Blogs from Harari Region, Ethiopia, Africa

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Africa » Ethiopia » Harari Region » Harar February 3rd 2014

3 November, 2012 Seven of us have decided to head east to Harar, flying from Addis to Dire Dawa and then taking a taxi to the bus stop where we got on a minibus for the final leg. We'll catch up with the truck in a few days. It was during the bus journey that the local men on board introduced us to chat; a flowering plant whose leaves are chewed to obtain a mild stimulant effect. They offered us each a couple leaves but for someone like me who has never smoked or taken drugs, I really wasn't interested in chewing some leaves. I did try it but the bitterness was off-putting, as was the hard, leaf-like texture (funny that) and I soon spat them out. A few chewed them for longer but a much ... read more
Hyena Man and his loyal followers!
I never thought I'd be this close to a hyena
Old City marketplace

Africa » Ethiopia » Harari Region » Harar January 23rd 2014

It is with a heavy heart that I begin this blog. I am sitting in Gondar airport waiting for my flight to Addis. After 3 months here, my time here in Gondar is up and now I am off travelling for 10 days before starting my next job in Nairobi. I know that I have moaned a fair amount in this blog but I will really miss this place. My colleagues have been a pleasure to work with. They have looked after me so well and I had a lot of fun at work. The daily problems that they face here make me rethink the things I complain about at home. I am grateful to have been born in such a stable and affluent country with all the opportunities that I have had, never left wanting ... read more
Simien mountains
Simien mountains
Simien mountains

Africa » Ethiopia » Harari Region » Harar January 28th 2013

Waking up and taking another 5am bus to leave Addis Ababa is a struggle that seems to be part of any form of bus travel in Ethiopia. I still haven't figured out what their obsession is with 5 and 6 am bus travel, but it is something I will have to get use to. The night before I ended up meeting some nice guys at a Turkish restaurant (still trying to get my fill of non-Injera food). They ended up being quite wealthy and insisted on buying me more beer and food than I could possible eat or drink. "You are our guest" was the rational. Not really a problem for me as I was becoming a bit paranoid of the costs associated with being in Addis Ababa. After a very hot and very uncomfortable bus ... read more
Looks Like I am Staring It Down
Feeding Them From A Stick in My Mouth
And It Climbed On My Back

Africa » Ethiopia » Harari Region » Harar December 1st 2012

And the blog returns...... So we have now completed the 'northern circuit' which took us up to the border with Eritrea in the north and then returned us to Addis Ababa. The trip took about 20 days and around 80 hours of that was on the bus covering the 2300kms. It was a great trip, highlights included endless, stunning views across the mountains of the central ethiopian highlands (including perilous dirt roads with 500+ metre drops inches from the side of the bus). The chilled town on Bahir Dar on the edge of lake Tana. The castles of Gondor - castles in Africa is pretty unsual. The stelae of Axum (big tall pillar things built by the Axumites) see the pic for what they look like.The unbelievable rock hewn churches of Lalibela where they decided to ... read more
Smiling
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Africa » Ethiopia » Harari Region » Harar October 26th 2012

After a brief week back in the UK including a weekend in Glasgow we are off on the road again and this time it’s ETHIOPIA! 26th-27th Oct ’12 Addis Ababa A very early 4am wake up and by 5am we were checked in at Teesside Airport, thanks to the above and beyond call of friendship lift from Abi and John! It felt really strange to be setting off from our local airport and knowing we were going to end up in Ethiopia! It was a short flight to Amsterdam and the plane was mainly full of business people and I had to suppress the urge to say we’re not going to Europe, we are off on an adventure to deepest darkest Africa. We had about 3 hours before our onward flight and I was kind of ... read more
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Harar
Harar

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Africa » Ethiopia » Harari Region » Harar April 3rd 2012

After leaving Berbera, we got back into Hargeisa early enough. I had a multi entry visa for Ethiopia, but Jack and Joris had to get new visas. Unfortunately the Ethiopian consulate was closed, so we had to spend another night in Hargeisa, which was fairly uneventful. The next morning the two lads got their visas easy enough and we found a car to take us to the border. We had hoped to reach Harar that evening but we got into Jijiga too late and had to spend the night there. It had only been 5 days, but it was good to be back in Ethiopia and the beers that night went down very well! The next morning we got a minibus to Harar. Harar is considered the 4th holiest Islamic city in the world. The old ... read more
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Africa » Ethiopia » Harari Region » Harar March 24th 2012

We leave Addis in a landcruiser GX. I am surprised by how uncomfortable it is. Henok, our driver is a cross between a beach boy and tour guide. He is a 30 year old freelance driver who hires his boss’ car and drives tourists around. On the outskirts of addis he removes his shirt and drives in a sleeveless red top. Luckily the Ethiopian tourism licensing board are a bit wishy washy on what is allowed and not. The price for our car has mysteriously gone up from $145 to $155 per day. We are presented with a fait acomopli. Ethiopia’s land locked status is immediately apparent upon leaving addis. This is the road to Djibouti and it has not been widened or improved in 13 years. We are stuck between the empty lorries going back ... read more
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mobile phone users

Africa » Ethiopia » Harari Region » Harar March 24th 2012

It is Friday in Harar. Mike and I walk in the morning, eager to get some exercise having been in the car for so long. We walk purposefully away from the old city and climb a hill. Indian made auto rickshaws splutter past us, up the incline. Barely making progress faster than our legs. The new town in unassuming, but the trees are pretty and the morning smells are pleasant and fresh. At the summit we find the Harar brewery. Hara turns out to be slightly more convoluted than we thought. Numerous guide books tell us, that the Emperor Haile Selassie converted the main mosque on the main square in the walled city into a church, to inform Muslim population that he was in charge. This must have sent a powerful signal to the Muslim community, ... read more
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Africa » Ethiopia » Harari Region » Harar December 20th 2010

I got up at 4 in the morning to take bus to Harar. By the time I got there it was 8 in the morning and it was time for breakfast. I bought a muffin and some strong Ethiopian coffee, seeing that I woke up so early. Next, I took a minibus to the Jamia Mosque. It was built in the 1500s. It has very detailed and beautiful minarets. Then I took another minibus to the Feres Magala square. It has many beautiful mosques and shrines Lunch time...I walked to the market and went to a little store that I can best describe as a cafe. I bought a goat and onion kebab with some goat's milk cheese on the side. It was delicious! After I ate, I decided to look around the market. There ... read more




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