Horseback riders trail riding in Ethiopia
Africa > Ethiopia

Riding holidays and horseback adventures in Ethiopia

Explore a country steeped in history, discover its endemic flora and fauna and ride local Oromo horses on an equestrian journey across Ethiopia. From the Rift Valley to the jagged rock formations of the Bale mountains, and the medieval cave churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia is full of surprises. Adventurous riders will find in this country, which is also the cradle of mankind, a hidden gem set right in the heart of Africa. Our riding expeditions in Ethiopia will take you across high plateaus, from rugged canyons to tropical forests, with the chance to meet the last of the Oromo shepherds a catch a glimpse of the elusive Abyssinian wolf.
See all our trips
  • Group of riders cantering on an Ethiopian trail riding expedition
    Cantering through the Ethiopian highlands
  • Riders riding down  a small canyon during a horseback holiday in Ethiopia
    This is an adventurous trail riding holiday
  • Oromo horse in Ethiopia
    You ride local Oromo horses - small but sturdy and very sure-footed
  • Riding Oromo style in Ethiopia
    You ride in the traditional Oromo style
  • Church of St. George in Lalibela, Ethiopia
    Church of St. George in Lalibela, Ethiopia
  • Traditions in Ethiopia
    Traditions in Ethiopia

Visa & Health


UK CITIZENS (citizens of other countries please contact us):
You will need a visa to enter Ethiopia. E-visas can be purchased in advance from the Ethiopian Immigration website. Visas on arrival are also available for tourists at Addis Ababa (Bole) International airport, at a cost of approximately $US50 for 1 month and $US75 for 3 months. It’s recommended that you bring US$ cash to pay for this. All other categories of visitor must get a visa from the Ethiopian Embassy closest to their place of legal residence before travelling. The penalty for overstaying your tourist visa is $US10 per person per day. If you overstay you will have to pay your fine in full before you are able to leave Ethiopia.

To obtain a business visa for Ethiopia you may require prior approval from the Ethiopian Department of Immigration and Nationality Affairs office before submitting your application to the Ethiopian Embassy. You should check the latest instructions with your nearest Ethiopian Embassy.

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Ethiopia. Make sure you have two blank pages in your passport on arrival.


Addresses of consulates

  • Ambassade d’Ethiopie
    35, avenue Charles FLOQUET
    75 007 Paris
    Tél. : 01 47 83 83 95
    Fax : 01 43 06 52 14
  • British Embassy in Ethiopia
    Comoros Street Addis Ababa 858 Ethiopia
    Addis Ababa
    Tél. : +251 11 6170100
    Fax :
  • Embassy of Ethiopia, London
    17 Princes Gate, Knightsbridge, London SW7 1PZ, UK
    SW7 1PZ London
    Tél. : +44 20 7589 7212
    Fax :
  • Ambassade d'Ethiopie
    Rue de Moillebeau 56
    Case postale 338
    1211 Genève 19
    Tél. :
    Fax : 022 919 70 29
  • Ambassade d'Ethiopie
    Avenue de Tervuren 231
    1150 Bruxelles
    Tél. : +32 (0) 2 771 32 94
    Fax : +32 (0) 2 771 49 14
  • Ambassade de France en Éthiopie
    Quartier Kabana
    PO Box 1464
    Addis Abeba
    Tél. : +251 (0) 11 140 00 0
    Fax :


There are a number of hospitals in Addis Ababa but only private hospitals offer a reasonable standard of basic care for minor health problems. Dentistry options are especially lacking. Ambulance services are also limited. Outside the capital medical facilities remain extremely poor. You should carry a comprehensive medical pack when travelling out of Addis Ababa. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad, evacuation by air ambulance and repatriation. You should contact your insurance / medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

UK health authorities have classified Ethiopia as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre.

Malaria is common in areas of the country below 2,000 metres above sea level. Addis Ababa sits at 2,400 metres but a number of sites popular with tourists are below 2,000.


