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Qandala sits on a wadi estuary, which forms a natural protective harbor for vessels on the Gulf of Aden. It lies 75 kilometres (47 mi) east of Bosaso, 549 kilometres (341 mi) south of Aden, and 475 kilometres (295 mi) west of Socotra.
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.
Qandala has a population of around 19,300 inhabitants.
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.
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