Somalia - Profile
- Sailing to Somalia is considered far too hazardous in the present circumstances and anyone intending to sail anywhere near Somalia should obtain the latest information on the internal situation before venturing anywhere near a Somali port.
- Only major ports should be approached and only in serious emergencies.
- Violent crime, including looting and banditry, is common, especially in Mogadishu, while many other areas of the country are suffering from armed conflict. There is no functioning national government.
- There have been reports of piracy near the Horn of Africa, in the area around Ras Alula (11°59'N 50°47'E), located approximately 30 miles west of Ras Asir, on the northern Somali coast in the Gulf of Aden. Ras Alula, also marked as Ras Caluula on some charts, is the first cape west of Cape Guardafui (Ras Asir).
- The waters in the vicinity of the Somali coast, both south and west of the Horn of Africa, are now considered to be dangerous for both commercial shipping and small boats. The US authorities have issued a warning advising vessels to stay at least 30 miles off the African coast. This was confirmed by the Djibouti authorities following several attacks on cruising yachts, as well as other shipping, off the Somali north coast. Some of these attacks occurred as far as 60 miles offshore. The east coast is just as dangerous.
- Boats are strongly advised to avoid passing between the island of Socotra and the African mainland, while those approaching from the east through the Gulf of Aden should stay well clear of both the Somali and Yemeni coasts, as both are considered to be dangerous.
- The best approach is to sail in convoy with other yachts and try to be in permanent contact with someone ashore who knows one's position at all times and could alert the authorities in an emergency.
The advice is against all travel to Somalia. See UK FCO website.
There is a high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping, throughout Somalia, including Somaliland. Piracy is a significant threat in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. There is also a high threat of maritime terrorism in the territorial and international waters off Somalia.
Hot all year round, humid in the rainy seasons. Summer temperatures can reach up to 108°F (42°C) from June to September in the northern coastal towns. At the height of the SW monsoon, May to October, winds often reach gale force. The current along the Somali coast can be very strong, particularly during the SW monsoon.
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.