Las Geel: 10,000 Year Old Somali Rock Paintings

With only about a month left in Somaliland, I have been busy booking flights, spending time with students, and taking care of other things I plan to do before I leave.

Although I do not know what I’ll be doing for work after I finish here, I will be spending nearly two months traveling east on my way home. I now have all of my flights booked except for the final leg from Asia back to San Francisco. My plan is to leave Somaliland in the end of July and go to Ethiopia by bus. From Addis Ababa, I will fly with a fellow teacher to Cairo, and we will spend about a week in Egypt before crossing the Red Sea to Jordan. We will spend about a week in Jordan before flying to Doha, Qatar for a night on our way to Colombo, Sri Lanka. I am meeting up with a good friend from home in Sri Lanka, and the two of us plan to spend two weeks exploring the island of Sri Lanka before flying to Bangkok, where we will spend a little more than two weeks traveling through Thailand and Laos. I am still figuring out my final flight home, but I am looking at spending a few days in Hong Kong and flying back to SF from there.

An ambitious itinerary, I know, but the cost of all of those flights put together is only a bit more than flying from Somaliland-Dubai-SF. I should only spend about $200 out of pocket for a flight halfway round the world!

Anyway, I thought I would quickly post some photos from a trip I made yesterday to the Las Geel cave paintings. Located about an hour north of Hargeisa, Las Geel is one of the oldest pieces of rock art in Africa. Various estimates of the paintings’ age range from 5,000 – 10,000 years old. Amazingly, the site was only discovered around 2003 by a team of French archaeologists. The caves are in an empty, remote valley and provide spectacular views of Somaliland.

It was a great outing and we all had fun discovering the paintings, climbing the cliffs, and playing around with our guards’ AK-47s…

One of our guards gazing out over the Somali flatlands

Me, enjoying the view

Nuur helps our science model skeleton stay hydrated

The cave paintings of prehistoric cattle

Dylan in the valley

Borrowing our armed guard’s AK-47…


5 thoughts on “Las Geel: 10,000 Year Old Somali Rock Paintings

  1. Maddie says:

    John- Looks amazing, and I’m jealous of your summer itinerary! You’re really just missing a stopover in Morocco. Safe travels!

  2. Liz Waler says:

    Hi John,
    Well,hyou have definitely opened my eyes — and I will always associate Somaliland with John Enos. The cave paintings are beautiful. We look forward to talking to you when you return to Palo Alto. Liz Waller

  3. manenomatamu says:

    I hope you’ll have time to update your blog during your journey across the world. All the best with your adventures!

  4. natawalstra says:

    Amazingg!! I’ve really enjoyed following your blog since you’ve been’s great seeing what you’re up to!! hope you have a wonderful time traveling!

  5. Beautiful pics…love the colors…will mos def be planning a trip to las geel! im curious to know how you got such cheap flights…need some tips! thanks…and safe travels, sounds like an amazing itin!

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