Galkayo, Somalia: Discovering its Unexplored Delights and Cultural Riches


Discover the wonders of Galkayo, Somalia. This city offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Explore its hidden gems, including the Ceel Dheer rock art site, Gacmaayo Forest Reserve, Hafun Beach, the Galkayo Museum, and the famous Camel Market.

Galkayo, a city located in the central region of Somalia, is often overlooked by tourists due to its turbulent past. However, in recent years, the city has experienced significant improvements in security, infrastructure, and services, making it a safe and accessible destination for travelers looking to explore the country’s hidden gems.

Galkayo is a bustling and vibrant city with a unique blend of cultures and traditions, influenced by the different ethnic groups that call it home. The city is divided into two distinct areas, Galkayo North and Galkayo South, which are separated by a boundary wall and a UN-controlled buffer zone.

Here are some of the sights and little-known places that make Galkayo a must-visit destination for travelers:

  1. Ceel Dheer rock art site
    Located just outside of Galkayo, Ceel Dheer is one of Somalia’s most significant rock art sites. The site features prehistoric carvings and paintings that date back over 5,000 years, depicting animals, human figures, and geometric patterns. The rock art at Ceel Dheer is a fascinating insight into Somalia’s ancient history and is a must-visit for anyone interested in archaeology and ancient art.

  2. Gacmaayo Forest Reserve
    Gacmaayo Forest Reserve is a lush, green oasis located just a few kilometers outside of Galkayo. The reserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, baboons, and numerous bird species. Visitors can take a leisurely walk through the forest, admiring the beautiful scenery and enjoying the peace and tranquility of this natural wonder.

  3. Hafun Beach
    Hafun Beach is one of the most picturesque and secluded beaches in Somalia, located on the Indian Ocean coast, a few hours’ drive from Galkayo. The beach features crystal-clear waters, white sand, and a stunning coral reef, making it an ideal spot for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Hafun Beach is also home to several species of turtles that come to lay their eggs on the beach between June and September.

  4. The Galkayo Museum
    The Galkayo Museum is a small but fascinating museum that showcases the history and culture of the region. The museum features exhibits on traditional Somali crafts, art, and music, as well as displays on the city’s history and its role in Somalia’s independence movement. The museum is a great place to learn about the local culture and history and is a must-visit for anyone interested in Somali culture.

  5. Camel Market
    Galkayo is famous for its bustling camel market, where locals come to buy and sell camels, goats, and other livestock. Visitors can witness the lively trading and bargaining that takes place at the market, as well as admire the beauty and majesty of these magnificent animals.

In conclusion, Galkayo is a destination that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Despite its turbulent past, the city has undergone significant improvements in recent years, making it a safe and accessible destination for travelers. The sights and little-known places mentioned above are just a few of the many reasons why Galkayo is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the hidden gems of Somalia. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and head to Galkayo for an unforgettable adventure!