SNNPRS is one of the federal regional states of Ethiopia en-dowed with a remarkably rich cultural, Historical and Natural diversity The presence of more than 50 nations Nationalities and peoples (70% of the country) with an exceptional variety of ceremonies, festivals, celebrations, rituals, and other living expressions. Moreover, two of the world heritages sites; the Great Rift Valley Lakes; wildlife protected areas; hot springs; waterfalls, the south-western natural forest; Konso Cultural village, Gedeo agro-forestry practices, together with the diverse cultural resources set the region among the top priority attractions.
Wildlife Protected Areas: The Region holds seven National Parks (Namely: Mago, Maze and Chebra-Churchura, Gibe-Sheleko, Loka Abaya, Nech-Sar, and Omo), two wildlife re-serve(Tama & Chelbi), two Controlled Hunting Areas (Welishet-Sala & Murule) and different community based wildlife conservation areas.
The wildlife resource of the Region are mainly restricted in Wildlife Protected Areas, Namely:: seven National Parks, two wildlife Reserves, six Controlled Hunting Areas and ten Important Bird Areas as well as different community based wildlife conservation areas. So far 127 mammals (46% of the country) and 574 birds (65% of the country) have been recorded together with some endemic, near endemic and/or globally threatened species.
Rivers and Lakes
The Region is fortunate in possessing a number of water basins which is certainly one of the reasons for the rich biological diversity. Omo (one of the big river in the country), Gojeb, Gibe, Bilate, Segen, Akobo and Woyto Rivers and Rift Valley Lakes such as Abaya (the largest of the Great Rift Valley Lakes of Ethiopia), Chamo (the most productive), Hwassa, Chew Bahir and Rudolf are found within SNNPRS. These water bodies are home for crocodiles, Hippopotamus, and diverse fish’s and waterfowl species. Besides, the lakes are suit-able for sport fishing, boating and for other recreational purposes.
Cold and hot springs
The region has numerous natural springs as well as holly and mineral waters which are curative & attractive. The Forty-Springs “Arba-Minch” ( Gamo-Gofa), Wondo-Genet & Gidabo Hot-Springs (Sidama), Arto Hot-Springs (Halaba), Dadiben Hot-Springs (Kaffa), Loqe and Jatu Hot-Springs (Gurage) Wejemta and Usinka Hot-Springs (Benchi-Maji Zone.
Historical and man made attractions
A number of ancient monasteries and Churches are known in the region. Most of the Ortodox Churches ark of tabernacles came from the northern parts of the country and are built on the top of hills.
Cultural and Ethnic Attractions
SNNPR one of the most important regional states of the country embraces about 56 nationalities that have their own languages and cultures. The ethnic diversity is high in South-Omo Administrative Zone, where there are 16 Nationalities. The peoples have diverse & unspoiled culture in their life style, body decoration, dressing, wearing jewelries and way of life. Each of the nationalities of the region has their own, weeding, burial, religious and other cultural ceremonies. Some of nationalities are known of their special cotton cloths weaving and dressing, in addition to that making bracelets, nickels, earrings and bead. The stone and wood curving techniques of the Konso nationalities are very impressive and attractive for tourists.
Erbore: very colorful people
Erbore are a very exciting people. Their happy way of life is rooted in their deep belief that their singing and dancing eliminates negative energy and with the negative energy gone, the tribe will prosper.
Although relatively large, Erbore is far more rustic and unaffected than many similarly sized towns in South Omo. The Erbore build their huts slightly oval in shape. The Erbore have a bodily mutilation of raised dots on the chest and abdomen. The Erbore believe in a Supreme Being creator and father of men whom they call Waq.
The women of the tribe cover their heads with a black cloth and are known to wear very colorful necklaces and earrings. Young children will wear a shell type hat that protects their heads from the sun. Body painting is done by the Erbore using locally made colors. Traditional dancing is practiced by the tribe and wealth is measured by the number of cattle a tribesman owns.
Mursi or Mursu
The Mursi or Mursu people are the most popular in Ethiopia's Omo Valley. They are well known for their unique lip plates. They are settled around the Omo River and in the Mago National Park since they have to move accordingly with the climate. They herd cattle and grow crops along the banks of the Omo River.
The Mursi women paint their bodies and face in white. They also are the ones who wear the lip plates. Women of the Mursi tribe may have their lips cut at the age of 15 or 16. A small clay plate is then inserted into the lip. Through the years, larger plates are inserted into the lip causing it to stretch. The larger the clay plate, the more the woman is worth before she gets married. It is said that the clay plates were originally used to prevent capture by slave traders… this region have a lot of other tribes other than the one listed above.