Laas Geel: 10,000 Year Old Ancient Somali Cave Paintings
Laas Geel is a group of 10,000 (ten thousand) year old cave paintings that are some of the oldest and best preserved examples of rock art found in Africa. These are some of the best and most popular places to visit in Somaliland; drawing tourists from across Africa and even beyond. The Laas Geel Cave Paintings are located 45 kilometers from Hargeisa on the road from the capital to the coastal city of Berbera and it takes you just under 2 hours to get there because you can’t drive very fast. A series of shelters covered in rock paintings make up the famous heritage sites of Laas Geel caves. The name of the caves comes from the name of the massif and rock of the same name which means “The Dromedaries Waterhole” in Somali. The roots of the namesake is obvious when you climb up to its highest point or when it rains and the two wadis that encircle the site filled with water. Though the surrounding landscape is practically bare, except for the dots of small bushes and the iconic African acacia trees, the view from the caves are breathtaking to say the least. Laas Geel is not the only rock art in Somaliland, there are a few others such as the Dhagax Khoure, 45 km from Hargeisa, and in Dhambalin, 100 km east of the coastal town of Berbera which are also must see if you wish to glimpse a piece of ancient Somali history. Some estimates indicate there could be hundreds more art rock sites in Somaliland just waiting to be discovered.
Laas Geel waa goob taariikhi ah oo ilaa hada ay kamuuqdaan qoraaladii iyo sawiradii lagu sawiray ka hor taariikhda. Waxa ay magaaladani kutaalaa duleedka magaalda caasimada ah ee Hargaysa. Waxaa lagu qiyaasaa in sawirada iyo waxayaabaha taariikhiga ah ee yaala magaalada Laas Geel ay yihiin ilaa 10,000 oo sano ka hor dhalashaddii Ciise (nabad iyo naxariis korkiisa ha ahaato). Dhulka Soomaalida waxaa uu ahaa mid dadku degan yihiin inka badan 10,000 sano, wakhtigaasi oo dadku intooda u badan ahaayeen duurgaleen dhaqda beeraha iyo xoolaha. Sidaasi ay tahay waxaa jirtay xadaar tartiib isku soo taraysay; oo waxaa la sheegay in dadkaasi ay lahaayeen xidhiidhyo ganacsi xoolaha iyo dhirta ah. Iyo weliba cilaaqaad xog dheer oo ku salaysan maamul iyo horumar si kastaba ha ahaatee. Xadaaradihii ugu horeeyay waxaa ka mid ah farshaxanka, beeraha, xoolo-dhaqashada iyo maamulo yaryar oo ku salaysan beelo ama deegaan. Deegaanka Laas Geel oo ah meel u dhow magaalada Hargeysa, waqooyigalbeed Soomaaliland waxaa uu ka mid yahay taariikhda qadiimiga ah, waxaana lagu qiyaasay in uu farshaxankaasi jiro ilaa 5,000 sano