Blogs from Somalia, Africa


Africa » Somalia September 23rd 2017

After returning to Dubai I returned to work the following day expecting to begin by new job, didn't really happen though, it is a new team and it took several weeks to get started so in that time I continued writing strategic products. I also began physio on the injured ankle completing three sessions over a three week period and last week l began walking home from work, it only takes about 15 minutes which is a bonus in 40 degree heat. I have four distinct sets of friends now and I try to socialise with two groups each weekend as different people have interests. When not working or socialising I have been planning a trip to Somaliland which at times has been quite frustrating, getting a visa for province of Somalia which broke away during ... read more
Down town

Africa » Somalia May 29th 2017

"ONLY A CRAZY MAN WOULD GO TO SOMALI TERRITORY". It all started years ago when I traveled to east Africa, first to Tanzania and then to Madagascar. As I flew over, I knew somewhere down there was the Horn of Africa, the area that had been an integral part of trade routes for thousands of years. There, separating Yemen and Oman from Africa, was the Gulf of Aden, coming right in from the Indian Ocean. I knew most of the ships on earth, including massive oil tankers, passed through these straights back and forth to the Suez Canal. I knew about volatile Somalia, unpredictable Yemen. Like many, I knew of the Blackhawk Down incident in Mogadishu and crazy piracy on the coast of Somalia. My 10 year old daughter was once obsessed with pirates and Somalia. ... read more

Africa » Somalia December 13th 2015

Just to confirm that almost everywhere on the planet is worth visiting and almost everyone on it is actually really nice: here is Somalia. Actually it's the self-declared but internationally unrecognised independent Republic of Somaliland which forms about a third of Somalia. Democratic elections since the 90s, their own president, currency, flag, passports and even embassies abroad. Despite being peaceful and with a growing economy no countries recognise their independence because they follow the lead of the African Union who have thrown so much effort and money at supporting the government in Mogadishu who vehemently oppose Somaliland independence. It's safe enough that moneychangers have their cash piled up on the street, there's incredible 8000 year old rock art that would be UNESCO recognised if Somaliland actually existed, the beautiful desert is full of wildlife, the beach ... read more
Las Geel
Money changers in Hargeisa
Somali Desert

Africa » Somalia November 12th 2015

Geo: 12.5222, 48.2192Slept late today after doing laundry in the middle of the night again. I was awake at 3:30 and had the laundry bagged and ready to go expecting to wake up about then. So much easier to do laundry with no one else around so I took advantage of not being able to sleep regularly all the time. When I went to the launderette, I found the fire doors between areas of the ship closed. It was simple to open and pass through them. I did not know that they were closed at night.At noon, we were in the Seabourn Square area enjoying coffee, tea, and snacks when the captain made his daily announcement. Typical of what we hear each day if we remember to turn the TV on or are out in the ... read more

Africa » Somalia » Somaliland » Berbera March 30th 2012

It was another early start today, as we wanted to visit the rock paintings in Laas Geel and get to Berbera by the afternoon. We took a bus down to the city centre and found where the cars were going to Berbera. For some reason, they have buses that provide local transport around Hargeisa, but to travel outside the city there are only shared taxis. A crowd of nearly 50 people gathered to see how the 3 white guys would get on, with everyone seeming to want to have their contribution. Half of them looked like they had been chewing chat since the night before. Chat is mildly narcotic leaf, that is chewed over the course of the day. It is fairly popular here in Somaliland and in parts of Ethiopia. We negotiated places in one ... read more
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Africa » Somalia » Somaliland » Hargeisa March 28th 2012

First to explain, Somaliland is a separate state to Somalia and has been since the early 90s. It just has not been recognised by the international community yet. So, this trip was not some suicide mission into Mogadishu nor was I in search of any pirates. I had been told that it was safe to visit and quite interesting. As I wanted to visit Harar in the east of Ethiopia, I decided it wasn't that much more of an effort to get to Somaliland. From Jijiga, we got a minibus to the border town of Wajaale. There, we completed the formalities on the Ethiopian side, had our bags checked not-that-thoroughly and walked through the rope across the street that formed the border and into Somaliland. We got stamped in and had some camel for breakfast. We ... read more
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Africa » Somalia » Somaliland » Hargeisa December 27th 2011

You live in Somalia where law and order is collapsing around you, a country where warlords and terrorists preach hate against your moderate values and beliefs. A country consumed by war and piracy in which you want no part, a country failing to provide the basic services that you need. Crippled by corruption and poverty, you look for a way out, a distant land rising from the rubble, a shining light amidst the political darkness, a glimmer of hope in the horn of Africa. That future is Somaliland. Mogadishu is the corrupt capital for the failed state of Somalia, a place where pirates and terrorists rule. The Fund for Peace has ranked Somalia number one according to its ‘Failed States Index’. Yet to the north, the breakaway region of Somaliland is stable and at peace. Un-recognized ... read more
My Bodyguard
Cattle Market
Somali Child

Africa » Somalia May 31st 2011

Somaliland is still fighting an unsuccessful battle with the United Nations, in trying to achieve international recognition as an independent country. The people of this territory have taken a different path to the lawless, dangerous and chaotic goings on that dominate Somalia and Puntland, both of which are absolute no go zones for foreigners. The stark contrast in Hargeisa, however, sees the capital city of Somaliland on a peaceful path since 1991, where foreigners prepared to put in the effort to obtain a visa in advance receive a warm welcome. I scooped up a visa from Addis for forty bucks, and it was not a drama obtaining the necessary paperwork to visit one of the last frontiers in this wonderful world we share. The journal left off in Lalibela, dear reader, at the conclusion of a ... read more
Get the hyena off my back!
Child leads a donkey
Take the whole bowl baby

Africa » Somalia December 26th 2010

I arrived in Somaliland on the day the UN announced that troops will increase for Somalia by 50% from 8000 to 12 000 soldiers. But even though Somaliland is part of Somalia by name it is so far away from what you’d expect a portion of Somalia to be its unbelievable - There is no need for UN troops here. This is the peaceful part of Somalia. This an organised country with a recent election of a president, its own currency, flag and successful trading abilities. Unrecognised internationally, Somaliland peacefully go through their days waiting patiently to one day be recognised as their own identity. As a tourist it is a very unique destination. Many places in the world you don’t hear about want to split from the country they are associated with but don’t have ... read more
2 - Las Geel
3 - US tank on road to Berbera
4 - camel and goat market in capital

Africa » Somalia » Somaliland December 26th 2010

“Don’t try and be a hero!” are the famous last words my dad said to me as we said our farewells for my 5th Journey. It’s the only thing that hurts about travelling sometimes. It’s letting down your family members in your selfish quest to discover new things about the world because you are too lazy to open up a book and read it for yourself. But these words that my dad said to me kept ringing in my head. But… even so it couldn’t shy me away from visiting a country that officially doesn’t exist, within a country that exists only by name. I apologise to all family members but once you read on you will realise this place is just too fascinating to miss out on. I head off from Harar in east Ethiopia ... read more
2 - Hargeisa at sunset
3 - a typical house in the east road of ethiopia and somlailand country areas
4 - Entrance to Somaliland from east of city

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