Lighthouses of Somaliland

Somaliland is an autonomous republic of northeastern Africa. The country's history is complex. Britain established a protectorate over the area in 1884, creating a colony known as British Somaliland. The territory became independent in 1960 and a few days later it joined with the former Italian Somaliland to create the republic of Somalia. In 1991 Somalia collapsed into a chaotic state from which it has not yet emerged. Somaliland reacted by declaring its independence from Somalia. This independence has not been recognized internationally but the existence of the Republic of Somaliland has been "acknowledged" by a number of other nations.

Berbera, on the Gulf of Aden, is the country's major port, and its lighthouses are operated by the Berbera Port Authority. In September 2016 Somaliland granted a 30-year concession to DP World, a Dubai port managemant company, to develop and manage the port to serve commercial traffic to and from Ethiopia.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume D of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
World of Lighthouses - Somaliland
Photos by various photographers available from
Online List of Lights - Somalia
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas. Somaliland is included.
Navigation chart of the Berbera area.

Berbera Light
Berbera (Mayara) Light, Somaliland, January 2003
Flickr photo copyright Camelboyz; used by permission

Berbera Lighthouses
* Berbera (Mayara)
1887. Reactivated; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); white light, 3 s on, 1 s off. Approx. 19 m (62 ft) cast iron tower, painted with black and white bands. This lighthouse was built by the British as the landfall light for Berbera. In the 1990s there was a report, fortunately incorrect, that the lighthouse had collapsed. Sometime between 1999 and 2003 it was repaired and placed back in service. A photo is above, a 2008 photo is available, has a view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the beach about 3 km (2 mi) west of Berbera. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SOM-012; Admiralty D7263; NGA 31044.
* Berbera (Customs Pier) Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); quick-flashing red light. 12 m (39 ft) skeletal mast, painted with red and white horizontal bands, centered on a square concrete base. Bing has an indistinct satellite view. The range guides vessels on their final approach to the waterfront. Located at the end of a pier at the eastern end of Berbera harbor. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty D7266; NGA 31048.
* Berbera (Customs Pier) Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); red light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 16 m (52 ft) skeletal tower painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available; Google's indistinct satellite view may show the tower. Located 180 m (590 ft) east northeast of the front light. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty D7266.1; NGA 31052.
* Tamara (Tamar) Point (Ra's Tamar) (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 9 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) round tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Jean-Pierre Larroque's photo is at right, João Leitão has a 2013 photo, and the lighthouse can be seen in a Google satellite view. This lighthouse guides vessels into the port of Berbera. NGA describes the horizontal bands as black and white. Located at the end of a sandy spit protecting the harbor of Berbera. Site status unknown, but probably open. Admiralty D7264; NGA 31040.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Ra's Tamar Light, Somaliland, 2017
photo from a video copyright Jean-Pierre Larroque; permission requested

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: Somalia | West: Djibouti

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Posted July 1, 2005. Checked and revised August 16, 2019. Lighthouses: 4. Site copyright 2019 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.