The Omo Valley Ethiopia
The Omo Valley found in southern Ethiopia is more and more popular, with its diverse tribal communities living essentially unaltered by modern society. Seeing the local ways of living entirely surviving on natural resources is all very humbling and an inspiring experience. Similarly, the landscape is breathtaking, as it descends from the beautiful highlands, to the wet forests, through the open savannahs, and finally to the hot desert lands along Lake Turkana's shores.
The Omo as well as Mago National Parks are nestled along River Omo's banks, the life-giving river that flows through the stunning Omo Valley. Even though the traditional African “Big 5" wild animals’ sightings are hardly ever possible, several species continue to wander these lands.
The most interesting local people of this area are the Mursi people, well-known all over the world because of their women who actually wear clay-plates in their lower-lips as well as earlobes. A tiny cut is made in the lips of young teenage girls and these they stretch for some time. This lip plate continues to be an effective Mursi identification feature, and it is a symbol of a girl’s maturity to womanhood as well as reproductive potential. Women are permitted to decide on their own if they desire to slit their lip or otherwise.
The happy people of Hamer tribe provide wonderful cultural experiences to the visitor. Their Hamer women can easily be noticed with their distinctive hairstyle - the long dread like ringlets made using mud plus butter. The nighttime dance party, referred to as evangadi, works as a meeting place for the youthful Hamer bachelors as well as bachelorettes to associate and flirt with one another. The most exclusive ceremony is their Jumping during the Bulls event, in which a youthful man jumps over a number of bulls in a line to formally enter into manhood.
Among the other tribes within the Omo Valley are the Tsemai, Erbore, Ari, Dassenech plus the Karo, all having their own distinctive cultures as well as rituals which have endured the challenges of time!
Arba Minch signifies the access point to the Omo Valley. Close to Lake Chamo is habitat to the “crocodile market”, which is among the finest exhibits of crocodiles throughout Africa. Not so far away from Arba Minch you will find the Dorze people, staying high within the Gughe Mountains in their beehive-appearing huts, as well as the Konso, recognized for their wooden totem-like constructions put up in honor of the ancient warriors.