Flights to Mogadishu
Mogadishu is both the largest city and capital of Somalia, and it has been a vital port city for the region for hundreds of years. Originally, the city was settled by Arabs but it eventually came under Portuguese control in the 16th century. In more recent times, it was leased to Italy by the Sultan of Zanzibar. So, the city has a long and diverse history.
The Aden-Adde International Airport (airport code: MGQ) serves the city of Mogadishu, but it no longer accepts flights to Mogadishu from commercial airlines due to damage to the airport during their civil war. Most flights to Mogadishu arrive at the K50 Airport, which is located 50 kilometres south of the city. Air traffic to this airport is limited, but if you can get from South Africa to Nairobi or Djibouti you can get a flight to Mogadishu with Daallo Airlines from there.
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The Tourist Attractions of Mogadishu:
Though it is an important economic and political centre in Somalia, it is not really a tourist city. Services are not easy to access and there are no large attractions to visit. However, the streets are laid out in a very regular grid pattern so you should not have much trouble finding your way around, and taxi service is the best way to travel through the city.
To see some local culture, you can visit the Bakaara Market where the open-air stalls offer a large array of products and goods. It’s one of the main places in the city to make purchases so it can be quite busy and noisy. Mogadishu’s Muslim roots are evident in the architecture of the city and the frequency of mosques, with the Arba-Runcun Mosque being the largest. It’s also known as the Mosque of the Four Pillars.
Though the area is known to be hot and dry, don’t forget that the city is right on the coast. There are several very nice beaches not far from Mogadishu though there aren’t many resort hotels operating at this time. If you were to visit one of the beach or coastal areas, remember that the strict Islamic laws of the area prohibit women from wearing revealing clothing. Bathing suits are not allowed.
Also outside of Mogadishu are two nature reserves: the Alifuuto Nature Reserve and the smaller Balcad Nature Reserve. They are both north-east of the city and not currently maintained in any official capacity. The Balcad Reserve is particularly well-known for its extensive bird population. Farther south from the city is the Bushbush Game reserve. Both the Alifuuto and Bushbush parks are filled with zebra, hippos and buffalo.
You should make sure you enjoy some authentic Somali food while visiting Mogadishu, though bear in mind there is no alcohol served at any of the restaurants. The varied history of the city can be seen in the range of other cuisines available.
When Should You Visit?:
The city is generally hot and the weather doesn’t vary very much from one month to the next. The average high temperature is around 30C (86F) though it is slightly cooler during July and August and then slightly warmer in April and May. Rainfall is scarce so you never need to worry about arriving during a wet season.