South Omo Valley
Introduction to the South Omo Valley
Located in Southwest Ethiopia, the Lower Omo Valley is regarded as Africa’s ‘last great wilderness’ and one of one of the continent’s final frontiers.
The Omo Valley is most famous for its fascinating cultural landscape. More than a dozen tribes live here, their ancient lifestyles largely untouched by the influences of the modern world. Each of the Omo Valley tribes has its own unique cultural dress, traditions and rituals, passed down from generation to generation. Some of the best-known tribes are the Mursi, Hamer, Karo, Konso and Dassenech.
The Omo Valley is rich in historical value. Recognized for its paleontological discoveries, the Lower Omo Valley was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.
Southern Ethiopia differs vastly from Northern Ethiopia – in topography, climate and character. The remote, lowland landscapes are more reminiscent of sub-Saharan Africa, and characterized by vast savannas and acacia woodlands. An expansive fertile green belt, carved by the Omo River, extends nearly 1,000 kilometers to Lake Turkana, on the Kenyan border. The Omo River is the largest Ethiopian river outside the Nile Basin.
The East African Rift Valley runs through low-lying southern Ethiopia, creating a concentration of magnificent rift valley lakes that teem with aquatic birds and other wildlife. Volcanic outcrops and interesting rock formations add to the beauty of the scenery.
Ethiopia’s greatest concentration of wildlife can be found in these parts. Although the wildlife population is not comparable to countries like neighboring Kenya, southern Ethiopia’s drawcard is its biodiversity and impressive list of endemic species. A number of beautiful national parks are located in southern Ethiopia, each with its own unique attractions.
When in South Omo Valley
Archeologists found a jawbone of an Australopithecus man, estimated at some 2.5 million years old in the area.
The Omo Valley is best visited between June and March with January and February being particularly hot and humid.
The Omo Delta, only accessible by boat, is an extremely remote area of islands.
When in South Omo Valley
Where to say
Accessible only by boat, Lale’s Camp is both remote and purely exclusive. This stylish tented camp sprawls beneath the shade of beautiful ficus trees, on the eastern bank of the Omo River; and offers the ideal base when exploring the Omo Valley. The scenery is wild and beautiful, with a riverine forest hugging the river and providing a habitat for a host of plants, animals, and birds. The spacious tented bedrooms all have verandas and are tastefully furnished. Each tent has a private shower tent, which is equipped with a bucket shower, basin, and flush toilet. Breakfast and dinner can be enjoyed in the lovely mess tent. Packed lunches are prepared as you head out to visit the fascinating tribes of the Omo Valley.