Blogs from Harar, Harari Region, Ethiopia, Africa


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 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

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
Photo 3

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
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4

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

Africa » Ethiopia » Harari Region » Harar June 11th 2010

Ethiopia is all about 4am starts for buses that leave ridiculously early, disgusting toilets, fleas in the bedding, great coffee, stunning scenery and a multitude of interesting cultures all rolled into one. We spent a few days in the contradiction that is Addis Ababa. Addis is a sprawling complex area of windy streets with large modern buildings next to shanty towns, new four wheel drive vehicles next to beggars, and modern restaurants next to farmers herding their goats along the side of the road in the middle of the city. There is not much to do in the capital but the Ethnological Museum, set in the Addis Ababa University (formerly Haile Selassie's palace) made an interesting visit. Before the entrance is an interesting monument of a set of spiralling stairs. Each step was placed by the ... read more
I am pretty sure this is not covered by our travel insurance
This was scary, I could not keep my eyes open

Africa » Ethiopia » Harari Region » Harar February 9th 2010

A little Harrari girl approached the five of us and to each one spoke the following: “Fish have no legs. Donkeys have four legs. Cows have four legs. And antelope have two horns. Now give me birr!” Her factual data and explicit demand caused me to think about the reasons of travel. We travel to absorb, to broaden the mind and expand our human consciousness. We move to progress, one hopes, in a forward direction, evolving with new skill sets and creative tools. We explore to simply discover the blossoms of unknown territories in mind, body and spirit. All these are our hopes, what we dream for in the essence of travel. The faerie tale of imagination arrives with blue skies and dazzling African sunsets. It’s angelic for a moment, and then in the next it ... read more
Harrari Baskets
Two Humans, Four Legs
Wooden Prayer Beads

Africa » Ethiopia » Harari Region » Harar January 24th 2010

Geo: 9.30463, 42.1326OK, let's get 'the land of chat' clarified. If you've seen the movie 'Blackhawk Down', you will be familiar with chat. Chat is a mildly narcotic leaf that is chewed and gives some kind of high? It is legal, and apparently this is the best cultivation area. It is used throughout Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia and who knows where else. I will not be able to give you a first hand report on it's affect, but I've had numerous chances to purchase, for pennies, and try. I have not seen anyone here have the same kind of results as depicted in the movie. I think it has more of a low key affect, kind of relaxing. It's mostly an afternoon and evening social thing, both men and women participate.Most of the chat being shipped to ... read more
piggy bank
tall door, so horse and rider can enter!

Tot: 0.115s; Tpl: 0.006s; cc: 13; qc: 79; dbt: 0.0735s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb