Omo National Park
Omo National Park is on the west bank of the Omo River in the lower Omo valley. The park is c.140 km long, stretching from the Neruze River in the south to the Sharum plain in the north, and up to 60 km wide where the Park Headquarters are situated.
Major land features include the Omo River on the east, the Maji Mountains and the Sharum and Sai plains in the north and west, and the Lilibai plains and Dirga Hills to the south.
There are three hot springs, and the park is crossed by a number of rivers, all of which drain into the Omo. The important Mui River crosses the middle of the park. Much of the park is at c.800m but the southern part by the Neruze river drops to 450 m. The highest peak in the Maji Mountains is 1,541 m. The edges of the Omo River, which borders the park along its length to the east, are covered by close stands of tall trees including Tamarindus indica, Ficus sycamorus and F. salicifolia, Kigelia aethiopium, Phoenix reclinata, Terminalia brownii, Acacia polyacantha and others.
A well-developed shrub layer combined with woody and herbaceous climbers provides dense cover along the edge of the river which, however, is frequently broken by incoming streams and the activities of the local people and animals (particularly Hippo). Away from the river edge, dense stands of Euphorbia tirucalli abound, the canopies shading standing water long after the rains have abated. The park also embraces extensive open grasslands interspersed with stands of woodland species, and bush vegetation.