Visitors with an interest in observing pre-materialist cultures or in anthropology will find much to fascinate them in the different ethnic groups situated along the Omo River, with marvelous scenery, wild life and bird life as an added bonus. Before reaching the Omo, just before Arba Minch, boat trip at Lake Chamo, a visit can be to Chencha, the home of the Dorze people, famed for their bamboo bee-hive shaped houses and their weaving skills. Further south are the Konso, noted for their intricately terraced hillsides and the wooden totems with which they adorn their cemeteries. Along the Omo River a variety of different ethnic groups are found, such as the Tsemay, Arbore, Hamer, Galeb(Dasenech), Karo, Benna, Ari, and Mursi, Bume(Nyangatom), Bodi, Surma, Yabello, Yirgalem(Sidama), whose contact with the modern world has come only within the last two to three decades. (The Omo, flowing for nearly 1000 km from the highlands south west of Addis Ababa to Lake Turkana in Kenya, provides excellent opportunities for white water rafting.)
For a trip to the Omo Valley at least 8 days should be allowed. For those who prefer to camp Village Ethiopia can provide well fitted camping materials, with cooks and full board, and toilet and shower tents.
In the far west in Gambella, along the Baro river can be found the Anuak, Nuer and Misingir people. Gambella can be reached by air, or by a 2 day road trip.
Nearer Addis Ababa, and easily accessed from Village Ethiopia’s lodge at Bilen, are the Afar, most of whom are still pastoralists and who can pack up and carry their houses on the backs of camels.
While traveling to south, market is worthy to be attended by visitors as it offers a chance of seeing more than one tribe at a time, different cultural phenomena and a good chance of taking photos and for this please take a look at on the market days.
- Monday – Turmi, Kako, Konso
- Tuesday &Saturday – Dimeka, Jinka
- Wednesday: Konso
- Thursday – Chencha (afternoon), Konso, Key Afer (the best of all traditional market in South Omo Valley)
- Saturday – Weito, Chencha Dimeka, Erbore, Yabello, Jinka, Weito