April 2013 – the first leg of my journey to Somaliland and Mogadishu with my regular travel buddy, my sister Elizabeth. We landed in Addis and drove east to Harar and Jijiga, aiming for Wajaale and the Somaliland border.
This was my second trip to Ethiopia, but my first to the Muslim east. Harar's walled old town dates back to the 10th century and contains an estimated 80-90 mosques in just 60 hectares. It's said to be the fourth holiest city of Islam – but as well as mosques, it's also famous for its large population of habituated hyenas, which roam the cobbled streets at night like giant urban foxes. They seem to have come to an understanding with the local population, as they never attack people, even children. And every night, the famous Hyena Man of Harar offers tourists the chance to feed these strange creatures by hand – or mouth.