Ethiopia: The Omo Valley Tribal Life Expedition Toggle

2020/2021 Dates coming soon
Please contact us for the updated Tour Fee and more Details

Located in the far southwest of Ethiopia is the Omo Delta, one of the last great tribal regions in the world.  Living in this remote but accessible area there are a vast number of tribal groups all within driving distance of one another.  Living in voluntary isolation, their culture, dress and language has remained intact.  Some 45 different languages are spoken, and tribes range from the many-thousand-strong Borena to the smaller Karo Tribe.  With the recently constructed road stretching from Addis Ababa to Arba Minch, this area is now open for exploration and tourism.  To anthropologists, the Omo Valley is a living museum;  to photographers the Omo Valley is a visually breathtaking experience.  Hairstyles, body paint, tattoos, scarification and lip plates take on meanings that distinguish each group.  Returning to the roots of humanity itself, these tribes are living rhythms of the seasons.

Seven distinct groups of people live in this area.  The Mursi are known for the clay lip plates that the women insert into their lower lips.  The Hamar women wear thick copper necklaces, have braided hairstyles colored with red ochre clay and high cheekbones.  The Karo are highly decorated with chalk.  The Konso are pastoralists and weavers.  We will travel through visually stunning landscapes, ranging from mountains to savannah.

Koka Suri Razor Blade
Suri Men with Ash

Visitation to the local tribes is a unique travel experience.  Photographic opportunities range from documenting the daily life of the tribes, portraiture and dramatic landscapes as well as the opportunity to enhance one’s compositional skills.  Until the 1970s, these tribes had no contact with the outside world.  Now you will have the opportunity to get to know them.  Traveling three photographers per Land Cruiser, eating the local food and staying at local accommodations makes this a very special experience.

This tour is geared to the photographer who enjoys exploring unique cultures and adventure photography.  If you are looking for all of the creature comforts from home, this may not be the tour for you.  Group cohesion, adaptability, a sense of humor and a curious mind are all important.  Past participants have found this expedition to be a  highlight of their days behind the camera.  At the conclusion of this trip, you will have told the story of these cultures as a photojournalist with images that are normally only seen on television or in magazines.

For the detailed itinerary, please click here.  For Tour Fee and Details, please contact us at

About the Instructor

John Rizzo

John Rizzo is an award-winning photojournalist and educator.  He has produced large projects for commercial clients such as the New York Mercantile Exchange, Corning Inc. and Pfizer.  His photographs have been published in The New York Times, Newsweek (US, China, Japan, China, Korea and Espanol,  The Overseas Press Club, Bloomberg, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Fortune and Money Magazines.  He has covered the events of 9/11,  Hurricane Katrina, The Russians of Brighton Beach, The Maasai of Northern Tanzania, The Joplin Tornado and many others.  He has been the principle at John Rizzo Photography since 1984.