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Omo National Park

Less accessible but offering exciting opportunities for the adventurous traveler is the Omo National Park in the south-west bank of the Omo River and was established as a national park in 1966. The park has approximately 2,527 square miles of vegetation and wildlife where elands, cheetahs, giraffes, elephants, rhinos and many other animals and over 306 species of birds can be seen. This is also a wonderful area for exploring the native tribes of Ethiopia which are the Dizi, Me'en, Mursi, Nyangatom and Suri can be found there.  

The lower reaches of the Omo river were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980, after the discovery (in the Omo Kibish Formation) of the earliest known fossil fragments of Homo sapiens, which have been dated circa 195,000 years old.

The Omo remains are a collection of hominid bones discovered between 1967 and 1974 at the Omo Kibish sites near the Omo River, in Omo National Park.The bones were recovered by a scientific team from the Kenya National Museums directed by Richard Leakey and others. The remains from Kamoya's Hominid Site (KHS) were called Omo 1 and those from Paul's Hominid Site (PHS) Omo

Parts of the fossils are the earliest to have been classified by Richard Leakey as Homo sapiens. In 2004, the geologic layers around the fossils were dated, and the authors of the dating study concluded that the "preferred estimate of the age of the Kibish hominids is 195 ± 5 ka [thousand years ago]", which would make the fossils the oldest known Homo sapiens remains. In a 2005 article on the Omo remains, Nature magazine said that, because of the fossils' age, Ethiopia is the current choice for the "cradle of Homo sapiens".