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Hamlin 12 Day Supporters Tour

We are excited to offer the 2024 Ethiopian Tour to our valued supporters. This is a fantastic opportunity to personally experience the lasting work of Drs Reg and Catherine Hamlin, and to explore the fascinating country that they so loved.

Eyayaw Tours have organised an exciting 12-day tour encompassing the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa, Desta Mender, the Hamlin College of Midwives, Yirgalem Hamlin Fistula Hospital, two rural midwifery centres in the Sidama region, the Great Rift Valley and wildlife, and some of the most exotic and authentic tribes in Southern Ethiopia. A very adventure filled trip!

Dates: 3rd - 16th October 2024

You can qualify to join us by one of the following means: Your household has donated $6,000 or more over the lifetime of your connection with us. Or you have fundraised $6,000 or more. This can come as a one off donation, or top-up prior to your booking if needs be. If you’ve fundraised and qualify as part of a group, one team member can be nominated to join the tour.

Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity! 

If you are interested in joining us, please register your interest by emailing

Cost: We are currently negotiating the cost of flights and the tour package to get favourable group booking rates - so having an idea of numbers early would be most helpful. We will aim to come back to you with the confirmed cost and booking form in late April/May but at this stage, we're looking at around $8,500 per person.

Trip Highlights

  • Visit the Hamlin Fistula Hospital, College of Midwives and rural midwifery clinics to see our work first-hand, meet patients, staff and students.
  • Visit the most remote and authentic tribes in Africa including the Mursi, perhaps the most exotic tribe in the Omo Valley with their colorful face/body painting and clay lip plates 
  • See the daily life of various tribes and witness their rituals and traditions.
  • Visit colorful markets in different villages. 
  • Enjoy the amazing landscape, animals and birdlife of the Ethiopian Rift Valley

Country Information: Ethiopia, the ‘Horn of Africa’, is situated just north of the equator, in north‑eastern Africa. Formally known as Abyssinia, it stands between the cultures of the Mediterranean and the tribal people of Africa and boasts the origins of humankind. Ethiopia is one of the largest countries in Africa in terms both area and population.

With an area of 1,235,000 square kilometres it is around the size of New South Wales and Victoria combined. The population is fast approaching 100 million – with the densest population living in the fertile central highlands. Ethiopia has been able to keep its own strong independent character and not be marred by the ways of colonists, still retaining ancient cultures untainted by western influences. It is this uniqueness that gives Ethiopia such a magnetic appeal. They are a people with incredible resilience, who show true pride in their culture and civilisation, which is apparent in their many colourful celebrations. Most Ethiopians make a living by farming and cattle‑raising and live in the countryside. The highland peoples have followed an ancient biblical, moral and civil code for more than 16 centuries.

Climate: Ethiopia has a very pleasant climate. Hot in summer and cool in winter. Evenings can be cool but prepare for hot African weather during the day.


