The eastern part of Ethiopia to the east of the capital starts with the town of Debre Zeit (Bishoftu) to a 100 km larger town of Adama (Nazareth), which can be visited as a day trip. These parts including the Sodere Resort are covered on the Day Trips from Addis Abeba section of this book.
A trip to eastern Ethiopia is a journey that tickles the heart, boggles the mind and challenges the soul – no less than that. In stark contrast to the green, densely populated highlands, the east is largely arid, wild, and low-lying. In it lies the Awash National Park, the Afar, the city of Dire Dawa and the Somali after eastern Ethiopia’s piéce de résistance: the old walled city of Harar, which seems straight out of a story from the Arabian Nights. This gem of a place is shrouded with a palpable historical aura that will appeal to culture vultures. And after nightfall, the hard-to-believe ritual feeding of the Harar hyenas will leave you gasping in awe.