Top Tourist Places to Visit in Hargeisa, Somalia, North Africa, Africa
Hargeisa is the 2nd largest city of Somalia and the capital of the autonomous region of the country, Somaliland. It comes under the northwestern Woqooyi Galbeed province, is situated in a valley in the Ogo mountains region. Hargeisa is mainly noted as a commercial city, popular in retail services, stone-cutting and construction activities. Hargeisa is famous among tourists being hom to a large rock art complex dating from the Neolithic period. Hargeisa is located at an altitude of 1,334 meters between 10°00′00″ N latitude and 044°30′00″ E longitude and features a semi-arid climate with hot summers and warm winters.
History of Hargeisa:
The name of Hargeisa is a modified form of the local language word, Harar-as-sagir. Cave paintings on the outskirts of Hargeisa claims Hargeisa has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. Before becoming part of the British Somaliland in 1888, Mohamoud Ali Shire of the Warsangali Sultanate had ruled Hargeisa. Hargeisa became the capital of the Woqooyi Galbeed province following the independence in 1960.
How to get Hargeisa?
Hargeisa is served by the Hargeisa International Airport, with scheduled flights from Berbera, Dubai, Mogadishu, Nairobi, Sharjah, Addis Ababa and Bosaso. The airport is catered by the airlines like African Express Airways, Jubba Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and Daallo Airlines. The distance of 5 km between the airport and city centre can easily be crossed by bus and taxi.
The intercity bus transportation service connects Hargeisa to all the major northern Somali cities, including Berbera, Borama and Burao. Raho City Taxi and Hargeisa Taxi are the convenient options for local travel.
Food and Shopping in Hargeisa:
Hargeisa is the cultural capital of Somaliland, with many recognized universities, including the University of Hargeisa and a museum, the Hargeisa Provincial Museum.
Spaghetti, cheeseburgers and rice items are the major dishes of Hargeisa’s locals. When comes to shopping, handicrafts are popular in Hargeisa.
What to do in Hargeisa?
- Exploring archeological sites
- Visiting camel market
- Visiting university
What to see in Hargeisa?
Laas Geel is one of the main reasons to visit Hargeisa. It is a rock art complex featuring elegant caves and rock shelters. Situated on the outskirts of Hargeisa, Laas Geel’s cave paintings are considered as the oldest cave paintings in the Horn of Africa, probably dating between 9,000–3,000 BCE. To reach there, visitors can hire a car at the local travel agency in Hargeisa. It is worth a trip.
Hargeisa Provincial Museum:
First museum founded after the independence of Somalia, the Hargeisa Provincial Museum was established in 1977 with a large ethnographic collection donated by Hargeisa’s residents. It was once thoroughly demolished in 1988 by the civil war but was reconstructed with former dignity.
The MiG monument:
The MiG monument is one of the symbols of the city, which was erected to commemorate the effort of the locals in forming the autonomous Somaliland region by detaching from other parts of Somalia during the 1980s.
University of Hargeisa:
The University of Hargeisa is renowned as one of the best universities in Somalia for higher education. Established on 27 September 2000, the university currently trains more than 4,600 students with different latest science and commerce courses. It is also a great cultural centre.
Other places of interest in and around Hargeisa include:
- Hargeisa International Airport
- Admas University College
- Somaliland University of Technology
- NASA Runway in Berbera
- Port of Berbera
- Beaches in Berbera
- National Museum of Somalia in Mogadishu
- The Governor’s Palace of Mogadishu
- National Museum of Somalia in Mogadishu
When to visit Hargeisa?
Generally during the beginning months of the year are ideal to travel Hargeisa, when less rain falls, will be supportive to explore the pre-historic sites of Hargeisa.
Where to stay in Hargeisa?
After the national capital Mogadishu, Hargeisa holds the highest number of hotels in Somalia. Most hotels are in the downtown area that can be easily found. Here are some nice hotels in Hargeisa:
- Hadhwanaag Hotel
- Ambassador Hotel Hargeisa
- Maan-Soor Hotel
- Oriental Hotel
- Safari Hotel
- Deero Hotel