The Holy City of Harar

Harar is a city in Northeast Ethiopia near the border with Somalia and a great seat of Islamic culture. Its walled city dubbed “Africa’s Mecca,” is home to more than 100 mosques and is also considered the “fourth holy city of Islam”. Harar was built in the 16th century to protect the region against religious invaders. As you stroll down the city’s cobbled and narrow alleys, you will be greeted by friendly Harari women dressed in brightly colored dresses.

It won’t take long to be told about the legendary “hyena man of Harar”. At the Fallana Gate the “hyena man’ will call out to the hyenas by name in Harari. They come up, one-by-one and take a piece of meat from a stick he has placed in his mouth. If you have the nerve, you can also take a turn hand-feeding these wildly beautiful, but dangerous African predators.

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