Ads Top

Eight Reasons it's best to go to Harar

From the charms of Harar to the glorious architectures and ancient museums Harar is a must visit place. The extravaganza of Harar leaves anyone trapped in the warmth and delight of the city. Jumia Travel pan African number one hotel and flight booking company listed eight finest reasons to visit Harar.

1. The ancient glamorous town located in Eastern Ethiopia erected by the famous Sultan Abu Beker Mohammed in 1520. The small town is famous of a lot of things drowning local and foreign visitor’s attention for centuries. Nothing beats the ancient city wall which is built between 13th and 16h century to put a protective barrier and gate to the entrance of the town and the exceptional interior designs of houses and mosques are the few highlights of Harar. The food and the constructions constitute the most remarkable part of Harar's unique cultural heritage.

2. The sophisticated designs of the town and its urban layout is influenced by African and Islamic traditions. The Old City Wall is the main attraction and symbol of Islamic architecture. Harar has approximately 90 mosques forming the largest concentration of mosques in the world. At the end of the 19th century, Indian immigrants also introduced their cultural way of construction adding value to the unique style of construction.

3. Among the magnificent destination of the small town include Jugol, the fourth holiest city after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem was registered under world Heritage list of UNESCO in 2006. It exhibits an important interchange of values of ancient Islamic culture and African roots. The landscape is an outstanding portrait of cultural interaction with the hot weather condition. Although there have been some new constructions the historical setting remained untouched and preserved to the present time.  

4. Arthur Rimbaud Centre it’s a museum dedicated to the poet Arthur Rimbaud who wrote a series of biographical illustrations in French language. The gallery was first an Indian merchant house which was later transferred to Rimbaud. There is a photographic exhibition showing ancient Harar, most of these photographs were taken by Rimbaud himself portraying the magnificent history of Harar.

5. Feres Magala the main square is a bustling place with several monuments in memory of those who defended the city in battlefield. It shows the previous five gates of the city. There is also a new Harar gate which leads to the heart of the city. On the east side, a church is seen built adjacent to the Egyptian mosque creating a stunning view.

6. Most of the best hotels and restaurants are located at the centre of the town offering a variety of local and international dishes giving a holiday of sweetened eastern treat. The traditional clothing, dances and hospitality of the society is particular of the place. The people have a strong sense of sharing and a desire to help others. Harar is a place where you start conversation with strangers and end up in their house for an afternoon session of chewing chat. For anyone who intends to have a good time with the people besides touring the historical sites of the city, participating in such social gatherings is crucial. The chat and coffee ceremony would be very informative of the values, norms and other cultural elements of the people besides giving one the chance to check out the food and house settings.

7. Shopping for visitors who enjoy shopping for souvenirs and clothing, Saturday is the best day. Harar is also renowned for its coffee that has international fame. It can be purchased at the colourful and crowded market which also offers traditional handicrafts, cultural dresses, bags and baskets. Adare (traditional women dressing), head scarf, traditional shoes, accessories, grains, butter, goat and camel milk, pots, pans are available for sale every week. Harari women weave basketry bowls and lidded vessels that serve important functions in the ceremonial and everyday life activities of the Harari ethnic group. The traditional shapes and complex patterns found in Harari basketry, which are arduous to create, are locally revered for their aesthetic qualities and also for their symbolic roles in communicating common values among community creating enlightening experience.

8. One of Harar's main attractions is the hyena man who feeds hyenas on the outskirts of the town every night. Watching the hyenas pick a meat from a man’s mouth costs $2.50. Visitors can have a rare opportunity to feed hyenas holding the meat stick in a mouth or hand. The sociable hyenas are not only allowed into the town to clean the streets of food scraps, but they are also deeply embedded in the traditions of the townspeople.
By Eden Sahle. She can be reached at eden.sahle@jumia.com   
Eight Reasons it's best to go to Harar Eight Reasons it's best to go to Harar Reviewed by IFEDAYO AKINWALERE on 6:39:00 am Rating: 5