Stay Safe in Somalia
Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, is the safest city in what is officially Somalia. It is the most westernized city in Somalia, and it welcomes international visitors more than any other city. If you are considering a trip to Somalia, we highly advise you to visit Hargeisa rather than any other city. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the simplest way to remain safe in Somalia is to avoid going there in the first place. Somalia is rife with kidnappings, violent conflicts, piracy, and warlording. At least 15 people were murdered in a hotel assault in Mogadishu in June 2016.
In 2012, a federal government was formed. With the assistance of an African Union peacekeeping mission, this government is presently waging a military battle against extreme al-Qaeda-backed rebels located in rural regions. Other entities, however, govern in other areas of Somalia: Somaliland and Puntland are basically nations in their own right, as are Ximan in the center and “Azania,” a Kenyan-installed state in the south. Various coastal communities may be under the hands of pirates. Be cautious in places where you see armed guys or hear gunshots or explosions. Insurgents in Somalia have also launched mortar assaults on civilian population centers and government buildings. Somali government troops have also conducted artillery strikes on rebels in urban areas, resulting in civilian deaths. Keep in mind that shells may start pouring down at any time, particularly if there are indications of combat nearby, and that you will only have seconds to start fleeing or taking shelter if you hear the tell-tale sound of an approaching shell. For more information, go here.
Also, be on the lookout for violent crime. Despite the fact that the Somali government has created a police force, it is still in its early stages, and crime rates remain high. Be warned that many warlords and criminals in Somalia may attempt to abduct a foreigner and keep him or her hostage for ransom.
Driving is done on the right side of the road. While Somali drivers have a reputation for poor driving, the truth is a little more complex. Risks are taken, especially in Mogadishu, that would not be taken in other locations, but the residents anticipate this and prepare appropriately.
When planning your trip, it is best to request that you be escorted by professional Somali armed escorts or carry bodyguards.
As of 2014, nine countries have embassies in Mogadishu: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Iran, Italy, Libya, Sudan, Turkey, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and Yemen, with six more intending to reopen their embassies in the near future. However, since there are no embassies in Hargeisa, no official from your home government will be able to help you if you get into problems in Somaliland. Most nations’ nearest consular services are in neighboring Djibouti, Ethiopia, or Kenya, and farther away in Sudan and Egypt.
Stay Healthy in Somalia
The majority of the water is polluted. Stick to bottled fluids that are sealed and, ideally, not from Somalia. Food and drink will be provided by your guide.