12 day trek

Below is sample itinerary for our 12 day trekking tour. The first half is virtually the same as the 6 day tour, but the remaining 6 days will see you travelling further into Konso territory and into neighbouring Dirashie territory. Again our itineraries are flexible and we would prefer to design them around your personal preferences.

Day 1

08:00 – 09:00

SFEL to Dokattu

45min gentle stroll up to one of the largest, oldest and most traditional Konso villages, which provides the backdrop to SFEL.
09:00 – 10:00 Lower Dokattu
Here you will be met by Mr. Korra Garra, a renowned local author and personality who will give you an introduction to Konso culture, their complex relationship with the environment and agricultural practices at his community project premises ‘Plants and their Products’.
10:00 – 11:30 Lower Dokattu
Make your own bush knife with the local blacksmiths.
11:30 – 12:00

Lower – Upper Dokattu

Walk through the village to the higher party of town.
12:00 – 13:00

Upper Dokattu

Sample a selection of local culinary delights at Konso Foods, housed in possibly one of the largest Tukuls in the world, funded by the Christensen fund, built and run by Mr. Kussei.
13:00 – 14:00

Upper Dokattu

Wander along to the museum funded by the French Embassy where you can see a whole array of cultural artefacts and exhibitons.
14:00 – 15:00

Upper Dokattu – Busso

30mins amble gently downhill to another significant village in the Konso core area along the route you will be told about the history and origins of Busso village.
15:00 – 16:00

Busso

A tour around Busso (home to the largest Pafta in Konso), explanations about the protective spirit that is believed to reside in the hill and explanations delving deeper into Konso society, its traditions and beliefs.
16:00 – 17:00

Busso

View demonstrations in Waka statue making and treatments by the local medicine man.
17:00 – 18:00

Busso

Settle down to spend the night in the Pafta with the young men of the village or with the family of Kalale Kowde Bayto, a local Busso man.

Options available

Dokattu
If you wish to spend the night at the Konso Community Tourism Project Lodge (additional cost 300Birr) in Dokattu you can enjoy the evening taking in the fantastic views over the majestic rift valley to the north with a glass of the finest Tejj. If you take this option you will be spending the whole of the first day in Dokattu. You can take a tour of the village with Mr.Korra who will explain how the typical Konso village and society is intricately structured and what life is like in the villages. See demonstrations of rubber shoe making, weaving and construction processes. In Upper Dokattu learn how the traditional Ethiopian Honey wine is made and sample its delights at the most renowned Tejj house for miles around.

Busso
Make your own Waka Statue to take home (approximately 4hrs). Then stroll down to the valley below Busso and enjoy a night under the stars amongst the peace and quiet at the beginning of true Konso countryside.
If you choose options outside of the given itineraries there will be slight adjustments to the program.

Day 2

08:00 – 11:00 Busso  – Gera
First you will descend into the valley where you will be shown examples of ingenious Konso Irrigation systems. You then face a moderate uphill stretch out of the valley that gets steeper as you approach the tiered village of Gera.
11:00 – 12:00 Gera
Finish off the knives you started in Dokattu with bone handles. View demonstrations in making other items such as the cowbell.
12:00 – 13:00

Gera

Lunch
13:00 – 15:00

Gera

Make a wooden or leather sheath for your knife. And be shown the traditional tanning process used to make leather for bags, shoes and other purposes.
15:00 – 16:00

Gera  – Campsite

A moderately difficult walk if you choose to take the short cut which traverses more difficult terrain or a gentler but longer walk if you follow the road.
16:00 – 17:00

Make camp, cook, eat and relax

Camp on a hilltop field close to Sewgeme, nestled amongst the hills and dales with views over to the south and the badlands beyond Konso.

Options in Gera

If you have more time we can arrange a tutorial in making a Konso Drum to take home, but this will require that you are in the area for a couple of weeks at least due to the processes necessary. It is also possible to make a traditional wooden Konso bowl or giant pestle.

If you wish to spend the night in the KCTP Lodge in Mecheke, a famous and well visited village, then you will head there in the evening and then travel to Sewgeme from there.

Day 3

08:00 – 09:00

Campsite  – Sewgeme

Short walk to Sewgeme
09:00 – 12:00

Sewgeme – Kashalle – Sewgeme

Meet the potters and go with the girls to the cave from which they mine by hand the raw material and follow the process of sorting, sieving, treating and grinding the clay.
12:00 – 13:00

Sewgeme

Lunch
13:00 – 17:00

Sewgeme

Spend the rest of the day either learning the traditional pot making skills, or simply making anything that you might want to take home (plates, cups, bowls, chillums, ashtrays, candle holders etc.). Your items will be fired and taken to SFEL.
17:00 – 18:00

Sewgeme

Camp in Sewgeme itself and fall asleep to the magical sounds of the village choir as they practice. Dinner will be prepared by Mr. Korra‘s daughter.

