The Mursi, Hamar, Banna, Kara, Arbore and many other tribes of the Omo River Valley in Southwestern Ethiopia live essentially as they have for the past thousands of years. However, the new roads that has been put in the past few years to access large new sugar plantations and other projects have brought tourists into this formerly inaccessible region. The tribes have quickly learned how to pursue tourist money by selling trinkets and collecting fees for photos. If one tries to avoid the monetary exchange for photos, one is pummeled with tomatoes, plastic bottles or even stones. However, once the transactions are clear, most of the tribes are very open to tourists and accept them into their rituals and ceremonies with great enthusiasm.
This life style is going to change soon, however. In addition to the influx of tourists, a new dam is almost finished that will block the Omo River from flooding in the rainy season. The traditional practice of alluvial farming in the floodplains will have to be replaced with irrigation and more sophisticated farming methods.
If you have ever wanted to visit this region, it would be advisable to plan a trip soon. In only a few years, it will surely be a different place.