HAMAR TRIBE, THE OMO VALLEY, ETHIOPIA
Ethiopia is utterly unique as a country, standing proud as an individual nation and so different from the rest of Africa. It has its challenges like its neighbors and there is a big gap between the rich and poor, but it is certainly not the place of famine most people seem to believe. It is not overly touristy yet, unlike its neighbor Kenya, but visitor numbers are growing, and it has now been named one of THE places to go this year, for many reasons. It is the birthplace of humanity and the richness in culture runs through the veins of the country. The food is awesome, the landscape stunning and the diversity of experiences on offer is immense.
The Hamar tribe live in the south of Ethiopia – in the Omo Valley. This is what we call the real Africa. It is an absolutely incredible place to live and volunteer. In fact, you would otherwise struggle to visit this inspiring part of the world, especially authentically.
The landscape where you would live as a volunteer is true African bush with mountain ranges on the horizon. You can sit on a large rock in the village watching the sunset with a 360-degree enormous view ,which will blow you away every time. It can get very hot at certain times of the year so you have to love the sun to enjoy living here. The hottest, driest times are between November and February. Other times of the year are a little cooler but still don’t really require a jumper at night. It is a place where you need to enjoy embracing peace and nature. There’s some fun to be had but no glitzy nightclubs!
WHERE WILL I LIVE?
You will wake to the sounds of cowbells and sunrise birds in the Big Beyond Bush Camp, in a gorgeous little Hamar village. It is an amazing experience and one you will never forget. We are all part of their family and you’ll be welcomed with open arms in true Hamar style.
We have our own Hamar homestead – which looks traditionally Hamar in design from the outside – but inside we’ve treated you with some modern comforts! It’s a lovely little house with comfy beds, storage and everything you need to make a new home for a while. It is simple though, this is in a tribal village, so please don’t expect 5* luxury! Bedding and mosquito nets are provided but you’ll need to bring your own towel.
There are showers to use every day at the camp, usually you’ll want them cold because it’s hot but for those that don’t, we can heat them up. There are drop toilets with Western seats and the bathrooms have lovely views! There’s a chill out area or two and you can gaze at the views under the shade in a hammock from time to time.
We’ll provide you with drinking water and three nutritious meals a day while you’re staying at the Big Beyond Bush Camp. Some meals are traditionally Ethiopian, for example, injera, spicy lentils, veggies, but we also serve some international dishes including pasta, sarnies and veg curries. It’s mainly a veggie diet, but we have meat once or twice a week if people want it.
Days are never the same, so it depends on when you need it, but breakfast is usually served between 6.30am and 8.30am and includes fruit, bread, eggs or porridge, and tea/coffee (freshly roasted). We provide packed lunches, which you can either take with you if you’re out in the field or grab when you want in the camp.
On the weekends, we usually serve lunch at around 1pm rather than packed lunches. The evening meal is at around 7pm and volunteers usually eat together, but it will be waiting for you if you’re out for the evening.