Somaliland & Puntland

The Horn of Africa is a veritable cornucopia when it comes to completely unknown destinations. When you venture into the self-proclaimed and completely safe Somaliland or the autonomous Puntland, part of Somalia, a sense of adventure enters the picture – who else has been to these countries?

With us, you'll experience these two countries safely, while experiencing Somali hospitality, culture and all the unknown attractions from the rock paintings of Laas Geel to the sandy beaches of Berbera and the camel market of Hargeisa. From the buzz of Boosaaso to the Cape Guardafui and the starry nights of the Horn of Africa, staying in tents on the beaches or in the mountains of Puntland. Or have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend a day or more with Somali pastoralists!

See the trip suggestions below and contact us if you are interested or need more information about trips to Somaliland or Puntland.

Kameli Travel organises trips to Somaliland – whether you want to experience just the bustling capital Hargeisa, or continue to the port town of Berbera on the Gulf of Aden, the spectacular scenery of the Golis Mountains or the 5000-year-old unspoilt rock painting sites of Laas Geel and Dhagah Koure.

If you want a deeper insight into Somaliland, join us for a trip to Erigavo town in the Sanaag region! Or take a camel and escape deeper into the countryside with our friendly Somali guides for a day, two days or even two weeks. Or if you are interested in the life of a Somali pastoralist, we can arrange for you to become part of a pastoralist family for a day or two.

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If a wilder Puntland is more to your liking, we'll take you to the bustling port and airport town of Boosaaso on the Gulf of Aden. You then set off by SUV through sparsely populated countryside towards the easternmost tip of the African continent, not Cape Guardafui, famous for the Italian-built Francesco Crispi lighthouse of the early 20th century, but the slightly more southerly Ras Hafun. You'll visit both on the way. Due to the lack of tourist infrastructure you will be accommodated in a tent.

We can arrange an expert guide for you or your group in these countries, transport services and book the accommodation of your choice.

Contact us if you're interested, need more information about travel in Somaliland and Puntland or already know where you'd like to go. Or let us know the date and let us make a suggestion. It's easy to combine a trip to Somaliland and Puntland with a visit to Ethiopia.

Located in East Africa in the Horn of Africa, Somaliland is roughly the size of Greece in terms of area (137 600 km²). There are about 4.5 million people in this country located on the shores of the Gulf of Aden, and the country's capital, Hargeisa, is located in the west of the country.

Somaliland was once a British colony, called British Somaliland, but merged with so-called Italian Somalia to form one independent Somalia in 1960. In the late 1980s, Somalia became embroiled in a civil war, which led to Somaliland declaring independence in 1991. No country has so far recognised the country's independence, but the country functions like any other independent state - it has its own currency, president, army and, most importantly, has remained the safest corner of the Horn of Africa! The official languages are Somali and Arabic, but some English is also spoken. Somaliland derives its income from livestock farming and remittances from Somalilanders living abroad. Tourism is still limited.

Climate: Somaliland has an dry climate, which means that most of the country is classified as arid or semi-arid. Average temperatures along the coast and in the valleys range from +28°C to +35°C, while in mountain areas such as the highlands it is only +20°C to +24°C.

Somaliland has two rainy seasons, the more important of which lasts from late March to early June. The lesser rainy season runs from late September to November. Even during the rainy season, rainfall is limited and sometimes the rainy season may even be missed altogether. When there is no rainy season, the country experiences a dry season.

Security: The international community sees Somaliland as part of Somalia, which is why the country is lumped together with its unstable and sometimes even dangerous neighbour, Somalia. However, the security situation in Somaliland is good and the country can honestly be considered the safest destination in the Horn of Africa. The country lacks jihadist movements and a tradition of terrorist attacks. Kameli Travel, based on personal experience and up-to-date information, does not even warn against pickpockets, but still advises people to leave valuables at the hotel just in case. The good security situation is probably linked to the country's dream of international recognition of its independence, which makes its citizens behave exceptionally well. Traffic is the main risk factor.

Visa: Most Western nationals obtain their visas on arrival at Hargeisa airport. To obtain a visa on arrival, the traveller must present a valid passport, two passport photos, the details of the local contact person/invite letter and USD 60 in cash. Please note that visa policies are subject to change without prior notice. The passport must be valid for 6 months from the date of arrival.

Currency: Somaliland uses the Somaliland shilling (SLS) as its currency. One euro buys around 10 000 shillings. You should take euro or dollar banknotes with you and exchange them at your destination. The US dollar is widely accepted as a currency.

Vaccinations and malaria: Somaliland requires a certificate of yellow fever vaccination if the traveller arrives from a country with yellow fever (e.g. Ethiopia). In addition, hepatitis a and b vaccinations are recommended. Please ensure that your basic vaccinations are up to date. Somaliland is a year-round malaria country, so anti-malaria medication is recommended.

Travel insurance: Comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended.

Located in the Horn of Africa in East Africa, Puntland is an autonomous part of Somalia, with an area (212 510 km²) roughly the size of Belarus or Romania. This autonomous state on the shores of the Indian Ocean has a population of around 4.5 million and its capital, Garoowe, is located in the south-west of the country. The largest city, however, is the airport and port city of Boosaaso on the northern coast of the region, with a population of 700 000.

Puntland was once part of the Italian colony known as Italian Somalia, which, together with British Somaliland, merged into one independent Somalia in 1960. In the late 1980s, Somalia became embroiled in a civil war, during which Somaliland declared independence in 1991, while Puntland chose to remain part of Somalia, declaring itself an autonomous state in 1998. The state has its own president, parliament and security forces. The region's coastline was still plagued by piracy in the early 2010s, but the situation has calmed down and it is now possible to visit the country as a tourist with reliable guides. The official languages of Puntland are Somali and Arabic. Puntland derives its income from fishing, livestock and agriculture. Tourism is almost non-existent.

Climate: Puntland has a dry climate, which is why the country as a whole is classified as semi-arid. Temperatures remain between +27 and 37°C all year round.

Puntland has two rainy seasons, the more important of which runs from April to June. The lesser rainy season is experienced from October to December. Even during the rainy season, rainfall is limited and sometimes the rainy season may even be missed altogether. When there is no rainy season, the country is in a dry season.

Security: Puntland is part of Somalia, which has been plagued by chronic insecurity for decades. The country has been plagued by border disputes with neighbouring Somaliland and piracy along its long coastline. Today, the situation has calmed down and the sparsely populated Puntland is considered a relatively safe and stable region. It is therefore safe to visit the area, especially with a reliable guide who knows the area. However, the security situation can change at short notice.

Visa: Most Western nationals obtain their visas on arrival at Boosaaso airport. For a visa on arrival, the traveller needs a letter of invitation and 60 USD in cash. Please note that visa policies are subject to change without notice. The passport must be valid for 6 months from the date of arrival.

Currency: Puntland uses the Somalian shilling (SOS) as its currency, with one euro worth around 600 shillings. You should take euro or dollar banknotes with you and exchange them at your destination.

Vaccinations and malaria: Puntland requires a certificate of yellow fever vaccination if the traveller arrives from a country with yellow fever (e.g. Ethiopia). In addition, hepatitis a and b vaccinations are recommended. Please ensure that your basic vaccinations are up to date. Puntland is a year-round malaria country, so anti-malaria medication is recommended.

Travel insurance: Comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended.

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