The mighty Omo River is found in the Southern Ethiopia, lying within a 1,560-meter deep gorge. It actually flows through south-west, offering a unique slice of this region of the country. Like the other major Ethiopian rivers, River Omo doesn’t cross borders and its course ends into Lake Turkana. The Omo River is a vast drainage basin, acting as a funnel by collecting all the water within the area and channeling it to a single point through constantly changing marvelous scenery.
The Omo River is ranked as one of the world’s great rafting trips. It offers very high demanding challenges.
The Omo River was first descended in 1973 by a group of American river runners who named their adventure the Sobek Expedition after the Crocodile River god of the Nile region. Since the Sobek Group, the mighty Omo River has been regularly hosting several thousands of high caliber rafting trip enthusiasts.
The most rewarding and adventurous white water rafting can be done over the Omo River, which is also a thrilling expedition to reach the Southern Omo Region. The first stage of rafting on Omo is not at all a fun fair ride as this rather gorgeous river has the most rapids with grabbing current and roaring foam. Baptizing you in spray, the River Omo shouts you forth and back as you struggle to conquered it. The river has this unique potential to offer you a high caliber yet most enjoyable rafting trip in the authentic wilderness of Africa.
As we continue rafting on the mighty River Omo, on the third and fourth days of our trip, some more challenging rapids with spectacular waterfalls are still awaiting us. However, the scenery gets lower and the river parades through the wide savannah with graceful tranquility, as we safely navigate to the Ethiopia-Sudan border settlement of Kibish, where the tireless Omo River flows on to feed Kenya’s Lake Turkana.
On to top of this adventurous tour of a life time, hiking up the river banks to waterfalls and to highland tribal villages and markets as well as fishing the Omo catfish which can exceed 5 feet and 50 pound, swimming in clear pools, showering under falls and soaking in hot springs are also some of the most thrilling activities of the trip.
The abundance of the region’s natural beauty is complemented by a variety of vegetations such as giant euphorbias, fragrant jasmine, rare orchids, the desert rose and classic acacias as well as by stunning African forest, bush and water bird species. Through out the expedition, we encounter numerous stunning wildlife such as hippos surfacing near the boats for a suspicious inspection, crocodiles basking in the sun, bushbuck silently taking an afternoon drink, mesmerized waterbuck staring as we float by, colobus monkeys flying through the trees, baboons barking from their cliffs. There is also a degree of possibility to view lions, leopards and wild dogs as well.
In the final days of the expedition in the remote zone of the Lower Omo Valley, a World Heritage Site, we have a chance to view and interact with the most fascinating, enjoyably fearsome and colorful tribes of Ethiopia, who inhabit on the banks of the mighty Omo River.
Other ingredients of the trip such as camping equipment, navigation devices such as GPS and Satellite phones, proper medical kits, experienced rafting guides, cooks and scouts as well as a variety of adequate food items and bottled water will be arranged with consideration of utmost importance.
A full Omo expedition takes 7 days though a 3 or 4-day trip can be arranged. Where the trip ends, 4WD vehicles will be waiting to take us to our next camping site. The following day, we drive out of the Lower Omo Valley, heading back to Addis Ababa with an over night stay at Arba Minch. A charter flight back to Addis Ababa can also be arranged. (A week or more rafting on the mighty Omo River)