Introducing Dire Dawa
Ethiopia’s second-most populous town, Dire Dawa always elicits strong reactions. Some travellers rave about its remarkably spacious and orderly layout (a rarity in Ethiopia), its tree-lined streets, neat squares and colonial buildings, while others think it’s utilitarian and self-contained.
Sure, Dire Dawa lacks Harar’s charisma, but if you don’t dismiss it you’ll discover it has its fair share of beguiling sights and some inviting quarters.
With Babel-like ambience, the enormous Kafira Market, in Megala, is the town’s most striking sight. Attracting Afar herders, Somali pastoralists, Oromo farmers and, sometimes around dawn, large camel caravans from the Somali desert.
If you are staying on, Mekonen Hotel (
Paradiso Restaurant (