About Run Africa
“Where is Run Africa based?” We are based in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Surrounded by little-known hills, forests, meadows and hundreds of kilometres of forest trails, ours is a world-class location for high-altitude East African training which matches the more famous Kenyan sites. We run programmes in Addis Ababa and Bekoji and work with a network of partners and advisors in Ethiopia, the UK, Kenya and Uganda.
“Is it just a running club?” Run Africa is both a fitness and adventure-travel company, as well as a registered competitive athletics club. We also organise mountain hiking. In terms of social development and support to our athletes, we believe that a self-sustaining business approach contributes better to ambition and well-being than initiatives which rely exclusively on charitable funding.
“What languages are spoken?” Our programmes are conducted in English or Amharic, but we also speak French, German, Spanish and Arabic. If you would like support in a language other than English, let us know. During your visit you can learn some phrases in Amharic and Oromo.
“What can I do to support aspiring athletes in East Africa?” If you are interested in supporting our athletes’ skill-broadening programmes in massage, bus driving, hairdressing and English language, which started in 2017, see our Club page and our social contribution page, and then contact us.
About our training programmes
“Do you provide tailored programmes, camps and/or tours for me or my running club?” Yes we do! Explore our training programmes for individuals and groups and then register your interest, giving us as much information as you can about how long you would like to come, your preferred race distance (if any) and other information, and we’ll customise an itinerary to suit you.
“What level of runner must I be to join one of your programmes?” A passion for fitness is all you need! We cater to all levels of ability, from total novices and keen walkers to full-time elite runners. Our personalised coaching and small training groups allow us to find the right kind of challenge for everyone. If your goal is to improve a personal best time, our athlete trainers will help you get there. Similarly, if you have milder athletic ambitions, training alongside one of our local running guides can be a hugely motivating experience which educates and encourages you toward a more independent fitness lifestyle.
“Can Run Africa accommodate my own training routine?” We pride ourselves in offering authentic East African training routines suited to the locale, but we are also happy to accommodate any specific training routines that you might want to include.
“What are the training altitude and terrain like?” See our terrain and altitude page.
“Is accommodation included in the price of your programmes?” For groups and clubs, yes it is. For our individual visitors, generally not. We can include or not, depending on your preference. We are also happy to make recommendations.
“Can I extend my stay?” Yes you can! We’ll adapt your programme to suit the time you can visit and can help you extend it if you decide to, including recommending partner tour companies with whom to visit other parts of the country.
About health and travel
“Is it safe to travel to Ethiopia?” Some ethnic tensions persist in some regions of the country since 2017; however, the tourism industry is carefully protected by the Ethiopian government and the safety of visitors to the country is highly prioritised. Addis Ababa, Bekoji and all other areas where our training and excursions take place are deemed peaceful and safe. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns.
Normal precautions should be taken, however, such as not walking alone after dark. Pick-pocketing in busy areas is not uncommon, and road traffic is haphazard, especially at rush-hour times.
“What medical precautions should I take before visiting?” You should be covered by international health insurance when you travel abroad. You should also visit your government’s travel-health advice website. There is no malaria or tropical disease in the highland areas, but if you wish to travel to hotter, lowland parts of the country such as the South or the West, we suggest that you consult with a doctor. If you have special medical needs, we are happy to discuss them with you.
About our finances
Who benefits from my payment to Run Africa?
There are three main parties benefiting from your payment to Run Africa. The first is of course your athlete trainer who earns a much needed (additional) income that allows him to maintain his/her lifestyle as an athlete, without relying on hard manual labour such as construction work or housekeeping. Secondly, Run Africa is a for profit company, registered with the Ethiopian government. Therefore, we do pay 15% Value Added Taxes (VAT) over your payment. The third part of your payment is our gross profit. From the gross profit amount, we pay salaries of our management and staff and we cover the costs of Run Africa Athletics Club (RAAC), as well as office rent, phone, electricity and internet bills and it includes the net profit for Run Africa.
Apart from monetary benefits, our athlete trainers benefit from: free training from Run Africa Athletics Club (RAAC) lead by Head Coach and former World Champion Negash Habte, assistance with registration for national competitions organised by Ethiopia’s national Athletics Federations, free running shoes and gear, skills training such as first aid and English language. In addition, working as an athlete trainer provides an opportunity to learn about the tourism industry and share their lifestyle with foreign visitors to Addis Ababa.
Isn’t my athlete trainer better off if he gets 100% of my payment?
In the short run, yes. In the long run, no.
When the management learns about any undercutting practices caused by our athlete trainers and customers, we can no longer trust the athlete trainer and we will decide not to work with him or her again in the future. Therefore, any ‘perceived’ benefits to the athlete trainer – in terms of monies earned and / or connections made with individuals – soon wane, leaving the trainer excluded from benefiting from Run Africa’s more steady supply of clients and other benefits, mentioned above.
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