"HARAR" Dire Dawa Astedader by SirRichard
Dire Dawa Astedader Travel Guide: 31 reviews and 37 photos
I have tried to locate HARAR in the (sometimes absurd) locations system of VT. The closest I have found is this DIRE DAWA region (Dire Dawa is a modern big city near old Harar), though in most of the guidebooks, and officially, Harar is the capital of the Harari region, a kind of state-city in the east of Ethiopia.
Harar has always been a kind of island in Ethiopia, too far east from the main plateau, a muslim city in an orthodox country, Harar has always claimed for a certain degree of independence and lately has got a kind of autonomous status in the country.
Being so atypical for Ethiopia, Harar remains out of the main touristic packs, which go either to the "Historic north" or to the "Tribal south". In fact it was a closed city for westerners since its foundation between the 7th and the 11th century until 1854, when the famous british traveler Sir Richard Francis Burton entered disguised as a muslim.
Another famous traveler and poet, Arthur Rimbaud, lived here around 1875 for a few years and a few houses where he lived can be visited around the old city. One of them is its Museum now and houses a cultural centre about his life and work.
Hyenas are probably a main tourist attraction here, after the walls and the maze of white alleys. A man who lives outside the walls in a little hut uses to feed them daily at night by his house. Hyenas (wild ones) come from the fields around every night and he feeds them with meat. It's a kind of special ceremony, though some guides turn on the 4x4 lights for the tourists to make photos and it takes away some of the magic...
As you wander around the old town you will find different streets for different professions. A strrt for carpenters,... more travel advice
Not those conversations across the net. Chat here is a herb that is chewed and has some "narcotic" properties. It's a... more travel advice
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