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Visiting Dire Dewa

Dire Dewa, founded in 1902, is a historical city of Ethiopia, located in the region of Harar.  It is near the Dechatu River, known for area cliffs that appear as clusters of tea leaves. Dire Dewa was built from the need to supply goods to Harar which could not be reached by railway at its highest point of elevation.

Dire Dewa is a delightful tourist attraction for those interested in learning more about the history and development of Ethiopia. Tourists have the opportunity to experience its personal culture and view its magnificence. Currently, it is the commercial center near the Addis Abada-Djibouti railroad. Workshops about the railroad are also available in the city. Market products such as vegetable oils, processed meat, textiles as well as cement come from the city. Growth in the region has largely been a result of the railroad reaching the area.

The climate of Dire Dewa ranges from temperatures 18 - 26 degrees Celsius. Rain showers come in two seasons during the year. The region is also known to have an abundant water source from underground. The current population is approximately 160,000, housing a variety of cultural nationalities.

The city of Dire Dewa holds many historical attractions for families to visit. Pre-historical caves contain paintings which are recognized internationally. Caves are being studied by American and French geologists for over 75 years. Some caves have yet to be explored. 

The Dire Dewa Railway Station is highly visited due to significance of the railroad, in the development and growth of the city. British and African cemeteries were created during and after the Second World War, of soldiers who fought alongside Ethiopian armed forces. 

A traditional marketplace, Kefira, can be seen in colorful representation of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Locals are seen in their cultural dress style nearby, along with town animals.  Gharris’ are used within the city, which are wheeled carts pulled by horses or mules. It is definitely an awesome sight to see.

Dire Dewa holds nearly the largest mosque within the city. It is known as the Italian Mosque, built by the Italians in their short stay in Ethiopia. Another attraction of interest is Saint Michel’s Catholic Church which was built over 100 years ago. It is located nearby in Beyo Awale, and thousands of nearby Catholics visit on a regular basis.