Visiting Somaliland as a Solo Female Traveler

Visiting Somaliland as a Solo Female Traveler

February 5, 2020

If planning a trip to the unknown and unpopular tourist destinations of the world thrills you and fill your heart with excitement then trust me my friend you are a traveler by core. Traveling solo especially for a female sounds a bit challenging and intimidating but I can assure you that the end result is worth the risk. In my opinion African continent is just as good for traveling as the other parts of the world but for some unfortunate reasons African tourist spots don’t get much attention in the travel circles of the world which they deserve.

The first thing that needed to be clear is that Somaliland is not Somalia; it is a self-declared state with its own currency, flag, military and government and the safety of tourists is taken very seriously here. 

Most of the female solo travelers don’t consider Somaliland as an ideal travel destination but if you give it a go the chances are pretty high that you might fall in love with this African country as it is exciting and rewarding in so many ways.

Do your homework:

For a solo female traveler Somaliland can be a bit different from all the other famous travel destinations in the world so it is advised by many other solo female travelers to do your homework before you head towards this side of the world.  Sit down on the internet and do your research about the place you are planning to visit. Learn about the local traditions, custom restrictions, visa requirements, currency exchange rate. Try to get information about the public transport of what type of cellular service available in the area and trust me you will feel much relieved during your trip.

You do need a visa beforehand to visit Somaliland and if you are traveling from neighboring states Ethiopia or Djibouti you can either fly or travel overland. You can book a seat in a 4WD vehicle which leaves Djibouti city every afternoon. Here is a pro tip, if they try to charge you closer to 100 US dollars just book a cheap flight.  The drive from Djibouti Hargeisa takes around 20 hours so just get a ticket which cost you almost 125$ and save your time and energy.

Book in advance:

When it comes to where to stay in Somaliland? You will be pleased to know that there are plenty of good hotels available where you can stay without putting an extra burden on your pocket.  Friendly and helpful staff makes you feel that you are in a good place. Major concern for female solo travelers is the sense of security and hotels in Somaliland have never failed in this regard. Although this is not a popular tourist destination and one can always find a nice place to stay so there is no need to worry if you don’t have an advance booking but it is highly recommended to book in advance just to avoid any inconvenience. 

Be cautious about the dress code:

Somaliland enjoys a Muslim population in majority and without a doubt one of the strictest Muslim country in the world when it comes to covering up. So as a female traveler you should take the dress code very seriously.  Always cover up your head and lose the scarf on the head will do the trick. Avoid wearing jeans or pants as wearing women pants is still a taboo here and don’t wear sleeveless t-shirts or tops either. A long skirt or maxi with long sleeves and loose fitting blouse is a good option to wear. 

Things to do:

When it comes to what to see and visit in Somaliland? The answer is quite disappointing that there is nothing much to do. You can visit Hargeisa War Memorial, Somaliland Independence Monument; pay a visit to Damal hotel you can enjoy a nice dinner there as the food is really good. This hotel offers a nice view of freedom square and it’s a perfect place to watch the sunset.  The best thing about visiting this African country is for sure meeting new people. They don’t see many tourists visiting their country so they are more curious to know about you and why you are visiting their country.

Don’t wander around alone:

Even though Somaliland is considered safe for the travelers it is still directed not to wander alone if you are a female solo traveler. It is advised not to go out of your hotel after dark and if you want to wander around to experience the nightlife in Hargeisa ask the guys at your hotel reception to arrange a guard or taxi for you. No matter where you go you will gain the attention of the local people, they will stare at you ask you questions as it is not a common trait in their culture that a women traveling all alone; so it is a bit confusing and rather a new thing for them. Somaliland for sure is not an easy destination for solo female travelers; women travelers who visited there didn’t report any problems or felt the danger but they surely recommend to take some local wherever you are going.

Traveling to Hargeisa, Somaliland is not too dissimilar for men and women but sadly yes women might have faced some additional challenges there. Despite all the misinformation available on the internet it is not the world’s most terrifying place only the bravest of the brave men can explore. This is just another regular country with regular people living their lives. One thing is for sure true if this place is safe for the local women then there is no danger is there for a solo female traveler as well. So book your flight, just like Cheap flights to Hargeisa  and make new memories filled with taste of new culture, great adventure, hospital and loving people and experience of your life. Travelling to Somaliland will change your perception about the region, and most importantly about Africa which has mostly been portrayed negatively in the media.

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Shahid Raza has been writing for magazines and newspapers since 2010, and editing and managing websites like Travel, Tech, latest Jobs and Latest Thunderball Results since 2011.

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