Awash Park – Harar – Dire Dawa
Regarded as the spiritual home of the Muslim community, Harar provides travellers a great contrast between the animist tribes of the South and the Christian highlands of the North. Visit the walled city and explore numerous mosques, colorful markets and the typical harari gey gar city houses. At night time, Harar offers a special adventure: you can feed wild hyenas and get close to these beasts like no-where else. In Dire Dawa you shouldn’t miss a trip to the old train station that has not been used for many decades. On your way back to Addis Ababa you can enjoy some wildlife and a swim in the hot springs of Awash National Park.
Day 1 – Addis Ababa
Depending on your flight schedule there will be time for a city tour through the capital of Ethiopia. Spend the night in Addis Ababa.
Day 2 – Addis Ababa to Harar
In the morning drive from Addis Ababa to Harar (6-8 hours), the city regarded as spiritual home of the Muslim community. Spend the night in Harar.
Day 3 – Harar
Full Day Harar. A local guide will take you through the colorful markets and narrow alleys of the walled city to the six city gates. Visit a Harari geygar (traditional city house) and the coffee factory, where one of the best coffee is produced. In the evening you will have the opportunity to take part in the biggest adventure that Harar has to offer: feeding wild hyenas from very close by. Don’t be shy and learn more about Harar’s tradition of feeding hyenas in front of its city gates. Spend the night in Harar.
Day 4 – Harar via Babile to Dire Dawa
After breakfast, you will drive east towards Babile Elephant Sanctuary where you can hike around the park half day. The park is fairly big and elephants quite shy. We will walk together with a local guide that knows best where to find the big grey animals but keep in mind that nature is always dynamic. The tour will continue to Dire Dawa which you will reach in the late afternoon. Spend the night in Dire Dawa.
Day 5 – Dire Dawa
Today you’ll visit one of the youngest cities of Ethiopia. Dire Dawa was founded along the railway from the capital to the port in Djibouti. However, currently the railway is not in use but different international companies work on its restructuring. You can visit the old train station, local markets or just stroll around the city with its interesting architecture. Spend the night in Dire Dawa.
Day 6 – Dire Dawa to Awash National Park
Drive to Awash National Park (4-5 hours) and spend the night at Awash Falls Lodge.
Day 7 – Awash National Park
Go on a game drive through Awash National Park in the early morning and watch kudus, oryx, dik diks, and warthogs. Stop for lunch at the hot springs of Filowaha and enjoy a swim in the 40 C hot water. It’s a true oasis around the hot springs. Also visit the beautiful and powerful Awash Falls and watch some crocodiles in the Awash River. Spend the night at Awash Falls Lodge.
Day 8 – Awash Park to Debre Zeit
Take your time around the park in the morning and go on another game drive if you like. After that make your way back in the direction of the capital. Before we reach Addis Ababa, there will be one more stop in Debre Zeit to enjoy a relaxed view on the many lakes of this area. Spend the night in Debre Zeit.
Day 9 – Addis Ababa
The drive to Addis is only 1-2 hours depending on the traffic. A city tour through the capital is a great opportunity. You can visit the National Museum or some traditional markets. The tour ends with a farewell dinner at a cultural restaurant where we eat delicious Ethiopian food and listen to traditional music and dances.