Merca Flights:

Flights to Merca

image of MercaThe city of Merca dates to around the 5th century and you can still feel the long history in the area today. Services will be very basic though the character of the city is wonderfully unique. Because of the ongoing political situation across Somalia, Merca is not going to be a simple tourist stop for anyone who wants to see the area. Though there are no maintained sights or attractions right within the city, there are a few things in the neighbouring areas that might be of interest. Take care when travelling and always stay on the main roads when touring between cities.

Flights to Marka or for that matter anywhere else in Somalia, can be difficult to arrange, and the main Aden-Adde International Airport (airport code: MGQ) is not handling any commercial air traffic at this time. There are some flights to Merca with Daallo Airlines that will land at the K50 Airport which is about 20km north of Merca. You will have to fly to either Nairobi or Djibouti to arrange such a flight. From Johannesburg, you can take Kenya Airways, South African Airways or Ethiopian Airlines to either city.

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The Tourist Attractions of Merca:

Known as Merca in the English speaking world, the Somali for this city is actually Marka so you may see it refereed to as either.

The city is strictly Muslim so any cultural restrictions associated with that will apply in Merca. Women should wear modest clothing and head coverings at all times, and there will be no alcohol available for sale. Languages spoken in Merca are mostly Somali and Arabic with few people being able to speak English to any degree.

Walking the streets of Merca is a good way to spend time, to see the old architecture of the white-washed buildings that cluster right up to the edge of the coast.

Marka was once a busy resort town due to the white sand beaches along the coast. Though there are no resorts operating now, the beaches are still there and still beautiful. Again, dress modestly while on the beach (which means no Western-style bathing suits). Even if you don’t sunbathe, the view of the ocean is amazing.

Farther up along the coast is the capital city of Mogadishu. There you can find additional businesses and facilities, though that can be just as sporadic. Even so, the large Bakaara Market offers some interesting open-air shopping and the old Arba-Runcun Mosque is still very impressive.

To see some Somali countryside, the Balcad Nature Reserve and Alifuuto Nature Reserve are on the other side of Mogadishu. Neither is being maintained by any staff but they are still thriving nature areas with great scenery and wildlife. You can typically see buffalo and zebra in either park area, and hippos along any waterways.

When Should You Visit?:

You’ll find the climate very consistent in Marka, and it will be hot no matter when you go. Most days will be around 30C (86F) with cooler evenings and rain won’t be an issue during any month. It can be a few degrees cooler in July or August, which does make it a little better for travel. It also gets a little bit warmer in April and May, so those months are not ideal.

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