Equus Ethiopia


Equus Ethiopia is a specialist riding company offering unique access to Ethiopia’s culture through its treks, expeditions and trail rides - and now providing riding instruction as well as camping at its beautiful forested compound just 25 minutes from Addis Ababa.

Whether you want to experience a simple overnight between friends at our forested compound in Solulta, riding and camping in the Entoto Hills, or would like to ride out for a luxury four day journey to a medieval forest or set out for the Rift Valley in a expedition across the Ethiopian highlands, or just enjoy a fast paced ride through the eucalyptus forests of Entoto - if you want to access Ethiopia's landscapes and peoples from the back of a horse, Equus Ethiopia is the place for you.

Riding through the high plateaus of Abyssinia, from the edge of the Blue Nile to the Rift Valley escarpment, accompanied by bilingual guides and local horsemen. Private & set date departures – Certain rides suitable for families – Many extension options available to combine with a riding vacation – Since 2000 (Ethiopian Julian Calendar). Have a quick look at our FAQs if you like and then contact us to discuss options.

The Zara Yacob Trail, from the montane forest of Menagesha Suba to the Eastern Escarpment in Ankober, is Equus' new venture. Equus wishes to reestablish this historical route from the 15th century that covers some of Ethiopia´s most suitable riding ground - Trail blazed just before the 2012 rainy season, we will ride this route for the first time in March 2013 with an intrepid group gathered from all over the world! For more information download our info sheet about the 10 day Zara Yacob Trail with prices, dates and the day by day route

Gugs riders The Equus crew and family at the stables Trek riders Local saddle Ethiopian landscape

Zara Yacob Trail: taking us from the montane forest of Menagesha Suba to the west of Addis Ababa to the Rift Valley, this ride encompasses the indigenous forest of Menagesha Suba, the high plateau of Shoa and the Muger River Gorge, the Monastery of Debre Libanos and the Eastern Escarpment's Rift Valley with its views of the Danakil Depression. We get to see the typical Abyssinian lifestyle and camp every night together with farming communities and witness their lives first hand. Lots of cantering and diverse landscapes.

2013 Trek dates as follows:

  • 11-20 January
  • 8-17 February
  • 10-19 May
  • 1-10 Nov
  • 6-15 Dec

All treks ten days with eight days in the saddle, with first day upon arrival visiting Addis Ababa, and last day travelling back to Addis Ababa from Eastern Rift. Numerous extensions possible.

Trail rides: just 25 minutes from the capital city, we have trail rides going out every day of the year. Our horses are soft and well trained and Equus is happy to welcome beginners as well as advanced riders. From Monday to Friday, we organise two trail rides per day, the first from 10 am to 12 pm, the second from 2 to 4 pm. On Saturdays and Sundays, we have three rides: 10 am to 12 pm, 12.30 to 2.30 pm, and 3 to 5 pm. All trail rides are 2 hour in lengh and cost 400 birr for adults and 200 birr for children. You can also take a full day hack with Equus, in the hills or the highlands. These leave the stables at 10 am and come back at 4 pm. This full day outing (which you can combine with a night camping if you like) costs 950 birr for adults and 475 birr for children. We include a simple packed lunch with the price. There are also ride packages and memberships available if you want to ride with us regularly. If you need help with car hire, please consult with us. You can also use public transport. For more information please contact us.

2 & 4 day and custom treks: we offer two day and four day treks from our beautiful base in Solulta, over the Entoto Hills and out onto the highland plains. We are happy to organize family outings and custom rides and events. For more information please contact us.

Camping overnights at our forested compound in the Entoto: For people who don't want to go on a mobile trek but would still like to enjoy some riding on two consecutive days, or who just want to camp and enjoy the wildlife, this is a great experience which is easy to organise. In fact, we can even do this for just one person! A night camping including dinner and breakfast costs 450 birr for adults and 200 birr for children. Please note that we do not normally provide sleeping bags. If you need help with car hire, please consult with us. You can also use public transport. For more information please contact us.

Unknown to the world, the high plateaus of Ethiopia rate as some of the best riding ground in the world; the Ethiopians who inhabit these plateaus are a people of the horse to this day: you’ll get to see the country and experience it like no one else, and Ethiopians themselves will receive you like their own when they see you riding - like them.

Forget the images of a parched and dried up land: this is the quintessential Ethiopia of babbling brooks, yellow flowers and smiling pastors. Our mounts, the famed Abyssinian horse – renowned to this day for their polo playing abilities, will whisk you over the plains, from Orthodox monastery to old forest, from rock hewn church to high mountain pass.

The Rainy Season

Equus Ethiopia offers a mixture of rides, from a two hour weekend trail ride to to a day outing to visit a local horse market (we’re just a 25 mn car drive from Addis Ababa) to a week long trip to a rare Montane forest founded by a medieval emperor, to one or two week exploratory treks over the high plateaus in which we’ll witness first hand the life of the peoples of Ethiopia. We can also organize camping and a local stay in a peasant compound near our stables.

Yves Stranger, a British national who started Equus Ethiopia together with his wife Lydia Fantaye, has lived in the country for ten years. He likes to think that he speaks fluent Amharic – the national language – and has been riding since his childhood in the south of France where he used to shepherd goats on horseback. He writes a blog about Abyssinian horses and other aethiopica on Uthiopia.com.

Whether you prefer a short trail ride to enjoy Ethiopia at a leisurely pace, the charm of an overnight in a centuries old forest, the adventure of a week long trek, an expedition to some far flung part of the country or would like to brush up on your riding skills, if you want to mix horses and Ethiopia, and to experience the real country, Equus is the place for you.