Harar, Ethiopia: Feeding Hyenas with the Hyena Man
HARAR, ETHIOPIA: FEEDING HYENAS WITH THE HYENA MAN
BY LOGAN NOLIN · NOV 2018 · TRAVEL
BECOMING A HYENA MAN
Hyenas are fascinating creatures. They look so cute but have the strongest jaw pressure of all mammals. Once they chomp down, they’re not letting go until they’re ready. I’ve thought they were cool ever since Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed in The Lion King.
When I was researching places and things to do in Ethiopia, Harar came up a lot. Harar is a walled city in eastern Ethiopia. At night, the residents let the hyenas into their streets — allowing them to clean the city by eating anything left outside. They’ve done this for more than 500 years.
More recently, there have been people that regularly feed them. These people are known as the hyena men. They call the hyenas with a unique scream and then feed them raw meat on the end of a stick.
Around 6pm, my guide picked me up from my hotel in a tuk tuk and we drove to the edge of the city. There we found the hyena man calling the hyenas to the area. It wasn’t long before eight of them surrounded us.
My guide coaxed me to be the first one to feed them, which was a little alarming. I sat down on a rock near the hyena man and he handed me a stick with meat on it. I popped the opposite end of the stick in my mouth and almost immediately, a hyena came up and snatched the meat from the stick. 6 inches away from my face.
It was insane, but pretty freaking epic. 5/5 would recommend to a friend.
If you’re visiting Harar and interested in a great guide, I went with Testi Abdulfetah (email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: +251 91 082 9891)
HI, I’M LOGAN
I’m a designer and traveler, currently based in the Windy City. In 2013, I graduated from the University of Westminster, London. I met so many lifelong friends while living abroad, and it happens to be where I developed an unquenchable thirst for travel.
When I’m not collecting stamps in my passport, I like brewing cold brew, writing music, and eating copious amounts of sour candy.
FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM: @LOGANNOLIN