Follow down this post for a beautiful collection of scenes captured by WT adventurer Victor Bloomfield on our Lost Worlds of Ethiopia cultural exploration including the ornate and fascinating Timkat Festival.

Worshipers in White at the Timkat Festival

Ethiopian band marching at Timkat Festival

In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city, we witnessed the Timkat festival, a traditional Ethiopian Orthodox celebration of the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. The “baptism” takes place the next day, but on Timkat eve replicas of the arks are brought from several churches and paraded to the ceremonial grounds. Groups of marchers – uniformed, musicians, and just plain folks – accompanied the ark as it was carried – a march that took several hours.

Baptizing the Timkat Crowds


The Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, preparing to spray (baptize) his fellow prelates.

People at the Timkat Festival in the baptismal waters

After the official baptism of the crosses in the inner enclosure, the crowds were allowed up to the fence for their own baptism. Quite a remarkable scene!

Celebratory Hairdo

beautiful intricate woman's hairstyle at Timkat festival

Along with its religious function, the Timkat celebration is an occasion to see and be seen. Some of the women sported very elaborate hairdos; this was one of the best.

 Evening at Lake Langano

Sunset view Lake Langano

On the first night of our drive from Addis to the Omo River Valley tribal areas, after stopping at Lake Ziway, we spent the night in a pleasant hotel at Lake Langano. This is another of the Rift Valley lakes, our hotel was high above the lake, and the evening view was lovely.


family of grandmothers and children Ethiopia

At a village on the way to Arba Minch. It looks like the grandmothers take care of the kids while the parents are at work.

Along the Road to Jinka

cattle in road on drive to Jinka

After staying overnight at Arba Minch we drove to Jinka where we would visit the Konso people.  On the road south we found ourselves in the midst of a few cattle drives.

Countryside view of mountains, cattle and hut on road to Jinka

A view of the countryside as we drove toward Jinka.

Lake Chamo Fauna

Hippo in Lake Chamo

Lake Chamo is one of the Rift Valley lakes, well known for its wildlife: hippos, crocodiles, pelicans, fish eagles, and herons. We got a good view on a boat ride.

Ethiopian Bee Hives

bee hives in tree

Bee hives hang from the trees.

Konso Kids

Konso kids

The young children of the Konso people take care of even younger ones in a nurturing way.

Mursi Portraits

Mursi woman with lip plate

The Mursi people are famous for their lip plates and other bodily decoration.

Mursi women with beautiful jewelry

Not every Mursi woman wears a lip plate, but they are always strikingly and wonderfully adorned.

Hamar: Traditional, yet Modern

Hamar woman with ochre colored hair

Hamar women tightly braid their hair and color it with ochre for an eye-catching effect. The phallic symbols closed around the necks of the women means that they are first wives.

Hamar man with cell phone in from of hut

Thatched mud hut and corral made of sticks, but with cell phone.

Practical Things at the Key Afar Market

Key Afar market scene

The Ethiopian town of Key Afar, near Jinka, hosts a weekly market to which people from the various tribes in the area – who rarely cross paths otherwise – come to buy necessities from each other. Kind of a Walmart in the south of Ethiopia.

Bume Village Scene

boys outside of a market in Omo River Valley

On the street in the village of the Bume people in the Omo River Valley tribal area.

Painted Karo Faces


Flying Back to Addis

plane on dirt airstrip

Rather than driving back from the Omo River Valley to Addis Ababa, we had a chartered 12-seat Cessna, with a flat dirt field as an airstrip. Nice!

Riches of the Addis Merkato

man in music store

Our excellent tour guide, Dereje, in a music shop.

man carrying stack of mattresses

Men carrying huge stacks of brightly colored mattresses were a frequent sight on our trip.

colorful beads


-Photos and Text by WT adventurer Victor Bloomfield, Lost Worlds of Ethiopia