A tribeswoman in a Hammar village on the Omo River in Ethiopia (Photo: David Hochman)

A tribeswoman in a Hammar village on the Omo River in Ethiopia (Photo: David Hochman)

The road to the Mursi heartland is long and best tackled one obstacle at a time. Just to call it a road is a stretch, really. Steve Turner, our guide from Kenya-based Origins Safaris, estimates it has been five or six years since the last vehicle drove this way. Far beyond any game preserve or luxury camp comforts, we are on our way to visit the “vanishing” tribes of Ethiopia’s Omo River Valley, one of Africa’s–and the world’s–last great undiscovered places.

The itinerary evolves as we go along. Our tag-team pair of Land Cruisers galumphs down the scrubby track at a hiker’s pace, and every hundred yards or so the vehicles stop short, the doors swing open, and out come the drivers and guides to stare blankly at whatever gully, tree or torrent is blocking our way. It’s hot–84 degrees and rising at 10 a.m.–and the tsetse flies are on to us.

Read more March 4 issue of Forbes Magazine

Share