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Since the collapse of the central government in 1991, Somalia has been subject to widespread violence and instability. A Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was established in 2004 to guide the country through a transitional process to result in a new constitution and elections, planned for 2009. However, the nascent TFG remains fragile and lacks the capacity to provide services inside Somalia. General insecurity and inter- and intra-clan violence frequently occur throughout the country, and attacks and fighting between anti-government elements and TFG and Ethiopian forces take place regularly in Mogadishu and in regions outside the capital. The United States has no official representation inside Somalia.
In 1991, the northwest part of the country proclaimed itself the Republic of Somaliland and maintains a separate regional governing authority; however, Somaliland has not received international recognition as an independent state. The northeastern section of Somalia, known as the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, has also made efforts to establish a regional governing authority but has not claimed independence. Somalia's economy was seriously damaged by the civil war and its aftermath, but the private sector is trying to reemerge. Tourist facilities are non-existent.  Read the Department of State
Background Notes on Somalia for additional information.



Image of Somalia
Country Name: Somalia
Continent: Africa
Capital City: Mogadishu
Boundary Countries: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya
Recommended Hospitals in Capital:
Main Cities: Mogadishu, Berbera, Garoowe, Galcaio, Boosaaso, Hargeysa, Baidoa, Merca, Kismaayo, Beledweyne
Country Size: 637,657 sq km
Population: 9,558,666



Somali (official), Arabic, Italian, English

Currency: Somali Shilling (SOS)
Predominant Religions:

Sunni Muslim

National Holidays: Foundation of the Somali Republic, 1 July (1960); note - 26 June (1960) in Somaliland
Economic Status:

Despite the lack of effective national governance, Somalia has maintained a healthy informal economy, largely based on livestock, remittance/money transfer companies, and telecommunications. Agriculture is the most important sector, with livestock normally accounting for about 40% of GDP and about 65% of export earnings. Nomads and semi-pastoralists, who are dependent upon livestock for their livelihood, make up a large portion of the population.


no national-level armed forces

US Presence:

The U.S. Embassy in Djibouti is located at Plateau du Serpent, Boulevard Marechal Joffre, Djibouti City; telephone (253) 35-39-95. The after-hours telephone number is (253) 35-13-43. The mailing address is Ambassade Americaine, B.P. 185, Djibouti, Republique de Djibouti. The workweek in Djibouti is Sunday through Thursday. The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi is located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone (254)(20) 363-6000; fax (254) (20) 363-6410. In the event of an after-hours emergency, the Embassy duty officer is available at (254) (20) 363-6170. The Embassy's mailing address is P.O. Box 606 Village Market, 00621 Nairobi, Kenya, or mail using U.S. domestic postage may be addressed to Unit 64100, APO AE 09831, USA.

Document Requirements:

A passport is required for travel to Somaliland and Puntland.  Both regions require a visa and issue their own at their respective ports of entry.  For travel to other parts of Somalia, including Mogadishu, a passport is required; however, there is no established governing authority capable of issuing a universally recognized visa.  Air and seaports are under the control of local authorities that make varying determinations of what is required of travelers who attempt to use these ports of entry.

Travelers may obtain the latest information on visas as well as any additional details regarding entry requirements from the Permanent Representative of the Somali Republic to the United Nations, telephone (212) 688-9410/5046; fax (212) 759-0651, located at 425 East 61st Street, Suite 702, New York, NY  10021.  Persons outside the United States may attempt to contact the nearest Somali embassy or consulate.  All such establishments, where they exist, are affiliated with the TFG, whose authority is not established throughout Somalia.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.

Major Airports:

Airports: 67, Airports w/paved runways: 7

Mogadishu International Airport (MGQ/HCMM)
Mogadishu Airport, Somalia, PO Box 310, Mogadishu, SOMALIA
Tel: +252 80839, +252 80531

