Valley Downstream Omo River

The Lower Omo Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in southwest Ethiopia, in the East African Rift Valley, on the border with Kenya. This inaccessible region of Ethiopia is considered one of the most unique places on the planet for its natural biodiversity and the number of indigenous tribes living in this territory. There are two national parks in the Valley - Omo National Park and Mago National Park, which are home to more than 306 species of birds and 80 species of large mammals - elephants, rhinos, hippos, lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, buffalo, zebras, gazelles, blue monkeys , black and white colobus, baboons and others. In the Lower Omo Valley, more than 200,000 tribes live, representatives of which are called the most unusual tribal people in the world. Their originality, lifestyle, variety of traditions and cultures are of great interest to both scientists and tourists. Among the most “bright” and unusual tribes are Mursi, Hamer, Arbor, Konso, Ari, Ben, Body, Suri, Turkana. Many of them are friendly and welcoming, willingly communicate with tourists, take pictures and treat them with local "delicacies", others are warlike and distrustful, it’s better not to even try to visit them without an armed guide. The concept of femininity and beauty among the representatives of the tribes inhabiting the Omo Valley is also ambiguous - the beauties from the Mursi tribe paint their bodies and faces white, and their lower lip is stretched by inserting round clay disks very similar to saucers into it. Arbore women cover their heads with black cloth and wear bright necklaces and earrings, and Hamer women adorn themselves with “bracelets,” making cuts on their skin and falling ashes or insect larvae into the wound — the more healed bumpy scars on the body, the more beautiful the girl. The courage of men in many tribes is experienced by ritual jumps through the bulls. The influence of civilization also affected these remote places - warriors replaced sticks and spears with machine guns and rifles, and for visiting their settlements they may require a fee in US dollars. The Lower Omo Valley is a mecca for archaeologists and paleoanthropologists. In 1967, an expedition led by Richard Leake in the Omo National Park, in the Omo Kibish Formation, discovered fossils of hominids and fragments of the skeleton of Australopithecus, who lived in these places from 1 to 3.5 million years ago. The fossils found by Kenyan paleontologists of the ancient representatives of Homo sapiens (Omo I) and Homo helmei (Omo II), who are 195,000 years old, played a huge role in the study of human evolution, confirming the theory that Homo Sapiens on Earth originally appeared on the African continent. The valley of the lower reaches of the Omo River in recent years has attracted more and more tourists from all over the world, it is recommended to travel around the territory as a group and accompanied by certified guides. During the 7-day safari, tourists can visit the national parks of Omo and Mago, see the lakes of Turkana, Chamo and Abay, visit local tribes and get acquainted with their traditions, culture and lifestyle.