Somalia today makes headlines, not for its incredible beaches and coral reefs, but for its politics. The United States and United Kingdom have both issued travel warnings for its citizens not to travel to Somalia or Somalialand--but one day travelers may be able to come to the capital city of Mogadishu and beyond. In a perfect world everyone would get to enjoy Somalia's pristine beaches on the shores of the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden. Diving along the coral reefs, that extend all the way to Kenya, is a SCUBA dream dive.

History lovers (or land lubbers) might prefer visiting Las Geel, a UNESCO site of Neolithic cave paintings. Wouldn't that be prehistoric lovers? Animal lovers will fall in love with all the game at Kismayu National Park; and even more rarer species of animals are found at Hargeisa National Park. There are a number of restrictions to see all this in Somalia. One thing to know is the visa you need before arrival in Somalia isn't valid in Somalialand. Get a visa for both if you're going to travel between the northern and southern parts of the country.

Somalia experiences two rainy seasons, the first from March to JUne, the other from September to December. August's dry monsoon winds don't bring rain, only dust clouds. And from January to March the weather is exceptionally hot.

Water is a must, but make sure its either boiled or bottled. Don't swim in fresh water for any reason, unless it's a chlorinated pool. Make sure all your meat and veg are cooked, and all fruit is peeled.

As Somalia is a Muslim country, alcohol is illegal--making the drink of choice, not wine or a cold beer, but Chai or black tea. This also means there are no nightclubs in the traditional sense, but a number of places have live bands. No drinking necessary if you're going to shop. Some of the best Somali bargains include wood carvings, silver jewelery, and basketry.

Getting around can be rougher than haggling for a bargain. Roads can be difficult to navigate outside the capital city, but there are two airlines that offer flights between all major places in the country. Ferry service exists, but so does the chance of pirates. Best to take a minibus or shared taxi to get from place to place. Then again, in a perfect world, all modes of travel would be easy. If anything, travel to Somalia will teach you a lesson in patience--something definitely needed in a perfect world.

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