Somaliland: The Extra Ordinary Unrecognized Fuss and Hassle Free Country

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Michal and Martin Perusing Dawan Newspapers and at Laas GeelThis article is the joint efforts of two young Czech currently visiting Somaliland to sample the various touristic sites. Martin is in his final year of Sociology studies while Michal is doing his second masters in economic studies. Editor

By: Michal & Martin

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – We came to Somaliland to see something extraordinary and we knew there are several places in this country, that deserve such title. On our schedule stood the coastal city of Berbera and the prehistoric paintings of Las Gaal, Needless to say that we found these suggestions in the Lonely Planet guide.

The day we went to Berbera started in a little bumpy way as we struggled with bureaucracy to get a letter from the Immigration Department to get a visa to Ethiopia. After several hours of waiting for one signature we succeeded only to find out that Ethiopian embassy was already closed {at 11:30}.

This didn’t stop us from being excited about a forthcoming trip. With some delay and help from local journalist who got us a travel permit to Las Gaal we set off on the way in the rented car together with a personal guard. The way to Berbera offered us several encounters with local fauna {monkeys and camels mostly} as well as numerous police checkpoints which were easily dealt with by our guard.

We got there in about two and half hours. Finding our lodging after trying in three different and completely full hotels we were lucky to get double in the Esco hotel, cosy place for very reasonable price. We had misunderstanding with a greedy tuc tuc driver who asked for 15 USD after we happily accepted a price of 15000 Schillings to get us to the beach. His lack of knowledge of the English cost us another some extra money. After we got the Baathela [?] beach we instantly forgot this episode and went to swim in the Red sea which we had only for ourselves. That was completely new experience as we are used to overcrowded European beaches. We agreed there is much potential on this coast for tourism if the infrastructure develops accordingly. With sunset coming close we decided to walk the 4 kms back to the town. And we must admit we felt quite safe on our little walk apart of several dogs barking in the distance. We had a rich and tasty dinner in one of the recommended restaurants {Al Xayaat restaurant and fish} and went to sleep awaiting tomorrow”s trip to Las Gaal.

In the morning we took two hours to get us started with breakfast at the same place as the previous evening and to see another part of the town leading which could be titled fishermens” neighbourhood. We hit the road right after that and after hour and half long drive, partly offroad, we arrived to Las Gaal to witness something completely new for us. First class prehistoric paintings where / again / we were completely alone as tourists. We also found in the guestbook that last Czechs who visited this place came in February. For both of us the painting were quite amazing, we took dozens of pictures and jumped from one cave shelter to the other. We were surrounded by a group of monkeys. On the way back we collected a picture of huge tortoise into our animalia directory. It would definitely pay off to pave the road leading to the site.

Back to Hergeisa we sat together to write this article to let others know about Somalia”s different faces.

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