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Harar

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Harar is an ancient city in eastern Ethiopia. Harar (sometimes spelled Harrar or Harer) has a population of about 75,000.

Understand[edit]

For centuries, Harar has been a major commercial centre, linked by the trade routes with the rest of Ethiopia, the entire Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and through its ports to the outside world. The city is part of the famous Ethiopia Eastern Tourism Circuit, that includes Awash National Park, Babile Elephant Sanctuary, Kondudo Mountain with the Gursum Pearl Cave and Prison House of Lij Eyasu. Reasonably priced service providers include Ecotravel Ethiopia ☎ ++251 (0) 911-440-915" [1]

Harar Jugol has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2006 in recognition of its cultural heritage. It is considered the fourth holiest city of Islam with 82 mosques, three of which date from the 10th century, and 102 shrines.

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

There is a bus service from the capital, Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa.

From Hargeisa in Somaliland, hourly buses (2h, US$3 as of December 2017) run from near the Central Market (9°33'47"N 44°04'00"E) to the Wajale border. Once across, take a bajaj (5min, 5 birr) to the bus station, where you can connect to a minibus or bus to Jijiga (2h30, 90 birr). There may be multiple, extensive security checks on the road between Wajale and Jijiga, with security personnel emptying all of your bags on the desert floor. Once in Jijiga, frequent buses are available to Harar (3h, 50 birr).

By plane[edit]

  • Harar is served by Dire Dawa international airport.

Get around[edit]

The blue and white minibuses and rental vehicles are available.

See[edit][add listing]

  • A mansion that once housed the renowned French poet Arthur Rimbaud. The mansion is now converted to a museum.
  • The old town is home to ninety-nine mosques and many more shrines, centred on Feres Magala square.
  • Notable buildings include Medhane Alem Cathedral and the sixteenth century Jamia Mosque.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Feed the hyenas, a tradition that's unique to Harar. The hyenas haven't attacked local livestock for almost a hundred years due to the villagers feeding them every night. The location of the feed changes frequently, so your best bet is to ask locals as to where it is on that given night. However, everyone becomes a tour guide once you are a tourist looking for something in particular, so it's better to ask your hotel or other travellers you meet where it is going to be that night. In October 2018, it was a fairly long walk out of the town (around 15 minutes) and it's better to have some company as the trail was poorly lit. Once you get to the hyenas, it's an incredible experience and well worth the journey to Harar alone, however the "hyena man" is a bit of a gruff customer who seems to be obsessed with the money. Don't pay more than 200 birr to feed the hyenas. Don't feed them from your mouth, as hyenas carry a lot of disease (you will see this for yourself on their faces). It might be quite hard to find a genuine guide to take you there that won't rip you off.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Hand crafts are available at the market.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are very few mid-range accommodations. Dire Dawa has a better selection of hotels and restaurants.

  • Abissinia Cafe and Guesthouse, few meters from Harar bus station and walled city. Rooms with shared bathroom from 200 ETB (Jan 2017) in the rear, caffe and restaurant on the street. Working Wi-Fi and CNN. 0913436920
  • Tewodros Hotel, from Birr 250 (single, Jan 2017), a friendly place with a regular stream of backpackers. You can watch the hyena from the rooms facing the football field. Has a pub and restaurant. Often fully booked. Nebil, the local guide is trustworthy, reliable and good value. He goes out of his way to ensure your happiness.
  • Tourist Hotel, from Birr 140 (single), very noisy (disco-cum-brothel), try to get one of the rooms which are the furthest off the disco area.
  • Amir Cultural Harari Guesthouse, Harar, Ethiopia (Argobaberi), 00251912601956. checkin: anytime; checkout: 12:00. A traditional Harari House founded by famous tourist guide Amir Redwan 25. (3:42,1/314) edit
  • Rowda Guesthouse, very traditional guesthouse in the center of the Old Town Jugol, from Birr 400 (single), traditional breakfast included. Local Tour guide available, Aysha (0921872867), she will make your booking and can give a half-day or full-day group (if available) or private tour including: Hyena feeding (100 Birr per person), 5 gates, 3 markets (Falcon feeding at the meat market), local experiences, traditional restaurants, famous tombs and more...

Get out[edit]


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