Work and Travel in Somalia

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As you work in Somalia you’ll be able to see some of the rarest birds in the world and actively work towards their protection.

These projects will take you to the more remote parts of the country, allowing you to see Somalia’s distinct natural wonders.


At first glance, Somalia’s visa policy is incredibly simple. The law states that all foreigners must have a visa. However, you can receive a visa-on-arrival for 30 days if you land at any of the major national airports throughout the country. For more info click here.

But since you’ll have to volunteer with a recognized charity, they will offer full visa support. This will give you access to the long-term visas you need to engage in these projects.

The complications start when you take into account the self-declared state of Somaliland in the north. They don’t recognize Somali visas. So if you want to travel in Somalia’s Somaliland region, you will need to abide by their visa policies.

Thankfully, the European Union (EU) citizens, citizens of the US, Canada, China, South Africa, and Russia can get a visa at any border checkpoint. Other nationalities will have to pay $60 USD in cash to obtain that same visa.



There are few seasonal variations for volunteers because of the types of volunteering opportunities in Somalia available. However, you should still be aware of the best times of year to take advantage of these projects.

For a start, spring is the season of rain. From April to June, rain is a regular fixture each day. This means that it’s best to take on the volunteering work in Somalia in the more urbanised areas. These can take place in Mogadishu, but due to the security situation you’re likely to be in cities further north.

These community development projects can involve anything from education to women’s empowerment.


The summer is more of a mix between dry and wet, with both these seasons being relatively short. The summer is a great time to work and travel in Somalia.

Conservation projects are popular immediately after the rainy season. These projects are more likely to take place closer to the coast. But there are other conservation programs in the mountains.


The autumn season is a mild season that’s a mix between wet and dry. The temperature is at its most tolerable during the autumn season.

We recommend working in refugee camps at this time of year. There are so many different types of projects available in these camps. Whether you want to work as a medical intern, supply education to the people there, or simply help out with supply distribution there’s a job for you.

A big theme in refugee camps in the last few years has been food distribution. Somalia is currently experiencing a famine, so the majority of food has to be brought in from outside the country.

Another option can involve working in schools. Away from the refugee camps, the level of education in the country is dire. You can spend your time building schools and providing a basic education to children.


The winter is the dry season and the temperatures can become unbearable. We recommend referring back to the ‘autumn’ section for more information on some of the work and travel options available in winter.


Understand that Somalia is one of the most violent countries in the world. You have to be sure that you want to do this before going. There’s a considerable amount of hostility towards Westerners, as a result of various interventions and the British colonial history in the country. Much of this hostility is also based on extremist ideology.

Women should be especially careful as this is a highly Conservative Muslim country.

Overall, though, you should make sure that you have the support of a relevant charity before arriving in the country. You can’t freely move around without risking your life.

Do you have what it takes to work and travel in Somalia?

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