MAGO NATIONAL PARK
Located about 782 kilometers south of Addis Ababa and on east bank of Omo river, the 2,162 square kilometers of this park are divided by the Mago River, a tributary of the Omo, into two parts. To the west is the Tama Wildlife Reserve, with the Tama river defining the boundary between the two. To the south is the Murle Controlled Hunting Area, distinguished by Lake Dipa which stretches along the left side of the lower Omo. The park office is 115 kilometers north of Omorate and 26 kilometers southwest of Jinka. The park has about 200km internal roads, which lead to the different attractions sites of the park. All roads to and from the park are unpaved.
Most easily accessed from the town of Jinka, Mago National Park is mainly savannah, with some forested areas around the rivers. It was set up to conserve the large numbers of plains animals in the area, particularly buffalo, giraffe, and elephant. Also seen here are topi and lelwel hartebeest, as well as lion, leopard, Burchell's zebra, gerenuk, and greater and lesser kudu. The birds are also typical ofthe dry grassland habitat, featuring bustards, hornbills, weavers, and starlings. Kingfishers and her-ons feed in and around the Neri River, which provides an alternative habitat.
The major environments in and around the Mago Park are the rivers and riverine forest, the wetlands along the lower Mago and around Lake Dipa, the various grasslands on the more level areas, and scrub on the sides of the hills. Open grassland comprises about 9% of the park's area. The largest trees are found in the riverine forest beside the Omo, Mago and Neri. Areas along the lower Omo (within the park) are populated with a rich diversity of ethnic groups, including the Aari, Banna, Bongoso, Hamer, Karo, Kwegu, Male and Mursi peoples. The park's perhaps best known attraction are the Mursi, known for piercing their lips and inserting disks made of clay.