Visiting the Omo Valley Ethiopia
To immerse you in cultural diversity and African heritage, spending time around the Omo Valley is one of the best things to do in Ethiopia.
Tribal traditions are strong here. The indigenous people are warm, welcoming, and accepting of visitor curiosity despite their remoteness and a fierce adherence to an ageless way of life.
Visit local markets to trade, camp by outlying villages, and sit by riverbanks or around campfires as you will enjoy and experience the traditional dance, drum and celebrate their unique African stories.
Visit the Mursi tribe
The Lower Omo Valley is one of the most fascinating regions in Ethiopia, and even the African continent, thanks to the cultural diversity of over a dozen tribes that coexist with varying degrees of peace.
The valley is mostly a dry savannah expanse fed by the Omo River –one of their most important resources. Along the river and throughout the valley region, hundreds of small tribal villages pepper the landscape, each of them with their unique customs and even their own language.
How to get to Omo valley
The closest you can get by flight is to Arbaminch and hire 4WD. Then drive to Jinka. Mursi, The most famous tribe of the Lower Omo Valley found about 60KM away from Jinka. You can also visit the Ari tribe; it is 30 minutes walking from Jinka.
When to visit Omo valley
Weather is one of the most important things to consider when visiting the Lower Omo Valley as it could make or break your trip.
Many roads in the region are unpaved and ungraded, and some of them pass through river beds and streams, so your best bet is to visit outside the rainy season. During rainy days, some roads become impassable.
The rainy season lasts from March to June, with the months in between being the wettest – so avoid visiting during these months if possible.
The best conditions are at the end of June through September and from November until early March when it’s the dry season. October tends to have some light rains that may or may not affect accessibility.
Where to stay while visiting Omo valley
Buska Lodge is the primary base for those visiting the Mursi. The lodge sits just outside the town of Tursi and has 20 rooms spread out over the lush gardens. Single, double, and twin rooms are available with en-suites, and – remarkably for the Omo Valley – access to WiFi!
The restaurant serves both local and international dishes, and the lodge offers a massage and spa service.
Eco Omo Resort
Eco Omo Resort is the best accommodation option in the Jinka area of the Omo Valley. Accommodation here is in 26 thatched-roof huts built on raised platforms. The lodge is built in a pretty forested area, and the dining terrace is a great spot to enjoy a beer and take in your surroundings.
Rooms offer twin or double beds, each equipped with a mosquito net and en-suite bathroom with a shower (that may or may not have hot water at the time of your visit!).
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