How to get to Somalia

By | May 4, 2022


Somalia, an unusual travel destination, is only for lucky visitors with a bulletproof vest. Travel is only possible within the self-proclaimed Republic of Somaliland, but even the bravest should avoid the rest of the country. The chaos Somalia is in is preventing the world from seeing its diverse landscape of mountains, deserts, tropical forests, undiscovered beaches and coral reefs along the Gulf of Aden. A large part of nature has also fallen victim to illegal deforestation, various periods of drought and the civil war. Modern Somalia came into existence on January 1st. July 1960 from the British and Italian Somali countries. Since then, old tribal feuds and territorial conflicts have determined the history of the country. Years of fighting between rival rebel leaders and the failure to fight starvation and disease have left over a million dead. Somalia remains an unpredictable place where raids are commonplace, particularly in the capital, Mogadishu.

Getting there

Arriving by plane

According to top-medical-schools, there are no non-stop flights to Somalia from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Ethiopian Airlines (ET) flies from Frankfurt/M. via Addis Ababa to Mogadishu. Feeder flights to Frankfurt/M. possible with Austrian Airlines (OS) from Vienna and with Swiss (LX) from Zurich. Turkish Airlines (TK) connects Frankfurt/M. and Zurich via Istanbul and Vienna via Istanbul and Djibouti with Mogadishu. Jubba Airways (6J) flies to Mogadishu from Djibouti and Dubai. Daallo Airlines (D3) offers flights from Djibouti, Dubai, Jeddah and Nairobi to Mogadishu, among others.

Flight times

Frankfurt/M. – Mogadishu: 12 hrs 5 mins; Vienna – Mogadishu: 12 hrs 25 mins; Zurich – Mogadishu: 12 hours 20 minutes (each with a stopover; the journey time varies depending on the length of the stay.)

Departure fee

Approximately €17 (US$20). Transit passengers who do not leave the airport and children under 2 years old are exempt.

Arrival by car

There are connecting roads to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya. However, the border crossings to Ethiopia and Kenya are mostly closed and can only be crossed with special approval procedures. The roads are generally bad. Desert capable 4WD vehicles are highly recommended. Toll: There are no toll roads. Documents: In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is required.

Arrival by ship

The main ports are Mogadishu, Kismayo, Berbera and Marka.


Traveling by plane

Jubba Airways (6J) connects Mogadishu with domestic destinations such as Adado, Baydhabo and Hargeisa once a week.

Traveling by car/bus

The road network has a total length of around 22,000 kilometers. Larger roads lead from Mogadishu to Burao, Baidoa, Kismayo and Hargeisa, among others.

Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic


Condition of the roads

The roads are generally in poor condition and practically only usable with off-road vehicles.

Car rental

Rental cars are available in Mogadishu. They are often older and in poor technical condition. It is advisable to rent a car with a driver.


Taxis are only available in larger cities; they can be stopped on the street. The fare should be agreed before departure.


Buses run regularly between cities like Mogadishu, Hargeisa, Borama, Burao and Berbera, which are relatively comfortable by Somali standards, but are not air-conditioned.


In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is required.

Traveling in the city

Minibuses and shared taxis operate in Mogadishu. Availability is sometimes limited outside normal working hours (Sat-Thurs 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.).

Locally on the way by train

There is no rail transport in Somalia.

Traveling by ship

Modern Somalia is essentially a desert-like stretch of coast. Due to the difficult transport options on the roads, coastal shipping is particularly important for freight and passenger transport. However, there is a risk of piracy in the waters off the coast of Somalia.

How to get to Somalia