Southern Ethiopia

The Southern Great Rift Valley and the Cultural Mosaic

Ethiopia is bisected by The Great rift Valley, a 6000km long through that stretches south from the red sea to Mozambique, and ranks as the only terrestrial feature On the Planet visible to lunar astronauts. The tectonic drift that created this vast chasm Started 20 million years ago, and has been accompanied by regular Volcanic activity which can be seen in many hot springs, dead craters and live calderas and rich Flora and Fauna Far lower in altitude than the mountains that flank it, The southern rift valley is the most Classically African parts of Ethiopia, Thanks to its warm Climate and cover of barbed acacia. Wood land and Open savannah.

Central Rift Valley Lakes

Renowned for their Stunning aquatic and dry country birdlife, the five fresh water and soda takes of the central rift Valley offer a host of other attractions. For swimming and the beach Lake Langano, with its up market resorts, is a popular weekend retreat from Addis Ababa and great place to break up a longer Southern safari. For those seeking a more urban break, Hawassa is a bustling regional capital offering superb Lake Side recreational and conference facilities. Lake Zaway’s Tullu Guddo Island, where the monastery of Mariam Debre Tsion established in 842 AD to provide temporary sanctuary to the Ark of the Covenant- houses a library of priceless ancient manuscripts, notably an illuminated 14th century tome vividly portraying 19 saints. Inevitably though, it is the lakes birdlife that most impresses the larder mouth-pelicans and marabou Storks that gorge themselves at Ziway’s main boat Jetty and Hawassa’s lively fish market, the long legged-Jacanas and pygmy geese that haunt the lily-covered bays, the parrots and fish eagles that nest in the lake Side forests, and truly One of Africans great ornithological spectacles. The hundreds of thousands of beautiful Pink-hued flamingoes wading the Shallows of Lake Abijatta.

South Omo

Centered On the pretty green town of Jinka, South Omo is Ethiopia’s most culturally and linguistically diverse administrative zone, supporting 16 different ethnic groups who all staunchly keep to their unique traditional Customs and beliefs. The Mursi, inhabitants of south Omo are remarkable for their body art. Hamer women are notable for their long fringed henna-dyed dreadlocked Hairdo, while the men must perform a unique bull Jumping ritual as an initiation into adulthood. The Karo, who live along Side the Omo River as it flows along the Zones western boundary, are celebrated for their Colorful ritual body painting. The best way to explorer south Omo is to visit a few of its Small towns on their specific market days. When a diverse mix of colorfully adorned Villagers can be seen buying and selling wares. Also within south Omo the little Visited lower Omo valley UNESCO world heritage site, set Close to where the Omo River empties in to lake Turkana (Rudolf), protects a number of important paleontological sites.