Officially named the Federal Republic of Somalia, this vast African country borders Ethiopia, Djibouti and the Gulf of Aden. Traditionally referred to as the Horn of Africa, Somalia is often likened in shape to that of a rhino horn. The main languages within Somalia are traditionally Somali and Arabic.
You will find that the population of Somalia is around 10 million comprising approximately 85% ethnic Somalis. That means expats planning a move to the country can expect a truly cultural feel with a 15% diffusion of multinationals. If your move to Somalia is set to take you to the north of the country, you will find a larger percentage of native inhabitants. Many people are not aware but Somalia also has several associated islands and archipelagos along its coastline. These include the Saad ad-Din Archipelago and the Bajuni Islands.
Somalia is made up of semi-arid and arid conditions, making it exceptionally hot all year round. This is not surprising, as much of the coastline is made up of semi-desert plain, commonly referred to as the 'Guban'. However, those moving to Somalia must also prepare for routine monsoons and sporadic rainfall. Thankfully such torrential downpours give way to the growth of lush green vegetation. Expats moving to Somalia can expect a pretty constant climate due to the country's close proximity to the equator. Temperatures range from 30 to 40°C, although it can be slightly cooler in places such as Mogadishu where the average is typically between 28 and 32°C. Expats planning a move to northern Somalia should prepare for soaring heat of up to 45°C.
As an expatriate moving to Somalia it is important to adhere to stringent visa and passport controls. If moving from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia or an EU country, having a visa valid for six months (at least) and a passport also valid for a minimum of six months is paramount. Please be aware that airports and seaports are under the control of local governments, therefore legislation may vary between Somalia's different states. It is advisable for all moving to Somalia that they take time to check with the embassy relating to their country, especially when applying for a visa.
You can find a user-friendly guide to the visas needed when moving to Somalia at Visa Hunter.