Southern Ethiopia is a canvas ripped in two. Its landscape is being torn apart by the Great Rift Valley, leaving a trail of lakes where you can go see crocodiles, hippos and birds – or just drink in the scenery from your hotel.
Move east and the Bale Mountains offer rewarding treks across a plateau amid Afro-alpine plants and rare wildlife. It’s here you’ll encounter the world’s rarest canid, the Ethiopian wolf.
But it’s the tribes of the Lower Omo Valley, such as the lip-stretching Mursi and body-painting Karo, that often leave the deepest impression on visitors. To meet them 20 years ago was nearly unheard of. To travel here today is very easy, but still a privilege. And if you really want to get away from it all, you can cross the Omo River and explore the Omo National Park, which feels like the world's end.