Expedition to the Horn of Africa: Martian landscapes of Djibouti, whale sharks, camels and amazing Mogadisho


January 4 to 13, 2022
Tour Somalia, Somaliland and Djibouti

tour to Somalia expedition Somaliland Mogadisho Djibouti travel East Africa African Horn whale sharks tour Assale lake Hargesa extreme expedition

Find yourself on another planet – discover the Horn of Africa with its Martian landscapes of Danakil desert and the lowest point in Africa, the country of camels and the coast of whale sharks, the lost caves of Laas Geel and god-forsaken Mogadishu.

Traveling in Somalia and Somaliland is accompanied by paramilitary police guards.

Find yourself on another planet – discover the Horn of Africa with its Martian landscapes of Danakil desert and the lowest point in Africa, the country of camels and the coast of whale sharks, the lost caves of Laas Geel and god-forsaken Mogadishu.
Traveling in Somalia and Somaliland is accompanied by paramilitary police guards.


Dates:January 4 to 13, 2022

Duration: 10 days / 9 nights

Number of participants: 6 – 10

Cost per person:
in development.


Day 1.
Arrive in Mogadishu, meet our guide and transfer to the hotel for rest and lunch break. Today we start getting acquaintance with amazing Mogadisho city, ruined but charming. We visit Arba Rancoon Mosque, the Cathedral, Berta Salaanta, the unknown Soldiers monument and the Parliament area. If the actual security situation allows us, we also take the drive (escorted with the armed security) out of Mogadisu to see the dunes along the beach on the Indian ocean. Dinner at the hotel.
* Recommended flight TK-686 from Istanbul with Turkish Airlines, arrival in Mogadisho at 9:25 am on January 5 or flight ET-376 from Addis Abeba with Ethiopian Airlines, arrival in Mogadisho at 11:10 am on January 5.
Accommodation: Shamo hotel or another safe hotel of similar level in Mogadisho
Meals: lunch, dinner

Day 2. January 5, 2022. MOGADISHO
Morning after breakfast, escorted with the armed security we visit Hamarweyn Market and Hamarweyn area – the old part of the city with picturesque buildings in the style of Arab and Moorish architecture and carved stone walls and cool patios. We visit the atmospheric fish market where fishermen bring and sell huge sword fish, sharks and other marine giants. Visit kat market, the school, the harbor, the beaches, including Gezira beach where we can swim, Liido beach with old lighthouse, and Banadir the crumbling Italian colonial waterfront. Lunch break and dinner at the hotel.
Accommodation: Shamo hotel or another safe hotel of similar level in Mogadisho
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3. January 6, 2022. MOGADISHO – HARGESA (SOMALILAND)
Morning after breakfast, you'll be transferred to the airport for your flight to Hargesa – the capital of the unrecognised state, once being the part of Somalia and still legally considered the part of it. However, Somaliland, English speaking part of Somalia, has its own visas which we obtain upon arrival in the airport. Sightseeing in Hargesa in the afternoon: visit a school to talk to the kids, the smashing money market with pounds of the cash to be sold, as well as the main market known as Suuqa wayn. Walk around the streets of Hargesa. Dinner and overnight in Hargesa mid-range hotel.
Accommodation: Hargesa Damal hotel
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4. January 7, 2022. LAAS GEEL AND BERBERA
Morning after breakfast, visit the livestock market of Hargesa. Somaliland, together with Somalia, house almost half (!) of world's 14 million population of camels. Later on drive straight (50 km) to Laas Geel for visiting amazing rock painting caves. This UNESCO World's Heritage site is dated to (unbelievable!) 9000 – 3000 years BC! Of course it is considered the most significant monument of Neaolitic era in all Africa. Las Geel, consisted of 20 caves, one of which is 10 meters length, is very impressive, colors of petroglyphs are very vivid.
After lunch break, we continue driving to Berbera located on the Red Sea and considered the former capital of British Somaliland. Visit the town, including the market of Berbera. Dinner and overnight in Berbera mid-range hotel.
Accommodation: Berbera Damal hotel
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Morning after breakfast, drive towards Zeila. Lunch break and visit Bolle Haar en route, arrive in Zeila in the afternoon.
Today we visit and stay overnight with the Somali tribe nomads. In the area of Zeila we stay in the village of camel herders in order to get acquaintance with their lifestyle and culture. We set our tents close to the nomads and stay overnight talking to the camel herders around the fire. Dinner and overnight in the nomads' village.
Accommodation: tents
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Morning after breakfast, visit the ancient town of Zeila and drive to Loyada to cross Djibouti-Somaliland border. Lunch break in Djibouti city and visit the town in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight in the hotel..
Accommodation: Comfort Hotel 3* or similar hotel in Djibouti city
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7. January 10, 2022. WHALE SHARK TRIP
Morning after breakfast, transfer to the harbor to take the boat to drive to Plage Arta for swimming and snorkeling with whale sharks. The chances to find whale sharks in warm waters of Indian ocean in January are very high however not 100% guaranteed. Snorkeling. Lunch break and back to Djibouti city in the afternoon, dinner and overnight in Djibouti mid-range hotel.
Accommodation: Comfort Hotel 3* or similar hotel in Djibouti city
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8. January 11, 2022. SOUTH CIRCUIT AND LAKE ABBEH
Morning after breakfast, drive to the South. The South Circuit of the Republic of Djibouti (which Arta Village, Grand & Petit Bara and Ali Sabieh are part of it) – the most Desert area of the country. Visit mountains as well as the Northern part of Djibouti. The colors of the mountains are different: reddish in the South and green in the North. After visiting the desert of Grand & Petit Bara, drive to Ali Sabieh for lunch and for visiting the town too. Afterwards drive to Lake Abbeh and stop for small break in Dikhil.
Lake Abbeh is the largest in the chain of six salt reservoirs located on the border of Djibouti and Ethiopia. This amazing lake is located in a basin called the Afar Point. A unique place where the giant Arabian, Somali and Nubian plates slowly move away from each other, which creates a fantastic landscape. Boiling water of thermal springs with a high content of calcium carbonate for centuries created peculiar limestone pipe columns. Some of these columns, surrounded by swirling steam, reach a height of 50 meters, reinforcing the mystery of the landscape. Interestingly, the name Abbe means "rotten", since the smell of hydrogen sulfide emanates from the lake. On the shore of Lake Abbe, the film "Planet of the Apes" was shot.
Explore the area until the sunset. After dinner, real nomad folkloric dance can be arranged. Overnight at Lake Abbeh tourist camp.
Accommodation: Lake Abbeh tourist camp
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 9. January 12, 2022. LAKE ABBEH AND LAKE ASSAL
Wake-up call for the sunrise is early in the morning. You drive to the chimney's area for sunrise and visit hot springs.
After visiting and exploring Lake Abbeh, back to tourist camp for breakfast, en route you stop in Kouta Bouya to visit the village, after lunch at La Palmeraie, you drive to another lake - Lake Assal to visit the lowest point in Africa. En route, you stop for visiting scenic views of Canyon and faults – part of the Danakil depression. The Lake Assal or Bahr al Assal in Arabic, the sea of honey ( 153 m below sea level) is located 107 km west of Djibouti town. After visiting Lake Assal & surroundings, drive to Djibouti city for dinner and overnight.
Accommodation: Comfort Hotel 3* or similar hotel in Djibouti city
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

