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 two lighthouses are operated by the Berbera Port Authority.

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.

* Berbera (Mayara)
1887. Active; 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. Built by the British, this historic lighthouse was reported to have collapsed in 1996. However, sometime between 1999 and 2003 it was apparently raised or repaired and placed back in service. A photo is at right, a 2008 photo and two additional photos of the lighthouse are available, and Google has a good satellite view. Located on the beach about 3 km (2 mi) west of Berbera. ARLHS SOM-012; Admiralty D7263; NGA 31044.

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

* Tamara (Tamar) Point (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. João Leitão has a 2013 photo, a 2010 photo is available (fifth photo on the page), it appears (quite small) in the lower left corner of a photo of the Mayara lighthouse (previous listing), and the lighthouse can be seen in a Google satellite view. This lighthouse guides vessels into the port of Berbera, which has been expanded in recent years to serve commercial traffic to and from Ethiopia. The horizontal bands appear to be red and white in the available photos. 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:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: Somalia | West: Djibouti

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Posted July 1, 2005. Checked and revised May 15, 2013. Lighthouses: 2. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.