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Harar weather                                                                                                                       

Harar is a walled city which stands on the eastern wall of the Great Rift Valley and is the provincial capital of Ethiopia's largest administrative region, Hararge. The city's location gives wonderful views of the surrounding country - the vast Danakil desert to the north, the fertile Harar mountains to the west, and the cattle rich Ogaden plains to the south.

Harar was a fiercely religious city and was a forbidden city (closed to visitors), until 1887 when Menelik restored central rule. With its 99 mosques, including the 16th century Grand Mosque with is beautiful twin towers and slender minaret, it is considered to be the fourth most holy city in Islam after
Mecca, Medina and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.



Harare women

Harar city wall

Medhane Alem church, built at the end of the 19th century, is in the town centre and contains excellent examples of traditional regional art.
Community Museum, also in the town centre, has displays relating to the way of life in earlier times.
The 16th century Grand Mosque, with is beautiful twin towers and slender minaret lies on the road to the Erer Gate Women are not permitted inside the mosque.
The vibrant market place is regarded as one of the most colourful in all Ethiopia.
Off the road from the Sauga Gate to the main market lies Ras Mekonin's house where Haile Selasssie spent most of his childhood.
Ahmar Mountains around Harar produce some of the best coffee in Ethiopia.

The Hyena Men of Harar collect offal and bones to feed to the wild hyenas usually about 100 metres outside the Fallana Gate of the old city walls of the town. Hyenas appear just after sunset to take food from their hands. There is a charge for watching The display starts about 1900 finishing at about 2000.


Harar is famed for its silversmiths, and there are beautiful necklaces, bracelets and chains to be found in the market. The basketry is also impressive. There are two colourful markets in Harar, the Christian and the Muslim, which are separated from one another.

Ras, outside the Old Town, is part of the government owned chai. It is a 15 minute walk from the Old City.
Academy, main square near church is basic
Belayneh Hotel is a new hotel next to the bus station near the Old City.

Taxi within Harar, and minibuses are available from Dire Dawa and Harar. Also Dire Dawa can be reached by train road or air.


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This site was last updated 08/09/12