+252 634093632 info@somalilandtravelguide.com
+252 634093632 info@somalilandtravelguide.com

Somaliland FAQs

We have answers!

Travel to Somaliland is one of those things that naturally gives rise to queries, concerns, and doubts, so we’re here to put your mind at ease.

Which trip is right for me? What do I do about visas? How to get in and get out in Somaliland? How to get online? For questions frequent and otherwise, this is the spot.

If you don’t see your question answered here, feel free to reach out to us. Our Client Care team is standing by to make sure you’re in the know on all things regarding Somaliland travel advice and tips.

Travel during COVID-19

  • If you’re arriving in Somaliland by air or through customs then you will not need to quarantine if you have evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 96 hours (4 days) of arrival.
  • If you don’t have this evidence then you may have to spend 14 days in quarantine at your own expense in a government-appointed facility.
  • If you’re departing out of Somaliland by air you have to do COVID 19 test to Hargeisa public hospital between 7 am -12 pm lab working hours at $30 and if don’t airlines will not allow you to be on board.

Is Somaliland a country?

Somaliland is not Somalia. A self-declared independent state unrecognized by the rest of the world; Somaliland has its own government and currency and has escaped the chaos that has engulfed its notorious cousin.

Perched on the Horn of Africa and bordered by the Red Sea, Somaliland is a country of proud traditions born out of its largely nomadic heritage, keen to welcome visitors

Is Somaliland safe to travel?

The government is very much invested in distancing itself from its southern neighbor and shedding the unsavory reputation thereof, and so they’ve invested massively in the safety of its few tourists.

Somaliland is a very safe and peaceful country; for instance, it’s perfectly safe to walk alone at night in Hargeisa. Guests to the country are also provided with armed escorts – more for the government’s peace of mind than yours! Do keep in mind that Somaliland remains a poor country; though violent crimes and hotel break-ins are almost completely unheard of, there is a small chance of pick-pocketing.

As previously mentioned, Somaliland is a conservative Muslim society, and women should dress modestly to avoid unwanted attention. Men should refrain from taking pictures of women in the country, as their male relatives could well take offense to this.

Most conflicts are easily resolved with an apology, a smile, and a handshake, however, we do research the security of our destinations highly and safety is a priority for us, however, we advise you do your own research too to ensure you are comfortable with your trip.

What to do in Somaliland?

Somaliland has plenty to offer during your stay! Some of the most vibrant cave paintings in the world can be found in the country – at the site of Las Geel, a few hours away from Hargeisa, you can see numerous millennia-old paintings. Berbera, the second-biggest city, is by the sea and offers great beaches.

You can easily hire a boat and there is a dive shop that can arrange day-long dive trips. Simple people-watching (not in a pervy way) is one of the most rewarding activities in the country, however. Visit Hargeisa’s bustling market or head to the camel market in the morning for a wild experience.

Where to stay in Somaliland?

There are not so many options when it comes to accommodation, Hargeisa has a few high-end hotels, but we’d recommend Damal Hotel, located a street away from the main drag and featuring very friendly and helpful staff. In Berbera, most tourists stay at the fanciest place in town, the Mansoor Hotel and Damal also.

How to stay online in Somaliland

The country has, surprisingly, some of the cheapest and fastest internets in Africa. There are two main companies, confusingly called Somtel and Telesom.

There are a varied and decent number of packages for mobile connectivity. Coverage is good throughout the country, and buying a SIM card will cost you a princely USD $1. 300 MB of data on top of the SIM’s default package is another USD $1.

How to get in Somaliland?

Getting there has never been easier! The country now offers visas on arrival to a good number of nationalities at all its land borders and Hargeisa airport.

The airport is also connected to Addis Abada with two daily flights, and also has flights to Dubai, Egypt, Djibouti, and Mogadishu.

The more adventurous amongst you may want to try your luck on an overland journey from Harar or Djibouti City, but from Djibouti overland be advised that these are pretty hardcore and the terrible roads are not for the fainthearted!

What is the currency of Somaliland?

In a nice nod to their British colonial roots, they use the Somaliland shilling. The largest note (bill) is a 5000, and when changing money you’ll usually end up with a huge pile of cash.

The most common note/bill you’ll see is the 1000 – it’s so common in comparison to the 500-/5000-shilling notes, in fact, that you’d be forgiven for thinking that they don’t exist.

The current exchange rate is around 8000 shillings to USD $1. The US dollar is readily accepted in the country, and ATMs in Hargeisa actually dispense crisp US notes. Everyone is aware of the current exchange rate, so you can easily pay in USD and get changes in shillings.

Clothing

Somaliland is hot and so light clothes are generally a good idea. Islamic dress applies to women. Headscarves should be worn at all times.

Long-sleeved blouses or shirts are required and preferably long skirts, although loose-fitting trousers may also work. Islamic long coats, ‘manteaux’, would not be necessary.

Is Alcohol allowed?

Alcohol is not available in Somaliland and is illegal to bring into the country.

What is (the self declared state of) Somaliland?

Somaliland is NOT What You Think.

Is Somaliland a country by drewbinsky

Somaliland Attractions

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