Fun things to do in Djibouti

  • Sunset Lac Abbé
    Sunset Lac Abbé
    by sachara
  • catch of the day
    catch of the day
    by sachara
  • wihite washed houses and a small mosque
    wihite washed houses and a small mosque
    by sachara

Most Viewed Things to Do in Djibouti

  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Canyon and drifting tectonic plates

    by sachara Updated Apr 6, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Though Djibouti is a tiny country, it has a many geological oddities. The salt lakes, the very active volcanic area and hot springs are very interesting for people interested in geology and odd landscapes.

    Djibouti is situated at the end of the Eastern Rift Valley. The tectonic plates of Africa and Arabia meet in Djibouti. These plates are slowly drifting apart.

    On our way from Djibouti town to Lac Assal and the volcanic area of Ardoukoba we made a stop at a deep canyon . Because the drifting apart of the tectonic plates they told us that this canyon get wider a few cm’s every year.

    The views at the canyon are breathtaking. we saw several people making a stop at the parkingplace. There are stalls selling vulcanic rock, salt and rock sculptures,

    view at the canyon canyon canyon view to the other side sellers of 'camels' at the parking lot
    Related to:
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Plage des Sables Blancs

    by sachara Updated Apr 5, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Plage des Sables Blancs is told to be the best beach of Djibouti. On the way back from Obock to Tadjoura we decided to have a look at this place in the middle of nowhere..

    From the main road you have to take a small track. After descending the black lava you reach the white sandy beach. There are big basic huts with beds and matrasses, but there is also a newer hotel with rooms facing the sea. At the beach are umbrellas and they try to grow palmtrees too for some shade. There is also a restaurant.

    We had not enough time, because we had to catch the ferry back to Djbouti town, but it looks like a nice place to swim and snorkle. It was the first beach during our trip where we saw some other visitors.

    View at the beach From the 3 we visited it is the best beach Huts, hotel and restaurant. Hotelrooms at the beachfront Way up, back to the mainroad
    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Road Trip
    • Beaches

    Was this review helpful?

  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Obock, fishing town

    by sachara Updated Apr 4, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Obock a small fishing town at the northern shore of the Gulf of Tadjoura was the last town we visited at the end of the road to the east. In Obock we visited the fish harbour from where we had a great view at the town. In the street we saw a lifely and colourful market with vegetables. And of course there was a fish market too.

    During the French colonialism from 1862 till 1892 Obock was the capital of Djibouti. In 1862 the Afar sultans of Obock sold their land to the French and the construction of the town could start.

    What you can see from that period is the Governor's House. At the western entrance of town you can find also the French Cimetière Marin with graves of French soldiers who died from fever on their way to Indochina between 1885 and 1889.

    Obock, fishing town lively market streets fishmarket Governor House from French time Cimeti��re Marin
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Tadjoura, fishing town

    by sachara Updated Apr 3, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tadjoura is a small fishing town with white washed houses, mosques and some palm trees. It is a laid back town with arabic atmosphere. Early morning we visited the small fish market. Even then it is not very crowded.

    We spent one night in Tadjoura on the way from Bankoualé in the Goda mountains to Obock more east at the Gulf of Aden. We came by road. On the way back we took the ferry to Djibouti City. At the days of the week the ferry from Djibouti City arrivés in Tadjoura the harbour area of the sleepy town becomes lively and bustling.

    Tadjoura is the oldest town in Djibouti and the capital of the Tadjourah Region. Tadjoura has around 25,000 inhabitants. It is the third largest city in the country after Djibouti City and Ali Sabieh.

    A few kms from Tadjoura on the way to Obock you have the best beach of Djibouti, called les Sables Blancs.

    Tadjoura, at the feet of the Goda Mountains White washed houses with blue doors Fish market Busy streets nearby the ferry landing place Waiting for the ferry to Djibouti town
    Related to:
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Wild and hidden valley of Bankoualé

    by sachara Updated Jun 26, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We visited the wild and hidden valley of Bankoualé in de Goda mountains. The route to the valley is breathtaking, an unpaved track passing riverbeds and canyons. It was a great experience, so different from the other parts of Djibouti.

    In the valley at the slope opposite the village of Bankaloué we stayed in huts in a campement with great views. The day of arrival we walked late afternoon with a local guide from the vollage to the waterfall. On the way we saw the fruit trees and irrigated gardens of the villagers. Women and kids were doing the laundry and bathing. Before returning to the campement we visited the village.

    The next day I walked in the valley and canyon on my own. On the way back to Tadjoura we visited the craft centre with local basketware.in the small village of Ardo nearby Bankoualé.

    track to Bankaoual�� view from the campement washing place at the cascade dry river bed near Bankaoual�� village of Bankaoul��
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Road Trip
    • Camping

    Was this review helpful?

  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Ghoubet el Kharâb

    by sachara Updated May 9, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ghoubet el Kharab or Demons Bay is the dead end of the Gulf of Tadjoura connected by a narrow inlet. The bay is about 200m deep. Around the bay of Ghoubet are black volcanic rocks. In the Bay is an Island called Devil’s Island and there is an underwater crater, Cauldron,

    Ghoubet el Kharab is well known of its whale sharks. The season for the young whale sharks is from mid October to February when there is a lot of plankton. We visited Djibouti in April, so far out of season.

