Djibouti or officially the Republic of Djibouti is an East African state situated in the Horn of Africa. On the east, it is washed by the Gulf of Aden. On the north, the country borders Eritrea and on the west and the south, it shares its border with Ethiopia. On the south-east, Djibouti borders a self-declared country Somaliland. The country is divided into 5 regions and the capital city is the city of Djibouti.
The climate in the country is hot equatorial with a high level of humidity. The average annual temperature is +27 - +32°C. The hottest weather lasts from May to September when the temperature can be as high as +40°C. The most comfortable period in Djibouti is a touristic season from November to April.
Arabic and French are the official languages. The majority of the population are the Muslims.
The city of Djibouti is a good place for beach holidays and city entertainments. The beauty parlours offer various spa-procedures with the elements of Ayurvedic medicine. Boat trips, cruises and fishing tours are available for the tourists. In the hotel Djibouti Palace Kempinski 5*, there is a casino, a golf field and a disco.
The country is a great destination for ecological tourism. In Djibouti, there are hot springs, extinct volcanoes, and salty lakes. Take a trip to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and you will see the cleanest white sandy beaches, places for diving, snorkelling, surfing, and windsurfing.
The Russian and the European tourists can use the services of Air France to get to the Ambouli International Airport in Djibouti from Paris. The frequency of flights is two times a week. Ethiopian Airlines offer the flights from Addis Ababa. Yemenia Yemen Airways offer regular flights to Djibouti from Sanaa.
There is a train running regularly between Djibouti and Ethiopia. As there are no regular buses, it is difficult to get to Djibouti from border towns in Eritrea and Somali.
If the tourists intend to stay in the country within 30 days, they can get a visa right at the border. At the airport and border crossing point, a 10 days visa can be issued. The tourists should provide an international passport and fill in the immigration form.
If you are going to stay in Djibouti for a longer time, you must obtain a visa beforehand. In CIS countries, there are no diplomatic missions of Djibouti. The nearest Embassies of Djibouti are in Berlin and Paris.
The Customs legislation of the country does not restrict the import and export of foreign and national currency.
The tourists are allowed to bring in:
- some tobacco and alcohol;
- 50 ml of perfume;
- 1 kg of meat and 2 kg of fish (there must be the expiry date on the food package).
It is prohibited to import:
- drugs (without a doctor’s prescription);
- materials undermining political order in the country.
It is prohibited to export:
- shells of sea turtles;
- certain plants and animals;
- skins of the animals.
The cuisine of Djibouti was under a great influence of the Ethiopian cuisine. The staple food here is meat and vegetables. The locals use a lot of spices, sauces, and herbs. The dishes are easy to cook, but they have a great taste.
In Djibouti, the tourists will have a chance to try the most popular traditional dishes such as Tarta steak and raw minced meat with spices. If you like savoury dishes, try meat with a hot Berber sauce.
Fresh wheat flour flatbread is served with every meal. The flatbread is made according to a special recipe in clay ovens.
Seafood is very popular in Djibouti. Treat yourself to seahorse meat and octopus.
The most popular beverage in Djibouti is homemade beer.
The official currency is the Djiboutian Franc. In circulation are the banknotes from 1.000 to 10.000 francs and 1 to 500 franc coins.
A legal way to exchange the currency is at banks, which are mainly situated on the Place Legarde. Private exchange offices can be found on the Place Menelik.
In the area close to the Port of Djibouti, the tourists can pay with Euros, dollars, and sterling pounds are not that willingly accepted. Be aware, that the exchange rate here is not official, but as you agree about it with the locals.
Large restaurants, shops, and hotels accept international credit cards. Outside large cities, plastic cards are not accepted.
Details of interest
Sightseeing in Djibouti
Djibouti has a great touristic potential, but for now, the tourism is not well-developed here. Commonly, people who got tired of noisy metropolises and resorts choose Djibouti. The country can offer amazing virgin nature and clean beaches.
The fans of active tourism should definitely visit the following places:
- The Day Forest National Park, which covers 14.000 Ha of the territory and it is the largest forest in the country. In the park, there are hiking routes.
- One of the most saline Assal lake.
- The sleeping Ardoukoba Volcano is situated in one of the most seismic dangerous areas close to the Assal lake. Now the trip to the volcano is absolutely safe as it is not active at the moment. The tourists can take ready trekking routes or walk along the volcanic relief themselves.
- The Fumarole Field Bohinen represents cracks and holes in the craters at the foot of the volcano a height of 300 meters, of which stand out the hot gases.
- The Moucha Island is surrounded by the coral reefs. This is one of the best places for diving in the country. The lovers of fishing also choose this Island.
In the capital city, some of the historical and architectural monuments are still preserved. The most interesting is the Djibouti Palace Kempinski on the shore of the Gulf of Aden.
Go to the central market in Djibouti Le Marche Central for a good shopping.
Souvenirs in Djibouti
- pearls, corals, and sea shells;
- African-style bijouterie;
- leather jewellery (necklace, bracelets, beads, and products made of embossed leather);
- a gift edition of Quran, prayer beads or kaffiyeh.