The southern part of Ethiopia gives a visitor a unique experience different from the Northern part of the country. The road to south Ethiopia takes you through the Ethiopian Rift valley, which bisects it in to two. Along the rift there are a string of about seven lakes dotting the floor of the valley and rich in fauna and flora -Lake Zeway, Lake Langano, Lake Abijata, Lake Shalla, Lake Awassa, Lake Abaya, and Lake Chamo. There are other crater lakes and wet lands as you set out of Addis Ababa along this route and encircling the Town of DebreZeit,. Some of them are Lake Koka, Lake Bishoftu, Lake Hora ,Lake Koriftu , Lake Bishoftu Gudda, and Lake Cheleleka . Lake Abijata and Shalla are found with in the territory of Abjata-shalla National Park.
The south Eastern part of Ethiopia is Known for its Beautiful National park (Bale Mountain) and a natural network of cave(Soaf Omar) believed to be about 15 Kilometers long. In Bale Mountains National park a visitor can trek through the pretty lowlands and spot the abundant life or search the high plateau for the world’s rarest canid , the Ethiopian wolf and many more. Along the route to Bale there is established trek route at Adaba and Dodolla. It is heaven for horse riders too and for those who want a greater challenge the trekking connects to the Bale Mountains Park.
To the south west of Ethiopia, in what is known as the Lower Omo valley, there are a vast number of ethnic groups at short distances from one another. The Omo region is believed to be the last great wilderness on the African continent. The Omo River, which waters the region, empties itself in Lake Turkana; the fourth largest lake in East Africa. Some of tribes that live in the Omo and the surrounding region are the Dorze, the Konso, the Tsemai, the Benna,the Ari, the Mursi, the Hamar, the Erbore, the Geleb ( also Known as Dassanech ),the Karo, the Bume ( also known as Nyangatom ) and the Surma.
In the south west of Ethiopia the most important National parks include Netch sar National Park, Mago National park and Omo National park.
The jumping of Bulls is known by the Hamar as Ukuli Bula while it is known by the Karo as Pilla. When preparing himself for the pilla, the Karo initiate (halsh) goes either to the Hamar, the Bana,the Bashada,the Nyangatom ,or the Dassanetch to collect cow. The cow brought from the Dassanetch and Nyangatom are not taken back to their owners but rather remain as gifts for the initiate whereas those cows collected from the Hamar,Bana,and Bashada are returned to the owners after the pilla.
At the same time girls from the clan of the initiate leave for Hamar and Bana to exchange sorghum for milk and butter that are essential for the initiation ritual. The initiate is made to eat porridge mixed with fresh milk and changes his hairstyle.
The bull jumping ceremony is some how similar to that of the Hamar with few differences. When the initiate leaps over the cow, if he falls down from the back of the cow, his failure is attributed to his having had too many sexual relations with girls which is believed to have taken his strength. Women and girls from the clan of the initiate who prepare themselves to be whiped by the Maz tie small bells (tongotonge) on to their waists and hold small calabashes (Gungulo), which is normally used to pour out water and coffee from a pot. But on the day of the initiation the calabash is used to smash the Maz in their foreheads thereby triggering them for the whipping.The Karo pilla is finalized after leaping four times ,however,the number of leaps in the Hamar and Bana is undefined.
The Karo have clan owned Mulda which is quite important in the bull jumping ritual.
The Bume are Nilotee (Nilo-Saharan) people who occupy the land which is found immediately south of the Omo National Park. Their present day territory is boarderd by the kwegu and the Mursi in the North, the Karo & the Hamar in the east, the Dassanetch in the South, and the Topossa of the Sudan in the west.
Sof Omar is one of the most spectacular and extensive underground cave system in the world. Formed by the Weib River, as it changed its course in the distant past and carved out a new channel (a network of about 16 Kms ) through limestone foothills, the Sof Omar system is an extraordinary natural phenomenon of breathtaking beauty.