Bring your philanthropic side to the fore on an unconventional African honeymoon exploring Ethiopia’s extraordinary Omo Valley communities before immersing yourself in the weird and wonderful wildlife and sustainable luxury of Madagascar’s most exclusive island escape.
We always seek to create experiences filled with purpose and originality. We’ve given the classic safari-and-beach formula a fresh twist by pairing Ethiopia and Madagascar – two of Africa’s most under-the-radar destinations – while providing your adventure with a clear focus on community and conservation.
After a night in Ethiopia’s buzzing capital Addis Ababa, your adventure begins with a private flight to the remote airstrip of Murulle. You’ll be met by a dedicated team who will look after you over the next week as you take a deep dive into the remarkable Omo Valley tribes, now believed to be the cradle of homo sapiens, and whose traditions have gradually evolved over 200,000 years. Guiding you will be Will Hurd – activist, researcher, NGO director, and a world authority on the people of the Omo Valley.
Travelling by boat and 4x4, and staying in a mixture of permanent and fly camps reserved exclusively for you, you’ll explore the remarkable customs of the various tribes that inhabit the Omo. Among those you will meet are the cattle-herding Mursi, famed for the lip plates made of wood or clay worn by married women; the Hamar, known for their bull-leaping ceremonies, in which young men prove their prowess as they come of age; and the Dassanech, who eke out a marginal existence from their livestock and by hunting crocodiles in Lake Turkana. Their unique jewellery is made out of anything from old digital watches to bottle caps and SIM cards.
There will be ample opportunity to contribute – whether intellectually, professionally or materially – to vital medical and educational projects, and learn about the threats to their way of life, from drought to the construction of a dam on the Omo River.
The second part of your adventure shifts the focus from community to conservation as you fly to northern Madagascar for a week at one of the planet’s most exclusive island escapes – Miavana. While the world-class pampering and dining will delight you, it is the surrounding natural riches that will wow you.
With the Miavana Foundation’s expert conservationist team on hand, you’ll discover a world of wonders by yacht and helicopter. Offshore you’ll snorkel shimmering reefs and scout the Indian Ocean for migrating humpbacks, turtles and dolphin; in the rainforest you’ll search for lemurs and brilliantly-coloured chameleons; while on the Madagascan mainland, bizarrely eroded limestone tsingy forests house rare endemic plants. You will also be able to join the team as they visit local fishing villages, encouraging them to embrace sustainable practices, you’ll be making a valuable contribution to protecting a highly fragile ecosystem. And, of course, there will be plenty of time to indulge and enjoy more traditional and playful honeymoon pursuits.
We think you’ll agree that a honeymoon with purpose is more rewarding than the classic safari and beach combination, and – who knows – might just inspire you enough to make a decisive impact on the course of your life together.