"HARAR" Dire Dawa Astedader by SirRichard

Dire Dawa Astedader Travel Guide: 32 reviews and 41 photos

Harar, in the Harari region

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.

A legendary city for legendary travelers

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 at night

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...

  • Last visit to Dire Dawa Astedader: Aug 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (29)

Comments (4)

  • Ebru120972's Profile Photo
    Dec 7, 2006 at 6:44 AM

    hi,i'm about to go to a trip to Ethiopia,Kenya and Uganda..your pages are great,very helpful,gave me a lot of ideas! thank you:) and have a great day!

  • sachara's Profile Photo
    Dec 2, 2006 at 9:55 AM

    Joaquin, fascinating Harar page ! Now I know where to go, if I ever will come back in Ethiopia. I enjoyed to read your travel stories. Muchas gracias !

  • Irine_29's Profile Photo
    Nov 21, 2006 at 6:59 AM

    interesting night life tip. did u do chat? how was it? :P

  • frankcanfly's Profile Photo
    Nov 15, 2006 at 12:01 PM

    I've been considering a visit here (Harar) , after reading Paul Theroux's "Dark Star Safari" Thanks for so much info....


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