone wanting an epic trip, I can highly recommend Ethiopia – stunning scenery, friendly people, great food (and beers) and so much more… and go with ORYX Photo Tours - you won’t regret it!!

Ethiopia – Omo ValleyJenny Shearer, United Kingdom

I had a simply phenomenal time and loved Ethiopia every bit as much as you forecast! The other participants on the trip were great fun – we were from five different continents  – and all got on extremely well. Thank you for an exceptional, inspiring photo tour! Everybody said how wonderful you had been, Kirsty, always responding in a friendly, efficient way as if we were your only clients. Thank you, ORYX Photo Tours!

Ethiopia – Omo ValleyBiljana Jurukovski, Australia

What I can say...words sometimes cannot justify and explain experiences those experiences need to be lived so one can understand them. Kirsty from day one when I sent the initial email you replied within hours and since never ever anything seemed to be problem..to be honest it was your prompt responses that made me make the final decision to book with ORYX Photo Tours…so for that huge "Thank you Kirsty" - you are amazing :).

Marius – I really don’t have words to describe your commitment towards your clients, your passion for photography, your people skills and ability to deal with different situations. Kirsty, you have asked if the tour was up to my expectations. To be honest well above exceeded my expectations as uncle Marius was the best :).

This Omo Valley photo tour and the people that I met will always stay in my memories...how can one forget the adventures that we had from crossing rivers, negotiating with uncles, to meeting up the most isolated tribes and learning more about photography….I’m looking forward to be with the same group of people on the Mongolia photo tour! And final thoughts... Marius you are young passionate entrepreneur and you should be very, very proud of yourself my friend :).

Regards and lots of love.

Private Ethiopia – Omo ValleyYY Chin, Malaysia

It does not matter whether you are an adventurer, photographer, traveller or tourist, the Omo Valley in Ethiopia, has a special appeal. Its exotic name conjures mystery, mysticism and certainly, a road less travelled. It is in this valley that several tribes with their traditional ancient culture and customs reside. Each tribe has their particular features and uniqueness. The Mursi with their lip plates, the Karo with their beautifully painted bodies, the Hamer with their Ochre hair and they offer excellent opportunities for “unguarded moment” photography. However, with increasing tourism, it has been a practice that the person to be photographed will demand payment for each photograph taken. Do not be deterred as this is probably one of the ways that the tribesmen can earn some tourist dollar. Do not expect luxurious accommodation but the basic accommodation is liveable and adds on to the rustic experience of your trip of a lifetime. In some places we had to stay in tents which are large and comfortable.

Returning to the Omo Valley, I found that the experience second time around was better than the first. This was mainly due to the people that I was travelling with. The leader of our team was Marius Coetzee, a superb photographer, who is the CEO of ORYX Photo Tours. The trip undertaken by me and my two Australian travelling companions, was a customised photography tour and Marius was always ready to share with us his experiences and tricks of the trade of a photographer extraordinaire. The organisation by ORYX is immaculate and excellent and the vehicles, drivers, cook, guide used were world class. The company took care of everything including negotiating the payments for the photographing of the tribes and preventing the unnecessary hassle of us having to negotiate for a price to photograph an individual and then spending endless time and effort debating over a few cents.

It was 13 days well spent, I returned from the trip certainly a better photographer and more knowledgeable in the culture of the various tribes of the Omo Valley. Furthermore, I appreciate how difficult it is for the tribes to cope with the changes to modernity. I certainly also left the valley as a better human being.

Ethiopia – Omo ValleyAstrid Stevie Winberg, South Africa

Words really fail me in trying to thank you adequately for leading and orchestrating an unbelievable, enlightening, photographically enriching, rough, tough, soul searching and at times happy and sad, all rolled into one, photo tour to the Omo Valley, Ethiopia.

I have come out of the experience not only having acquired new photographic skills but also understanding so much more about myself and what I need and would like to achieve as a person on a harsh but beautiful planet!

