Harar is historically the most significant settlement in the far east of the country. The walled city took its present shape in the 15th Century, it is the fourth holiest city in Islam and is regarded as the spiritual home of Ethiopia’s large and ancient Muslim community.
It couldn’t be more different from the Christian monuments of the north, with its mosques, minarets and markets and for the traveller it is a fascinating contrast. Harar is also the birthplace of Ras Tefari Mekonnen (Emperor Haile Selassie) and for the French poet Rimbaud it was the base for his African adventures. The city has a reputation for its textiles and bound manuscripts, its distinctive traditional houses and of course ‘hyena man’ who feeds wild hyenas on the fringes of town every night!