Expat guide to Somalia, the healthcare & education systems & more



Travelling to Somalia is not for novice tourists. There is an ongoing conflict that proves dangerous for expats. It is unfortunate that the current situation overshadows what could be a scenic destination. Somalia’s varied geography from deserts, to mountains, forests and beaches are left unnoticed and unappreciated. Travel warnings have sprung up, however if you’re willing to experience first hand the country of Somalia, have read-through our guide. 


Expat Clubs

Women Association for Relief and Development Actions

The Women Association for relief and Development Action (WARDA) established in 2007 is a community based nonprofit organization, non-partial, non- political and voluntary organization based in Mogadishu working to provided equitable access to food, shelter, health care, education human rights and agriculture rehabilitation in order to improve the livelihoods of youth, women and children.

Website: www.wardasom.org

International Schools 

Abaarso School of Science and Technology

Abaarso School of Science and Technology (Abaarso School) is an advanced educational institute in Abaarso, located in the northwestern Somaliland region of Somalia. Its campus lies some 18 km west of the provincial capital of Hargeisa. As of 2013, the organization consists of an intermediate and secondary boarding school, as well as a number of volunteer programs.

Tel: +252 2 4234772

Email: info@abaarsotech.org

Website: www.abaarsoschool.org


SOS Sheikh Secondary School

The SOS Secondary School at Hargeisa teaches the IGCSE curriculum and hopes to receive a licence to start teaching IGCSE A-levels for the oldest pupils.

Curriculum: IGCSE

Address: Hargeisa, Somaliland, Somalia

Tel: +44 1223 365589

Email: info@soschildren.org

Website: www.sos-schools.org/africa/somalia

Local News in English

Hiiraan Online

This is an English-language site that covers local news and events in Somalia and also the African region.

Website:  www.hiiraan.com


AllAfrica Somalia

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. They publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons.

Website: allafrica.com/somalia


Somaliland Times

Independent weekly English newspaper published in Hargeysa, Republic of Somaliland. Covers general local, regional and international news.

Website: www.somalilandtimes.net

Country Information 

Location: Africa

Capital City: Mogadishu

Currency: Somali Shilling

Language: Somali

Calling Code: +252

Internet TLD: .so

Electricity: The country runs on 220V 50Hz. Somali Energy Company is one of the power companies that supply electricity in the country.

Address: KM4 Road, Taleh, Hodan District, Mogadishu-Somalia

Tel: +252 853320, +252 633000, +252  643000, +252  865459, +252  873000

Website: www.somenergy.com  

Emergency Numbers:   

Medical: 999

Fire: 555

Police: 888

Country Information


Embassy Information


Residents Visa and Work Permit information

Visitors from all countries will have to obtain a visa from a Somali embassy or consulate to enter Somalia. Alternatively, they can obtain a visa on arrival, which is valid for up to 30 days. Visas on arrival require a local sponsorship letter submitted days before arrival at the immigration department of the airport. The visas that can be obtained are tourist, business single entry, business multiple entry 3 months and business multiple entry 1 year.

Documents required:
  • Completed Visa application Form - Incomplete forms may cause delays in issuance of applicant's visa;
  • A passport that is valid within 6 months;
  • Two (2) recent passport size photos;
  • Copy of Flight Reservation;
  • Non-Refundable Fee: made payable to the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Somalia

From the Somali embassy in Turkey site:  www.somaliembassytr.org/#/visas/4567187391


It is important to note that the autonomous region of Somaliland has different visa regulations, and does not recognize Somali visas. Visas on arrival can be obtained through any point of entry. The available visas are: privileged visas (diplomatic and missions passport holders), business visas (valid 30 to 90 days), tourist visas (15 days), transit (72 hours up to 14 days), educational visa (30 days) and special travel entry visa (30 days).

Documents and conditions for business visa:

  • The purpose of your trip must be to perform a legitimate business activity
  • Passport valid for at least six more months from the day of entry
  • Should made known his business contacts if there are any.
  • For extension purposes it depends upon his business perspective.
  • Letter of invitation from hosting entity in Somaliland (if there is).
  • Evidence of Funds e.g. resent Bank Statement approved by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Tourism.
  • Continuation/ return ticket

From Ministry of Interior, Somaliland site: slimmigration.zzl.org/Visa.html

The US government has issued a travel warning.

The U.S. Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to Somalia.  This replaces the Travel Warning dated June 21, 2013, to update information on security concerns.

There is at this time no U.S. Embassy or other formal U.S. diplomatic presence in Somalia.  Consequently, the U.S. government is not in a position to assist or effectively provide services to U.S. citizens in Somalia.  In light of this and continuous security threats, the U.S. government recommends that U.S. citizens avoid all travel to Somalia. The security situation inside Somalia remains unstable and dangerous.  Terrorist operatives and armed groups in Somalia have demonstrated their intent to attack Somali authorities, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and other non-military targets.  Kidnapping, bombings, murder, illegal roadblocks, banditry, and other violent incidents and threats to U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals can occur in any region of Somalia.  In addition, there is a particular threat to foreigners in places where large crowds gather and westerners frequent, including airports, government buildings, and shopping areas. Inter-clan and inter-factional fighting can flare up with little or no warning. This type of violence has resulted in the deaths of Somali nationals and the displacement of more than one million people.

-          From the US Passports and International Travel: travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/somalia-travel-warning.html


The current unrest in Somalia and Somaliland has rendered the country dangerous for expats to live in. The US and the UK governments have urged travellers to avoid unnecessary travel to the country and even evacuation.

Please read the following links for more details:



Driving License

The current unrest in Somalia and Somaliland has rendered the country dangerous for expats to live in. The US and the UK governments have urged travellers to avoid unnecessary travel to the country and even evacuation.

Please read the following links for more details:




Medical facilities and services are extremely limited in Somalia. There is shortage of medication and a surge of counterfeit ones is prevalent. Cash payments are expected, and credit cards are not accepted.

Insurance Companies


Bellwood Prestbury

This insurance company provides specialist Somalia insurance that include war, terrorism and kidnap provision. It also provides medical emergency evacuation insurance.

Website: www.bellwoodprestbury.com/somalia-insurance




Edna Adan Materinity Hospital

The hospital is comprised of several departments which provide antenatal and postnatal care, immunizations, blood testing, HIV/AIDS screening, a blood bank, and more. The inpatient department includes the medical wards, paediatrics, maternity, incubation, minor surgery, and more.

Address: Hargeisa, Somaliland

Tel: +252 2 525 016, +252 2 4416 342, +252 213 8014

Website: www.ednahospital.org


Banadir Hospital

Banadir Mother & Child hospital was established in 1977 as part of government development projects to Somali people which included other infrastructures as well, the hospital is suited in the middle of the Somali capital Mogadishu.

Website: banadirhospital.com


Puntland Hospital

Puntland Hospital is the largest independent hospital in Somalia. Their aim is to provide both primary and acute hospital care for the population of the area. They are also involved in medical research, with special interest in tropical diseases.

Address: 21 Airport Street, Bosasso, Bari, Somalia

Tel: +252 5826664, +252 5826665, +252 582 6666

Fax: +252 5826664

Mobile: +252 9079 5360, +252 6679 5360

Email: info@puntlandhospital.com/ abdisalamh@gmail.com

Website: puntlandhospital.com