About a 90 minute drive from the nearest airport, Dire Dawa, Harar is the fourth holiest city in Islam and the scene of the nightly hyena-feeding ritual.

Five hundred kilometres east of Addis Ababa, on a high escarpment overlooking the surrounding plains, strong medieval walls encircle Harar, a city of mosques, minarets, and markets, and a centre of Muslim learning.

Once, it struck its own currency; it retains its unique language.

The city has a reputation for its textiles and bound manuscripts, its distinctive traditional houses, and the peculiar nightly ritual of attracting hyenas to certain locations on the outskirts of the city and feeding them with meat, which sometimes is even held in the 'hyena man's' mouth!

Visitors to Harar should note that accommodation in the town is at best very simple - our preference is to use a small guest house.


Derek Schuurman

Travel Specialist

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