Cradle of Mankind – 8 Days
Ethiopia is one of the most fascinating countries in the world with the richest history on the African continent. Old beyond imagination, it dates back to the very beginnings of mankind. Students on this trip will see the fossil remains of world-famous “Lucy” – the most complete and oldest hominid skeleton ever found. They will view the bones of the oldest child and trace human development to the discovery of fire by Homo erectus over a million years ago.
The main destination of this study adventure will be the legendary Omo River Valley; a land lost in time that is home to over 200,000 of the some of the most traditional tribes remaining on Earth. The Omo not only boasts the largest diversity of tribal groups in the whole of Africa, it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as the place where the earliest and most extensive fossil fragments of Homo sapiens have been found. The lower Omo is also one of the continents last unspoiled wilderness regions supporting lions, leopards, cheetahs, buffalos, giraffes, elephants, zebras, hippos, crocodiles and over 400 species of birds.
This study adventure will not only show students Africa the way it used to be, but will immerse them in never-to-be-forgotten experiences. Students will prepare traditional foods and overnight in a beehive woven hut of the Dorze tribe high in the mountains. They will hike through the desert learning about edible and medicinal plants with the pastoral Hamer peoples and possibly take part in their “Jumping of the Bulls” coming of age ceremony. Visiting the semi-nomadic Mursi and Bena tribes, students will see incredible forms of beautification, body painting and adornments almost unrivaled on Earth. They will have tribal kids their own age adorn them, learn tribal dances, barter at tribal markets and learn planting and harvesting skills from the Konso tribe that have created the world’s most extensive hill terraces, now declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Service projects during this unforgettable trip will include working with children in an orphanage, planting trees to arrest soil erosion and delivering portable water purification systems to tribes people in remote regions.