It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Budget and money

Ethiopian birr.

Telephone and jetlag

Country code: + 251

Country information

Country ID

Officially: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Capital: Addis Ababa
Area: Total: 1,104,300km2
Water (%) 0.7
Population: 105 million (2017)
Official languages: Amharic, Afar, Amharic, Gurage, Harari, Oromo, Tigrinya, Sidamo, Somali...
Religion: Christianity (62.8%)
Islam (33.9%)
Traditional faiths (2.6%)
Others (0.7%)
Political regime: Federal Democratic Republic
President : Sahle-Work Zewde
Prime Minister: Abiy Ahmed Ali
Ethnic groups: Oromo, Amhara, Somali, Tigray, Omotic, etc.

Socio-economical data

88.00 USD Billion


Early Ethiopia:

It is believed people have lived in Ethiopia for thousands of years, The first well known kingdom in Ethiopia rose in the first century AD. By 100AD the Axum kingdom in Ethiopia traded with Rome, Arabia and India. The kingdom became Christina in the 4th century AD.

In 642 the Muslims conquered the whole coast of North Africa converting it to Islam. Ethiopia however, remained Christian but it was cut off from Europe by the Muslims.

In the middle Ages Ethiopia flourished and the famous church of St George was built around 1200. On the 16th century the country declined in power and importance but survived. At that time the Portuguese reached Ethiopia by sea.

Modern Ethiopia:

In the late 19th century the Europeans divided Africa between them. However, when the Italians tried to invade Ethiopia in 1896, they were defeated by the locals at the battle of Adwa.

In 1935 the Italians tried invading once again and eventually overran Ethiopia. In 1941 the British liberated the country and emperor Haile Selassies restored his throne.

6 years later Communists seized power in Ethiopia and the emperor was deposed and murdered. The communist leader Mengistu introduced a tyrannical regime.

In 1991 the communist regime was overthrown and in 1993 Eritrea became independent. A new constitution was introduced in 1994 and elections were held in 1995.

During the early 21st century the economy of Ethiopia began to grow rapidly. Even though it still remains a poor country, there is reason to remain optimistic about its future.



A major portion of Ethiopia lies on the Horn of Africa, which is the easternmost part of the African landmass. Its topography ranges from deserts along its eastern border, the Choke and Mandebo mountains ranges in its central core, and tropical forests in the southern reaches.

Ethiopia is dominated by a vast highland complex of mountains, plateaus and lakes, all divided by the Great Rift Valley that's surrounded by lowlands and steppes.

Not to be missed are the toothy-edged Simien Mountains to the northeast of Gonder, one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.

Lake Tana in the north is the source of the Blue Nile.

The highest point of Ethiopia is Ras Dejen at 14,928 ft (4,550 m); the lowest point of the country is the Afar Depression at −410 ft (-125 m).


Ethiopia has a large variety of indigenous plant and animal species. In some areas, the mountains are covered with shrubs such as pyracantha, jasmine, poinsettia, and a varied assortment of evergreens. Caraway, carcade, coriander, incense, myrrh, and red pepper are common. The lakes in the Great Rift Valley region abound with numerous species of birds, and wild animals are found in every region. Among the latter are the lion, elephant, bush pig, gazelle, antelope, ibex, kudu, dik-dik, oribi, reed buck, wild ass, zebra, hyena, baboon, and numerous species of monkey.


There are almost 20 national parks found in Ethiopia in 4 directions of the country with different geographical backgrounds and climates, Ethiopia is one of the top world country who have many National parks. Also Ethiopia recorded 6 wild life sanctuaries:- Didessa Wildlife sanctuary, Babile Wildlife sanctuary, Kuni-Muktar Wildlife sanctuary, Senkelle Wildlife sanctuary, Stephanie Wildlife sanctuary and Yabello Wildlife sanctuary. These national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are the home of 279 mammal species among those 31 are endemic to Ethiopia.

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