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Explore Omo Valley

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Arba Minch, Ethiopia
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About Explore Omo Valley
"Explore Omo Valley is a privately owned start up tour company specializing in custom tours of the Omo Valley and its region. Growing up with the tribes , business owner Emanuel is able to organize a unique, personal experiences visiting areas that other larger companies cannot. To immerse yourself and experience the diverse culture's of lower omo valley tribe's just collaborate with Emanuel to create your dream itinerary for a once-in-a-lifetime, unforgettable adventure."
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Explore Omo Valley
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Ravi wrote a review Jan 2021
Vancouver, Canada10 contributions3 helpful votes
We had a great 8 day tour with Emany down in the Omo region. We flew into Jinka and out of Arba Minch. We visited many tribes and also camped in villages for three of the seven nights. These nights camping were in fact the best part of the whole trip. Weyto, our cook made good breakfasts and dinners. We also got to sometimes shop with him in the local markets. Our driver, Carlo was competent and safe, which is important on these roads. For lunch, we often stopped in very local restaurants (because we asked) that were favorites of our crew, goat Tibs, Kil-Kil spicy soup, Giant Nile perch from the Omo River. Emany is very informative of the local cultures and speaks a few of the local languages as well. He also seems to have a good relationship with the villagers and especially likes to play and tease the children. All in all it was a great adventure!
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Date of experience: January 2021
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Al A wrote a review Dec 2020
Atlanta, Georgia85 contributions8 helpful votes
Emani is the absolute best. He took excellent care of me and made sure I had a pleasant trip. He is without a doubt the best tour guide for you Omo Valley needs. He speaks the language and knows the tribes really well. My trip with Emani felt more like a family trip than it did a tour. The driver and cook were also fantastic. Book Explore Omo Valley and don't waste your time with any other company. Thank you for the best trip!!!!!!!
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Date of experience: November 2020
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Response from Exploreomovalley, Owner at Explore Omo Valley
Responded Jan 18, 2021
Dear AI, Thank you very much for giving us 5-star review. We really appreciate you taking your precious time and sharing the good words about your experience. We are here for you anytime. EMANI CHENEKE owner and lead guide
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András M wrote a review Nov 2020
Budapest, Hungary42 contributions10 helpful votes
We booked Emanuel for a short, 4 days trip with my friends in early 2020, visiting local tribes and villages in the Omo valley. I must say the whole trip was way beyond our expectation. Emanuel Cheneke was an excellent guide who truly knows the region inside-out. And not to mention, he is super cool. The locals know him very well, and I can tell, it was not a 'business' relationship. He is a friend of those people there. And, I can say, we became friends on that short trip.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Response from Exploreomovalley, Owner at Explore Omo Valley
Responded Dec 9, 2020
Dear Andras; Thank you for taking your time and giving us the perfect ratings. Emanuel Cheneke Owner and manger of Explore omo valley.
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paulthephotographer wrote a review Sep 2020
Atlanta, Georgia1 contribution
I am a photographer based in Atlanta and have traveled to 63 countries and seven continents. I travel independently, sometimes accompanied by a local guide when necessary. Omo Valley in Ethiopia had been on my bucket list for some time. Visiting the tribes of Omo Valley, however, is practically impossible to do independently, and joining an organized tour group did not appeal to me. I was looking for a genuine cultural experience, away from tourists and off the beaten path where I could spend quality time photographing the people of Omo. In researching this trip, I came across Emany Cheneke and his company, Explore Omo Valley. Emany was highly recommended in countless reviews on TripAdvisor, many of which were from photographers. I emailed Emany and inquired into his availability. He was quick to respond, answering all my questions, and he was available. He suggested a flexible itinerary based on my photographic interests. I was particularly interested in visiting a Surma tribe in southwestern Ethiopia near the South Sudan border, one of the world’s most isolated tribes. Like the Mursi tribe in South Omo, they are known for their lip plates, decorative scarification, and body painting. Emany’s itinerary was exactly what I had in mind. In addition to the Surma tribe, the itinerary included visits to the Mursi, Kara, Dassenech, Nyangatom, Hamar, Arbore, and Benna tribes, as well as Aari village. I hired Emany for a 10-day private tour that started in Jimma and ended in Jinka. We were accompanied by his driver and cook. The cost of the trip was reasonable, and it included transportation in a reliable 4x4 Toyota Landcruiser vehicle, all village entry fees, guide fees, photo fees, three meals a day, unlimited bottled water, and all accommodations, including camping in the tribal villages, and hotels and lodges. The key to the success of this trip was Emany’s managerial, organizational, and communication skills. He knows the tribal leaders and speaks their languages and dialects (in addition to speaking perfect English and Amharic). Emany is well respected by everyone, and we were welcomed everywhere we went. He handled payment of all photo fees to the tribes so that I would not have to deal with it. He was effective in managing the sometimes chaotic crowds, especially the children of the Surma tribe. Equally important is Emany’s understanding of photography. Having worked with photographers before, he had a large collapsible black background that I used for portraits (better than the black felt cloth I brought). He knew how to use a reflector to direct light. He was a great photography assistant. He helped me communicate with my subjects about positioning, posing, setups, and props. His calm demeanor and sense of humor put them all at ease to the point they were laughing and smiling. I took plenty of candid and action shots as well. Emany took me to couple of markets, and he even found a Hamar bull jumping ceremony for me to photograph. Along the way we stopped whenever we saw something interesting to photograph, such as birds of prey, swarms of locust, and boys on stilts. It was an extraordinary trip thanks to Emany. He is the best guide I have ever come across in my decades of world travel.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Response from Exploreomovalley, Owner at Explore Omo Valley
Responded Sep 12, 2020
Dear Paul, many thanks for taking your time to write such a great review and mentioning each and every experience we had together in 10 days photo tour. Once again thank you so much. Emani; Owner and lead guide
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Loren G wrote a review Feb 2020
Tolland, Connecticut3 contributions
Three of us took Emanuels 10 day tour of the Omo Valley and what a great experience!! A once in a lifetime adventure with our guide Emanuel, two drivers, and our great cook Weyto! We visited 10 different tribes. We stayed three nights in tribal villages, interacting with them, and having fun with the children. We felt very fortunate to witness an authentic Bull Jumping ceremony, as well as a stay with the Hamar tribe who most graciously butchered a goat for us and roasted it on an open fire. We felt very honored for that! Weyto always had a tasty breakfast for us with nice home made bread and many times scrambled eggs and fruit. Emany was a fun guy to get to know who always answered our questions and has a great command of the tribal languages. If your thinking of going to the Omo go with Emanuel and go soon!!
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Response from Exploreomovalley, Owner at Explore Omo Valley
Responded Mar 4, 2020
Dear Loren, Thank you very much for taking time to write great review and recommendations. Emanuel Cheneke owner and Manager.
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