Mogadishu is the capital city of Somalia. It is a major commercial city on the coast of Africa. It is important to know that this city has been the battleground in the Somali civil war. The war started in 1991 and ended in 2012, the city has suffered a lot due to the war without any doubt. After the war, the city has undergone rapid reconstruction and this includes the construction of a brand-new international airport, new hotels, paved roads, and embassies. The financing for all these constructions was done by the Diaspora Somalis and by the international community. But still, it is not safe to visit Mogadishu because there are still some terrorist groups that are having control over the area. The top name on the list is the Al-Shabaab group. If you are going to travel, you should hire the armed guard to travel with you.
Planning a trip to Mogadishu? For this, you need to book cheap flights to Mogadishu by getting in touch with a professional travel agency. In the following blog, we are going to discuss the seven things that you should know before traveling. Let’s get started:
1. Traveling to Mogadishu:
The first thing on the list is definitely the means of traveling that a person should choose. Below are three ways through which you can travel to Mogadishu:
A) Travel Via Air
Flights arrive at Aden Adde International Airport that is located a few kilometers southwest of the city center. The facilities on the airport are provided by the Turkish government. The government has provided funds for the renovation of the airport, security, navigation tower, and control tower. Note that there are few passenger flights available. The name of the flights are as follows:
African Express Airways: This airline is providing services between Mogadishu, Berbera, Bosaso, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Aden, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta, Riyan Mukalla, Galkayo, Sharjah, and Wajir.
Jubba Airways: It is a Somali-based carrier that is offering services from Dubai, Jeddah, Djibouti, Nairobi, and domestic cities from Hargeisa and many other cities.
East African Airway: This is offering service from Nairobi on a weekly basis on Sundays. The returning flight will be stopping in Wajir for the security processing before heading toward Nairobi.
Turkish Airline: This airline is providing service twice a week from Istanbul via Khartoum or Djibouti. The flights depart from Atatürk Airport on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The price from a round trip fares starts at €430. Furthermore, Qatar Airways is also going to start their flights soon.
Daallo Airline: This airline is providing services to Djibouti, stopping route at Hargeisa.
B) Travel Via Road
It is possible to drive into the city using a truck but it is considered risky without traveling with a group of local militaries who are available for hire. Roads are linking the different parts of the cities in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia. Note that for a safe entry, armed guards, hired security forces, and experienced guides are important. The risk of being killed, injured, or captured is very high.
It is important to note that the roads are muddy after the rain. The traffic lights are not operating well and there is also no enforced traffic laws or public transport. As mentioned above, the road network in Mogadishu is being slowly repaired and paved. Car-jackings at intersections are very common so it is best to travel with security.
C) Travel Via Boat
On a daily basis, small cargo ships go to Mogadishu from the Old Harbor of Mombasa. For traveling, you have to speak with the security officers at the gate of the port and they will tell you about the fare after negotiating with the captain. Traveling is done for two to five days according to the conditions. The sea is rough during the months of July and August so more time is needed to reach the destination. But remember that there is a risk of pirates as well but the port area is relatively secure.
2. Hotels in Mogadishu:
Want a nice hotel for staying? Following are some of the hotels where you can stay during your trip:
Mogadishu Airport Hotel: This hotel is located at a distance of 1 mile from the airport. It is a good option for foreign business tourists.
City Plaza Hotel: It is located in a secure place that will be catering to the foreign business tourist.
Aaran Guest House: This place is popular among the UK goers and it is owned by a British couple.
Hotel Nasa-Hablod: It is 2 Km from International Airport, safe box, restaurant, meeting rooms, TV, internet access, and air conditioning.
Villa Rose Guest House: This hotel provides you service that includes escort, restaurant, airport drop-off, pick-up, cafeteria, laundry, Cable TV, Internet, business center.
Hotel Shamo: This hotel is having large rooms, air conditioning, Wi-Fi and electricity 24/7. It is also having a decent restaurant where you can get lobster. It is relatively safe to stay. The price starts at $129.
Sahafi Hotel: It is one of the best hotels in Mogadishu. The manager of the hotel is very nice and the staff is attentive with good quality food.
Amira Castle Hotel: This hotel is close to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
3. Tour Companies in Mogadishu:
Want to travel across the city on your trip? Below are the two tour companies that can arrange a trip to the city for you:
- Untamed Borders
This company will be arranging guided tours to Mogadishu. This tour will be offering you a chance to see the capital city’s markets, Italian colonial architecture, and beaches along with the sites of the Battle of Mogadishu. As per the company website, the Untamed Borders are offering trips and small group tours. The trip packages will include all meals, accommodations, and security guards. But flights to Mogadishu are not included in the package.
- Mogadishu Adventure:
This tour company is providing a standard tour that will be covering the Liido Beach, Black Hawk Down Site, Shanghai Old City, Mogadishu Fish Market, Jazeera Beach, Qat Market, Bakara Market and much more. The company also arranges a tourist visa for travelers, hotel accommodation with Wi-Fi, meal plans for tourists, and security units. Note that there will be 5 armed guards on every pick-up truck that will be traveling with a maximum of 3 tourists.
4. Places That You Can Visit:
Now, the next important thing will be the places that you can visit in a city during your traveling. There are some interesting sites in Mogadishu that include the historic Mogadishu old town and the Mogadishu mosque. Some of the places listed below are:
- House of Banadir Governor
- Tomb of Unknown Soldier
- Gezira Livestock Market
- Liido Marine Academy
- Old Shanghai City
- Union Mosque
- Liido Sea Beach
- Bakara Market
- Gezira Beach
- Turkish Embassy
5. Education in Mogadishu:
As far as education is concerned, Mogadishu University is a non-governmental university that is governed by the Board of Directors and the University Council. For the admission to the University, the following documents are required:
- An original secondary school certificate with one copy
- Written and oral entrance examinations
- 12 identification photos, 6×4 cm
- Payment of the registration fee
- Completed application form
- Certificate of good conduct
- Birth certificate
Another University is Benadir University. It is a private university that was founded in 2002 with a purpose to train doctors but this has expanded into other fields.
6. Buying in Mogadishu:
The Bakaara Market is an open and largest market in Somalia. This was created in late 1972 during the reign of Siad Barre. The primary purpose of this market was to allow proprietors to sell daily essentials. But during the civil war period, this market became a place to fulfill the demand for arms and ammunition. You can get the pistols to anti-aircraft weapons at this place. Furthermore, the falsified documents are also available such as forged Ethiopian, Somali, and Kenyan passports. This submarket was also known as Cabdalle Shideeye that was named for one of its first proprietors.
7. Food and Drink:
Want to eat some good quality food? A traveler can get international cuisine at Nasa Hablod Restaurant that is present inside the Hotel Nasa Hablod and at the Sahafi Hotel. These two hotels are the safest options for travelers. Nasa Hablod is located in the breakaway region of Somaliland; therefore, it is safe as compared to the other part of Somalia.
If you are in search of some good to drink, then Abdille Nuradin’s Bar is the place for you. The opening time is from 8 AM to 6 PM.
These were the seven important things that you should do before traveling to Mogadishu. To start your journey from the UK, book flight tickets from the UK to Mogadishu by getting in touch with an experienced travel agency.