Dating back to the previous millennium, the beautiful city of Harar is one of the oldest cities in Ethiopia. Located on the border of the far eastern Somali region, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has a spiritual aura that will take you back to medieval times, having a very different feel to the rest of Ethiopia.
Regarded to as the fourth holiest city in Islam, the old city of Harar is home to an incredible 99 mosques and shrines, representing the 99 names of Allah known to man. It is believed that Sheikh Abadir Umar ar-Rida, the Arab Muslim cleric patron of the city of Harar, is responsible for the Islamic demographic of this ancient city.
It all started in 1216, when the Sheikh travelled to Harar from the Arabian Peninsula, married a Harari woman and constructed the city’s Jamia mosque.
Known for its famous array of markets, the famous Hyena Men, ancient paintings and artefacts spanning all cultures, it’s easy to get lost in the never-ending maze of the winding streets of Harar.
Things to do
- Visit the Harar Jugol wall
- Feed some Hyenas
- Visit the Sherif Harar City Museum
- The Arthur Rimbaud Museum
- Market Places
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Sense of family’ Today it is the capital of the Harari People National Regional State – the smallest state in Ethiopia. In 2006, Harar was listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site to highlight its unique and exceptional architecture, which captures the African and Islamic culture of its habitants
Ethiopian Fenugreek Flavored Meat and Potato Stew
Abish or Habih is the national dish of the Harari peoples, as well as the Oromos peoples residing in the area of Harar. It is a broth that is slightly tart and usually made with meat and potatoes. Hulbat marakh is flavored with many herbs and is a delicacy for many.
Lalibela is one of Ethiopia’s most magical destinations. For many, it is the absolute highlight of their journey across Ethiopia.
Harar is home to an incredible 99 mosques and shrines, representing the 99 names of Allah known to man
Ethiopia is home to over 20 lakes, most of which are a result of the Great African Rift Valley