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A LOT OF HISTORY IN A SMALL COMPACT TOWN
MILD HASSLES FROM KIDS ("ONE BIRR")
In a nutshell
Deceived by Rimbaud's house, but such an exotic place!
You need to be very careful taking pictures even near these guys. The men of the Oromo tribe come into Harar to buy goods before returning to their villages. They are very easy to spot by their large bushy hair, blue clothes, weapons and not very happy looks. Yes – I said weapons. They carry clubs and a combination short axe & spear. You could kill someone with it. These guys don’t speak Amharic or Harari and always seem jumpy and paranoid. They will make signs with their hands that you can take pictures, but they want $5. Take their picture without payment and your camera and/or head will probably be hit with one of their weapons.
I am really not joking. Just look at the pictures I took secretly and they are still unhappy by even me looking at them. They even scared some of the street sellers.
Be very careful. Any other folks who might object in Harar with you taking pictures will only shout at you. Nothing else.
Updated Dec 15, 2008
How could you visit Harar and not see this????? The hyenas are tame if not timid around humans....maybe because the get feed by them every night or they beat them when the tourists are not around..anyway There are two places to see this at night around 7pm. On spot is down the road from Fallana Gate (where I saw them) and the other is between Sanga Gate and Erer Gate. If you go with Abdul he will hit you up for cab fare which will double as lights for the show. If you have a cheap Nikon like I do will give you plenty of pics with glare from the headlights. Basically its a local who sits on the ground in front of the hungry critters with some short sticks for placing scaps of meat that get dumped into his basket. You will get the chance to feed them as I did..you then realise why they use sticks for feeding. The feeder will even put a stick in his mouth and let them grab a quick bite.
Try and negotiate on the price as the show lasts about 15 min depending on the crowd which can be small depending on the night.
Written Jan 7, 2008