The Omo Valley tribes – no place quite like it. (Ethiopia)

This is an extraordinary experience probably like no other. The tribes that inhabit this region of Ethiopian are unique and nowhere else on earth.

First of all you cannot do this tour without a guide. Its simply not feasible. I used ‘See us Arba Minch”. Click here for their details.

Kasahun who runs the operation and also guides is brilliant.

They operate directly out ot Arba Minch and all their guides are local and understand the tribes and traditions.

Everybody will always say they got the best guide and driver but in this instance it was true. Check out the best dudes in the Omo Valley. Ben and Abush. Famous for laughter and chickens.

The Omo Valley is so named after the river that flows through it.

Most of the area is remote, and dry and which means the 16 tribes that occupy this region have maintained their lifestyle and traditions which outsiders would simply find inhospitable.

Your tour will depend on the number of days and the number of tribes you would like to visit. This is also a vast region which needs to be taken into account.

You will find out which tribes intermarry, bride price and who simply does not get along.

One of the strangest stories I came across was the Mursi Tribe. A few centuries ago women were stolen from a tribe in South Sudan. They started to pierce and stretch their lower lip by placing a round clay object in it. Apparently the men find this attractive which certainly puts a new meaning into the phrase “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. So later the tribe men from South Sudan returned to take back their women, but upon seeing these ladies with the stretched lips they declared them ugly and that as they say was that.

Don’t worry about shopping for souvenirs. You will get to see some markets. This was the Hamer market. I was in my element.

So one thing to bear in mind.

You will have to pay for each picture you take.

There is no way round it. It’s a minimal fee so make sure you have loads of small notes.

Your guide will take care of who you want in your pics for you to save you hassling. You will occasionally come across a freebie though.

But don’t go thinking the kids don’t know whats what.