General Information

Somalia, officially the Federal Republic of Somalia. Somalia is bordered by Djibouti to the northwest, Kenya to the southwest, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Guardafui Channel and Indian Ocean to the east, and Ethiopia to the west. It is commonly referred to as the Horn of Africa. Somalia has the longest coastline on the mainland of Africa

Somali and Arabic are the official languages of Somalia. The Somali language is the mother tongue of the Somali people, the nation's most populous ethnic group. Somali is the best documented of the Cushitic languages, with academic studies of it dating from before 1900. Somali dialects are divided into three main groups: Northern, Benadir and Maay. Arabic, which is also an Afro-Asiatic tongue, is an official national language in Somalia.

Somalia contains a variety of mammals due to its geographical and climatic diversity. Wild fauna are found throughout the territory, including the cheetah, lion, reticulated giraffe, baboon, civet, serval, elephant, bushpig, gazelle, Somali wild ass, reedbuck and zebra, rock hyrax, golden mole and antelope. It also has a large population of the dromedary camel.

Somalia is currently home to around 727 species of birds. Of these, eight are endemic, one has been introduced by humans, and one is rare or accidental. Birds species found exclusively in the country include the Somali Pigeon, Alaemon hamertoni (Alaudidae), Lesser Hoopoe-Lark, Heteromirafra archeri (Alaudidae), Archer's Lark, Mirafra ashi, Ash's Bushlark, Mirafra somalica (Alaudidae).

Somalia's territorial waters are prime fishing grounds for highly migratory marine species, such as tuna. A narrow but productive continental shelf contains several demersal fish and crustacean species. Fish species found exclusively in the nation include Cirrhitichthys randalli (Cirrhitidae), Symphurus fuscus(Cynoglossidae), Parapercis simulata OC (Pinguipedidae). There are roughly 235 species of reptiles. Of these, almost half live in the northern areas..

The Somali Tourism Association (SOMTA) also provides consulting services from within the country on the national tourist industry. Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife of the South West State announced that it is slated to establish additional game reserves and wildlife ranges.

Notable sights include the Laas Geel caves containing Neolithic rock art; the Cal Madow, Golis Mountains and Ogo Mountains; the Iskushuban and Lamadaya waterfalls; and the Hargeisa National Park, Jilib National Park, Kismayo National Park and Lag Badana National Park

The cuisine of Somalia varies from region to region is a mixture of diverse culinary influences. It is the product of Somalia's rich tradition of trade and commerce. Despite the variety, there remains one thing that unites the various regional cuisines: all food is served halal. There are therefore no pork dishes, alcohol is not served, nothing that died on its own is eaten, and no blood is incorporated.

Xalwo (halva) is a popular confection reserved for special festive occasions, such as Eid celebrations or wedding receptions. It is made from corn starch, sugar, cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and ghee. Peanuts are also sometimes added to enhance texture and flavour. After meals, homes are traditionally perfumed using frankincense (lubaan) or incense.

Most Somali songs are pentatonic. That is, they only use five pitches per octave. At first listen, Somali music might be mistaken for the sounds of nearby regions such as Ethiopia, Sudan or the Arabian Peninsula, but it is ultimately recognizable by its own unique tunes and styles. 

Somali architecture is a rich and diverse tradition of engineering and design involving multiple types of constructions and edifices, such as stone cities, castles, citadels, fortresses, mosques, mausoleums, temples, towers, monuments, cairns, megaliths, menhirs, dolmens, tombs, tumuli, steles, cisterns, aqueducts and lighthouses.