Current exchange rate
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Jan 18, 2013 2:21 AM Last Post By: kanding
Sep 27, 2012 11:32 PM
Current exchange rateHi, can anyone tell me the current exchange rate for British Pound against the Somaliland curency please? Is the currency the same as the Somali Schilling? I visit in december so should i also bring dollars? Thanks James
Sep 28, 2012 2:57 AM
1When you enter Somaliland you have to change about 80 $ into local currency at arrival at the government rate - which will mean you carry around a hunge bundle of bills you might find hard to spend. Most people will charge you dollars anyway for whatever you buy and need to push hard to accept local currency for a cup of tea or a pack of biscuits even. While the local moneychangers in Hargeisa are really a sight to see, you will not need to change more money. Bring dollars for everyday use.
Sep 29, 2012 1:04 PM
Sep 30, 2012 7:09 AM
3You do not have to change money when entering Somaliland. I have heard of this happening in the past but it is not mandatory and haven't heard of it happening to anyone recently. Definitely bring dollars as it is accepted for all large transactions. Somaliland shillings (not the same as Somali shillings) will be needed for smaller purchases (things less than $1 for example).
The exchange rate for the USD is right now 6000 or 6,500 but more and more are going with 6,500 so probably by the time you get there that's what it will be everywhere. Sorry, don't know for GBP.
Sep 30, 2012 11:38 AM
Sep 30, 2012 12:22 PM
5Souvenirs...there isn't too much made locally (although Coke now is!) but there are locally made tie-dyed scarves that you will see many women wearing. They are pretty nice for a simple item and you can find them in many different colours including the colours of the Somaliland flag. They are essentially big, long pieces of tie-died fabric, not a feminine scarf, and can easily be used for other purposes. Otherwise, there are some souvenir shops on the main drag where you can buy Somaliland paraphernalia (overpriced if you ask me)- key chains, rubber wristbands, stickers, t-shirts etc. as well as carved wooden camels and the like.
Places to visit- wander around Hargeisa, the market, the MiG monument...not too much to see there. If you go out in the roads behind the Ambassador Hotel you can get a nice view over the city. You can head a bit out of Hargeisa to the breasts- the two hills outside of town and climb them. You'll likely see baboons, hyenas and maybe fox and dikdiks. Head to Las Geel for the cave paintings. Wander around Berbera and eat in one of the nice restaurants overlooking the sea and old port, go swimming if you want (walk down the beach past the Mansour Hotel which is a bit far from the centre to get to the part of beach people use for bathing, etc). Those are the main areas. You can go to Sheikh for the "mountains" and go walking in them, or head to Burao if you want to wander around another city that is much more conservative than Hargeisa.
Food, try camel meat and camel milk (this can upset your stomach if you aren't used to it so maybe don't drink it on a travel day!) Lots of places have good fresh juices and cocktails (mixes of fresh juice, sometimes with ice cream mixed in- as you find in many Muslim countries). Hadwanag restaurant (also a hotel) has great homemade bread (they call it naan but its not exactly indian-style naan) and will do a grilled whole (big) fish- that's pretty tasty (sort of Yemeni style I guess).
Transport- to get from the border to Hargeisa just follow the crowd to the shared taxis. To Berbera same thing, in the centre of town. To get around Hargeisa, the centre of town is walkable- there are a couple minibus routes to get a bit farther away (if you are staying at the Mansour Hotel or Ambassador for example). Easy to use and cheap. To get to Las Geel the easiest is to arrange a car and driver through a hotel. This is more expensive, you could just take public transport heading anywhere along the route (going to Berbera, Burao and beyond) and ask to get out at Las Geel and then walk to the cave paintings. Its a bit far though and can be a pretty hot walk so depends what you like doing.
Oct 1, 2012 12:20 PM
Nov 3, 2012 8:24 PM
7You'll be able to pay all your major expenses - hotels, transport etc. In USD
you need the shilling for smaller purchases though. The money changers will automatically give you the 500 shilling notes (about 8 cents), however 1000 and 5000 shilling notes exist too, and some money changers will give them to you even if they are reluctant at first. The 5000's are a good way to avoid having to carry around a ridiculous bank roll.
Jan 18, 2013 2:21 AM
Bags feeling light?
Coffee table looking bare?
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