Qandala (also known as Candala, Andala, Bender Chor, Bandar Kor, Bender Kor or Taba Tege[1]) is an ancient port town in the northeastern Bari province of Somalia.



19th-century engraving of the historic Qandala castle town.
19th-century engraving of the historic Qandala castle town.
Qandala is located in Somalia
Location in Somalia
Coordinates: 11°28′16″N 49°52′26″E / 11.47111°N 49.87389°E / 11.47111; 49.87389Coordinates: 11°28′16″N 49°52′26″E / 11.47111°N 49.87389°E / 11.47111; 49.87389
Country Somalia
 • Total19,300
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)


Qandala sits on a wadi estuary, which forms a natural protective harbor for vessels on the Gulf of Aden.[1] It lies 75 kilometres (47 mi) east of Bosaso, 549 kilometres (341 mi) south of Aden, and 475 kilometres (295 mi) west of Socotra.

The city is located in the autonomous Puntland region of Somalia. It is the capital of the Qandala District.

In antiquity, Qandala was an active trading center for merchants from the interior of the Horn of Africa, who transported goods such as incense, gum and aromatic woods to and from the port. Its nickname Gacanka Hodonka ("Gulf of Prosperity") is a relic from this era.[1]

Additionally, Qandala is coextensive with the ancient town of Botiala. The latter settlement features an old fortress complex, which overlooks and controls the mouth of the wadi leading inland.[1]

2016 ISIL captureEdit

On 26 October 2016, a militant group linked to ISIL captured Qandala with 50 armed fighters after brief firefight with local security forces, thus becoming the first town to be seized by Islamic State affiliated militants in Somalia.[2] BBC News reported that ISIL militants had withdrawn from the town for unclear reasons.[3] However, the report was denied by other media outlets and claimed that it is false. On 7 December 2016, a Somali official says Puntland security forces have recaptured the port from ISIL-linked fighters, killing 30 militants. Another four soldiers were also killed during the operation.[4]


Qandala has a population of around 19,300 inhabitants.[5]


Qandala has a number of academic institutions. According to the Puntland Ministry of Education, there are 15 primary schools in the Qandala District. Among these are Xamure, Dhadar, Turmasale and Gurur.[6]


Qandala has a small seaport.[7]

Air transportation in the city is served by the Candala Airport.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Botiala - Fort ruins". Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  2. ^ "Islamic State-aligned group takes Somali town, say officials". Reuters. 2016-10-26. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  3. ^ "Islamic State fighters withdraw from captured Somali port town".
  4. ^ "Somalia recaptures town from IS-linked fighters; 34 dead".
  5. ^ Somalia City & Town Population. Retrieved on 2011-12-15.
  6. ^ "Puntland - Primary schools". Ministry of Education of Puntland. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Istanbul conference on Somalia 21 – 23 May 2010 - Draft discussion paper for Round Table "Transport infrastructure"" (PDF). Government of Somalia. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
  8. ^ Airport information for Candala, Somalia (IATA: CXN, ICAO: HCMC) at Great Circle Mapper. . Retrieved 21 August 2013.

External linksEdit