The organization of the trip was faultless and Ethiopia were fantastic. The vehicles held up under incredibly rough conditions without a blip and considering the kilometers travelled, days on end, the group and team were like a close knit family unit…. chilled and respectful towards each other and photographic models we encountered along the way.

Literally, I was blown away and loved every moment! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope you will be able to lead many like minded people to the Omo before things change too much!

Thank you Marius and ORYX Photo Tours, please also convey my thanks to September for the delicious food whilst camping…. Although, I’m also missing my omelette and hot red wine in a tumbler :) Good times!

Ethiopia – Omo ValleyRobin Yong, Singapore

I travel overseas 18 times a year, many of these being photo tours. Ethiopia is not an easy destination – truly beautiful but definitely hard roads and weather conditions.

This is a trip that I had been planning for 2 years. I went through every single Tripadvisor review on Ethiopia and looked at many webpages of travel agents and photographers offering photography tours to the Omo Valley. During our trip, we bumped into a few other travel expeditions by other travel companies. It is clear that the deal given to me by ORYX Photo Tours was the best. Everything was carefully planned, we did not have to compete with other tour groups. Very happy with this trip altogether…my highest recommendations. Thank you Marius once again for making all this possible!

Ethiopia – Omo ValleyJeremy Peters, United Kingdom

The Omo Valley in Ethiopia is becoming more accessible by virtue of new roads and developing infrastructure. In typical ORYX spirit we go the road less travelled. Ethiopia is truly a photographic dream, there is vibrant colour at every turn and each roadside scene beckons framing and clicking. Even before we have reached destination Omo I knew I had captured some special moments and portraits. ORYX have been guiding photo tours throughout the Omo for 6 years and their experience, knowledge and know how is evident throughout. They are one of very few companies to travel to the Northern Omo to photographic the delightful Suri people. We camp just outside Kibish for 3 days in ORYX’s mobile camp and it’s just us, the Suri people and ORYX’s wonderful chef “September”. Surreal for sure! ORYX’s photo leaders are hands on suggesting angles, settings and tricks to make sure you get the best opportunity for incredible shots. I won’t give too much away as I don’t want to spoil the fun for those that are toying with the idea of exploring the Omo Valley, except to say you must go and you won’t find a better company than ORYX Photo Tours to take you there.

Ethiopia – Omo ValleyMike Morse, USA

I just returned from the Omo Valley trip and must say it was the most interesting cultural photo tour I have ever taken. In looking back at my photos I am overwhelmed by the amazing people and places we visited. We were able to visit a number of tribes, all with different beliefs and customs. In addition we spent 5 hours at a Bull Jumping ceremony with access that few people get. We also were able to attend a morning ceremony of harvesting blood from cows. The blood is mixed with milk and the tribe drinks it for protein. This wasn’t a staged ceremony, it was a daily ritual. Everything we saw was authentic.

Marius was always on the look out for photo opportunities. You never knew when he would stop the car, and we would pile out, lay on our bellies in the dust, and have someone drive a heard of goats or cattle our way in order to catch the light hitting the dust to get just the right image. We made several stops at markets and were always the only non-local people in attendance. The trip was perfectly coordinated by ORYX and we had a fabulous local guide, Afe, who added local knowledge to the trip. ORYX Photo Tours has a long standing relationship with most of the tribes we visited.

Knowing the Chief and elders ensured our safety and made it easy to photograph the people.
I can’t imagine any detail that was overlooked. Our safety and comfort and photographic education were always paramount.

After going on a trip with ORYX, I don’t want to do anything other than small group travel again. There were 3 guests, a local guide Afe, Marius, and we also had another professional photographer with ORYX, Sam, who gave us invaluable advice. I used exposure settings and compositions I had not considered, and got great results. I can’t say enough positive things about ORYX.

