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Cheap flights to Somalia

Cheap Flights to Somalia

If you were to tell friends that you planned to take your next vacation in Somalia, you would probably get shocked reactions. Over the past 30 years, most people have only heard the name of the African country mentioned in terrible news stories about famines, wars, pirates and UN peacekeeping forces.

Lately, however, the civil war has been winding down.

Tourism has picked up a little bit each year. As well it should. Prior to the 80s, Somalia was a country that was known not for war, but for beaches with sand as white as sugar, waters a perfect lapis lazuli, coral reefs afire with color, secret little beaches, rainforests, mountains, and perennial warm weather. War has done nothing to take away from these qualities that come naturally to this land. If anything, the natural gifts of this land have remained fallow and unexploited by tourists and tourism developers for decades.

The essentials -- knowing when and how

The cooler months - January, February, June, July and August are the best times to visit Somalia. There are other concerns to keep in mind, however. The warnings contained in the Canadian government's travel advisory for Somalia ask citizens to not venture into that country. The dangers posed by militias still active are grave.

Nevertheless, if you have an adventurous spirit and relish the idea of a holiday tinged with some acceptable risk, Somalia could be for you. If you do plan to go, you'll need visas -- separate documents for the Republic of Somaliland and the Republic of Puntland, the two territories of Somalia that are in the process of country formation. It may be unclear at times where a visa may be obtained. For those in North America, approaching the Permanent Representative of the Somali Republic to the United Nations is a workable method. If you plan to pass through Ethiopia, Addis Ababa does have a Somali embassy where visas are issued at about C$50 each.

Once you do obtain a visa in advance, it's time to plan your travel to Somalia. Flying in is the best idea. Only a handful of airlines touch Mogadishu, the capital, at this time. There are 35 flights coming in each day from various parts of Africa and Asia. Turkish Airlines is the most reliable. Jubba Airways, Somalia's own airline, flies to neighboring countries as well as to points in the country. Fly 540, African Express and Air Uganda are some of the other services. These flights can be very expensive: C$700 is about standard for short flights to Somalia and within. Fares are this high because pilots receive combat pay for agreeing to work in Somalia. You should be able to find competitively priced fares using a tool like Skyscanner.

What is there to see in Somalia?

If tourism is picking up in this country that is still on every list of the most dangerous countries on earth, what do people come here to see? Very often, they come to see what a country may look like after war. They often use the services of an adventure travel company to bring them here, and then, use the services of a guide who knows the lay of the land.

Tourists visit the abandoned 20 m-tall 1920s Guardafui lighthouse erected by the Italians when Mussolini ruled over this country. They also go look at the remains of the bombed out Mogadishu cathedral and the tomb of the unknown soldier.

There aren't many services catering to tourists at this time. What hotels and restaurants there may be are a target for terror attacks. Yet, there are new restaurants, pizza outlets and clothing stores opening all the time. Of course, Lido Beach and many other perfect beaches of Somalia, Peace Park football matches, the Tsukiji market, and the bombed-out Ulva hotel are all popular.

Sightseeing around Somalia is all about adventure -- you only need to see what feels right to you.

Prices shown on this page are estimated lowest prices only. Found in the last 45 days.