Miscellaneous

Chewing Khat

Khat, chat, qat or miraa are the leaves of the shrub Catha edulis. And if you head to eastern Ethiopia or Somalia, you won’t have to be there long to notice the bulging cheeks of the khat chewer. Originating in the hills of eastern Ethiopia the khat plant has spread across large parts of East … Continue reading

Las Geel
Places We Go / Somaliland

Las Geel

Las Geel (also known as Laas Ga’al, Laas Geel and Laas Gaal) is arguably Somaliland’s pièce de résistance. Were it not in Somalia this site would immediately be declared a World Heritage Site. Fortunately, with the ongoing conflict in Somalia, it remains a hidden gem (To get back to 2005 in the tiny guest book, … Continue reading

Hargeisa (Hargeysa)
Places We Go / Somaliland

Hargeisa (Hargeysa)

The self-proclaimed Republic of Somaliland was formed in 1991 after the collapse of unitary Somalia. Thanks mainly to the dominance of a single clan (the Isaq), it has remained relatively peaceful and stable since 1991, despite the occasional terrorist attack. Somaliland has all the attributes of a “normal” state: a parliament, free press, a currency, … Continue reading

Wajaale
Ethiopia / Places We Go / Somaliland

Wajaale

Straddling the border of Somalia and Ethiopia, Wajaale is where my Italian and I crossed into Somalia. It’s a real frontier border town with no frills or attractiveness. **** Below is the first Ethiopian border post we came to… Everyone is dragged off the bus and extensively searched – the guards paw through your luggage, … Continue reading