Somaliland in detail

Flights & getting there

Air

Airports & Airlines

Somaliland has two international gateways for arrival by air: Hargeisa Egal International Airport (HGA) and Berbera International Airport (BBO). Hargeisa is the busiest. Note that Hargeisa airport was closed for renovation at the time of writing – all international flights were landing at Berbera, from where passengers were being bussed to Hargeisa.

The following airlines fly to/from Somaliland and have offices in Hargeisa:

Tickets

Expect to pay US$450 to US$500 for a return ticket to Dubai, at least US$250 from Djibouti and at least US$430 from Addis Ababa. For Nairobi, a return ticket costs around US$470.

If you’re coming from Europe or North America, your best bet is to fly to Dubai or Addis Ababa and find an onward connection to Hargeisa or Berbera. From Australasia, fly to Dubai and find an onward connection to Hargeisa or Berbera.

Departure & Arrival Tax

International departure tax is US$41, payable in cash. Arrival tax is US$33. You’ll also have to change US$50 into Somaliland shillings (at a poor rate) at Hargeisa airport.

Land

Djibouti

The land border between Somaliland and Djibouti is open. Shared taxis (usually 4WDs) ply the route on a daily basis from Hargeisa to Djibouti City – a strenuous 16- to 20-hour journey on a dirt road (US$30 to US$40 for the front seat). Taxis usually leave Hargeisa around 4pm so as to travel by night and avoid the scorching heat. They drive in convoy – a matter of survival in case of a breakdown in this desolate area. Bring food and plenty of water. The border crossing is at Loyaada.

Ethiopia

A significant proportion of visitors to Somaliland travel overland from Ethiopia. From Jijiga in eastern Ethiopia there’s regular bus traffic to the border town of Tog Wajaale (Togo-Wuchale on Ethiopian side). In Tog Wajaale, take a shared taxi (about US$7, two hours) to Hargeisa, about 90km to the southeast. Ask to be dropped in front of your hotel. Expect a couple of checkpoints, but no hassle.