The Omo Valley and its fascinating ethnic peoples is nowadays one of the biggest tourist attractions in Ethiopia. The vast majority of visitors to this region focus on the easier to reach, safer and ethnically more diverse eastern side of the valley, but two new bridges across the Omo River have opened up this area that was, until very recently, a region filled with the spirit of pure, raw Africa.

This near roadless wilderness is the home of the Surmi – a people adorned with lip plates and spirit-like white paint, whose cattle-herding lifestyle remains, for the moment at least, fairly untouched by outside influences. To spend time with these people, experiencing a genuine slice of tribal African life, is an honour and a privilege.

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