Considered to be one of the last 'great undiscovered' places in Africa, the Omo Valley in southwestern Ethiopia is a region rich with cultural heritage where tribes untouched by modern life give a fascinating glimpse into the hidden treasures of Ethiopia. Among the cultural gems that the region offers are encounters with many tribes, including the Arbore, Ari, Bena, Bumi, Daasanech, Dorze, Hamaar, Kara, Konso, Kwegu, Mursi, Tsemay and Turkana. Each is a beautifully unique tribe whose remote location along the Omo River has given them the alluring quality of having their lifestyles largely uninterrupted by the ever-changing world hiding beyond the walls of the Omo Valley. One of the most fascinating aspects of visiting these tribes are the intricate adornments they use for ceremonies and body art. Some of these artistic expressions are rather recognizable considering the isolation in which these tribes usually live. The Mursi tribe are known for their striking clay lip plates, while the Hamaar people are identified by their distinctive hair braids that are done using red-ocher clay and animal fat. While this tour of the Omo Valley offers one of the most awe-inspiring chances to encounter cultures unaffected by modern life, it is not a journey meant for the inexperienced traveler. The accommodation is primitive and the human contact can be apprehensive and unfamiliar. It is not a good option for someone who is anxious when meeting new people and being in intensely personal situations. However, the pure authenticity and integrity of the region are what make this a deeply meaningful journey to the heart of the Omo Valley and its centuries old indigenous tribes for the experienced and perpetually curious traveler.

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