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The Federal Republic of Somalia is located in eastern Africa bordering Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, and on the coast of the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. The population is about 10 million people. The country is in the process of building a federal parliamentary republic with a president serving as chief of state and a prime minister serving as head of government. Somalia was formed in 1960 when British Somaliland and Italian Somalia merged to form the independent republic of Somalia.

In 1991, the president of Somalia was overthrown. In the 20 years that followed, there was no functional government. Years of anarchy and tribal warfare followed. Somalia was not able to cope with the natural disasters the country faced, such as the severe drought and famine that began about 1992. Also, as a result of the years of lawlessness and lack of government control and internal order, piracy began in the Indian Ocean when fishermen attempted to protect their waters from illegal fishing. Also, the instability left the country vulnerable to the rise of al-Shabaab, a radical Islamist group operating in southern and central Somalia. This group carries out terrorist attacks in Somalia and other nearby countries, including Kenya.

In 2012, a new government was instituted, and recovery is slowly underway. The security situation in Somalia continues to be dangerous, unstable and unpredictable across much of the country.

Currency SOS: Somali shilling
Language Somali Arabic
Capital Mogadishu
Recent Alerts 3
Latest Alert April 11, 2021 - Five Killed In Twin Explosions - Somalia

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Somalia. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure through contaminated food or water in Somalia.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Somalia.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Somalia, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.


Rabies has been reported in domestic and wild animals in Somalia. Bats may carry rabies-like viruses. Rabies transmission may occur following contact with the saliva of an infected domestic animal or bat (via bites or scratches or saliva contact with mucous membranes). Bites from bats are frequently unrecognised. The risk of exposure is increased by the type of activity (e.g. running, cycling), occupation (e.g. veterinarians) and for those staying in this country for long periods.

Yellow Fever

There is a low risk of yellow fever transmission in Somalia. This country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers 9 months of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.


Tuberculosis occurs in Somalia. Travellers to this country are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Dengue Fever

Outbreaks of dengue fever may occur.


Cholera outbreaks occur in Somalia. The risk to travellers is low unless living or working in poor sanitary conditions, drinking untreated water or eating poorly cooked or raw seafood in this country.


There is a high risk of malaria in Somalia.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever may occur in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Somalia.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

This country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers 9 months of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. Because the risk of exposure to yellow fever is minimal in the regions of Bakool, Banaadir, Bay, Gedo, Galguduud, Hiraan, Lower Jubababa, Middle Jubababa, Lower Shabelle and Middle Shabelle, yellow fever vaccine is generally not recommended for travellers in these regions. Yellow fever vaccine is not recommended at all for other areas of Somalia.

Cholera Vaccine

The U.K. NaTHNaC recommends the oral cholera vaccine for some travellers whose activities or medical history put them at increased risk, travelling to areas of active cholera transmission. These risk factors include: aid workers; those going to areas of cholera outbreaks who have limited access to potable water and medical care; travellers for whom the vaccination would be considered potentially beneficial, such as chronic medical conditions. The U.S. CDC recommends the cholera vaccine for travellers who are 18-64 years of age and who plan to travel to areas of active cholera transmission. CDC notes that most travellers do not travel to areas of active cholera transmission, and that safe food and water practices can prevent many cholera infections.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Somalia.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Chloroquine resistance is widespread. The recommended anti-malaria medication is mefloquine, doxycycline or atovaquone/proguanil.

Safety and Security in Somalia

Emergency Numbers

888 See Note

In 2013, the number, 888, was announced as an operational emergency number for police. However, emergency service responsiveness may be poor or nonexistent.

Personal Safety

Violent and deadly crime and lawlessness is common in Somalia. Many countries advise citizens to avoid all travel to Somalia and advise that this country is not safe for tourism. There is a very high threat of terrorist attack. Kidnapping and armed robberies are common. Westerners and those working for international organisations are also at risk throughout the country. There is anti-Western sentiment in Somalia that can lead to violent harassment of westerners, including those who have family in Somalia.

The risk of kidnappings and robberies is country-wide, but particularly high in Mogadishu and the autonomous states of Somaliland and Puntland.

Armed conflict between gangs or clans occurs.

Exercise extreme caution if travelling by sea around Somalia’s coast due to the threat of piracy or hijacking.

Political Unrest

Political tension is high in Somalia. Minimize safety risk in any country by avoiding public and political gatherings and demonstrations since even peaceful protests can quickly and unexpectedly become violent.

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