Ethiopia – Omo ValleyBruce Furmedge, Australia

I travelled with Sam in Ethiopia to photograph the tribes of the Omo Valley in some remote and difficult areas. She was an inspirational guide with a very relaxed and natural style. She really helped us to get to the heart of the local culture and had a wonderful way with people, always calm and respectful. She obviously has great compassion and curiosity and brings with her years of experience as a photojournalist and traveller. She was just fantastic at finding different ways to approach a situation, always looking for creative ways to tell the story. I also found her very supportive in helping each photographer find their own voice and style. She is a lot of fun too so makes a great travelling companion! Sam is a really talented photographer and I would wholeheartedly recommend her as the perfect photo tour leader to spend time with exploring people and cultures more deeply.

Ethiopia – Omo ValleySusan Greef, South Africa

I really enjoyed my photo tour with Sam, Bob, Patty, Afe and the rest of the team. The photographic opportunities were great and plentiful as usual. Sam and Afe make a great team and we were well taken care off by all staff members.

I was particularly chuffed with the new ORYX campsite in Kibish, just imagine my surprise and delight (and the others as well) when we saw that we each have our own ablution facilities! On my last trip we had a discussion about camp facilities and Afe in particular wanted to know what kind of changes they can make, and I gave a few suggestions. I’m very happy that they listened and delivered!

Ethiopia – Omo ValleyRosalie Wang, USA

Marius Coetzee’s Ethiopia – Vanishing Tribes of the Omo Valley Photo Tour was the trip of a lifetime. I had an incredible experience that went far beyond my expectation. The tribal visits were a rare opportunity to see a way of life that has existed for hundreds of years before it changes from the paved roads into the Omo Valley. Marius presented many unique photo opportunities that we could not easily duplicate, and guided us what to do and how to do. He was also there to coach us in improving our photographic and post processing techniques. I took the opportunities and was delighted with the results. Spending time with Omo Child was a truly spectacular highlight of the trip. Greatly appreciate to Marius. I’d like to thank Kristy and Nicolette who answered all my questions and made arrangement before and after the trip. I am happy to highly recommend Marius as a travel host and would definitely travel with ORYX Photo Tours anywhere in the world in the future.

Ethiopia – Omo ValleySue & Peter MacCallum-Stewart, United Kingdom

We have returned from our Omo Valley photo tour with ORYX and Marius Coetzee as our guide. This is a hard trip but it surpassed all our expectations. The journey down to the Omo Valley was through a changing mosaic of dramatic scenery ranging from high mountain passes to lush lowland to semi arid desert. Marius is an experienced and highly organised photo tour leader who had a deep and extensive knowledge of the history, culture and wildlife of the region. His organisation cannot be faulted and he has an engaging and fun personality.

We would definitely travel with ORYX Photo Tours and Marius again. We would recommend this trip to anyone who wants an extraordinary and memorable experience.

Private Ethiopia – Omo ValleyMarja Schwartz, Germany

Marius, Hubert and myself would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the wonderful photo tour through Ethiopia. The trip to the Omo Valley with you was a very special experience that we will never forget in our life. A great photo tour leader has become a real friend for us!

The round trip in the north was great fun and Henok was a perfect guide and also became a friend. Henok is the perfect ambassador for his country, wonderful!

Big compliment to ORYX Photo Tours and especially to you for the perfect organization and realization of our once in a lifetime trip!!!

Ethiopia – Omo ValleyShobha Gopinath, Singapore

I thought I should write to you of the amazing trip we had to the Omo Valley with Dale.

The trip was well organised and we were well taken care of.

Dale was a wonderful leader. He was generous with his knowledge and we learnt a lot from him. He was kind, considerate and a lot of fun!

The local arrangements with Dinknesh were excellent too, the drivers were very pleasant and Melkamu in particular was fantastic.

It would be remiss of me not to also mention Kirsty, who was always responsive and efficient.

You can be sure we will be recommending ORYX to our friends!

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