Reasons to go

This journey into one of Africa’s last unexplored frontiers will bring you so close to indigenous tribes. Since the discovery of human remains dating back nearly 2.5 million years, the Lower Valley region has been as UNESCO World Heritage site. Additional reasons to plan a trip to this wonderous area include:

  • This is an area like unlike any other place on earth, with an extraordinary density of different tribes inhabiting such a small area that have evolved over millennia. 
  • The fortified hilltop settlements, terraced fields and anthropomorphic grave-markers of the Konso Cultural Landscape have led to its inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Thought to be 5,000 years old, the Shappe Rock Engravings, 15 minutes drive from the well-equipped town of Dilla, depict a herd of around 70 cattle on a vertical rock face..
  • Nech Sar National Park protects a spectacular landscape of mountains, lakes and forests, and it harbours 70-plus mammal species, as well as prodigious crocodiles and the endemic Nechisar nightjar - the latter arguably the world's rarest bird.

Getting to the Omo

Omo valley pic 2

If you’re looking to explore this culturally diverse and wondrous region, we’d recommend travelling through Jinka and out of the city of Arba Minch, or vice versa.

By Car

Whilst we’d usually recommend flying, Jinka is located 780km south of Addis Ababa and takes ~10 hours to drive. Arba Minch is 435 km away and takes ~7 hours. If driving, we highly recommend stopping at the Nechsar National Park, which is one of the finest in the country.  From Jinka or Arba Minch, you’ll need a car to visit the tribes. 

Flight to Jinka or Arba Minch

Ethiopian Airlines have now a regular flights to both Arba Minch and Jinka. Both take just over an hour from Addis Ababa. See our map of common flight routes here

When to visit

Weather is one of the most important things to consider when visiting the Lower Omo Valley, since there are areas that are inaccessible during the rainy season, which lasts from March to June. The best time to travel is at the end of June through September or from November until early March. October tends to have slight rains that may at times hinder accessibility. Temperatures in the Omo Valley range between 14°C and 41°C over the course of the year, with the hottest months of the year being June, July and August.

Omo valley pic 1

What to take

When visiting the Omo, consider bringing the following with you: 

  • Mosquitos are abundant in this hot and low altitude area, as such we'd advise carry mosquito repellent and to take malaria medication. As ever, please consult your physician before making a trip to Ethiopia to ensure you get the right advice.
  • As you will likely be walking around villages in the sun, do bring sun cream and a hat.
  • As with an other other remote area, there’s a chance you’ll end up in darkness due to a lack of power. Don't forget to pack headlamp.
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Brilliant Says

Brilliant's Brilliant Trips in Omo Valley

Why Brilliant?

  1. We know Ethiopia: 

    We’ve spent a lot of time finding, testing, selecting and working alongside the best guides and operators to ensure your trip runs seamlessly from start to finish. All of our guides know Ethiopia like the back of their hand so you can rest assured knowing you're being looked after by the very best.  

  2. No such thing as 'good enough':

    We live for feedback and are constantly improving our services. Our extensive experience exploring Ethiopia combined with the lessons we've learnt from travellers gone by means we know what is suitable for whom, which type of trip makes sense for you and how get the most out of your time in Ethiopia. 

  3. A trusted voice in the crowd: 

    With thousands of tourists visiting the Ethiopia every year, the guides and operators vary from the fantastic, to the bad and ugly.  Let us help you organise the hassle free and adventure filled holiday you've always dreamed of.    

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