Rock art of time

A visit to the incredibly diverse Oromia region is never complete without a journey to the far East of the state. The lands surrounding the ancient and historic city of Harar are filled with attractions seldom seen and delightful to explore. With something for all tastes, it is easy to venture out into these remote lands in search of history, culture, flora and fauna or stunning landscapes.

Since the ancient city of Harar served as a commercial hub for visiting merchants and Islamic scholars, there have been visitors from distant lands, taken in by the magical surroundings of this often, parched land.

For wildlife enthusiasts, the elephants found in Babile sanctuary or the array of species found on the vast plains of Halledeghe and Awash will more than satisfy. Alongside the majestic elephants found in Babile are extraordinary thermal springs which used to supply much of the region with bottled mineral water.

There are deep and mysterious caves filled with stalactites, and are among the finest in Africa, ready to be explored. Wild horses abound on the uniquely shaped Kondudo mountain while the balancing rocks and granite boulders to the west create a vision of scattered marbles sculptured by nature in its finest. Etchings and paintings found on granite walls and crafted centuries ago are an archaeological delight for many.

Historians marvel in this region with so much on offer to see and explore. The battle site of the most famous battle of Chelenqo, fought in the late 19th century between the armies of the Negus Menelik and Emir Abd Allah II of Harar in which the independence of the city of Harar finally came to an end.

For multi day explorers, there are routes that lead towards the distant Bale Mountains that will more than satisfy the thirst for adventure. Travelling through great towns like Dire Dawa and venturing North into the vast Danakil desert is an option for the intrepid. Others can experience the delights of Harar while staying there to explore the surrounding region. Tales of the Hyaena feeding are enough to galvanise the soul into adventures wild!

Tourist activities


Harar is the capital of the East Hararghe Zone and the capital of the Harari Region of Ethiopia.[3] The city is located on a hilltop in the eastern extension of the Oromia, about five hundred kilometers from the national capital Addis Ababa at an elevation of 1,885 metres (6,184 ft). Based on figures from the Central Statistical Agency in 2005, Harar had an estimated total population of 122,000, of whom 60,000 were male and 62,000 were female.[4] According to the census of 1994, on which this estimate is based, the city had a population of 76,378.