Somalia is situated on the Horn of Africa, along the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. It is surrounded by Djibouti to the northwest, Ethiopia to the west, and Kenya to the southwest. Somalia has two main rivers: Shebelle and Juba. Officially the republic of Somalia, the country is known to have the longest coastline on the continent’s mainland. Its capital and largest city is Mogadishu.
Where to go
Somalia has a lot of beaches – it has the longest coastline in Africa. In particular, the Somali beach near Mogadishu will make for a beautiful destination for tourists. One of the notable cities in Somalia is Bosaso, a city in the north-eastern province of Bari in Somalia, on the southern coast of the Gulf of Aden. It is the region’s commercial capital and a primary seaport within the autonomous state of Puntland. It is also the third largest city in the country, next to Mogadishu and Hargeisa (the capital of Somaliliand).
There are direct flights from Mogadishu, Somalia to Djibouti which is located in East Africa and surrounded by Ethiopia to the west and south, Gulf of Eden to the east, and Somaliland in the southeast. The capital and largest city is also named Djibouti. The central and southern parts of the country consist of coastal plain and volcanic plateaus, while mountain ranges comprise the northern part.
At the Ethiopian border lies Lake Abhe, a steaming lake which is surrounded by limestone chimneys. It may be a familiar spot for many as its lunar-esque landscape was once used in the movie Planet of the Apes. Another notable destination is Lake Assal. At 157 metres below sea level, it is the lowest point in Africa. It is likewise the saltiest lake outside Antarctica. The roads leading to Lake Assal may be challenging. Travellers need to hire a car or ask a local to assist in the tour.
There are flights (with two stops) from Mogadishu to Jeddah, a main urban centre in western Saudi Arabia and a significant commercial hub of the country. It is situated in the Hijazi Tihama region on the coast of the Red Sea. Jeddah is the second largest city in the country, next to the capital Riyadh, and the largest city in the Makkah Province.
Jeddah plays an important role to Muslims as it is the main entry point to Mecca, the holiest city of Islam. It is also a gateway to Medina which is Islam’s second holiest place.
One of the must-see destinations in Jeddah is Al-Balad or Old Town. It is home to different ancient buildings and traditional markets called souqs. It is likewise marked by coral houses. At the city centre lies Souq al-Alawi, a busy market street lined with coral houses.
Scuba diving opportunities abound in Jeddah as it is in close proximity to the Red Sea. Travellers who just want to see scenic views of the Red Sea can go to Jeddah Corniche. For those who want to shop, head to Tahliya or Gold Souq for good quality gold. Other great shopping areas are Red Sea Mall located at King Abdulaziz Road and is one of the biggest malls in Jeddah, Mall of Arabia, and Star’s Avenue.
How to get out
The major airports of Somalia are in Mogadishu, Hargeisa, Kismayo, Baidoa, and Bosaso. The main international airport of the country is Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu. It serves as a hub for Jubba Airways and Somali Airlines. Other airlines that operate here include African Express Airways, Daallo Airlines, Felix Airways, Fly-SAX, and Turkish Airlines. The flights provided at the airport include flights to Nairobi, Djibouti, Dubai, Jeddah, and Istanbul.
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