Ethiopia covers a large portion of the Horn of Africa and shares borders with Sudan, Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti. For decades Ethiopia has been a legendary hunting destination, especially famous for its Elephants. It is also the only country in which one can find the Moutain Nyala as well as hunt the iconic Bongo or Markhor which are as beautiful and exciting as they are challenging.
Despite numerous political crisis and wars waged in the last twenty years, Ethiopia, unlike its neighbor Somalia, offers unique hunting possibilities in exciting and fascinating geographical regions.
Ethiopia has been celebrated by such famous writers as Raimbaud, Henry de Montfreid and François Guyot and it is useful to read the works of these authors before beginning a journey to this country. Even though these books have been written decades ago, they enable today's hunter to more fully experience the atmosphere of this beautiful country.
In addition to the magnificent Mountain Nyala (Tragelaphus Buxtoni), Ethiopia is home to a varied wildlife spread out over different regions in the country that include the following, the Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus Strepsiceros), Lesser Kudu (Tragelaphus Imberbis), Beisa Oryx (Oryx Gazella Beisa), Nile Buffalo (Syncerus Caffer Aequinoxialis), Neumann’s Hartebeest (Alcelaphus Buselaphus Lelwel), Defassa Waterbuck (Kobus Defassa), Harnessed Bushbuck (Tragelaphus Scriptus), Gerenuk (Litocranius Walleri), Bohor Reedbuck (Redunca Redunca), Grant’s Gazelle (Gazella Grantii), Soemmering’s Gazelle (Gazella Soemmeringi), Oribi (Ourebia Ourebi), Klipspringer (Oreotragus Oreotragus), Kirk Dik-Dik (Madoqua Kirki), Gunther’s Dik-Dik (Madoqua Guentheri Smithi), Giant Forest Hog (Hylochoerus Meinertzhagenii), Bushpig (Potamochoerus Porcus), Warthog (Phacochoerus Aethiopicus).
Among the predators are the distinguished Black-Backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas), Side-Striped Jackal (Canis Adustus) and Spotted Hyena (Crocuta Crocuta). Lions and Leopards are also available to hunt in Ethiopia and are present in large numbers. Hunting Lion is only done by tracking. Ethiopia issues more licenses for hunting Leopards than any other country in Africa.
Hunting in Ethiopia follows specific rules. A species can only be hunted in those areas that have been designated for hunting that particular species. Unfortunately for hunters interested in hunting Elephant or the Neumann's Hartebeest, these species can be hunted in theory only, no land has been designated for their hunting in Ethiopia as of yet.
There is no hunting season in Ethiopia and therefore it is theoretically possible to hunt all year round. The best time of year for hunting Ethiopia is from October through June. The months of July, August and September can be particularly wet.
The hunting areas in Ethiopia are spread out over a large portion of the country. The larger areas are mainly located in the southern half of the country and south of the capital, Addis Ababa. The Omo Valley, Bale province, Arusi mountains and Bale Mountains to the south as well as the Danakil region and the Afar region to the north are the most frequented hunting areas.
The hunting areas in Ethiopia are open territories, not fenced. Hunting concessions are leased and managed by hunting outfitters. There are less than half a dozen hunting outfitters in Ethiopia and the professional hunters are mostly English speaking (American, South African or white Zimbabwean).
Hunting in Ethiopia is done on foot except for the Mountain Nyala for which hunting is most often done on horseback. It should be known that Mountain Nyala hunting can be very physically demanding and is similar to hunting sheep or Bongo. It is often described as a "vertical" Bongo hunt due to the difficulty negotiating the terrain. While hunting Mountain Nyala, flying camps are often the standard. Elsewhere in Ethiopia the hunting camps are tent camps and are usually large and quite comfortable.
The hunting areas are accessible only by road from Addis Ababa and the drive is on average 5 to 10 hours depending upon the location of the area you will be hunting and the road conditions.