Karat – Konso

The cultural landscape of Konso is the youngest World Heritage Site of Ethiopia, listed in June 2011. It brings the total to 9 listed sites in the country. Konso has a long history with tourism and knowledgeable local guides are available to introduce you to their culture. Karat is a small town in the Konso area, often called Konso. The market days are on Monday and Thursday

The Kanta Lodge and Korebta Lodge are the best places to stay.

The Konso village

Konso village

The Konso people are living in concentrated walled villages on the top of a hill. These maze-like settlements are unique for the region. The villages are well organized with individual compounds, communal houses, and village squares. On these squares, you find the so-called ‘generation pole’ which is erected every 18 years to mark a new generation. Well-known Konso villages are Gesergiyo, Mecheke, Kamule, and Dekatu. Around the village, there are extensive terraces where the crops are grown. Their agricultural skills are among the best found in Ethiopia.

Waga stelae

The Konso are famous for their waga stelae or carved wooden grave markers. A row of these stelae are erected on the grave of an important Konso man. One symbolizes the hero, the others his wives and his defeated enemies or killed dangerous animals.

Waga stelae Konso