The Federative Republic of Somalia is a state in East Africa. It shares its borders with Djibouti, Kenya, and Ethiopia. The eastern and southern coast of the country is washed by the Indian Ocean and the north is washed by the waters of the Gulf of Aden. The capital city is Mogadishu.
The climate in Somalia monsoon sub-equatorial. The north of the country has a tropical desert climate. The average temperature in summer can reach +34°C and in winter, it is +24°C. On the coast, the temperature can be as high as +47°C and in the mountains, +0°C. The wet seasons in Somalia last from March to June and from September to December. The best time for visiting Somalia is from July to August.
The population of Somalia practice Islam. The official languages are Somali and Arabic.
For city entertainments and shopping go to the capital city Mogadishu, which was founded in the 12th century. In Mogadishu, the tourists will see the local mosque (13th century) and the Gares’s Palace Museum.
In the city of Hargeisa, there is the MiGu Monument, the Friday Mosque, the Hargeisa Museum, the Camel Market, and the City Market. You can also take a walk to the hills Naasa Hablood.
The lovers of out-of-town holidays should visit the Kismayu National Park and the Hargeisa National Park. On the north of Somalia, there are deep gorges. The Uarsanzheli-Midzhurtin mountain is famous for its highest peak Surud-Ad.
From Mogadishu to the border with Kenya, beautiful coral reefs are stretching. They are believed to be the longest in the world.
The fastest and the most comfortable way to get to Somalia from Russia is a flight.
Emirates Airline and Aeroflot offer direct flights from Moscow to Mogadishu, Daallo Airlines offers a transit flight from CIS countries with a transfer in Djibouti.
Kenya Airways offers the flights from Nairobi to Mogadishu.
The European tourists can choose the flights from London or Paris.
One can get to Somalia by bus or by car from neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya.
Be aware that in Somalia is in a civil war now.
The CIS and EU citizens must obtain a visa to travel to Somalia.
The tourists must be aware that currently, there is no such integral state as Somali. On the territory, there are several public entities: the Federal Republic of Somalia, Somaliland, and the Islamic Caliphate of Somalia. The international community doesn’t recognise any other state, but the Federal Republic of Somalia. However, Somaliland and the Islamic Caliphate of Somalia have their own laws, entry rules, foreign policy, and missions in other countries.
Visas to Somaliland and the Federal Republic of Somalia are not recognised only on the territory of each country so when planning your trip you should be perfectly clear about the territory you are going to spend your holidays on.
A visa to the Federal Republic of Somalia is issued for 60 days at the consulates of the country.
The tourists can get a visa to Somaliland at the border and in diplomatic representations in the USA, Europe, Yemen, and Ethiopia.
In Somalia, the import and export of national and foreign currency are not restricted.
The tourists can bring in duty-free:
- tobacco and alcohol;
- perfume for personal use.
Currently, the tourists are not recommended to visit the country because of the complicated political situation. The threat of terrorism is one of the highest in the world. The criminal situation is not favourable.
The traditional cuisine of Somalia is rather poor comparing to other national cuisines of the region. Depending on the region, the cuisine has its own twist, but every region observes Halal. It means that the locals do not eat pork and do not drink alcohol.
The Somalians eat flatbread Anjiro, porridges with spices, milk and air-cured meat every day. It is not common to eat fish, poultry, and eggs.
There are not so many traditional dishes in Somalia. We recommend a thick maize porridge Mishaari, boiled beans with sugar and butter Cambuulo, boiled wheat Camadi, and D+Federation (boiled rice with vegetables and meat served in the form of the Somalian flag). In the restaurants, the tourists can order Bajiye (meat with maize and vegetables) and a local version of samosa Sambuusa.
The foodies can treat themselves to seafood such as squid, lobsters, crawfish, tuna, and prawns.
If you have a sweet tooth you should try a popular Somalian dessert halwa with nutmeg, cardamom, peanut, and clarified butter. You will like the unusual taste of Sisin (a crunchy sesame seeds bar), sweet maize flour flatbread Muufo, thick sugar syrup with cardamon and coconut Cashaato, and ice-cream Gelato.
Fruit juices and lemonade Isbarmuunto are very popular in Somalia.
The national currency in Somalia is the Somali shilling (SOS).
The tourists should exchange the currency at banks which work from Saturday to Thursday. Currency exchange services are also available in hotels.
You will not be able to pay with credit cards or traveller’s checks. It is a luck to cash a traveller’s check in US dollars in Mogadishu.
You can pay for goods and services with US dollars. On the north of Somalia, Egyptian pounds and Yemeni rials are accepted.
Details of interest
As the government does not have any control, the legality and the rule of law are ensured by the local clans and the law is based on the tribal traditions.
Social norms are based on the Muslim traditions. Women wear hijab and get married at 14-15 years old. A man can have as many as four wives.
Sightseeing in Somali
- The most interesting places in Mogadishu are located in the Hamarwein old city. The tourists will see the city mosque, the museum in the Gares’s Palace built by the sultan of Zanzibar. It will be interesting to visit the market Bakaara. It is famous for illicit activities. Today, Mogadishu is closed for the tourists.
- The caves Laas Geel preserved unique Rock art which is almost 11.000 years old.
- The tourists can visit Berber, the oldest port in Africa and see the ruins of the ancient city Gellet-Abbas.
Souvenirs in Somali
- Gems (rare violet or blue tanzanite) can be bought in Mogadishu.
- In Hamarwein, the tourists can buy hand-painted wooden Hangul, figurines from black wood, and Bambara figurines.
- In Hargeisa, look for red halwa and amazingly beautiful shawls.