ABOUT Somalia is principally desert. The Somali beach near Mogadishu is very beautiful. Families usually go on weekends. It is important to be aware that women must swim fully clothed, as Sharia law is strictly enforced, and does not permit women to show much of their bodies or to mingle with men. It is not clear as what the situation is like currently. In other circumstances, the beach would make for an ideal destination; however, the general threat of banditry, armed conflict and especially piracy along the coast make this, along with every other option in the country, risky. The Somaliland capital Hargeisa is the safest city in Somalia. It is quite westernised and welcomes foreigners more than any other place in Somalia. If you are planning to go to Somalia then we strongly recommend that you go to Hargeisa instead of any other city. However our advice is against all travel to Somalia.

CLIMATE Major climatic factors are a year-round hot climate, seasonal monsoon winds, and irregular rainfall with recurring droughts. Mean daily maximum temperatures range from 30 °C to 40 °C, except at higher elevations and along the east coast. Mean daily minimums usually vary between 15 °C - 30 °C. The southwest monsoon, a sea breeze, makes the period from about May to October the mildest season at Mogadishu. The December-February period of the northeast monsoon is also relatively mild, although prevailing climatic conditions in Mogadishu are rarely pleasant. The "tangambili" periods that intervene between the two monsoons (October–November and March–May) are hot and humid.

BEWARE There is a high threat to western, including British, interests from terrorism in Somalia, including Somaliland. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Since the death of Osama Bin Laden terrorist groups operating in Somalia have made threats against Westerners and those working for western organisations in Somalia, including Somaliland. There is ongoing serious violence between opposing factions. Al Shabaab, a proscribed terrorist group, and other groups opposed to the Somali government continue to carry out attacks in and around Mogadishu. Unconfirmed numbers of civilians of all ages have been killed in the serious fighting, which often involves heavy weapons. There is a high threat of maritime terrorism in the territorial and international waters off Somalia.