Somalia Guide

Somalia Guide

Somalia – country information

Country name Somalia
Official name Somali Democratic Republic
Capital Mogadishu
Continent Africa
Area 637,657 km2
Population 10,496,000 (2013)
Foundation of a state 1/7/1960
The highest mountains Surud Ad 2408 m
Longest rivers Shebelle 2010 km (about 1000 km in the country)
State system organs of state power do not function
The biggest cities Mogadishu (capital) 1,200,000, Hargeisa 400,000, Kismayo 200,000
Official language Somali, Arabic
Ethnicity/National Composition Somalis 98.3%, Arabs 1.2%, Bantu 0.4%, others 0.1%
Religious affiliation Sunni Muslims 99.8%, Christians 0.1%, others 0.1%
Currency 1 Somali shilling (SOS) = 100 cents
Average life expectancy of the population 48.47 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture and fishing 64%, mining 0.2%, industry 4.5%, construction 4%, services 27.3%

Somalia – Neighboring States

State Capital Area Population
Djibouti Djibouti 23,200 km2 873,000
Ethiopia Addis Ababa 1,104,300 km2 86,613,986
Kenya Nairobi 580,367 km2 44,354,000

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, Somalia lies in the so-called Horn of Africa along the 3,000 km long coastline of the wide extension of northeastern Africa into the Arabian Sea of ​​the Indian Ocean. In recent years it has been plagued by civil war and drought.

Somalia is an African state in the east of the mainland on the peninsula of the same name. Common borders in the west with Kenya, Ethiopia.
The capital is Mogadishu. The official language is Somali, Arabic. The currency is the Somali shilling. Religion – Islam.

The climate is dry and hot. Temperature in winter +25*С, in summer +35*С.

The Somali Democratic Republic is the name given to Somalia during the communist regime of former Somali President Major General Mohammed Siad Barre after a bloodless coup d’état in 1969. The coup took place a few days after the assassination of Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, the country’s second president, by one of his own bodyguards. The Barre administration ruled Somalia for 21 years, until the start of the civil war in 1991.

Since 1991, the unified state of Somalia has ceased to exist, and many specific principalities have formed, headed by warring warlords. Somalia as a state actually ceased to exist, having lost all the attributes of a single statehood and disintegrated.

Somaliland – the republic is not recognized by any state, although it has informal political ties with a number of countries.

Country data

Location: East Africa

Time zone: CET + 2 (during summer time: CET + 1)

Total area: 637,657 km²

Land area: 627,337 km²

Water area: 10,320 km²

Length of the state border: 2,340 km

Bordering countries are accounted for:
Ethiopia: 1,600 km
Djibouti: 58 km
Kenya: 682 km

Coastline: 2,340 km

Capital: Mogadishu

Regions: 18
Awdal, Bakool, Banaadir, Bari, Bay, Galguduud, Gedo, Hiiraan, Jubbada Dhexe, Jubbada Hoose, Mudug, Nugaal, Sanaag, Shabeellaha Dhexe, Shabeellaha Hoose, Sool, Togdheer, Woqooyi Galbeed

Telephone code: 00 252 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Shimbiris 2,416 m


Population: approx. 10.4 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 1.7% per year

Population density (inh. Per km²): 16

Life expectancy: 50 (male), 54 (female)

Official language: Somali, Arabic, English, Italian

Religions: Muslims


There are two rainy and two dry seasons per year.

The rainy seasons last from March to June and from September to December. The other months are often very hot and dry.


The temperature is constantly above 25 ° C almost all year round.

Currency / finance

Currency unit: Somalia Shilling (SOS)

Classification: 1 shilling = 100 centesimi / senti

ATMs: not available

International credit cards: These are very rarely accepted.

Regulations: The import and export of the local currency is limited to 200 shillings. There is no limit to the importation of foreign currencies, but they must be declared. You should keep the exchange receipts in a safe place! The export of foreign currencies is limited to the amount declared upon import.

It is recommended to carry US dollars in small bills as foreign currency.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 200 g tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

Travel advice

Warnings are given against traveling to Somalia and the waters off Somalia!

Due to the internal political situation, the German embassy was closed. A consular representation is currently not possible.

Since there is no longer any state order, there are no institutions that can help you in an emergency.

Due to the internal political conflicts and the ongoing fighting in the country, medical care is almost non-existent. Even the smallest illnesses and injuries cannot be treated. Some international humanitarian organizations are currently trying to rebuild them.

We therefore strongly recommend taking out travel health insurance that includes repatriation in the event of illness.


Almost the entire economy of Somalia collapsed as a result of the civil war.

Most of the able-bodied people are employed in agriculture for self-sufficiency and for the production of export goods.

Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world.

Industries: textiles, sugar processing

Natural resources: bauxite, iron ores, gypsum, copper, salt, uranium, tin

Land use:

  • Usable land: 2%
  • Grain cultivation: 0%
  • Pasture area: 69%
  • Forests: 26%
  • other: 3%


Most of the land consists of semi-deserts and arid savannas. These are only slightly overgrown with a few types of grass.

In the south there are larger areas of grass and small forests due to the occasional rain.


The most common animals in Somalia include antelopes, elephants, giraffes, leopards and zebras.

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