After breakfast, leisure time in the hotel and free time in Djibouti city. Transfer to the airport and flight back home.
* Recommended flight TK-687 to Istanbul with Turkish Airlines, departure from Djibouti at 13:10 on January 14 or flight EK-2166 to Dubai with FlyDubai, departure from Djibouti at 15:05 on January 14.
Accommodation: no
Meals: breakfast

Cost includes:

• Accommodation in mid-range hotels and tents in Somalia and Somaliland, based on single accommodation
• Accommodation in mid-range hotels and tents in Djibouti, based on twin/double accommodation
• 3 times a day meals
• mineral water during the entire trp
• camping equipment (tents, mattresses, cooking stuff, cutlery)
• Experienced English speaking guide & local guides
• all airport transfers
• all transport as per program: 4WD SUVs in good condition with AC and experienced drivers for land tours
• Boat in good condition for sea tours & Professional pilot
• all travel permits and local communities financial support
• Escort services (SPU Police escort for Somalia and Somaliland parts)
• Whale shark tour
• All entrance fees
• visa facilitation
• government tax

To be additionally (personally) paid:

• International air tickets to Mogadisho and back from Djibouti
• flight from Mogadisho to Hargesa one way
• international medical insurance
• Djibouti visa
• Somalia visa
• Somaliland visa
• Video filming and photography fees
• Sodas & alcohol beverages
• Tips & personal purchases
• Single room supplement for Djibouti

To take with:

- sets of clothes suitable for the weather conditions, including lightweight clothes (shorts, T-shorts), and one set of warm clothes (hoody or light jacket), long sleeve clothes
- sun hat/panama
- swimwear
- raincoat
- comfortable trekking footwear, light footwear (sneakers)
- sleeping bag for warm weather
- mosquito net
- personal hygiene items (towel, wet tissues, soap)
- individual medical kit (analgetic, antiseptic, antibiotic, antiviral, intestinal, multivitamins, rehydron, court plaster, your personal medications)
- anti malaria prevention pills (up to you to decide)
- sunblock set (cream, spray)
- repellents
- sunglasses
- big backpack for stuff
- small backpack for radial walks (25 – 30 L)
- head torch
- favorite meals (chocolate, nuts)
- photo and video camera, tripod
- Power bank, batteries
Somalia, Somaliland, Djibouti

Best season: October – May

Amazing Mogadishu with its ruined blocks, oriental markets and incredible atmosphere

The lowest place in Africa - Afar Point and Danakil Desert

Martian landscapes of Lake Assal and Lake Abbeh, where "Planet of Apes" was shot

Camping with nomadic camel herders of Somali tribe

Laas Geel – the most significant African historical monument of Paleolithic age

Snorkeling with whale sharks – the largest fish on Earth

Wonderful desert landscapes of the Horn of Africa and original cuisine

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