Eastern Ethiopia

 

Harar

Market in HararLocated in the eastern part of the country, Harar is like no other place in Ethiopia.  This walled city dates as far back as the 7th century and was a major commercial crossroads in the region as well as a center for Islamic scholarship.  The wall, locally known as Jugol, was erected as a protective measure against invaders between the 13th and 16th centuries.

Feeding hyenas in HararThe wall squeezes more than 100 mosques and Islamic shrines in its small one square kilometer area.  In addition, the city bustles with colorful markets offering a variety of wares.  The city was one-time home to the famous French poet, Arthur Rimbaud.

The most exciting attraction is the nightly feeding of the local hyenas.  The hyena men, as they are called, beckon the hyenas and offer meat on a stick, often feeding them directly from their mouths.  Visitors are encouraged to give a try – if they dare!

Harar is listed on the UNESCO register of World Heritage Sites and has been since 2006.

 

 

Awash National Park

Undoubtedly the most-visited National Park in Ethiopia, Awash National Park is home to amazing scenery, diverse wildlife and birdlife as well as nomadic tribes seeking to find better grass for their camels.  The Awash River cuts through the park, with the Awash Falls a fantastic backdrop for animal spotting.  At the northern northern end of the park, the Filwoha hot springs are a great spot to take a dip, where therapeutic waters bubble up from the ground in natural pools.  Returning back south, the rim of Fantale Crater offers broad views of the surrounding area.

Oryx in Awash National Park