Gedo is an administrative province of Southern Somalia. This region is the second largest region in Somalia; the only region with two rivers and two international borders. Gedo has seven districts within its regional administration system.
Somalia has been without central government since 1991, and you are best advised to hire trained security guards from security firms in Garbahaarreey and Baardheere. You will be provided with 1 or 2 armed bodyguards with a pickup truck or two.
- 1 Beled Hawo
- 2 Bardera - was home to United Nations and US camps of the Restore Hope mission of the UN in the early 1990. Local population has pleasant past with foreign organizations.
- 3 Luuq - An old city surrounded by the Juba River.
Aside from large cities and towns and villages on flat lands and farming communities on either bank on Jubba River, you can experience breathtaking landscape such the plateau in northwestern part of Gedo from El Wak to Beled Hawo. This plateau runs the length of the border between Gedo and Kenya’s NFD district.
In the Interior Basin on southeastern portion of El Wak district, it’s worth spending time in the grazing areas with villages every 30 km on the main connecting roads. Gedo has grazing land which is famous locally. These vast lands include:
- Diirhara (Diirharo) varying spelling
- Gogol Mountain Ranges
These arthe most famous grazing areas where you will be most likely to meet happy camel herders after Gu’ (April - June) and Deyr (October - December)rainy seasons. This is a must if you feel comfortable traveling in the interior regions of Somalia.
Around Bardera (Baardheere) in Somali, the largest city in the Gedo region, has its famous grazing land called Gowraar. Just west of Bardera, is an area, which starts from around Markabley (Markableey) until it joins El Wak district grazing areas. Markabley is the only place where the Jubba River never burst its banks during flood years.
Lucky travelers will have long lasting memories during the time of plenty and happiness in many parts of Somalia. Immediately following the rainy Gu' season, Bardera-Gerileey corridor one experiences one of nature's splendors. All of Gedo region displays blue skies with vast open spaces, rainwater in every borehole, and when locals enjoy seeing travelers on the road, is when to visit the interior of Gedo region. You are welcomed with camel or cow milk wherever you visit.
There are four main connecting roads in Gedo. All of these roads are unpaved. The first is Lugh- Beled Hawo-Garbharey Road, or The Tri-Region Commerce Activity Road. The second connecting road is Garbaharey to Bardera Road, then Bardera to El Wak Road and the last is the Bardera-Gerileey Road. All four corridors are extensively used. The danger factor increases during the rainy season.
Often traveled road in Gedo Region
In southwestern Bardera District, between Girileey and Faafahdhuun, lies the village of Dari Salaam in Somali. Here, travelers can find a hospitable roadside eatery and resting place. Any visitor will a get a warm welcome from area famous business lady by the name of Farhiya Aadan Waraabe or (Af Soomaali Farxiya Aadan Waraabe). When in Darul Salaam, at Farhiya's restaurant, you can find all the customary foods in small village Somalia. Just one hour's drive to Darul Islam's southwesterly direction will be the town of Gerileey.
Towards northeast, you will be an hour and a half drive from Faafahdhuun Somali: Faafaxdhuun. The road is often rough, especially, after a rainy season. Cargo trucks and small 4x4 trucks are often seen on the road. Business people and visitors who make weekly or monthly travel plans go between Bardera and Wajir in Kenya. Main stopping places are Faafahdhuun and Darul Islam or Darul Salaam. And eventually proceed to Gerileey, where most Somali registered vehicles destinations end.
Gedo has various landscapes. The northwestern part of Gedo has plateau streching from El Wak District to Beled Hawo district on the Kenyan border with Somalia. El Wak basin is a watershed that empties to Gelgel or Gelgesha region just north of Faafahdhuun in Bardera District. El Wak area has picturesque flood plains and the interior basin of this region has various sand types. Two or three weeks following the end of gu' rainy season, one will enjoy traveling between Balad Hawo and Garbahaareey. The landscape changes dramatically from red sandy to rocky mountains with green forest. If you make a by-pass from a trip originating from Balad Hawo-Mandera area, to Garbahaarreey then to El Wak, you will see amazing landscape and the people and livestock who roam this land.
Large game-watching areas
For most Somalis, it’s not fun to spend hours watching large game in its natural habitat let alone spend money and days in the bush. But there are those who really enjoy seeing exotic animals in valleys and plains. Gedo has many surviving large games from Jerdani, just 30km from Bardera towards southwesterly direction all the way to Gerileey and El Wak. At Gelgel Prairie, between Darul Islam and Faafahdhuun, be sure to stop to take pictures of ostriches and other exotic animals such as Oryx and giraffes.
Extremely fresh meat with minimal spices and seasoning is one of the things you will enjoy while in Gedo. This is sizable chunks of meat on the bone. It costs US$30-50 for an animal (goat or sheep) fit for a king or queen. Your host party should feed you with such meat at least once in your stay in Somalia. Gedo region has plenty of livestock. If you venture out in the countryside, about 10-20 kg of sugar will get you an exchange for a live animal for a feast.
Early morning or late afternoon, say 16:00-17:00, is the best time to announce yourself at pastoral communities in the interior. That is if you intend to stay the night. Again, with gift of sugar will get you a whole animal.
From late March to Mid June, you will enjoy fresh, hot, aromatic camel milk. Camel milk have laxatic property and if you are not ready to spend hours at the outhouse, don't try this.
Sweet sheep milk is also something you should try. Unpasturised milk is for those who have strong stomachs.
Somalia is not a place for tourists to go.