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

US Dept. of State Travel Warning Updated 15 November 2008

The State Department warns US citizens of the risks of travel to Somalia and recommends that American citizens avoid all travel to Somalia. This replaces the Travel Warning dated October 24, 2008 to note terrorist attacks in the regions of Somaliland and Puntland.
The Department of State warns US citizens against all travel to Somalia, including northern Somalia. On October 29, 2008, terrorists launched several coordinated and near-simultaneous attacks involving multiple car bombs against local and international targets in the regions of Somaliland and Puntland. There is no US Embassy or other US diplomatic presence in Somalia. Consequently, the US government is not in a position to assist or effectively provide services to US citizens in Somalia.
Terrorist operatives and armed groups in Somalia have demonstrated their intent and capability to attack air operations at Mogadishu International Airport. Kidnapping, murder, illegal roadblocks, banditry, and other violent incidents and threats to US citizens and other foreigners can occur in many regions. Inter-clan and inter-factional fighting flares up with little or no warning. Unpredictable armed conflicts among rival militias are prevalent in southern Somalia, particularly in and around Mogadishu. This has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Somali nationals and the displacement of nearly one million people. In December 2006, Ethiopian military forces entered Somalia in support of the Somali Transitional Federal Government. The continuing Ethiopian military presence and support for the Transitional Federal Government has heightened tensions among rival political and clan factions within Somalia.
The Sanaag and Sool Regions in eastern Somaliland, bordering on Puntland (northeastern Somalia), are subject to insecurity due to ongoing border disputes and inter-clan fighting.  There also have been several fatal attacks and violent kidnappings against international relief workers, including Westerners, throughout Somalia, Somaliland, and Puntland. Lines of control in Mogadishu are unclear and frequently shift, making movement within Mogadishu extremely hazardous. Violent riots have recently occurred in Mogadishu, as thousands of civilians protested rising food prices and the devaluation of the Somali currency.
Recently, insurgents and extremist elements opposed to the Somali government conducted hit-and-run attacks on several towns in central and southern Somalia, to include the districts of Gedo and Bay (especially the vicinity of Baidoa) in the south.
US citizens also are urged to use extreme caution when sailing near the coast of Somalia. Merchant vessels, fishing boats, and recreational craft all risk seizure by pirates and having their crews held for ransom in the waters off the Horn of Africa, most especially in the international waters near Somalia. There have been numerous such incidents, highlighting the continuing danger of maritime travel near the Horn of Africa. If transit around the Horn of Africa is necessary, it is strongly recommended that vessels travel in convoys, and maintain good communications contact at all times.
US citizens who travel to Somalia despite this Travel Warning are urged to register through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov and obtain updated information on travel and security from the US Embassies in neighboring countries. Travelers to the self-declared "Republic of Somaliland" should register with the US Embassy in Djibouti, and travelers to Puntland or southern Somalia should register with the US Embassy in Nairobi.
The US Embassy in Djibouti is located at Plateau du Serpent, Boulevard Marechal Joffre, Djibouti City; telephone (253) 35-39-95; after-hours telephone number (253) 35-13-43.  The mailing address is Ambassade Americaine, B.P. 185, Djibouti, Republique de Djibouti, and their workweek is Sunday through Thursday. The US Embassy in Nairobi is located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone (254)(20) 363-6000; after-hours emergencies (254)(20) 363-6170. The mailing address is PO Box 606 Village Market 00621, Nairobi, Kenya.
US citizens should also consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Somalia and the Worldwide Caution, which are located on the Department's internet website at http://travel.state.gov. Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the US or outside the US and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total: 110.97 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: TOTAL 49.25 years (male 47.43/female 51.12)

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None
Recommended: Yellow Fever, Hep A & B, Malaria, Rabies, Typhoid, Polio
Boosters: MMR, DPT

Note: Chloroquine is NOT an effective antimalarial drug in Somalia and should not be taken to prevent malaria in this region.

 If you will be visiting a malaria risk area in Somalia, you will need to take one of the following antimalarial drugs: atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine (primaquine in special circumstances and only after G6PD testing).

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Major Infectious Diseases, degree of risk: high
Malaria is endemic in many areas and the entire country is considered a risk area.
Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and onchocerciasis (river blindness) are other diseases carried by insects that also occur in East Africa. African trypanosomiasis (African sleeping sickness) has increased in Africa (it is epidemic in Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Sudan; and highly endemic in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mozambique, Uganda, and Tanzania; low levels are found in most of the other countries), and an increase in travelers has been noted since 2000. Most had exposures in Tanzania and Kenya, reflecting common tourist routes. Protecting yourself against insect bites will help to prevent these diseases.
Many countries in this region have high incidence rates of tuberculosis and high HIV prevalence rates.
Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection, can be contracted in fresh water in this region. Do not swim in fresh water in these countries. (For more information, please see Swimming and Recreational Water Safety.)

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Medical facilities in Somalia are extremely limited. Travelers should carry personal supplies of medications with them.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 0
Referrals: 2
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

There have been outbreaks of cholera in Mogadishu, Kismayo in the south, and Puntland in the northeast.
Plague occurs sporadically or in outbreaks. Polio outbreaks were reported in several previously polio-free countries in Central, Eastern, and Western Africa beginning in 2003.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) has been found in poultry populations in several countries in Africa. Avoid all direct contact with birds, including domestic poultry (such as chickens and ducks) and wild birds, and avoid places such as poultry farms and bird markets where live birds are raised or kept. For a current list of countries reporting outbreaks of H5N1 among poultry and/or wild birds, view updates from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and for total numbers of confirmed human cases of H5N1 virus by country see the World Health Organization (WHO) Avian Influenza website.

Communications Info:

Country Code:  +252
Internet Code:  .so


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