The Darlington Gacmadheere Foundation has teamed up with leading adventure travel company, Untamed Borders, to offer a package which provides travel and entrance to Somaliland’s first ever full marathon in February 2018. Untamed Borders has already experience organising such packages for the Afghanistan Marathon and its founder, James Willcox was involved in the organisation of that marathon.
Participants will have the opportunity to support the work of the Darlington Foundation, a British-based charity which promotes and supports the education of students in Somaliland. Our aim is to encourage each entrant to raise US$1500, which is enough to put one student through full-time university education for a period of four years. If you raise this amount, the Darlington Gacmadheere Foundation will cover the entrance fee which is 200USD per international participant.
Start Point: Hargeisa
End Pont: Hargeisa
Cost: US$1450 per person or US$1250 per person if you raise US$1500 for the Darlington Foundation, with the entry fee of $200 paid by the Darlington Foundation.
Difficulty – Only as hard as a marathon.
Comfort – There is some level comfort. The rooms have en-suite bathrooms and sometimes in the day there is hot water, but not for the entire day.
Day 1 – Hargeisa
Arrive in Hargeisa. Airport pickup and transfer to Hotel. If there is time then you will be taken on a short tour of the city. There are not many sights as such but the money changers with their mountains of notes and the shops with paintings of the products they sell on the walls make for good photos. Other places of interest include the War Memorial with its unusual monument of a crashed MiG fighter plane and the gold and khat markets.
Overnight in Hargeisa.
Day 2 – Hargeisa – Las Geel – Hargeisa
We will take you (along with your security escort) to the wonderful cave paintings at Las Geel, one of the most intriguing sights in the Horn of Africa. On the overhangs of a rock in the desert are some of the world’s best preserved ancient cave paintings. Dating from 5000-9000 years old they depict cows, people, dogs and even giraffes. A real highlight of Somaliland. After visiting the site we return to Hargeisa. Overnight in Hargeisa.
Day 3 – Hargeisa
A final day in Hargeisa. This can be spent resting ahead of the race, visiting local organisations and meeting some of the Somali runners or helping the organisers arrange the first ever Marathon in Somalia.
Overnight in Hargeisa
Day 4 – Hargeisa – Race day
We will ensure that you get to the start on time, look after your bags and get photos of you during the race.
Overnight in Hargeisa
Day 5 – Hargeisa – Airport
Transfer to airport for flight home.
You will be accompanied by an English speaking guide Somali guide and an International guide for the length of the trip
The trip includes:
Accommodation, ground transport, permission to visit Las Geel, local guide, international guide, breakfast, visa processing
and entry to the Somaliland Marathon (worth US$200)
The trip does not include:
Somaliland visa, other meals, insurance, entrance fees, flights, drinks
We do not directly arrange international flights to Hargeisa. FlyDubai, Jubba, Dalloo and African Express Airways fly there from Dubai and Ethiopian Airways has a daily flight from Addis Ababa.
There are very few countries in the world where you can obtain a Somaliland visa. However, the UK is one of them. Contact us for details. We can also arrange a visa on arrival.
Breakfast is included on this trip. Other meals will be paid for by yourself.
We do not and cannot offer a uniform accommodation standard on our itineraries. We consider comfort, location, design, character, historical interest and whether the money we spend will go into the pockets of the local community when we make our choices of where to stay.
The accommodation will be based on you sharing a twin room.
When we choose our vehicles and drivers we take into consideration the road conditions, the length of journey and the competence of the man behind the wheel.
On this trip, you will be accompanied by an English speaking Somali guide plus an international guide for the length of the trip.
Security and Risks:
We do monitor the situation closely and we listen very carefully to the advice from the foreign office and from our friends in the areas we visit. Our client’s safety is our primary concern. We must state that the guide has the final word with regards to changes in the itinerary for safety reasons. Whilst the route we have chosen passes through areas that we consider stable things can change and we may have to alter the route or cancel sections of the trip at short notice.
Somaliland is not an internationally recognised country. Currently, Somaliland is secure and has, by and large, escaped the trouble that has blighted Somalia to the south. However, the government takes security there seriously and you will have a soldier with you when outside of any town.