Some of those running for Orbis at the Great Ethiopian Run, in their bright green and yellow T-shirts, holding water bottle overhead

Great Ethiopian Run 2018

Looking for a challenge for 2018? Join us for The Great Ethiopian Run – Africa’s BIGGEST running event. Established in 2001 by one of the world's greatest long-distance runners, Haile Gebrselassie, The Great Ethiopian Run is not to be missed!

On Sunday 18 November 2018, over 46,000 people will take to the streets of Addis Ababa to take part in Africa's biggest road race, a challenging 10km run at 10,000ft above sea level. There will be a wide variety of runners from all age groups, nationalities and fitness levels taking part but the carnival atmosphere that takes over the city will help the crowd surge forward.

A smaller group of Orbis runners cheer happily for the camera during the Great Ethiopian Run

Orbis and The Great Ethiopian Run

Over the past nine years Orbis has raised almost £822,000 through participating in The Great Ethiopian Run. Following on from this phenomenal history of success, we are delighted to be taking part once again in 2018, in what is a very special year for Orbis in Ethiopia. And, with your help, we can raise even more money for our sight-saving work.

2018 marks 20 years of Orbis’s work in Ethiopia. In our 20 years in Ethiopia, we have worked with our partners across all levels of the healthcare system to train local teams to save sight in their communities. From establishing eye care units in rural areas and fighting trachoma, to building the capacity of specialist eye care units in [tertiary] hospitals, we have transformed lives through preventing and treating avoidable blindness.

Ethiopia has a rich culture, fascinating history and incredibly welcoming people so there is plenty to enjoy while visiting this unique country. Joining us at the 2018 Great Ethiopian Run means that you will be giving the gift of sight. As part of your trip, you will have the chance to witness Orbis at work in the local community, visit a local school and water station and see how Orbis is making real change happen in southern Ethiopia.

Key dates

Thursday 15-Thursday 22 November 2018 (with the option of returning on Monday 19 and not going on the project visit).


Thursday 15 November

  • Depart London

Friday 16 November

  • Arrive in Addis Ababa – welcome reception and breakfast
  • Tour of Silasse Church and Coffee Shops
  • Traditional Ethiopian dinner and entertainment

Saturday 17 November

  • Great Ethiopian Run Children’s Race
  • Trip to Orthodox Church and Fabric Market
  • Great Ethiopian Run Pasta Party

Sunday 18 November

  • Great Ethiopian Run 2018
  • Celebrations!

Monday 19 November

  • Return flight to London
  • OR travel to Orbis trachoma projects in Gamo Gafa, Derashe and Konso, southern Ethiopia
  • While in Gamo Gofa we will witness how simple and effective the treatment is for preventing trachoma, the biggest cause of infectious eye disease worldwide. We hope to also be able to witness a sight-saving surgery. We will also visit schools and communities to meet the people whose lives have been transformed by Orbis

Wednesday 21 November

  • Return flight to London (arrival on Thursday 22 November)

Next steps

Each participant is required to raise a minimum of £3,500 for the Thursday-Thursday trip.

As part of the Orbis team, we'll take care of your hotel, travel and race entry.

You just need to:

  • Complete the registration form and email or post it, with the required registration fee, to [email protected] or Vani Krishnaswamy, Orbis UK, 6th Floor, 10 Lower Thames Street, EC3R 6AF
  • Get fundraising! The Orbis fundraising team is here to help and has put together a fundraising pack with some tips and ideas to get you started.

Please contact Vani if you'd like any more information about the event. Thank you for your interest.

Phone number: 0207 608 7289


Hear from some of our previous runners how incredible taking part in the Great Ethiopian Run for Orbis can be.

I had a truly phenomenal week, saw something I will never forget, and I hope I have made a few pals along the way too. It was incredible – unforgettable.


Orbis supporter

It was an absolutely fantastic event and I loved the run….once I had finished it! It was a great group of people.


Orbis supporter

It was a sobering and life-changing trip, one that I will never forget. I am now even more determined to go back next year, and raise more money for such a worthwhile charity


Orbis supporter