Discovered as recently as 2005 by a French archeologist, Las Geel amounts to some of the greatest open-air prehistoric cave art in the world. The paintings date from the Neolithic era, some 5000 years ago.

The name Las Geel – in Somali – means “Camels Waterhole”, named after the confluence of two ancient rivers (now dry riverbeds) running below this granite massif of prehistoric cave art. The ancient art is in stunning condition. The colors still vivid.


Getting there … the hump in the middle is Las Geel

There are 20 cave shelters. Yet the most important cave (# 1) has about 350 images around its ceiling and walls – a fantastically surreal swirl of stick humans, goats, cows, antelopes, giraffes, dogs; simple stylistic images in red, yellow, ochre and white.


Mad – my SPU escort … contemplating


On route we passed a few families


Surreal art mural in cave #1


RED TAPE + GETTING THERE: While it’s only 50 km from Hargeisa, you still need to hire a charter taxi along with a SPU (Special Protection Unit) soldier. The cost is around $US100 from the likes of the Oriental Hotel.

On top of this also you need a permit from the Ministry of Tourism (@ $25 each person) to present to the onsite guard. Obviously, if you can find another traveller/s to share costs, then do it. However, I went alone.


Humans …

TIPS: It’s hot. Take water + snacks; nothing available. Better to pay extra $ and go one way and onwards to the Red Sea coast at Berbera, rather than return to Hargeisa, if so inclined. You will most-likely have the entire site to yourself.


View from the caves looking to the wadis (dry riverbeds) that the caves draw their name from


SPU escort


On qat … soldier in the shade of the desert heat

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