Omo National Park

The water of the Omo River in south-western Ethiopia flows through some of the wildest, most untouched, country in Africa, before ending up in Lake Turkana, the ‘jade sea’ of northern Kenya.

The main reason why people visit this area is because of the extraordinary range of different tribes, with people living in a way that is little influenced by the modern world (with the exception of that essential fashion accessory, the AK47, and the occasional pair of dark glasses or heavy metal teeshirt). 
The Mursi are perhaps the best known tribe because of their huge lip plates. When a woman reaches about 20 years old, she has her lower lip cut between her lower lip and mouth and over the year it is progressively stretched. The bigger the lip plate the more valuable she will be when she is married. The plates can be as wide as 15 cm. When they are out in the fields and eating they take the plate out, which is rather an unattractive sight.  Before the men can marry they have to take part in stick fighting (donga) where two men paint themselves white chalk and hit each other viciously with 2m long poles. The one who wins gets to get married!
There is some wildlife in the area, especially in National Parks such as Omo and Mago, with their herds of elephant and buffalo. However, there are many people living in the parks and this means that wildlife numbers are quite low.
This is the ultimate adventure. Due to its relative inaccessibility and lack of infrastructure it is difficult to get there. It is not so much a wildlife experience but one of awesome tribal people who until fairly recently are virtually untouched by Western influences. However, there are more and more intrepid travelers and in the last couple of years many more people come to this area.
Amongst the almost twelve different tribes in this area are the Hammer. Like many of the tribes in this area, the Hammer are pastoralists, although agriculture now plays an important role in their lives.  They have high cheek bones  nd the women are particularly striking with ochre coloured hair and wear elaborate leather skirts decorated with  shells and  beads.  Body piercing in incredible designs is also part of their attire.  They can be visited easily from Turmi and Dimeka.



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Rod Tether
Rod Tether
Catherine Ronan
Catherine Ronan
Alex Edwards
Alex Edwards

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All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.

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