Travel by train to Harrar and fly back to Addis Ababa.
Catch the 8:00 am train travelling 7.5 hours on a new track running about 450 km east to Dire Dawa. This train goes right through to Djibouti, 750 km or 12 hours, away. Dire Dawa is the access city to Harrar, a further 50 km drive into the mountains.
You are met at the station mid-afternoon by your local guide in a vehicle who will drive you on good asphalt road through a dry and rising mountainous landscape to your hotel in Harrar. Go out for dinner.
Experience the best of Harrar’s history, diversity and surprises including the magnificent mosques, the network of maze-like and car-free alleyways in the old city of Jugol, the 6 gates in the 16th-century walls, a variety of markets under shade cloths, museums and being invited into a traditional Harrari home. Drive your senses nuts and watch the famous Harrar variety of coffee bean being roasted.
You’ll have the vehicle and driver at your disposal all day so feel free to drive out of town to visit the Valley of Marvels with its impossibly tall and precarious stacks of rock.
Drive 50 km back to Dire Dawa, look around town. Perhaps visit the Railway Museum. There was a big French presence here a century ago. The French built the original, narrow gauge railway line from Djibouti to Addis Ababa via Dire Dawa in 1917. Some of the old, abandoned, rusting and sand swamped stations are a photographer’s dream at dusk. Such a station can be visited on the afternoon of Day 1 of the 4-Day Harrar Tour at Awash Arba town.
Catch the early afternoon flight back to Addis Ababa.
The tour ends on arrival back in Addis Ababa.
Accommodation to suit all budgets can be arranged by Ethiopian Adventure Tours as a service to clients between short tours.
This tour will run any time with a minimum booking of 2 travellers.
- Includes 1 flight on Ethiopian Airlines Domestic.
Dire Dawa (Airport Code: DIR) to Addis Ababa (ADD).
Per person, sharing a twin or double room.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT COST
If a single bedroom is required, there is an additional Single Supplement cost of US$40.
This is the newest and longest fully electrified rail line in Africa.
The hydroelectric powered railway was opened in January 2018 and the track is designed for trains to run at speeds of up to 120 km per hour.
Livestock such as goats and camels on the tracks are sometimes struck by the train. The train stops and guards pay compensation to the livestock owners before proceeding. Despite this, the train is reported to mostly run on schedule sometimes arriving in stations up to 30 minutes early and departing on time.
The original railway line between Addis Ababa and Djibouti was built by the French and opened in 1917 with a 1 m gauge track. This linked the then French colony of Djibouti with the capital of the non-colonised empire of Ethiopia.
Remnants of the old track and crumbling stations inundated with sand can still be seen in places and there is a railway museum in Dire Dawa.
The new 1.4 m gauge, Chinese-built railway cost US$ 4.5 billion to build and runs 759 km from Addis Ababa at 2300 m above sea level to the independent state of Djibouti on the Red Sea coast.
The route passes through Awash National Park in the Rift Valley and the volcanic landscape of the eastern desert lowlands.
Djibouti’s port handles 95% of landlocked Ethiopia’s exports. This railway is the first stage of 5,000 km of lines planned to channel freight through Djibouti from all over Ethiopia.
If you arrive in Ethiopia on Ethiopian Airlines International your domestic air tickets can be discounted by up to 40 - 50%.
This discount can be passed on to clients who provide a passport scan and inbound Ethiopian Airlines International ticket details.
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Sam will communicate with you directly to book and help answer any questions about your Ethiopian Adventure Tour.
Sam will guide you through the magical heartland of Africa – travelling through Ethiopia you will enjoy the hospitality of incredible people and be enriched by the amazing history. Come with us and explore these unique dynamic environments on your Ethiopian travels.
This is an Ethiopian tour adventure to the cradle of human kind and an experience you will hold dear for many years to come.