Djibouti under French rule for a good while. The Foreign Legion still has a lot of men here. This mean that the country and its people were not free to develop independently and may have grown used to be assisted.
Djibouti town is a shocking contrast of shanty town and nice but crumbling European style buildings. Dirt and fetid pools of rotting water are everywhere. The heat is oppressive and few people seem to be bothered to try and earn a living.
You just have to accept this and make the best of it. Apart from in the most expensive hotels, you'll be lucky to get constant hot water or decent service.
Fondest memory: It's different! Isn't that why one travels, to see something different?
Welcome to Djibouti; if you are already here. Otherwise here is what I have found living in the city of Djibouti, Republic of Djibouti. All villas that I know of are surrounded by a wall and have a guard, electric generator, water tanks, and generally are in the same area as other villas. Similar to a castle. There are villas being built all over town, so location will be important. I work at Camp Lemonier, so mine is in a French neighborhood across from the French base about 3 miles from the Camp. It is very safe here, you can walk to the market at night. French bread is delivered for .15 cents (yes the bread and delivery is .15 US cents). Most villas are situated like apartments, with different floorplans. The one I am in is a 1,500 sq ft 3 bedroom unit. It has one common kitchen, one common living room, a master bedroom w/bath, a similar sized bedroom, and slightly smaller bedroom, and a bath. Each bedroom is considered its own unit so each is rented out. All bills paid, and that means everything (security guard, daily maid, fuel for generator, electric, water, all repairs), I pay $750 USD. You can find less expensive places, and ones that you have to pay for some or all services and utilities. Keep in mind electric is a huge expense, and do not think you can conserve in the summer. Apartments maybe cheaper, but then again you pay for what you get. There are no apartments located in the 'nice' parts of town, so if you are one who can meld in with the populace real easy go for it. Just like any city in the world there are sections of town to avoid. I have a friend who pays $1500/mth all bills paid villa. If you need help let me know, I will be here until at least July 2010.
THe best thing in Djibouti for me is to be with the local people. You can take a coffe, a tipical coffe of course, and smoke a shisha. talking with them about life.
Another thing is to go to the beach, they are so clean and natural.
Also you must taste a local candy which consists in dry skin of gazelle. Its really good, very hot and with a very strong taste.
Fondest memory: Apart of the deep blue of the sea and the bright of the light, I'll ever remember the smell of Djibouti. It's a mix between charcoal, incense and coffe.
Djibouti City is Djibouti's capital and largest city, with about 400,000 inhabitants in its metropolitan area. The nation of Djibouti actually took the name of its capital when it became independent from France in 1977. Prior to that, the territory was called the French Territory of the Afars and Issas. The city is located on a peninsula separating the Gulf of Tadjoura from the Gulf of Aden.
Djibouti City was founded by a Catalan, Eloi Pino, in 1888 as a seaport. He chose the site because of its strategic location at the crossroads of shipping lanes serving the Red Sea, the East African coast, and the Middle East and Indian subcontinent. (Nowadays, Djibouti City is a regional shipping hub for the Horn of Africa and Ethiopia). In 1891, Djibouti City became the capital of French Somaliland, replacing Tadjoura as the capital.
During French rule, Djibouti City was divided between European and African quarters. That division still remains in effect, for all practical purposes. The small downtown area consists of French colonial buildings and pleasant, tree-lined streets, while the outskirts contain mainly run-down and dirty shantytowns.
Favorite thing: This was not the best travel experience of my life, and it has nothing to do with the fact that Djibouti is a very poor country, I also visited Masawa in Eritrea and even though it too is a very poor country, well al I can say is, what a diference. Here it seems like every one just wants to get your money. One good example of this, My friends and I took a taxi to go downtown, as soon as we got off the car, there were 5 or 6 other taxi drivers asking us if we wanted to go somewhere, I mean cone on guys you see us getting off a taxi, that would mean we are where we want to go, right. well they were a persistent bunch, so much so that when we told them we were just going to the restaurant accross the street one of them said i can take you there very cheap. Can you at least wait till we get out of the restaurant to ask if we need a ride... any who it was interesting. As far as recomending the place, if you've been every where allreday and doen everything, then maube just to say you've been there. otherwise there are better places to go... Like Eritrea.
I spent 4 months in Djibouti and it is as bad as everyone says. The only things that can be said about it is that there are very few tourists there, it's safe and some sights like Lake Assal are really nice.
Fondest memory: Le Club de Chiminots (I don't speak French so I apolgize if I misspelled it) near the U.S. embassy. This is the only restaurant near the beach and it's usually not busy. It's very relaxing to sit under the large acacia tree and listen to the waves under a full moon.
I'm not really sure where to put this tip but here it goes. If you ever find yourself here in Djibouti I want to let you know that since this is a third world country you will a lot of poverty and rubbish on the side of the road especially here in the city. You will see broken and abandoned vehicles, rubbish on the side of the road. The roads here are not really well maintained so you lot of potholes that's why you see oncoming traffic weaving side to side because they are trying to avoid the potholes.
But keep in mind there are some areas of the country that can be quite pleasant too.
If you don't have an embassy in your country (just like me), than you can buy a djiboutian visa at the french embassy. It took 4 days, and costs 25$ (for me in budapest)
If you have the time, it is easier to get it in Addis or Asmara.
...take a lot of money!
everuthing is expensive...dispite the fact that many people earn 100$ a month.
but if you are ready to lose many money, you'll see unique countrysides, and you'll live unique moments.
even if you have travelled around the world 10 times!
Fondest memory: -sunset on lac abbé
-camels on the salt lac assal
-an afternoon under the bedouin tent in Musha island with a view on the turquoise sea
Extremely interesting geography for first time visitors. It might become a little boring after a while, but it is an experience to visit.
Fondest memory: My visits there have been work related and very short. I don't miss anything, nor would I return for other than business reasons.
Llot Du Heron, DJIBOUTI, DJ
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
Let us start with the service or lack of. Whether it is begging to get served at the bar while...more
Siesta Beach, Djibouti, 555, Djibouti
Good for: Couples
More Regions in Djibouti