Somalia is home to the largest coastline in Africa, good hotel and food bargains and the beautiful Almadow mountains. One thing you won't find in Somalia -- tourists. In 2004, Abdi Jimale Osman, Somalia's minister of tourism, claimed that the country hadn't had an officially-acknowledged tourist in 14 years. The problem? Somalia is one of the most dangerous places on Earth. Civil war and fighting among warlords seeking to gain control of drug and weapons trafficking has left Somalia a burning wreck of what was once a beautiful country. Since the civil war broke out in 1990, Somalia is divided into no less than two dozen warring groups. The proprietors of the Sharmo Hotel in Mogadishu may serve lobster on the roof overlooking the sea, but they also advise that visitors hire at least 10 armed guards to get them from the airport to the hotel. The United States doesn't even operate an embassy in Somalia, so you're truly on your own. Terrorist attacks, cross-border warring and brutal, violent street crime wrack the country on a daily basis. So why would you want to visit Somalia? Maybe until things stabilize somewhat, this one should be on the "do not visit" list after all.
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