Dire Dawa

Ethiopian Children at play

Travel to Dire Dawa – Ethiopia’s Second Largest City

Thanks to its rich wealth of pre-historic cave paintings and several couloured markets, Dire Dawa is worth a visit while in Ethiopia. This city is the second largest in Ethiopia.

Dire Dawa lies in the eastern part of Ethiopia, on the Dechatu River, at the foot of a ring of cliffs that has been described as “somewhat like a cluster of tea-leaves in the bottom of a slop-basin.”

Dire Dawa was founded in 1902 after the Addis Ababa – Djibouti Railway reached the area, thanks to which it became an important centre of trade between the port of Djibouti and the capital city Addis Ababa.

While in Dire Dawa, travellers can visit the pre-historic cave paintings, the remains of the British airmen and African soldiers, the railway station, the Kefira,a traditional market place where one can see the colorful presentation of all people of the region in their cultural dresses, St. Michel’s Catholic Church that was built over 115 years, and the Italian Mosque, built by Italians during their short-lived occupation of Ethiopia.

Visit Rimbaud’s House for spectacular views across the city or simply enjoy meeting the locals and soaking up the local atmosphere.

Relax with the locals whilst sampling their traditional drink of Tella beer or browse the local markets for souvenirs that are traditional to Ethiopia.

The best way to get around Dire Dawa is by minibus but there are also taxis available.

  • Sample the traditional Tella beer whilst chatting to the locals.
  • Watch spectacular sunsets and sunrises at the Dechatu river.
  • See incredible views of the city from Rimbaud’s House.


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