Located in the Horn of Africa, Somalia is an African country slowly rising to its feet. Decades of political turmoil and the lack of a stable government has made insurgents overrun the country. Although affected by current issues in law and order, the country is still a terrific sight for travellers willing to perform their own security measures. This will make it easier to see what the country offers for those who appreciate its natural beauty.
Although a desert in many areas, Somalia has a varied landscape ranging from a scrub-covered, semi-desert plain in the north. This part of the country called Guban is bisected with waterways that fill up during the rainy season. When these are filled, the low bushes and grasses become lush with healthy vegetation. The central regions, on the other hand, feature the Cal Madow mountain range with shallow plateaus and dry watercourses. Those in the south have the Jubba and the Shabele, which flow from the Ethiopian Highlands. Jubba enter the Indian Ocean at Kismayo with Shabele going deep into the desert terrain of Jilib near the Jubba river. Somalia’s capital is Mogadishu.
What to see & do
Somalia offers various attractions for its visitors. One can go through the cultural route first and join guided tours to various parts of Somaliland on the south of the country. Travellers can start with Las Geel, a stone artwork made from hundreds of beautiful Neolithic rocks. These natural paintings can be fascinating to look at due to their almost untouched condition. Some of them are at least one metre in length, which makes it a must-see for tourists excited to see some of the country's amazing sights.
Those in the area can look for Jama Mosque which lies on the market area. One can visit here even during Friday to see the people performing their daily prayers. One is not permitted to go inside, though, but travellers can take in the sight of its whitewashed facade and tall minarets. Those looking for the signs of the Civil War which ravaged the country can go to see the MiG jet, which was placed on a stand, showing murals of the scenes of war.
From there, one can stop by the Central Market in Hargeisa to get a feel of the local culture. There are various produce here, as well as electronic goods and wind-up radios and clothes. It is in the livestock market where tourists will find one of the most important parts of the Somalian identity. Somalis who earn their living off their livestock still let their sheep and camels graze on the grasslands.
Travellers going on nature tours, on the other hand, will find birdwatching an excellent activity. There are around 660 species of birds in the country, including the endemic and near endemic birds. Some of the examples to see here is the golden-breasted starling and the Warsangli Lionet.
How to get around within Somalia
Those going around Somalia will have to bear with the poor modes of transport. Most of the roads are still packed earth and unpaved, which makes for bumpy rides on privately commissioned jeeps and other vehicles. Domestic airports also make up a primary part of air travel, with ports also active in welcoming and sending off boats and ships. The railways are non-existent as well, which makes it important for travellers to arrange for their commute before they fly to the country.
How to get there
Travellers going to Somalia can board flights to Aden Adde International Airport. Airlines serving here are African Express Airways, Al Saeeda Airlines, Daallo Airlines, Fly-SAX, Jubba Airways, SkyGreece Airlines, and Turkish Airlines.
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