If you’re visiting Harar, here are some maps that might be helpful for finding your way around. There are plenty of colourful markets, several museums and hundreds of ancient shrines and mosques to seek out. Try the local coffee, it has a very smooth, flavour and tastes a bit like there’s vodka in it. If you’re looking for wifi, try the cafe at Yemage Hospital or the lobby at Heritage Plaza Hotel. There’s also Rewda Hotel which is up the road past the stadium. Otherwise there is a net cafe at the Ras Hotel.
There are two hyena feeding places in Harar but I prefer the Sofi feeding place east of town. The feeding there begins at around 7:30pm. If you’re going on foot, follow the road to Argobberi, then turn right and head town the hill. The feeding takes place in front of the green and white shrine under a huge fig tree with a bunch of hungry hyenas in front of it. If you’re taking a taxi, specify that you want to go to the Muslim hyena feeding as that’s the original one. If the driver needs more information than that, ask to go to Erer Ber (that’s the Amhara name for Argobberi) and then turn right and go down the hill. At the time of writing, the cost is 50birr for foreign nationals and 25birr for Ethiopians. If you don’t have a guide with you, be sure to tell Abbas, the hyena man, that you have no guide or else a local huckster will claim you as his own and demand a commission from Abbas.
While you’re at the feeding, you can sit and take photos or feed the hyenas yourself. If you don’t have a camera or if your phone won’t take a decent picture in the dark, Abbas’ sister will take your photo and give you a copy for about 60c. And pay close attention to what the hyenas are doing. Try to work out who the high ranking females are and who are the nervous males. See how they have their own little social order which they maintain amidst all the human activity.
photographed chat a lot but never touched it. lack of sleep was from lack of privacy in the Harari boarding house, and the street noise under the window. had fantasies of just giving up, and joining the nocturnal canid packs; hard for a vegetarian with lousy knees. you are lucky to have a deepened relationship with the place. my job doesnt allow for such a life, so Ethiopia (and everywhere else) is on the fly. that being said, photography is a connector. thanks for getting back.
Looking forward to your book. Spent a brief time in Harar; Feeding the fuzzy guys was the highlight, lost sleep hearing them run through town. I remember Youseff calling very sweetly… is one of them named Lilly?
It was probably Illili (flower) that he was calling to. Glad you liked the hyenas and did chat have anything to do with the lack of sleep?