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There is a reason no other publisher produces a guide to Somaliland: it is not an easy book to produce. The research is extremely challenging, the production is expensive and, because Somaliland is such a niche travel destination, the sales potential is very limited. Unfortunately, the first edition of this book did not recoup its costs. We were left with a difficult decision: increase the retail price to make a second edition possible or admit defeat and allow the guide to go out of print. We don’t like to admit defeat.
This second edition is significantly more expensive than the first edition, but we sincerely hope you’ll understand why that is the case, and feel that the revised price still represents excellent value for such vital and unique information. We are committed to providing high quality travel content at the keenest possible price, and to encouraging and promoting travel to those places ignored by other travel publishers. We believe that Somaliland deserves a travel guide and that travellers there need one – indeed, that a good guidebook is one of the most important items they’ll pack. Furthermore, we have faith that thinking, adventurous travellers will agree with us, and that there is a future on the travel shelves for guides to off-beat places like Somaliland.
The pioneering first edition of this guidebook was the first dedicated entirely to Somaliland, and this second edition, fully updated and with a foreword by Simon Reeve, continues Bradt's groundbreaking tradition of publishing highly specialist guides to newly emerging destinations. Significantly, this new edition also covers Addis Ababa and eastern Ethiopia - the main gateway into Somaliland. Also included is a detailed historical and archaeological background to a region whose wealth of rock art, ancient burial sites, ruined cities and historical ports stretches back 5,000 years and has links with ancient Egypt and Axum as well as the more recent Ottoman and British empires. Comprehensive birdwatching and wildlife sections include details of where to look for of the region's endemic and near-endemic birds and mammals, while the guide also contains the only proper maps available for the capital Hargeisa and other large towns such as Burao, Berbera and Borama, compiled from scratch using GPS.
Somaliland ranks among the world's most obscure and uncharted travel destinations. It comprises the former colony of British Somaliland, which merged with its Italian namesake to form the Somali Republic upon attaining independence in 1960, but unilaterally seceded from the rest of war-torn Somalia in 1991. Now a peaceful and fully functional self-governing democracy, Somaliland still awaits official recognition by the UN AU and most other such organisations more than quarter of a century later. Yet despite its obscurity, this ancient and largely arid land has much to offer the truly intrepid traveller, and the low-key, low-rise capital Hargeisa Is easily reached by air or overland from neighbouring Ethiopia.
With this unique guide, discover Las Geel, the most alluring rock art site on the Horn of Africa; the charmingly decayed Ottoman port of Berbera, which provides access to some splendid beaches and offshore reefs; the spectacular Daallo Escarpment, swathed in fragrant evergreen forests that support several endemic bird species; and the abandoned city of Maduna, the most impressive of several mediaeval Islamic ruins dotted around the arid interior.