By: Responsible Travel
Somalilandsun – Somaliland is the country that isn’t. Still unrecognized by the rest of the world despite more than twenty years of de facto independence, Somaliland is an exciting nation reverberating with fascinating history and nomadic heritage.
Our group tours and tailor made holidays to Somaliland take you to a country that could not be further off the tourist trail, and can rightly be considered to be one of the last true frontiers of African travel.
From the modern capital Hargeisa to the ancient port of Berbera, from desert communities to some of the best rock art on the continent, Somaliland has much to offer the intrepid traveller.
It’s a wonder that more people haven’t woken up to the subtle charms of this intriguing nation. But then perhaps that’s no bad thing – travelling in Somaliland carries an air of excitement that more popular destinations fail to match.
Day 1 Hargeisa – Arrive in Hargeisa and transfer to your hotel, where the rest of the day is free to relax.
Day 2 Hargeisa – Spend the morning exploring the city and seeing some of its sights, including the War Memorial with its unusual monument of a crashed MiG fighter plane, the markets – including the gold and khat markets – and a traditional Somali house. The afternoon is free for you to explore on your own.
Day 3 Baligubadle – We spend today exploring the traditional nomadic culture of Somaliland. We visit nomad families and settlements to see how they live, and spend time meeting and interacting with local people, seeing how they look after their livestock and having a traditional Somali lunch. A high proportion of Somaliland’s inhabitants live nomadic lives and this gives us an excellent insight into local culture. End the day in Baligubadle
Day 4 Arabsiyo, Gabiley and Jufo – A full day excursion eastwards, visiting the town of Arabsiyo and its valleys, on the way to Gabiley. Gabiley is known as the breadbasket of Somaliland and is renowned for its agriculture. We will also visit the rock art site at Dhagaz Khoure. On the way back we stop at the nomadic settlement of Jufo, before returning to Hargeisa for the night.
Day 5 Las Geel and Berbera – Travel to the caves of Las Geel, where rock art dating back 5,000 years has been found – one of the best preserved examples in all of Africa and a real highlight of the trip. After visiting the site we continue to Berbera on the coast, with its interesting architecture from both the Ottoman and British periods, which we explore.
Day 6 Sheikh and Burao – Travel through the mountains to Sheikh, through fantastic scenery with great views of the dry plains below. At Sheikh we visit the ruins of Ferdusa, a city dating back to the 16th century. We then continue to Burao and visit the city’s bustling livestock market.
Day 7 Hargeisa – Drive back to Hargeisa, stopping en route at any sites of interest
Day 8 Hargeisa – Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
How Somaliland cultural tour in Somalia makes a difference
We are proud of our involvement in Somaliland; a self declared independent state unrecognised by the rest of the world. Tourism in Somaliland is virtually unknown, but we believe it is crucial to the country’s development. With high levels of unemployment and little in the way of foreign trade we want you to know that your trip will make a difference.
When travelling in places that have never had tourists, it is extremely important that we set the standard. All guests are given a copy of our responsible travel policy and our local team in Somaliland is briefed on the best way to manage the limited resources available. We ask our guides to extend this knowledge to the local suppliers of food and accommodation, although in a country with resources as limited as Somaliland, the ability to recycle and make best use of what you have is something that every local has to have to survive.
We only employ local staff and unlike many operators we believe that to send a foreign Tour Leader along to accompany your trip is an unnecessary burden on your wallet and our carbon footprint. We believe that locals know best.
Wherever possible, throughout our tour of Somaliland, we use locally owned accommodation. This means your money stays in the area to benefit the local community. When possible we use local transport, and we always use local restaurants, markets and shops. In doing this your travels are supporting and encouraging the development of local services. Hargeisa has some large markets, selling everything one can imagine and our time spent with the local traders is a particular highlight of the tour.
In Baligubadle, we visit nomad families and settlements to see how they live, and spend time meeting and interacting with local people, seeing how they look after their livestock and having a traditional Somali lunch. This support for the traditional way of life is an important part of all of our tours.
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