Mago is as much a cultural park as a natural park, divided in half by the Mago River, a tributary of the Omo River. It was established in 1981 and consists largely of wooded grassland, bush land, and riverine vegetation. Altitudes range from 450m to 2,528m above sea level. The highest point in the park is Mount Mago. Annual rainfall varies from 400mm to 500mm, and heavy rains are expected in the months of March and April. Dry and hot months are expected in the months from November to March.
Location: 800km south of Addis Abeba and 40km southwest of Jinka in Southern Nations Regional State.
Things to See and Do: Mago is well known for its large buffalo herds. Other key species include lelwel hartebeest, giraffe, elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard, Burchell’s zebra, gerenuk, and beisaoryx. The Park is well-known for its rich cultural diversity, where many elements of the earliest nomadic lifestyles are still continued. Mursi, Bodi, and Kwegu are communities very well-known for their traditional cultures, lifestyles, colorful body decoration, ceremonies, festivals, and rituals. Birding opportunities include dusky bubbler, black-rumped waxbill, violet wood-hoopoe, Allen’s gallinule, striated heron, Egyptian plover, snowy-headed robin chat, and Pel’s fishing owl.
Getting There: The road from Jinka to the park covers a distance of 34km of all weather gravel road. The park has about 200km of internal roads, which lead to the different attraction areas of the park.
Where to Stay and Eat: Eco Omo Lodge, Jinka Resort, Orit Hotel, Goh Hotel, and NOC Fuel Station Guesthouse, all found in Jinka.