Omo National Park
Established in 1980 and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Omo National Park offers one of the most remote safari experiences in Africa, set against the massive Omo River.
A visit to Omo National Park is the ultimate pioneering adventure. Relatively inaccessible and light on infrastructure, it is difficult to get there, but those who make it will be met by landscapes and people virtually untouched by Western influences.
The main reason tourists come to this area is to immerse themselves in the place and meet members of the twelve different tribes who coexist in the region. Many of the tribes live in a way that is little influenced by the modern world.
Among the twelve different tribes in this area are the Hammer, who like many of the tribes in this area, are pastoralists, although agriculture now plays an important role in their lives. Easily visited from the nearby towns of Turmi and Dimeka, the Hammer have high cheekbones, and are attired in elaborate leather skirts decorated with shells and beads, with incredibly designed body piercings as part of their attire.
Perhaps the best known tribe in Omo National Park are the Mursi, thanks to their huge lip plates. When a woman reaches the age of 20, her lower lip is cut and progressively stretched. According to tradition, the bigger her lip plate — which can be as wide as 15cm — the more valuable she will be when she is married. Before the men of the tribe can marry, they have to take part in stick fighting (donga), a ritual where two men paint themselves white chalk and hit each other viciously with 2m long poles, with the bride-to-be going to the winner.
As for the Omo National Park wildlife, the most widely spotted are herds of elephant and buffalo. The landscape is also especially inspiring, with the Omo River itself flowing through some of Africa’s wildest, most untouched country, before reaching northern Kenya’s “jade sea”, Lake Turkana. However, with such a high concentration of native people living in the park itself, there is a relatively lower animal population to be found here than in other safari spots.
+ Read More
- Time with ancient tribes
- Explore the Omo Valley
- Boating on the Omo River
- Expedition into Africa’s last frontier
- ATOL Protected
- 24/7 Guidance & Support
- 20+ Years of Experience
- We take care of the leg work
- We find you the best deal
Top Reasons To Visit Omo National Park
Often the best safaris involve looking beyond the obvious highlights. It’s about the exhilarating encounters that will make your heart sing. These are encounters that nobody could ever predict, but that make your safari genuinely unique.
Best Time To Visit Omo National Park
Visiting Omo National Park is best done during the driest months, which fall at the start of the year in January and February.
This makes it far easier to get around the park, particularly with the minimal formal tourist infrastructure currently established there. The warm weather also ensures a more enjoyable experience for those who do travel to Omo National Park at this time of year.
Conversely, the rainy season makes it all but impossible to navigate the park, so travel in the peak spring months of April and May and late autumn is not advised. Get in touch with Natural High for further advice on which time of year to visit Omo National Park.
Best Time To Visit Omo National Park
Omo National Park (FAQs) NEED TO KNOW
Is Omo National Park a suitable family destination?
We would recommend visiting Omo National Park for families with older children, as its sheer remoteness will require long drives to get to and from the park, which may be less enjoyable for your little ones.
Is it possible to combine a trip to Omo with other areas of Ethiopia?
Despite its distance from larger and more safari-focused parts of Ethiopia, Omo National Park is easily combined with safaris in other areas of the country over the course of a longer trip.
What is the accommodation like in Omo National Park?
As we mentioned earlier, Omo National Park has far less formal infrastructure for visitors than many other national parks in Ethiopia, so as to maintain the integrity of the area for its native tribal population. However, there are a few small lodges dotted about the 4000-plus km² of the park. In the remotest areas, we would recommend using a mobile camp that allows you to pack up and move whenever required. To learn more about where to stay in Omo National Park, get in touch with us today to talk to one of our expert guides.
From our Travel Guides
For the love of Zambia’s bushcamps
What is there to do in Victoria Falls?
About the Serengeti Plains Formation
Meet Our Travel Experts
It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary. The Natural High team have unrivalled experience and will take your ideas and turn them into your trip of a lifetime.
Into The Wild Brochure
Need some more inspiration? Request a copy of Into The Wild, our comprehensive anthology of safaris and wilderness travel.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Fantasic Natural High
Our trip to Kenya and Rwanda with Natural High was beyond expectation. Catherine put together a fantastic itinerary that provided a balanced two+ wee…
Jarrett Szczesny CR
Trip of a lifetime and the most amazing experience
This was a trip of a lifetime for us!!! It was romantic, adventurous, and something we have never experienced before. We travel a lot, so we were blow…
Natural High has planned many trips to Africa for us and we have never been
Yes we would recommend Have used multiple times and would continue to do so. The trip ran smoothly and camps chosen were great. Rod Tether has become …
Don and Bernice Willoughby
Very much bespoke with extremely well chosen segments of the trio
Catherine Ronan listened to and understood exactly what we wanted and put together an imaginative itinerary which worked perfectly for us. We had a gr…
Fantasic Natural High
All the arrangements made by the company worked well. The descriptions of the accommodation and what we might see were accurate. The staff were frien…
Fantasic Natural High
Although our holiday was expensive, it was very well planned and the lodging and guides were outstanding….
John and Laurie Neufeld ..
Catherine put together an excellent tour package that encompassed Victoria Falls and the Garden Route in South Africa. This was the second time we hav…
Tim & Linda Robinson ..
Excellent photographic safari to South Luangwa lead by Simon Stafford.
Kafunta camp in South Luangwa was excellent, exceeding all our expectation. The staff and guilds were superb, so friendly, with nothing being too much…
John & Sally
I would use this company again.
Natural High Safaris planned the perfect trip for us. From the locations, the specific camps, to the order in which we visited the camps – it was all…
Much higher than high!
This was our third bespoke safari with Natural High Safari. Catherine Ronan with her resourceful exuberance has given us trips for life every time. No…
Sunita & Jayesh Gajjar CR
Another superb walking holiday in Zambia accompanied by Natural High’s Rod
A well planned and brilliantly executed itinerary, originally compiled three years’ ago and which NH rolled over twice, in the process accommodating t…
Charles & Jo Mercey
Excellent service! Simply, the best!!
Excellent service all along the planning process! And throughout the trip, everything worked out perfectly!! Vanessa Janion gave us a very personal s…
A trip we will never forget.
We were very happy with our trip. Our lodges, the people who worked there and our guides (Benson and Yasini) were awesome. We loved Tanzania and it’…
Covered all the different territories of Morocco.
Excellent service-would recommend-went above and beyond our expectations-very enjoyable and memorable vacation…
Natural High Safaris are exceptional, expert tour operators. 5 stars *****
Natural High Safaris are fantastic tour operators whom we have used numerous times. We recently had a wonderful trip to Namibia organised by Catherin…
James & Cecily Rogers CR
Never so pampered in my life while seeing iconic images for real
We worked with two tour groups. The other tour group was more helpful with respect to details about going to Kenya (background info, customs, common p…
Judith and Matt Ochs
Fabulous trip. The trek in the Atlas Mountains was superb
Highly recommended. The hotels recommended were great, all the logistics worked perfectly. The trek in the Atlas Mountains was amazing. The guide was …
Jonathan and Jill Whitehead VJ
Great birding and walking holiday in Kenya
Natural High provided us with excellent advice as to where we should stay in Kenya: we wanted to walk and our main interest was birds. Laikipia (stayi…
Charles & Jo