Valley of Marvels

Eastern Ethiopia

In the Dakhata Valley (better known as the Valley of Marvels), tall rocks have been sculpted into strange, often phallic shapes by the elements. The name oversells things, but the 'Valley of the Pretty Cool' doesn’t have the same ring. Most people just see it from the road, but a half-day ramble is the better choice (be sure to go with a guide). The best section of it starts 4km east of Babille on the drive between Harar and Jijiga.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Eastern Ethiopia attractions

1. Babille Market

8.05 MILES

If you’re travelling east of Harar on a Monday or Thursday, don’t miss the super-atmospheric livestock market in the village of Babille – it's one of…

2. Babille Elephant Sanctuary

12.98 MILES

Despite considerable tree cutting, livestock grazing and land encroachment, Babille is better protected than many of Ethiopia’s national parks, and the…

3. Koremi

18.41 MILES

With its superb architecture and dramatic setting, the clifftop village of Koremi, 19km southeast of Harar above the Erer Valley, is a definite must-see…

4. Eastern Hyena Feeding Site

21.88 MILES

One of Harar's two infamous hyena feeding sites, it is located about 1.5km east of Erer Gate (near the garbage dump). This site is usually more productive…

5. Mosque

21.9 MILES

A small mosque just outside the city walls, to the east.

6. Erer Gate Market

21.97 MILES

At the eastern end of the old town, Erer Gate was the one Richard Burton entered in 1854, disguised as an Arab merchant. The chat market is found here.

7. Tomb of Sheikh Abadir

22.07 MILES

The tomb of Sheikh Abadir, Harar’s legendary founder and second emir, is an important pilgrimage site. His tomb still attracts worshippers seeking…

8. St Mary Catholic Church

22.16 MILES

One of just two churches in Old Harar, St Mary Catholic Church is a haven of peace and a good spot if you need to unwind. It’s a French Catholic mission…