Have plans about traveling to Somalia and crossing it off your bucket list?
You won’t be disappointed.
Located on the east coast of central Africa, Somalia offers you great culture, warm people, great beaches, and much more.
Though there are a lot of great things to do in Somalia, there are also several points to remember before you go and as you’re there.
Here are our top Somalia travel tips to know before you go:
1. Stay Safe
Unfortunately, Somalia isn’t the safest country you could visit. With the threats of general crime, civil unrest, kidnapping, terrorism, piracy, and other issues, Somalia has had a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” advisor from the US Department of State since late 2019, and comparable travel warnings from other nations.
However, with that said, there are things you can do to be as safe as possible, above standard safety precautions, of course.
Before you go to Somalia, there are a number of tasks you should complete. These include creating a security plan, establishing a proof of life protocol with relatives, identifying the nearest embassy or consulate to your hotel, and appointing someone to be the point of contact in case something happens, such as you being kidnapped.
When traveling in Somalia, steer clear of any demonstrations, as they can get out of hand quickly. If you see groups of armed men, stay away, as well. Finally, if you are identify as LGBTQ, please be super careful, especially if traveling with your partner. Homosexuality is illegal and severely punished, possibly resulting in years of prison time, torture, and even death.
2. Keep Healthy
For the vegetarians and vegans: you’re going to have a difficult time finding a variety of food to eat in Somalia, as the local cuisine is much more carnivorous. To make sure you aren’t caught off guard, you may want to book a “fancier” hotel with a plentiful restaurant inside, as they’ll usually serve foods that are more “Western.”
There are a few vaccinations you should get before visiting, including for cholera, yellow fever, typhoid hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies, and polio. Consult with your doctor before going, of course.
Related Read: What is the African Union?
3. Spend Wisely
The currency used in Somalia is the Somali shilling (SOS), and you may want to get some cold, hard cash advanced to you by your home bank before leaving on your trip. Credit cards are accepted rarely, meaning you won’t be able to take money out easily. You can also take US dollars, as these enjoy a great exchange rate and are pretty well accepted.
4. Book a Full Service Hotel
I don’t mean an all-inclusive hotel here, but rather a hotel in the Somali city you’ll be staying in which will handle almost everything for you.
Because of the danger, possible visa problems, and other potential issues, some hotels can handle everything for you, including airport transfers, visa documentation, personal security, meal menus, travel tours, and more.
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5. Drink Privately
As Somalia is predominantly Muslim in culture, alcohol consumption is frowned upon at best, and could get you in big trouble at worst. While you may be able to find alcoholic beverages in places, drink discreetly. Not only do you not want to get in trouble, but you also want to be careful not to offend.
Well, that’s all our Somalia travel tips for now, and we hope you have a fun, safe trip to this amazing country! Got any questions, feedback, or other tips for traveling to Somalia we should add to our list? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!