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Eastern Ethiopia



Located in the eastern part of the country, Harar is like no other place in Ethiopia.  This walled city dates as far back as the 7th century and was a major commercial crossroads in the region as well as a center for Islamic scholarship.  The wall, locally known as Jugol, was erected as a protective measure against invaders between the 13th and 16th centuries.
The wall squeezes more than 100 mosques and Islamic shrines in its small one square kilometer area.  In addition, the city bustles with colorful markets offering a variety of wares.  The city was one-time home to the famous French poet, Arthur Rimbaud.
The most exciting attraction is the nightly feeding of the local hyenas.  The hyena men, as they are called, beckon the hyenas and offer meat on a stick, often feeding them directly from their mouths.  Visitors are encouraged to give a try – if they dare!
Harar is listed on the UNESCO register of World Heritage Sites and has been since 2006

Awash National Park


Undoubtedly the most-visited National Park in Ethiopia, Awash National Park is home to amazing scenery, diverse wildlife and birdlife as well as nomadic tribes seeking to find better grass for their camels.  The Awash River cuts through the park, with the Awash Falls a fantastic backdrop for animal spotting.  At the northern northern end of the park, the Filwoha hot springs are a great spot to take a dip, where therapeutic waters bubble up from the ground in natural pools.  Returning back south, the rim of Fantale Crater offers broad views of the surrounding area

Bale Mountains & Sof Omar Caves


The Bale Mountains is one of the best places in Ethiopia to see wildlife.  The most popular residents here are the endemic Ethiopian wolf and mountain nyala.  For birdlovers, the Bale Mountains are a paradise, with over 250 recorded species living in the park boundaries, at least 16 of which are endemic to Ethiopia.  The most popular areas for wildlife viewing are the Sanetti Plateau, where the Ethiopian wolf is most commonly seen, as well as the Harenna Forest, a dense, moist forest with an abundance of plant-and wildlife.
Not far from the Bale Mountains lie the Sof Omar caves.  Said to be the largest network of caves in Africa, they stretch 15.1km (9.5 miles), with the Web River snaking through the cave system the entire distance.  The most stunning feature of the caves are the towering limestone pillars, the most famous of which are located in the Chamber of Columns.  Not only a natural wonder, the Sof Omar caves are an important religious center for both Islam as well as local animist religions

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