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Harar & Dire Dawa

Harar is located in the eastern part of the country and part of the historic circuits. The walled city of Harar is an ancient city with rich and colorful history.Harar is 523 kilometers east of Addis Ababa, the capital. The most dominant feature of Harar is its strong encircling wall, which embraces the town, its exciting market places, and its 99 mosques. Harar is the fourth holiest city after Makka, Madina and Jerusalem.Harar in the old days could be reached only by a long caravan or mule journey of many days, weeks, or months; today, however, the city is little more than an hours drive from Dire Dawa, a modern Ethiopian railway town, with an international airport and several first-class Government and private hotels.


Harar get

General Information

Population (2006):
Urban center:
Dire Dawa: 281,750
Harar: 122,000
Dire Dawa: 398,000
Harari: 196,000
Geographical Location(Altitude):
Harar: 1,856 m (6,088 ft)
Dire Dawa: 1,160 m (3,805 ft)

Harar stands amin green mountains on the east wall of the Great Rift Valley near the Somali border. Dire Dawa lies 525 kilometers east of Addis Ababa marking approximately the halfway point to Djibouti.

What to See

Place to Visit

  • Building by Emir Nur (five large gates supported by oval towers)
  • Mosques and Muslim shines
  • Handicrafts, including weaving, basket-making and book-binding
  • Silversmiths
  • Gate of the Duke and Berbera Gate
  • Ras Makonnen’s stately old palace
  • Rimbaud House
  • Jami mosque
  • Gidir Megala, Big market
  • Hyena-man, feeding of the wild beast in the evening

Dire Dawa

  • Afetiessa market
  • Lege Oda, cave paintings
  • Railway town and station

Where to Stay

Hotels in Harar
Hotels in Dire Dawa

Abadir Hotel
Tel: 0256660721

Belaineh Hotel
Tel: 0256660332

Dessie Hotel
Tel: 0256667068

Harrar Ras Hotel
Tel: 0256660027

Tana Hotel
Tel: 0256661886

Tsadken Tesfaye Hotel
Tel: 0256661546

Tewdros Hotel
Tel: 0256660217

Wondimu Hotel
Tel: 0256660999

Dire Dawa Ras Hotel
Tel: 0251113606

Fasika Hotel
Tel: 0251111260

Gerene Hotel**
Tel: 0251112544

Karamara Ras Hotel
Tel: 0251113255

Kulubi Hotel
Tel: 0251112914
National Hotel
Tel: 0251113415
Saai Hotel**
Tel: 0251112238
Selam Hotel*
Tel: 0251112914
Shalom Hotel*
Tel: 025111149

Travel Map

The walls of Harar were pierced in early times by five gates, a number supposed to symbolize the Five Pillars of Islam. These gates, known to the Hararis as bari, were situated respectively to the north, east, south-east, south, and west of the city. Each had its own distinctive name, and provided entry and egress to caravans traveling to and from different stretches of the surrounding country.

Each of these gates thus played a different role in the economy of the city and of neighboring lands. The northern gate, for example, was known as the Assum Bari, because it was used by traders importing assu, or pepper and salt, from the Gulf of Aden coast of Africa; while the eastern gate was called the Argob Bari because it served merchants handling the lucrative trade from Argobba, one of Ethiopias inland regions.

The gates of Harar in olden days were strongly guarded, and were strictly closed at night - for no one was allowed to enter or leave the city during the long hours of darkness. Strangers wishing to enter Harar in daytime had first to deposit their spears, guns and other arms with the cities guards, who would look after them scrupulously, and return them when their owners were ready to leave. The walls had, however, a number of holes placed to allow the drainage of water and sewage and to enable hyenas, who constituted the principal garbage collectors, to enter the settlement at night and leave it before the break of dawn.


Tags Harar - harar - Dire Dawa - harar mosque

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