Mogadishu, also known as Hamar, is the capital of Somalia. It is the busiest and most populated city in Somalia. It is home to more than 2.5 million people. Located on the Indian Ocean, the city serves as a key port for the entire country. The Mogadishu International Port is the largest harbor in the country, located directly next to Aden Adde International Airport. Travel advisories related to visiting Mogadishu and Somalia can be found online.
Renting a Car in Mogadishu
Most visitors arriving into Somalia will arrive into Aden Adde International Airport, formerly known as Mogadishu International Airport. There are currently no major car rental carriers operating out of the Aden Adde International Airport or in the city center. Locating a rental vehicle in this part of the world is a bit complicated. Presently, most visitors to Mogadishu are there on business and not as tourists. When organizing transportation, be sure to work with a local company or professional guide to ensure that the appropriate safety measures are followed. Additionally, all private transport should come with security to escort the vehicle.
Driving in Mogadishu
It is possible to drive around Mogadishu, but it considered extremely risky. Most foreigners hire a group of local militia or security forces to escort their vehicle around the city. Many roads are comprised of dirt. During periods of rain, it is possible that the dirt roads may become hard to traverse. It's suggested to utilize a four-wheel drive vehicle to handle a wide variety of terrain.
There are currently no enforced traffic laws. Most of the traffic lights do not operate. Stopping at intersections may lead to a break-in or attempted carjacking. Avoid wearing anything expensive or displaying anything valuable while driving, as it may bring unwanted attention.
Top Things to See in Mogadishu
Significant safety measures need to be organized prior to navigating the city. However, it is possible to visit a few of the highlights of the area with an armed security guard escort. Most guided tours begin at the local fish market. Next, visit the Shanghai Old City. During the years of Italian settlement, this was a place where the expatriates and the wealthy spent their leisure. There are still reminders of the Italian colonization from the narrow streets, cafes, bakeries, and old, white houses.
Lido Beach, along the shore, is the most popular in all of Mogadishu. Enjoy the fresh seafood for lunch at the Lido Beach Restaurant. Many local families enjoy gathering at the beach around sunset. However, be aware that there are sharks looming in these waters, so swimming far out into the water is not encouraged.
The Old Mogadishu Lighthouse was built over a century ago. Visitors can climb the stairs to gain a panoramic view of the city and ocean. It's considered one of the safest places in the city.
Typically visited by journalists and military members, travelers can visit the helicopter crash site from the movie "Black Hawk Down." In 1993, two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down with rocket-propelled grenades near the Mogadishu Bakara Market.
Travel safely in Mogadishu, and try to book a car rental with Skyscanner first to make the trip easier.