Travel to Somalia, horn of Africa

In the extreme east of the Horn of Africa, Somalia was known in ancient times as the Country of Pount by Egyptians. The State of Somalia sprouted from the merger between the Italians to the south and British colonies in the north. It has been independent since 1959. Due to the civil war, Somalia has been a private state since 1991. Despite the institution of a federal transitional government in 2004, national security forces are not in good control of the territory.

A combined military intervention made by the transitional government and Ethiopia at the beginning of January 2007 led to the retreat of Islamic tribes from Mogdisho toward the southern part of the country close to the Kenyan border.

Somalia suffers from drought and famine. Surely the only reason you'll travel to Somalia is for humanitarian purposes. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly advises against any trip to this country. A multitude of organisations have been unable to curb problems and end all of the suffering.

Security: the FCO advises against all travel to the whole country. See full official advice.

  • Somalia
    © Johan Swanepoel / 123RF
  • Somalia
    © Sad?k Güleç / 123RF
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Somalia
Somalia: the key figures

Surface area : 637661.0 km2

Population : 9557000 inhabitants

  • The hospitality of the people.
  • Beautiful beaches.
  • Civil wars and insecurity are common (robbery, armed robbery, looting).
  • Difficulties moving round the country.
  • Lack of comfort (water, electricity, food, healthcare, accommodation) in some regions.

Somalia: what to visit?

Coasts

Towns

The fauna and flora

Somalia: what to buy?

Some of Somalia's authentic souvenirs are gold and silver jewellery, wool garments, Muqdisho baskets, sea foam pipes and wooden sculptures.
Shops open Saturday to Thursday from 8:00 to 12:30 and 16:30 to 19:00.

Somalia: what to eat?

Rice, spaghetti or macaroni is served with all types of sauces, mutton or goat. In addition, roast kid served with rice is one of Somalia's traditional dishes. Somalis also eat a lot of fish, seafood (shrimps, lobster, crab, tuna) and fruits (mango, banana, papaya).
A Somali's breakfast has nothing to do with our European standards, since goat, mutton or dromedary liver fried with onions and bread is served often.

Somalia: main cities

Somalia: travel tips

Islam requires people to wear long garments on the beach. No shorts: only children wear these!
Buy films before leaving and seek people's approval before taking snapshots, as there are restrictions. Avoid taking pictures when you are uncertain.
a 10% tip is common practice in hotels and restaurants.
?t's okay to be paranoid: any day spent in Somalia is risky.

Elsewhere in the world
Somalia : Holidays
  • Holidays
  • Flights
  • Hotels
  • Flight + Hotel
  • Cars