Park is in South Omo Zone, 35km south-west of Jinka, the
administrative centre of the Zone.
The Mago River
flows through the centre of the park and joins the Neri River
at Mago swamp, before continuing southwards as the Usno to
join the Omo River. The river, which is 760 km long,
originates in the central, south-western highlands of
Ethiopia, where it is known as the Gibe. Its final destination
is Lake Turkana, close to the Kenyan border.
the 1960, the 2,162 km2 Mago National park is bisected by the
Mago Rivers which flow into the Omo in the park’s southern
boundary. Although Mago National Park share some 5km of its
southwestern boundary with Omo National Park, the protected
areas effectively form one ecological unit.
The altitude at the edge of the park is c.400 m. To the east
are the Mursi Hills, rising to over 1,600 m. North of the Neri
river are the Mago mountains with the highest point, Mt Mago,
at 2,528 m. The south-eastern quarter of the park is crossed
by many small streams and rivers. The headquarters for the
park are by the Neri River, near the entrance from Jinka. The
main habitats of the park and surrounding area are the rivers
and riverine forest, the wetlands of Mago swamp and Lake Dipa,
the bush land, savanna grassland and open grassland on the
more level areas, and bush land and scrub on the sides of the
hills. Open grassland comprises just 9% of the area, the rest
of the area being described as very dense. 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 Ari, Banna,
Bongoso, Hamer, Karo, Kwegu, Male and Mursi peoples. A number
of these groups live beside the river and make extensive use
of its natural resources and its levees to grow crops.