Hunting in Ethiopia

hunting in ethiopia

Ethiopian Hunting


Probably the most enticing aspect of hunting in Ethiopia is the abundance of lions and leopards available for the hunt.

Ethiopian authorities issue licenses for hunting leopards more than any other country in Africa.


hunting in ethiopia leopard

Ethiopia follows stringent rules for hunting and lions can only be hunted by tracking.



Each animal chosen to be hunted must only be targeted in areas designated by the Ethiopian authorities.

Although not banned from being hunted, Elephants and Neumann's Hartebeest, can currently not be targeted as there has yet to be a designated area chosen.

Unlike other places in the world, Ethiopia has no official hunting season, which makes it possible to hunt all year round.

Even though, since the months from July through to September are the rainy season, this could be an obstacle for hunting, therefore most opt for October through to June.

Designated hunting spots in Ethiopia cover a large part of the country's landmass and are not closed off or fenced in.

The areas which offer large expanses for hunting in Ethiopia are mostly located in the south of the country.

The most popular hunting spots in Ethiopia are the Afar region, the Denakil region, the Omo Valley, Arusi Mountains, Bale Province, and the Bale Mountains.

Hunting companies which are mostly made up of foreigners such as Americans, South Africans, and Zimbabweans take care of details for hunting in Ethiopia.

Aside from hunting the physically demanding Mountain Nyala on horseback, most hunting is done on foot.


hunting in ethiopia nyala

Often referred to as "vertical Bongo hunt", hunting the Mountain Nyala is a daunting task, with flying camps being a necessity.

Hunting other species in Ethiopia can be rather comfortable due to the tent camps that are large and well stocked.

At the moment, areas designated for hunting in Ethiopia can only be reached by driving, which from the capital city of Addis Ababa is on average about 5-10 hours, depending on the area.


Conservation in Ethiopia


According to the Forest and Wildlife Conservation and Development Proclamation # 192 of 1980, wildlife in Ethiopia is considered protected.

The laws in this proclamation and other legislation, along with obligations from various international conventions and treaties such as the CITES (Conventions on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) define the categories of wildlife and provides for their uses and protection.

Though still legal to hunt in Ethiopia, the list of available species to be targeted is revised often for the interests of conservation. There are eighteen areas designated and controlled for those who pay a fee to utilize an area.


4 Hunting Licenses Available in Ethiopia


1. General hunting license :

Enables the hunting of most crop raiding and smaller animals bush pig, dik-dik, duiker, hare, warthog, vervet monkey, Anubis baboon, and porcupine. The number to be hunted is limited and license is valid for the four months only.


2. Supplementary license :

Under this license some fifty different species of mammals, and ostrich are included. The most important are Menelik bushbuck, crocodile, elephant, grant's gazelle, Soemmering's gazelle, gerenuk, hippopotamus, klipspringer, greater and lesser kudu, leopard, mountain Nyala, Oribi, Beisa oryx, Bohor and Chandler's reedbuck, Defnassa waterbuck, serval cat, Caracal, gelada and hamadryad baboons, buffalo, and lion.


Hunting areas; the hunting area for most of the above mentioned plains game, leopard and lion is the Awash valley all year round.

Hunting for most species also occurs in the Omo valley in South West Kaffa from July to January.

Hunting for big games, such as buffalo and elephant, occurs in Gambella from December to May.

In Mizan Teferi (monatane forest areas of kaffa and Illubabor), Elephant and leopard hunting is from November to May.

Arissi, Bale, and parts of the Chercher Mountain are the area for Mountain Nyala and, Menelik's bushbuck. Hunting is possible all year round, but is not recommended from July to October because of rain and fog.

3. Game bird license :

Under this license, up to ten of any one species or all species combined are allowed in one day; ducks, francolins, geese, quail, partridge, guinea fowl, sand grouse, pigeons, and doves. The season is from 1st October to 31 March; the license is valid for two months.

4. Snipe license :

All species, except painted snipe (Rostratula bengalensis) can be hunted-up to thirty in one day. The season is from 10 November to 6 August. The license is valid for 3 months.


General Information on Hunting


A) Prohibited areas :

Hunting is strictly prohibited in National parks, wildlife reserves and sanctuaries. Hunting without a permit in a controlled hunting area is also forbidden.

B) Prohibited species :

Aard wolf Rhinoceros

Dibatag Wild Ass

Airaffe Patas monkey

Ardvark Cheetah

Walia Ibex Pelceln's Gazelle

Spekes Gazelle Trova Hartebeest

African hunting dog Simien fox

Beira Antelope Bat -eared fox

Dugong Grevy zebra

Swaynes Hartebeest

C) Prohibited methods of hunting; hunters are not permitted to :

- Use fire to drive or surround game

- Use any artificial lights for hunting, except for specified nocturnal animals

- Use dogs to hunt down and chase any game animals other than game birds

- Hunt during night, except for specified nocturnal animals

- Shoot from a motor vehicle, motor driven boat, or aircraft

- Use hides or blinds

- Use a grenade or explosive, poison, or any toxic substance.

- Use bows, handheld pistols, air guns, air rifles, and air pistols.

D) Registration :

registration of trophy and certificate of lawful possession after hunt, the trophy should be registered and application should be made for a certificate of lawful possession at the licensing office.

E) Export of Trophy :

trophies are allowed to be exported only through a customs port exists. An export permit for trophies may be issued by the hunting license office up on the production of a certificate of lawful possession and veterinary certificate. Original receipts of all payment made for hunting licenses and professional hunters services must be submitted in order to obtain approval for export from the National bank. Comp able CITES export permits are also issued by the license office to facilitate import destination.

F) Wounding of game animals :

all hunters are legally bound to follow up and kill any animal they have wounded. In the case of dangerous animals, when wounded and lost, a full report must be made to the nearest official of the Wild life Conservation organization, district administration office, or police station in charge of the area.

G) Fees and conditions :

All license and capitation fees are to be paid in advance and are non-refundable. There is also an extra ivory payment after hunting elephant.

For further information on any of these matters please contact:



The Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Organization,

P.O. Box 386, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Telephone 00251-115-151477 and 00251-115- 151507

Fax 00251-115-514190

E-mail: ewco@telecom.net.et