DAY 1Arrival - Addis Ababa 
Overnight Jupiter or Sapphire Hotel 
Upon arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, you will be met by the Eyayaw Tours Team and transferred to your hotel to freshen up and have lunch. Spend the afternoon at your leisure. 
DAY 2Hamlin Addis Ababa Fistula hospital 
Overnight Jupiter or Sapphire Hotel 
After breakfast we visit Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital on the western side of the city. We will have morning tea with key personnel and enjoy a tour of the grounds followed by lunch with the nursing and theatre staff. 
DAY 3Visit the Hamlin collage and Desta Mender 
Overnight Jupiter or Sapphire Hotel 
This morning we will visit the world famous Hamlin College of Midwives, meet key staff and tour the grounds. Lunch is at the Juniper cafe; a cafe run by past fistula patients. The afternoon is spent at Desta Mender (Joy Village), a farm and training center for long term fistula patients. Meet staff and residents and learn about education, reintegration and micro-finance programs. 
DAY 4Yirga Alem 
Overnight Aregash Lodge 
Today you will drive 330 km to the coffee growing area of Yirgaalem. 
DAY 5Hamlin hospital and midwifery clinic 
Overnight Aregash Lodge 
This morning we visit Hamlin’s Yirgalem Fistula Hospital and Hamlin-supported midwifery clinic Gorche and Teticha Health Centres to see the work being done. In the afternoon we visit a cultural village to see the traditional Sidama, in the evening there will be a coffee ceremony. If time allows, a walk through the nearby forest is worthwhile. The wildlife you may see includes bushbuck, hyena, baboons and colobus.
DAY 6Arba Minch 
Overnight: Haile or Paradise Resort 
Today you will drive to Arba Minch through the mountain village of Chencha, located on the southwestern escarpment of the Great Rift Valley, which runs north to south all the way to Mozambique. This is the home of the Dorze people. The Dorze people, once famous warriors in the region are now renowned cotton weavers whose tall beehive-shaped and bamboo-woven dwellings are among the most distinctive structures to be seen anywhere in Africa. 
DAY 7Arba Minch 
Overnight: Haile or Paradise Resort 
After breakfast you will enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Chamo to see some of the biggest African crocodiles, Hippopotamuses and many beautiful aquatic birds including the lovely Kingfisher and African fish agile. 
DAY 8Konso- Turmi 
Overnight: Buska or Emerald lodge 
Early in the morning you will drive through the wonderful African landscapes, seeing the day life of these unique communities on our way to Turmi. We will stop in one of the Konos village. The Konos aeria is registered by UNESCO as one of the world's heritages sites. The Konso are famous for their old and unique terracing to cultivate the land. A special tradition are the engraved wooden statues as grave markers.
DAY 9Turmi - omorate- Turmi 
Overnight: Buska or Emerald lodge 
In the cool morning, we will drive to Omorate to visit the Desanech (Geleb) tribal village after crossing the Omo River by boat. The Desanech are nomadic pastoralists found across the western bank of the Omo River and south of Lake Turkana, very close to the Kenyan boarder.  In the afternoon,we will drive to Hamer Village. The Hamer, display an elaborate and diverse selection of body decorations. They are also identifiable for their high cheekbones and elaborate custom of beads, cowries, leather, and thick copper necklaces. In the same village, we might enjoy the seasonal cultural activities including the famous Evangadi (Hamer Dancing). 
DAY 10Karo- Jinka 
Overnight: Eco omo or Jinka resort 
This morning, you will drive to Jinka, visiting the Kara tribe along the way who reside on the shore of the Omo River. The Kara are the masters in body and face painting which they practice on a daily basis. Before their rituals and dances, they carefully paint their faces and body as well as the faces of their friends using various-colored soil, minerals, plant pigments, flowers, white chalk, and black charcoal. Men are decorated with red clay hair buns they have prepared for days. 
DAY 11Mursi- Ari Village 
Overnight: Eco omo or Jinka resort 
This morning we travel to Mago National Park and visit the Mursi people. The Mursi women are famous for the insertion of wooden and terra-cotta discs into the ear lobes and the split and stretching of their lower lips to make room for similar discs. Though these ‘lip plates’ may appear bizarre to outsiders, the Mursi regard them as a sign of beauty.  In the afternoon we will visit the Ari village who are the largest community in the Omo region. Ari women are famous for their pottery which they sell to support their families. Ari villages have neat compounds in fertile and scenic land with coffee plantations. They have large livestock herds and produce large quantities of honey. 
DAY 12Jinka, Addis Ababa Today you will drive to Jinka airport to take the flight back to Addis Ababa, upon arrival you will have time to explore Addis Ababa and visit the National Museum (home of the remains of the famous hominid fossil, “Lucy”), Entoto Mountain and the largest open air market called Merkato. In the evening before departure, you will be invited to a farewell dinner at one of the best traditional restaurants in Addis where you taste a variety of Ethiopian meals and watch the folkloric dancers of the Ethiopian people. Then transfer to Bole, Addis Ababa airport for the flight back home. 

Additional Information:

Fast Facts

  • Travel Dates: 3-16 October 2024
  • Vaccinations: Please consult a travel vaccination specialist for up to date information
  • Group Size Min: 6
  • Group Size Max: 20
  • Suitability: This trip is not suitable for people with limited mobility


  • Exact costs will depend on numbers and include the full 12 day tour and International Economy Class Flights, Auckland to Addis Ababa.
  • At this stage, we suggest to budget around $8,500 per person.

What’s Included

  • Travel with a member of Hamlin from New Zealand's Office
  • International Flight from Auckland NZ to Addis Ababa
  • Accommodation is on a twin / double share basis
  • All meals
  • Bottled water
  • English speaking guide
  • All activities, adventures and sightseeing as per itinerary above
  • Photography and village fees for Omo Valley
  • All entrance fees and licenses as per the program
  • Arrival and departure airport transfers
  • Private and air conditioned 4x4 vehicles
  • Boat trip over Lake Chamo and Omo Rivers

What’s Not Included

  • Visas
  • Soft drinks and alcohol
  • Items of a personal services, such as phone calls and laundry
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips

The touring element of this trip visits remote areas where facilities are often basic. These adventure tours will often involve long journeys and rough roads. To enjoy these adventures we suggest reasonable fitness and health, a moderatelyactive lifestyle and a positive attitude.

Suggested preparation: Two or three times a week, we recommend you walk on undulating terrain for an hour or more, for at least 3 months prior to departure.

By its very nature, adventure travel involves an element of the unexpected. In remote and developing countries do not expect standards you are used to at home. Remote areas are sometimes unpredictable and itineraries may be altered. To get the most out of your adventure it is important that you are suitably fit, flexible, positive and eager to take on all the challenges that arise. If you are uncertain about your suitability for this trip we recommend that you speak with one of our team.

Responsible Travel: The natural environments that you’ll travel through are fragile; the cultures and traditions precious and often the communities we pass through are reliant on tourism. It is our responsibility as visitors to minimise the impact of our presence, protect what is precious and where we can leave a positive impact.

Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity! If you are interested in joining us, please register your interest by emailing

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Hamlin Fistula NZ is committed to providing ongoing support for fistula surgery and for the preventive work of the midwives. The hospital in Addis Ababa has become a centre of excellence to which doctors from other countries come to learn and master the specialist skills of fistula surgery.

Photography credits to Mary F. Calvert, Kate Geraghty, Amber Hooper, Joni Kabana, Joli Wescombe, Natasha Meyer and Martha Tadesse.