Somalia is found in the war ravaged Horn of Africa. Although Somalia is known for several unfortunate disasters like Hunger, famine, terrorism and war, there is more to this small country than just the news headlines!
Somalia shares borders with Gulf of Aden in the north, Kenya in the south and west, Ethiopia in the west and to the northwest by Djibouti. The Indian Ocean marks the international boundary in the east.
Somalia has a long history of colonization and civil unrest but it is important to recognize this country as one of the most dramatic countries in Africa. Somalia gained independence from the British and Italians on 1 July 1960. Ever since its independence, there have been several inherited tribal rivalries and territorial disputes with its neighbors such as Ethiopia.
Mogadishu is the capital of Somalia located in the east near the Gulf of Aden. It is one of the most peaceful cities in the country and thus a home for millions of Somalis as well as international NGOs and offices. The Shanghai Old City, once the playground of the wealthy, remains one of the most fascinating tourist attractions in Somalia.
Somalia is a semi-arid country but there are several attractions to catch a glimpse of just incase nature is your thing! These attractions include mountains in the north, flat semi-desert, sea, narrow coastal plain, beaches and the colorful coral reef that stretch from Mogadishu and south to the Kenyan border.
Las Geel is a UNESCO World Heritage site recommended for its well-preserved Neolithic paintings decorate the walls of this inter-connected series of caves and shelters in Somaliland.
Flora and Fauna:The Kismayu National Park is home to Somalia’s unique flora and fauna. It is located in the southwest and is a habitat for some Somali endemic wildlife species although many are common to East Africa. Other Somalia National parks include Hargeisa National Park in the north and another located near Mogadishu, the capital.
Beaches; Somalia’s beaches line the Indian Ocean in the east and are protected by a coral reef running from Mogadishu to the Kenyan border in the south. They are one way to forget the turmoil and gun fires in the country…relax and enjoy the best of Somalia’s beauty.
Flying to Somalia is quite a challenge since it has no National carrier. Somali Airlines collapsed in the last century but Jubba Airlines and Daallo Airways have regular flights from Mogadishu airport to Dubai, Paris and London. The flights to London from Mogadishu is 12 hours 30 minutes
Alternatively, other means of travel are by public buses and private car hire in Mogadishu. Only routes to Burao and Baidoa are open to tourists. The road to Hargeysa National Park and Hargeysa town are under maintenance works.
It is important to remember issues on safety when travelling by road outside Mogadishu. Many parts of the country are still under despair thus the poor infrastructure.4X4 are recommended for up-country travel and tours.
The Jilal starts around January and is the hot and very dry. Gu is the first rainy season which runs from March to June. Hagaa, during August, is a time of dry monsoon winds and dust clouds. The second rainy season is from September to December and is called Dayr.
Accommodation is available in major towns and cities such as Hargeisa and Mogadishu. There are also hotels in Afgoi, Berbera, Borama, Burao, Kismayu and Marka.
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