Day 4

08:00 – 10:00

Sewgeme – New York

‘New York’ is the name given to the mysteriously eroded sandstone pinnacles that resemble a metropolitan skyline and are a major tourist attraction.
10:00 – 12:00

New York – Beginning of Descent

You will see Waka memorials in their traditional field locations, the smaller and more remote outlying villages along the plateau areas with peaceful and picturesque outside communal areas and homesteads built on insane slopes where people are heroically farming the stony and steep mountainsides.
12:00 – 13:00

Beginning of Descent

Lunch
13:00 – 16:00

Descent to the Hot Springs

The walk is initially gentle, meandering up, down and around the top of the highland before descending through spectacular scenery on a winding road deeper and deeper into the folded valleys of Konso where you will find the mystical hot springs and be rewarded with the hottest, most powerful shower in the land.
16:00 – 17:00

Make camp, cook, eat and relax

Enjoy the magic as the fireflies come out to dance for you.

Day 5

Spent at the Hot Springs exploring the lush valley or following the streams as they lead out to join the Segen river. You can climb the surrounding hills and peer over into the surrounding territories of Kolme and Taballa. If you do not wish to spend a second night by the Hot Springs, then we would recommend that you start walking up out of the deep valley sometime after lunch and camp further uphill, otherwise the next day is going to be very difficult.

Day 6

Hot Springs to Fasha via Ayleta very difficult uphill climb all the way to highest point in the core Konso highland with its amazing 360? panoramic view of the surrounding terrain. Luckily from there it is a gentle stroll down to Fasha where you will be met by the local music troupe for a song and dance party and transport back to SFEL on the back of a truck.

Alternatively you can choose to spend the night at the KCTP Lodge in nearby Gersegiyo overlooking New York and then walk back to SFEL via Debena and Gamole taking in the largest Ritual forest remaining in Konso and more of the variety in landscapes and customs existing here.

Or if you are feeling brave on Day 6
Hot springs to Kolme, currently unchartered territory by tourists and definitely only to be attempted by the fit and adventurous. Likely to involve many steep ups and downs amongst fairly remote and isolated communities.

Day 7

Fasha to Kolme, this walk gets especially steep as you get closer to Kolme. If the going gets tough it might be necessary to camp en route. Kolme is famous for the quality of their terracing and the stone houses that you will find there. The people of Kolme are also known for their distinctive and colourful jewellery. If you are interested in making earings, bangles or necklaces to take home we can arrange this but it will add a few hours to the proposed itinerary.

Day 8

Kolme to Gewada (via the paleoanthropological site also known as ‘the bones of thunder’ in Konso languagewould add another day to your trip). Gewada is close to the edge of Konso territory, as such there are subtle differences in all aspects of Konso culture from what you will have seen before and will be explained to you by your guide. Most noticeable should be the language which is difficult for even Konso people from other areas to understand.

Day 9

Gewada to Kasser Kuto via Halila. Today will see you walking out of Konso territory and into Dirashie territory. The Dirashie people can be considered a brother nation to Konso. Many aspects of their culture are similar to Konso, however as you will see the dramatic change in the environment as you climb the mountain necessitates a differnet way of living. Halila is one of the highest points in Dirashie territory and here you will enjoy (providing the clouds allow you to) on top of the world views, lush meadows and mysterious forests. The environment requires that you have warm and waterprooof clothing with you.

Day 10

Spent in Kasser Kuto with its amazing views over to Lake Abaya, Weyto, the rest of Dirashie and Girarso. Here you will learn about Dirashie culture and their relationship with Konso. Activities will include sampling the different foods available here, especially the staple Enset bread, observing a small part of the daily lives of the people and partaking in a bamboo basket weaving session

Day 11

Kasser Kuto to Gidole. A very pleasant descent with absolutely stunning views all around as you make your way along the edge of  this highland plateau and traverse the various ridgebacks and mountain streams. Arrival in busy Gidole, especially if you arrive on a market day will probably come as a bit of a shock after having spent so much time in the magnificent rural splendour of Konso and Dirashie country. However here a cold beer and a real comfy bed await you.

Day 12

Gidole to SFEL via Arba Minch. On the final day we recommend taking a vehicle to Arba Minch to visit either the crocodile market, a boat trip out on Lake Chamo to see the crocodiles and hippos, swim in the 40 hot springs (which give Arba Minch its name) or a safari around Nech Sar National Park with its numerous herds of wild animals before catching a vehicle back to SFEL.

Alternatively, if you want to trek some more you can walk to a place we call Gumayde Junction and enjoy a fine fish lunch before getting a vehicle back to SFEL. The choice, as always, is yours.

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