Mobile menu

Harar is one of the most impressive Ethiopia’s historic destinations pulls remoteness and ancient history as part of the long and colorful existence of the country, Ethiopia. 

Located strictly East of Ethiopia it has survived since the late first millennium BC being a strong hold of Islam. Happen to be a strong Muslim sultanate, Harar has been ruled by seventy two successive Imams since its formation i.e. 1900s till Mid 1500s through which time quite unique, strong and authentic Muslim tradition was created. As it has a vast territory, friendly tribes namely Adare, Somali, Oromo and Argoba are the main settlers with all Muslim background.

It for long time had long trade relation with the Mediterranean and Arab world and religious interaction with the Middle East over Indian ocean and red sea which pays a great deal of contribution for its Economic and especially religious growth. Indeed the Sultanate has a lose but continuing contacts with the mid and North Christian Kingdom of the country through trade till it defuses and administration falls under the central governing Kingdom in mid 1500s. From here onwards Harar has opened the second phase in history being an ideal example of religious integrity with brotherly Christians and survived a new mix of tradition sustained to this day. Surrounding the old town, Harar today is a big capital city in the Eastern part of Ethiopia.

Today, Harar, next to Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem is one of the main Muslim pilgrim sites in the world. Harar’s most determined attraction, the old and walled town of Harar, was particularly established in 1540’s following the downfall of the Imams’ rule with the defeat of the strongest Imam who ruled Harar. The Long and destructive war launched by this Imam, locally named Ahmed the left hander, to the Christian Kingdom and its gradual failure forced the town residents to built a great wall around the town to protect themselves from any possible attack from surrounding tribes. In this walled and old town, more than 90 mosques are built and are still service active. And with all its uniqueness, the town is known by locals as “Jegol”, a name everybody notices.

It also worth a visit to the unique attraction of Harar, also could be mentioned a special tradition of just a selected family members in Harar, to feed the wild Hyenas in a daring close to mouth close manner. It gives the glimpse that Harar’s people friendly enough to domesticate wilds.

It’s an amazing fact that driving off the main town Harar South wards, one will face a real fact of unique 1000 years old tradition and way of life which makes Harar to be a cultural destination as well. It will take full day excursion to visit the stone and mud built houses in a round and rectangular shaped manner all identically designed and Muslim tradition tuned interior decorations. Scattered through the most beautiful highlands of Harar, and owned by the most welcoming peoples of Harar is an ideal exploring through the first Millennia history and culture indeed gives an ideal trekking option through its splendid scenery.

House styles and interior decorations are unique to Harar. The house of the 19th-century French poet, Arthur Rimbaud, is one of the most preserved in this town. Every house in Harar has almost the same inside partitions and all are colorfully decorated with traditional utensils. With its more than 40 mosques, Harar is home to the friendliest people in Ethiopia.