Mayo Ethiopia Tours

Mayo Ethiopia Tours

Omo Valley cultural trip

siting the peoples of the South Omo (cultural route) is an enriching and educational experience. Up to two dozen tribes inhabit the area and we visit villages and local markets in the hope of meeting many of them. The most famous are the Mursi, renowned for their clay lip plates, but there are many other vivid encounters. Whilst the emphasis of the trip is on the people, we also visit the Rift Valley Lakes with their beautiful scenery and fertile surroundings, and we are likely to see a wide range of mammals in Nechisar and Mago Parks.

The people of Konso are known for their terraced agriculture and wooden totems commemorating their ancestors.

The Mursi village, whose women have the custom of expanding their lower lips using disks that gradually get larger and larger. These are people who farm the land and breed livestock; they live in almost complete isolation from the rest of the world.

Arba Minch is one of the largest town in Southern Ethiopia and the gateway to travel in the Omo Valley region; all planes and vehicles come through this bustling crossroads before heading further south.
Arba Minch is set on an escarpment overlooking the Rift Valley Lakes, Lake Abaya to the north and Lake Chamo to the south. The town's name in Amharic literally means "forty springs" that are found around the town.

Turmi is the central town of the Hamer people. It is a main trading point between many of the Omo Valley peoples so markets here are particularly interesting. Optional Bull jumping is possible during harvesting season in the surrounding village.

The most important event in Hamer society is the bull jumping, an initiation rite. Up to 15 bulls are lined up in a row. The initiate with naked body has to leap on the back of the first bull, then from one bull to the next, until he reaches the end of the row. He must repeat in the opposite direction, then third times.

Hammers have remarkable hairstyles made from ochre, water, and binding resin. They rub the mixture into their hair then twist the strands repeatedly to create coppery-colored locks. This is a sign of wealth and welfare. Hammers are considered to be masters of body decoration.

The Karo adorn their bodies with different paintings, done for dance, feast, or celebration. Yellow mineral rock, black charcoal and pulverized red iron ore are traditionally used for the body painting. They use bid biros, nails, candy wrappers, and cartridges for body decoration.

Omorate lies on the eastern bank of the Omo River and is almost totally isolated from the rest of Ethiopia.

The Dorze people, who live high in the mountains, are famous for their beehive-shaped bamboo houses. They use ingenious terracing and have a unique traditional life style with their colorful weaving products.

After crossing the Omo River we encounter the Dasenech people. The main attraction is the their Villages on the out skirts of the town. The Dasenech are also known as Galeb or Reshiat they were forced out of there homeland in a region called Nyupe, to the west of Turkana, by the expansionist wars of Turkana in the 18th century. They now cover a large territory of the western banks of the Omo all the way south to Lake Turkana.

The Rift Valley is a deep fission that extends for over 6,000 km from the Middle East to Mozambique – testimony to the (most recent) violent and massive shifting of the earth’s tectonic plates. The rift contains a marvelous series of lakes, which are teeming with fish and provide a habitat for hundreds of species of birds.

Lake Awassa that is set in a volcanic crater, Awassa Lake is the smallest in the Ethiopian Rift Valley. Here, we may view hippos, grivet monkeys, and colobus monkeys with their wonderful white faces encircled by deep ebony crowns. Birdwatchers will especially enjoy such avian wonders as the silvery-cheeked hornbill, black-winged lovebird, and Abyssinian black-headed oriole. The city of Awassa with its diverse ethnic mix will be especially enjoyable as we walk through the daily market where colorful villagers negotiate for fish.

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