Pack Your Bags: Nestled in the north of Somalia in the Horn of Africa, Somaliland is a surprisingly stable contrast to the chaos of the rest of the country. In fact, Somaliland considers itself a separate nation. It has a government, police, army and, as of a few years ago, traffic lights. By contrast, Somalia proper has struggled to install a working central government since 1991. Tourists can marvel at the Laas Gaal cave paintings, walk around the majestic Naasa Hablood hill, or explore the markets of Hargeisa, the capital.
Rain Check: Somaliland does not technically exist. Try not to be kidnapped or imprisoned as consular assistance won't be that handy. Credit cards won't get you far either. And though Somaliland is more stable than Somalia, gun violence does occasionally flare up there. Oh, and if you have an aversion to hot weather, the temperature in summer hits 115 F (46 C) or even higher.
Tourist Blurb: "The people are very nice and always interested in talking with foreigners", posted Sanaani on Lonely Planet's website after a recent trip to Somaliland.
by Patrice Poltzer