The people of Hargeisa are called ‘friendly’ by several visitors. This small city is now the main economic hub of the region. Its ‘camel market’ is among the top sites one must-see in Hargeisa. In the market, there are countless possibilities for photos, and it has the largest concentration of camels you have ever seen in the same kind.
Hargeisa is also popular for its ‘money market’. Somaliland Shillings, the local currency, has very little value, and there are money exchange informal counters in the city center featuring tens of money bricks, each worth only a few dollars.Visiting these counters is one of Somaliland’s most common things to do.
If you have an interest in a museum, Saryan Museum holds some interesting artifacts, photos, news articles, and other memorabilia from Somaliland’s history. The monument of MiG Jet is also a plus while one is in this old city.
Popular for its beautiful prehistoric cave paintings, Laas Geel is located on the road that connects Hargeisa and Berbera. A French team led by Xavier Gutherz, who researched the beginning of pastoralism in the Horn of Africa, discovered Laas Geel in 2002. The paintings are spread over 20 rock shelters, the largest being approximately 10 meters tall. Humpless cows with curved or lyre-like white horns (sometimes with reddish tips) and marked udders correspond to most of them. Paintings, like red, white, black, violet, brown and yellow, are particularly colourful, both separate and mixed.
This old port city can be easily accessed with a few hours drive from the capital. Berbera is known for its significant history and beaches with no palm trees, white sand, girls in bikini, or so. The old port and adjacent fish market are the starting point where you can experience some intense trade between Yemeni fishermen, local shop owners and Djiboutian merchants, adding to the sense of confusion with the mix of Arabic, French and Somali.
Somaliland supports a relatively small number of large mammals, certainly compared to Ethiopia or Kenya. And, during the 20th century, several safari classics, most notably elephants and rhinoceroses, were extinct. In terms of avian diversity, Somaliland may not be comparable to Africa’s finest birding destinations, primarily due to its relative aridity and unvaried habitats.
Nonetheless, most of the 720 bird species recorded in Somalia occur within the confines of Somaliland, and since it remains relatively poorly known in ornithological terms, visiting birders often report new species. Somaliland is also of great interest because of the presence, along with a large number of near-endemic and other dry-country species with restricted range elsewhere, of at least nine of the 12 birds known to be endemic to Somalia. It is also worth noting that, were the sovereignty of the nation to be acknowledged, half of these Somali endemics would essentially be Somaliland endemics.