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Dare to Explore: Somaliland

For many, visiting Somaliland is somewhat of a traveler’s coup. While the country of Somalia is by and large too dangerous to visit, the northern autonomous region of Somaliland is a welcomed change from the perpetual violence plaguing the coastal country.
Join one of Agape Tour PLC most experienced guides and journey away from the Highlands of Ethiopia into the heart of Muslim East Africa and eventually to the shores the Indian Ocean.

Our adventure takes visitors first to Ethiopia’s famed Awash National Park, complete with a gushing waterfall, hot springs, birding and game drive. Next spend a few days in the walled city of Harar, Islam’s most historical and holy city in the Horn. The 16th-century walled city, known as the Jugol, is nothing less than stimulating with its alleyways, whitewashed walls and more than 90 mosques. Visit Harar’s markets, courageous Hyena Man and excursions to the Babile Elephant Sanctuary. 

Next, we undertake the border crossing, passing through the moonscape of the Valley of the Marvels and stop for lunch in Jijiga, the capital of Ethiopia’s Somali region. There we will finalize our papers that set us on the road towards Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland.
Once we are settled in Hargeisa, we will spend a day visiting the gold & money markets where businessmen carry their day’s money in wheelbarrows. As we continue through Somaliland we will be accompanied by local militia to provide “protection”. Somaliland’s autonomous government is concerned for every visitor’s well being and virtually guarantees no unwanted surprises.

Outside of Hargeisa, you will be one of a handful of people who have seen the intriguing Laas Geel Prehistoric Cave Paintings, over 10,000 years old and some of the best preserved in Africa. Next we will spend a few days in the coastal town of Berbera where local live hoods depend on the sea. Jump into the tepid waters of the Gulf of Aden and check out amazing dive spots if interested.

The Somaliland visit will turn to unforgettable when we set off on a 2-Day Camel Safari down the Red Sea coastline. Enjoy the water and explore the craggy shores of what appears to be an untouched and virgin shoreline. The safari’s crew will take care of food, preparing a traditional Somali meal. Spend the night in a nomadic tent on the soft sands of the Indian Ocean.

Next, our tour cruises to high altitudes in Somaliland’s Togdheer highlands, where you finally can relax in cooler temperatures in the cozy town of Burco. After rest and recover, we return to Hargeisa to catch the flight back to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where we will spend a day shopping and visiting Ethiopia’s capital.

 

Somaliland Itinerary

Day 1 Depart Addis Ababa overland eastwards stopping for lunch in Nazareth and overnight in Awash.

Day 2 Half day in Awash National Park including nature walk to waterfall and hot springs and game drive. Drive into the Harari mountains and overnight in Asbe Teferi.

Day 3 Continue driving east and visit the Ethiopian Orthodox pilgrimage site of St. Gabriel Church in Kulubi. Afternoon city tour in Harar. Overnight in Harar.

Day 4 Full day in Harar: museum visits and hyena feeding. Overnight Harar.

Day 5 Option: Babile Elephant Sanctuary or spend the day in the modern city of Dire Dawa. Overnight in Harar.

Day 6 Drive to Somaliland and visit the Valley of the Marvels and have lunch in Jijiga (capital of Ethiopian Somali Region). Arrive to Hargeisa in the evening and overnight in hotel.

Day 7 Full day in Hargeisa visiting money, gold and camel markets and finish paperwork for permits to travel in Somaliland. Overnight in Hargeisa.

Day 8 Excursion to Laas Geel cave paintings. Drive to Berbera (coastal town). Overnight in relaxing seaside hotel in Berbera.

Day 9 Full day in Berbera visiting markets, beach and old town. Have fish for lunch and check out local diving spots in the Red Sea. Overnight in Berbera.

Day 10 Full day Camel Safari along the Red Sea coastline. Swim and explore while local crew prepares a nomadic meal. Overnight in tent.

Day 11 Full day Camel Safari. Meet drivers and return to Berbera. Overnight in Berbera.

Day 12 Drive to Burco in the Togdheer highlands to escape the heat of Berbera. Overnight in hotel in Burco.

Day 13 Full day of leisure in Burco. Overnight in Burco.

Day 14 Return to Hargeisa stopping to meet with caravans on the way. Overnight in Hargeisa.

Day 15 Flight: Hargeisa to Addis Ababa. Afternoon tour through the city of Addis Ababa. Overnight hotel in Addis Ababa.

Day 16 Spend the day in Addis Ababa and fly home in the evening.

End of Tour

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