The Omo is one of Ethiopia’s largest rivers, see it below on map of Omo Valley prepared by Omo Valley Travel. It flows south for over seven hundred kilometers from the Shewan highlands to the northern end of Lake Turkana. Some of the tribes live alongside the Omo River and depend on it for their livelihood. They have developed complex socio-economic and ecological practices intricately adapted to the harsh and often unpredictable conditions of the region’s semi-arid climate.
The annual flooding of the Omo River guarantees food security for some of the tribes along its banks, especially as rainfall is low and erratic. They depend on it to practice ‘flood-retreat cultivation’ using the rich silt left along the river banks by the receding waters. Having reached its maximum level, the river recedes rapidly during September and October, which is when people start preparing the recently flooded area for flood-retreat cultivation. Some also practice rain fed shifting cultivation, growing sorghum, maize, and tobacco. Some tribes, particularly the Kwegu and Kara, hunt game and fish.
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The natural beauty of the area is unsurpassed. The diverseness of the people, the languages, the traditions and the landscape (in a comparatively small area) is unequalled anywhere on this vast continent. The untainted attire and intrinsic majesty of the people living in an age-old traditional manner will touch the hearts of all who come here and the images will stain the visitors’ memory long after they return home.