Bee Keeping

Special Southern Tour of Bee Keeping and Honey Production in Ethiopia

Honey is a sweet and viscous product made by bees after ingesting the nectar of flowers. It comprises mainly carbohydrates, fructose and glucose, which together make up nearly 70%, followed by about 20% water, and small amounts of an array of substances such as sucrose (0 – 2%), and traces of heavy metals, proteins (0.3%), ascorbic acid, flavornoids, enzymes, vitamins, etc. There is more fructose (38%) than glucose (31%) in honey, while sucrose, which is dominant in sugar cane, is found in honey only in trace amounts. Honey is quite acidic with an average pH of 4.
According to the history books, bee beekeeping practice had started in Ethiopia between 3500-3000 BC. The country has a high potential for beekeeping as the climate is favorable for growing different vegetation and crops, which are a good source of nectar and pollen for honeybees. Ethiopia is leading producer of honey and beeswax in Africa. According to report estimates, Ethiopia, with over 10 million honeybee colonies, is the country with the highest honeybee population in Africa.
The country is endowed with botanically diversified honey source plant species which supply sample food to the honeybees and for honey production. Due to the presence of diverse flora and fauna, each region of Ethiopia produces a unique variety of honey.

Tour Program

Day 1: Arrival in Addis Ababa City Tour

Up on arrival at Bole international air port and met by your representative and transfer to hotel. After check in to hotel you will have city tour of Addis, Which includes Oromo Cultural Center, National Museum the home of the famous complete hominid fossil remain of Lucy dates 3.2 million years back, Mount Entoto- panoramic view point at the highest peak in Addis with an altitude of 3200 meter above sea level, trinity cathedral- a beautiful church with a baroque style of European architecture unique to both Ethiopia and Africa, Ethnographic museum and Merkato (the largest open air market in Africa). Overnight in Hotel

Day 2: Drive from Addis to Arbaminch

Morning, drive to Arbaminch. On the way, visit Adadi Mariam, Tiya Stele site (one of the world heritage site registered by UNESCO) and Melka Kunture archeological site. Then keep driving to Arbaminch and Overnight in hotel/lodge

Day 3: Drive to Turmi

In the morning, boat ride on Lake Chamo to visit hippos and crocodiles at crocodile market on the lake. Then drive to Turmi. On the way visit Dimeka Colorful Market. Then proceed to Turmi. After check in to hotel, visit the Hammer tribe and their Evangadi night dancing. Overnight in hotel/lodge

Day 4: Drive to Kari then back to Turmi

After breakfast drive to karicho to visit the Karo tribe. They paint their bodies and faces with white chalk to prepare for a ceremony. The chalk is mixed with yellow rock, red iron ore and charcoal to make its color. Face masks are worn at times and they have clay hair buns with feathers in them.) . Also visit their traditional bee-keeping yard. Overnight in hotel/lodge

Day 5: Drive to Konso

In the morning, drive to Konso. After check in to Hotel, visit Konso tribe and Konso Landscape. The Konso people are the hard working people and well known for their specially land management, one of Africa’s most fascinating cultures. The Konso landscape is one of the world heritage sites in Ethiopia registered by UNESCO. Overnight in hotel/lodge

Day 6: Drive to Arbaminch

After breakfast, you will visit some garden of beekeepers inside and around the villages. Then drive to Arbaminch. On the way, stopover an interesting village to see a lot bee hives on the trees. After check in to Hotel, drive to Chencha Village to visit the Dorze tribe who are well known for their traditional weaving and towering huts and the communities of honey producers from the Gamo population. Usually these communities collect their honey in April and May and in November and December and you will have a chance to observe the process how to collect honey in a traditional way. Their bees feed on the flowers of Acacia abyssinica (flat-top acacia) and Carica papaya (common papaya). Overnight in hotel/lodge

Day 7: Drive back to Addis

In the morning drive back to Addis Ababa with many stops for bird watching. On the way, visit Lake Zuway, the Ethiopian Bird Spectacle, the great Pelicans are the main stars of this astonishing natural live show, which takes place at one of the freshwater Rift Valley lakes of Ethiopia. After visiting, keep drive to Addis. Overnight in your Hotel

Day 8: Drive to Holeta- then back to Addis

In the morning, drive to 35 kilometers west of Addis to Holeta Bee Research Center, engages in full time research on improved management of beekeeping, bee product handling and processing, bee forage biology of local honeybees, bee health, socio-economic and extension research. Moreover the center has been producing skilled manpower in the fielded of beekeeping through training beekeeping experts, bee technicians and beekeepers of the country. There you will have a small presentation by one of an expert on bee keeping about the general information and research facts on Bee Keeping and Honey Production in Ethiopia. After visit drive back to Addis and observe at one of the honey production factory for export. This will be a good opportunity to buy this Ethiopian organic honey. In the evening, farewell traditional dinner in one of the best Ethiopian restaurant in Addis followed by folkloric dance of different Ethiopian nations. Then transfer to airport to fly back to home, where your tour ends.