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A Wild Trip To Somaliland, Mogadishu, Kismayo and Puntland

A Wild Trip To Somaliland, Mogadishu, Kismayo and Puntland

By Kesson Lee

I visited Somaliland with Khalid in 2012 for a three-day tour through visithornafrica.com, and knew I would return. During my second trip, I was accompanied by a group of adventurous extreme travelers. Our itinerary would take us to Somaliland, Mogadishu, Kismayo, and Puntland.

With a departure from Spain

In my opinion, it will be quite an adventure to travel to Somaliland, Mogadishu, Kismayo and Puntland as a one-time trip organized by Visit Horn Africa and as far as I am aware, Khalid is the only person who can arrange such trips in the Horn of Africa. Our journey began in Somaliland, where we toured Hargeisa, Laasgeel, Berbera, and Dhagah Kooure during a four-day tour.

Trip to Somaliland

In Somaliland, we had the opportunity to speak with the Minister of Trade and Tourism about Somaliland’s relationship with the rest of the world. He explained that Somaliland may not be internationally recognized as an independent state, but its key partners, including Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya, have provided significant support to its efforts. Furthermore, he discussed Somaliland’s efforts to engage the international community more actively, including hosting international conferences and forums.

Overall, I was very impressed with my meeting with the Minister of Trade and Tourism. I was struck by his passion for his country and its people, and I hope someday he will be able to make a difference

Trip to Mogadishu

Our next step was to fly to Mogadishu with Air Djibouti and visit Bakaara Market and Liido Beach, the largest open-air market in Somalia. Besides food and clothing, you can also find electronic equipment and weapons here. During our visit to Bakara Market, taking photographs and recording video was prohibited due to the presence of Alshabaab, the terrorist group, in this market. Our security guards were very vigilant throughout the 20 minutes we spent at the market.

We arose early on the second day of our trip, eager to explore Mogadishu. Our guide led us on a tour of the city, pointing out historical sites and landmarks. During our visit, we also met with the Somalia Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism. We had an enjoyable conversation about the situation in Somalia with Minister Osman Dubbe. We gained a great deal of insight into the culture and politics of the country from him.

Trip to Kismayo

After spending two nights and three days in Mogadishu, we fly to Kismayo by plane, since traveling overland is prohibited due to the presence of al-Shabaab, so if you are seeking a beach vacation, head to Kismayo. In addition to its beautiful sandy beaches, it is one of the most scenic cities in Somalia. Furthermore, we visited Goobweyn and Bajuni Island for two nights and three days during our stay in Kismayo.

Kismayo beach is one of the busiest places in town. People are constantly coming and going, and there’s always something happening. We were waiting for our next flight at the beach when we met some interesting people.

One guy we met was a fisherman who had just caught a big fish. He was very proud of his catch and wanted to show it off. We took some pictures with him and his fish, and he was happy to chat with us about his life as a fisherman.

We also met a group of young women who were on their way to the market. They were laughing and joking with each other, and they were happy to stop and talk with us for a while. They told us about their lives and what it’s like to live in Kismayo.

We had a great time meeting new people on the beach, and we got to learn a little bit about their lives. It’s always interesting to meet new people when you’re traveling, and you never know who you’ll meet or what stories they’ll have to tell.

Trip to Puntland

Finally, if you wish to explore an area off the beaten path, consider Puntland in northern Somalia. The region is relatively safer than Mogadishu and features scenic beaches and historic Italian architecture. We arrived in Bosaso, the commercial center of Puntland, after flying from Kismayo and transiting through Mogadishu Airport.

The tour began with a transfer to our hotel in Bososo, followed by lunch at the beach hotel before we began exploring the city. After seeing Cape Guardafui, Ras Hafun, and Baargaal, our Puntland adventure ended at Bosaso for 7 days.

I would like to express our gratitude to Khalid, our organizer, drivers, security and guides. These people helped to make our trip to Somaliland, Mogadishu, Kismayo, and Puntland an enjoyable and adventurous experience. It would not have been possible for us to make the most of our time in this beautiful destination without their assistance and expertise.

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