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Somalia Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Somalia in 2023

Welcome to Somalia

Currently, traveling to Somalia is not advised for foreigners, as the country’s infrastructure and people are still recovering from 25 years of civil war. Additionally, severe drought in Somalia is causing risk of food insecurity.

If for any reason you do need to travel to Somalia, be sure to take a look at this ultimate Somalia travel guide with safety tips and practical information.

Document checklist for Somalia

  • Visa

  • Health declaration

  • Valid passport

  • Invitation letter

Essential Somalia travel information

  • Currency - Somali shilling (Sh). $1 is equivalent to approx. Sh 569.

  • Daily budget for 1 person - Allow a daily budget of Sh 19363 ($34).

  • Languages - The official languages are Somali. Arabic, and English.

  • Socket type - The associated plug type is C. Somalia operates on a 220V supply voltage and 50Hz.

  • Time zone - East Africa Time (GMT+3).

  • Top 3 landmarks/monuments - National Museum of Somalia, Cave Art of Laas Geel, and Shanghai Old City.

Visa information for Somalia

All travelers need a visa to enter Somalia, including Somaliland. You can get a single-entry visa on arrival at Mogadishu International Airport. The max. length of stay is usually one month, depending on your nationality.

You may also need to provide an invitation letter up on arrival, describing the reason for your trip. It can sometimes be obtained from your booked accommodation or hotel.

Typical costs and budget for Somalia

We recommend that you keep these costs in mind if you are planning to travel to Somalia.

  • Daily spending per person - Per person, allow a daily budget of Sh 19363 ($34). This includes:

  • Meals - You can have three meals a day with a budget of 2850 ($5).

  • Transport - Local transportation is very affordable, allowing a daily budget of just Sh 569 ($1).

  • Hotel - A hotel room for one person can cost as little as Sh 11390 ($20) per night, however it is recommended to pay more to get a more secure and comfortable accommodation.

Transport and ways to travel around Somalia

It is currently not advised to travel to and around Somalia. If you do need to go to Somalia, here are some tips on how to get around safely.

Getting to Somalia

There are several airlines that fly to Somalia from different parts of the world, including Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and Qatar Airways.


Many roads outside the capital Mogadishu are prone to illegal roadblocks, so it’s not easy to travel around the country. Within the city and to and from the airport you can take a taxi, but always negotiate a price.


The bus is Somalia's most popular type of public transportation. It is also inexpensive and easy to use. The locals are friendly and will help you if you need directions to your destination.

Private driver

The most secure and comfortable way of getting around is hiring a private car with a driver who knows the roads and culture.

Safety in Somalia

In light of the ongoing conflict in Somalia and Somaliland, the threat of major terrorist attacks and kidnappings, and the dangerous level of violent crime in the country, it is not recommended that you travel to Somalia.

If you have to travel to Somalia for business purposes or another reason, maintain a high level of caution and consider getting professional security advice. Medical facilities are scarce and local authorities may not be able to provide emergency services.

Always follow the described health and safety procedures recommended and monitor travel advice by checking local and international media.

Weather in Somalia

In general, Somalia is dry with two rain seasons. Average temperatures reach their maximum during the months of April through June.

In July and August, there is a significant amount of rain. In the months of October and November, the second rainy season (Deyr) has a shorter duration and less precipitation.

Vaccine information for Somalia

Having travel insurance and the recommended vaccines is essential before traveling to Somalia. Check all recommendations on the CDC website.

Somalia history and culture

Somalia is located in the Horn of Africa. Countries neighboring Somalia are Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. In 1960, British and Italian Somaliland were united as an independent state.

After the 1991 civil war, Somalia didn't have an effective government for over 20 years. The first formal federal government was formed in 2012, and the first democratically elected president was elected in 2017.

Throughout Somalia, daily life and culture differ considerably due to differences in poverty, governance, and safety. Somali culture has also been shaped by widespread displacement and prolonged displacement due to the civil war and ongoing armed conflict.

Despite this, Somalis generally share certain values, such as generosity, hospitality, kinship, respect for the elderly, and honor.

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