Somalia Travel Overview

Somalia Travel Overview


Official name of the state

Federal Republic of Somalia.




According to a2zgov, Somalia borders the Gulf of Aden to the north, Kenya to the south and west, Ethiopia to the west and Djibouti to the northwest. To the east is the Indian Ocean. Somalia is barren and dry with semi-desert plains inland, a subtropical southern region and a narrow coastal plain. The north is mostly mountainous. Most of the country consists of an almost waterless plateau. The beaches are protected by a coral reef that stretches from Mogadishu to the Kenyan border and is among the longest in the world.


Federal Republic since 2012. Republic from 1979 to 2012. Old constitution from 1979, last amendment in 1990; New constitution from 2012. Since 2000 transitional parliament with 275 appointed members. Independent and united since 1960 (formerly British and Italian Somaliland). Proclamation of the internationally unrecognized Somaliland Republic in 1991.

Head of state

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, since February 2017.

Head of government

Hassan Ali Kheyre, since March 2017.


220 V, 50 Hz; only in hotels.

Time zone

Eastern Africa Time: CET +4

Somalia Travel Overview



1 Somalia shilling = 100 centesimi (senti). Currency abbreviation: SoSh, SOS (ISO code). Banknotes mainly circulate in denominations of 1000 and 500 SOS.
Note: Means of payment in Somalia include the Somali shilling, the US dollar, the euro and the dirham, and in the border regions also the birr, the Djiboutian franc and the Kenyan shilling. In Somaliland, the Somaliland shilling has prevailed regionally.

Credit cards

Credit cards are almost nowhere accepted (Diners Club may be partially accepted in hotels. Details from the issuer of the credit card in question.).

ec / Maestro card / Sparcard

There are no suitable ATMs available.

Attention: Travelers who pay with their bank customer card abroad and want to withdraw money should find out about the options for using their card from their bank prior to departure.

Bank opening times

Sat-Thu 8 a.m.-11.30 a.m.

Foreign exchange regulations

The import and export of the local currency is limited to 200 SOS. The import of foreign currencies is unlimited, but must be declared. The amount must be exchanged at the official bank within five days. Receipts should be kept. The export is limited to the declared amount.

Currency Exchange

US dollars are the easiest to exchange. However, there has been no official exchange rate for the Somalia Shilling for years (the proportion of counterfeit money is estimated at 80%). The best and safest way to change money is in hotels. We recommend that you bring US dollars and euros in cash.



The official language is Somali. Arabic is also spoken. Swahili is spoken particularly in the south, with some English, French and Italian as well.




The following articles can be imported into Somalia duty-free:

400 cigarettes or 40 cigars or 400 grams of tobacco;
1 bottle of wine or spirits;
Perfume for personal use.


Business etiquette

A light suit without a tie or costume is sufficient. October through May is the best time to travel on business.

Business hours:
Sa-Thu 8 a.m.-2 p.m.


Austrian-Arab Chamber of Commerce
Lobkowitzplatz 1, A-1015 Vienna
Tel: (01) 513 39 65.

Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Somalia
PO Box 27, Mogadishu (currently unoccupied

Business contacts

Austrian-Arab Chamber of Commerce
Lobkowitzplatz 1, A-1015 Vienna
Tel: (01) 513 39 65.

Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Somalia
PO Box 27, Mogadishu (currently unoccupied



International direct dialing. Telephone connections from Somalia to other countries are only possible via the switchboard (no direct dialing).


GSM 900. Network operators are Hormuud Telecom Somalia Inc., Nationlink, TELESOM and Telsom Mobile.


North East Telecom Company (NETCO) and SomaliNet (Internet: are the two main Internet providers.

Post Office

Airmail to Europe takes up to two weeks on the way.


Since the use of shortwave frequencies changes several times over the course of a year, it is advisable to contact Deutsche Welle customer service directly (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: to request.



Gold and silver jewelry, textiles, basketry, meerschaum and wood carvings. Shop opening times: Sa-Thu 8 a.m.-12.30 p.m. and 4.30 p.m.-7 p.m.



Ritual dances, music and folk songs are integral parts of the numerous festivals.




Mogadishu and Hargeisa offer hotels of international standard. Other hotels are in Afgoi, Berbera, Borama, Burao, Kismayo and Marka.



100% Sunni Muslims.

Social rules of conduct

Cultural traditions, dance, song and handicrafts are preserved despite increasing modernization. Casual clothing is accepted. One should respect regional manners. Tip: 10-15% in hotels and restaurants.


Best travel time

Four Seasons. The hot and very dry Jilal begins around January. The first rainy season Gu lasts from March to June. Hagaa in August brings hot, dry monsoon winds and clouds of dust. The second rainy season, Dayr, lasts from September to December.


Area code +252 Area (sq km) 637 657 Population 10 616 380 Population density (per sq km) 17 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 888

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