Located in the Horn of Africa, Somalia occupies an area of 637,657 sq. km. As observed on the physical map above, the terrain of the country features plains, plateaus, and highlands.
A large part of the Somali peninsula is a tableland. To the extreme north, a narrow semidesert coastal plain that varies in width from around 12 km in the west to only 2 km in the east, borders the Gulf of Aden. It is called Guban. Beyond this plain is the maritime mountain range of the Karkaar Mountains (marked on the map) hosting the highest point in the country, the 2,460 m tall Mount Shimbiris. The range extends from the country's border with Ethiopia in the west up to the tip of the Horn of Africa.
Southwards are broad plateau lands lacking perennial rivers that gradually drop in elevation to the east towards the Indian Ocean.
Alluvial plains are located further south and separated from the southern coast by a massive belt of ancient sand dunes that extend from Kismaayoto to Hobyo.
Most of the plateaus of Somalia are dissected by deep river valleys that have rivers flowing in the wet season but remain dry at other times of the year. These rivers drain into the Indian Ocean. The only perennial rivers of the country are the Jubba and the Shabeelle to the south of the country. Both have been marked on the map.
The ongoing Civil War in Somalia has resulted in the country going through great turmoil. As such, the political divisions of the country have gone through several changes in recent times and possibly will undergo further changes in the future until the war dies down and a permanent solution is devised.
As of 2016, the Republic of Somalia was made up of the five federal member states of Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Jubaland, Puntland, and South West.
These states are divided into eighteen administrative divisions called regions or gobolka as shown in the map above. In alphabetical order, these are Awdal, Bakool, Banaadir, Bari, Bay, Galguduud, Gedo, Hiiraan, Jubbada Dhexe (Middle Jubba), Jubbada Hoose (Lower Jubba), Mudug, Nugaal, Sanaag, Shabeellaha Dhexe (Middle Shabeelle), Shabeellaha Hoose (Lower Shabeelle), Sool, Togdheer, Woqooyi Galbeed.
These regions are further subdivided into districts.
Mogadishu is the capital of Somalia and is located in the Banaadir Region of the country.
Somalia is an African country located in the Horn of Africa (a peninsula forming the easternmost projection of Africa). The Equator passes through southern Somalia. So while most of Somalia lies in the Northern Hemisphere, a small part stretches into the Southern Hemisphere. Longitudinally, Somalia is located entirely in the Eastern Hemisphere.
It has land borders with only two countries; Kenya to the southwest and Ethiopia to the west. The Gulf of Aden forms Somalia's northern borders and the Somali Sea and Guardafui Channel bound it to the east.
Regional Maps: Map of Africa
|Legal Name||Federal Republic of Somalia|
|2 04 N, 45 20 E|
|Independence||1 July 1960 (from a merger of British Somaliland, which became independent from the UK on 26 June 1960, and Italian Somaliland, which became independent from the Italian-administered UN trusteeship on 1 July 1960 to form the Somali Republic)|
|Total Area||637,657.00 km2|
|Land Area||627,337.00 km2|
|Water Area||10,320.00 km2|
|Total Border||2,385.0 km|
|Bordering Countries||Djibouti 61 km, Ethiopia 1640 km, Kenya 684 km|
|Climate||Principally desert; northeast monsoon (december to february), moderate temperatures in north and hot in south; southwest monsoon (may to october), torrid in the north and hot in the south, irregular rainfall, hot and humid periods (tangambili) between monsoons|
|Coordinates||10 00 N, 49 00 E|
|Mean Elevation||410 m|
|Lowest Elevation||0 m|
|Highest Elevation||2,416 m|
|Ethnic Groups||Somali 85%, Bantu and other non-Somali 15% (including 30,000 Arabs)|
|Languages||Somali (official, according to the 2012 Transitional Federal Charter), Arabic (official, according to the 2012 Transitional Federal Charter), Italian, English|
|Religions||Sunni Muslim (Islam) (official, according to the 2012 Transitional Federal Charter)|
|Currency||Somali shillings (SOS)|
|Exports||Livestock, bananas, hides, fish, charcoal, scrap metal|
This page was last updated on November 9, 2020