    We camped one night at the Bay du Lac Sale at the western end of the Ghoubet Bay. A perfect location the visit the vulcanic area of Ardoukoba and Lac Assal. We went only into the sea for a swim. The water was clean and fresh, a delight in the hot climate of Djibouti.

    Ghoubet: camp at Bay du Lac Sale Devil��s island Underwater crater Ghoubet el Kharab Swim in the bay
    Related to:
    • Camping
    • Road Trip
    • Beaches

    Was this review helpful?

  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Ardoukoba vulcano

    by sachara Updated May 9, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Ardoukoba volcano erupted in november 1978 for one week after an earthquake. Before that time the vulcano was dormant for 3000 years. Two lava flows were erupted, 1 km to the southeast and 0.5 km to the northeast. A crater and cones were formed. .

    Ardoukoba is a so called fissure vents vulcano. The volcano's rift is 17km wide, and 800m deep. The eruption occurred at a 500 m long fissure about 3 km southeast Lake Assal.

    We visited the vulcanic area early morning. We walked in a surreal landscape of basalt and lava fields. We felt the heat above the cracks and saw the lava tunnels.

    There are great viewing points from where you can see Ghoubet and the Lake Assal at the same time. We also climbed the crater and walked around the rim.

    The Government of Djibouti has started a proposal for UNESCO to declare the Lake Assal zone including the Ardoukoba volcano and its surroundings as a World Heritage Site

    Area of recent eruptions, Lac Assal at background Walk at the rim around the crater Walk in the vulcanic area Way down back to the car Heat from the cracks and chemical reaction

    Was this review helpful?

  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Grand Barra and Petit Barra

    by sachara Updated May 9, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Grand Barra and Petit Barra are two desert plains. The biggest one, the Grand Barra is 27km long and 12km wide. They are remnants of an ancient lake.

    We crossed the plains by 4WD. The plains were very flat and empty. We made a stop to see the white clay dried and cracked by the sun. And we tried to make pictures of the ´fata morgana´, the mirage. It looks there is water at the horizon, but it is only a reflection.

    There was a lot of wind at the plain. We saw several whirling winds blowing the sand up.

    Grand Barra with whirling winds Stop at the huge flat plain Fata Morgana at the Grand Barra White clay dried and cracked Fata morgana, ��mirage��
    Related to:
    • Desert
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Lac Assal, salt lake at 155m below sea level

    by sachara Updated May 9, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lac Assal is a crater lake and with about 155m the deepest point of the African continent. The lake is surrounded by black vulcanic lava fields, dormant vulcanoes and mountains.

    Around the lake are huge saltfieds of 60/80 deep. For centuries the saltfields are mined by the Afar nomads. A pity we did not encounter the local miners loading their camels for the long ride to Ethiopia. Nowadays the salt is also mined industrially.

    We made a small walk at the white salt fields. The light was very bright at our eyes. We did not go for a swim in the very salty water. Along the road are many stalls were you can buy salt cristals.

    The next day we made an early morning tour to the vulcanic area between Ghoubet and Lac Assal. From here you have great views at the saltlake.

    Road to Lac Assal We were not the only visitors Road along the lake Huge saltfields with a depth of 60-80m White plains with blue water
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Desert

    Was this review helpful?

  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Chimneys of Lac Abbé

    by sachara Updated May 9, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The plain of Lac Abbé is dotted with hundreds chimneys of limestone. Before you reach the plain you have to cross with a 4WD a mountaineous area. From here you get the first glimpse of the chimneys at the horizon.

    The odd geolocical landscape of Lac Abbé was one of the reasons for me to visit Djibouti. Our guide told us that the makers of the movie ´Planet of the Apes´ used this desolate surreal landscape as background for their movie.

    We arrived in the afternoon and stayed at the Campement d´Asboley. I had all the time to walk from there to a nice place to watch the sunset behind the chimneys. It was magical to be on my own at the plain with a sensational sunset.

    The next morning our guide drove us by 4WD to another place to see the sunrise. Afterwards during a nice pre-breakfast walk before it was getting too hot, he explained us about the chimneys, the vulcanic hot springs, the plain, the lake and the nomads living here with goats and camels.

    Chimneys of Lac Abb�� Lac Abb�� Sunset Lac Abb�� Lac Abb�� early morning Lac Abb�� early morning
    Related to:
    • Camping
    • Desert
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • ahmer82's Profile Photo

    Visit to Central Markets

    by ahmer82 Written Feb 20, 2011

    Dont forget to visit the downtown Central Market. Its the only place for shopping. You will also see a glimpse of the souk where djiboutians shop. One such soulk is souk al dabbab. They are all next to each other.

    Was this review helpful?

  • adelinemmc's Profile Photo

    Day trip to Lake Assal

    by adelinemmc Updated Nov 22, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a must if you have a spare day. Cost varies from 60-100 euros (2006 prices).

    For 60 euros, we were transported in a local minibus with uncomfortable seats but air conditionning, the latter being essential.

    We stopped at several view points to see cracks between tectonic plates, views of the Ghoubbet el Kharab or Devil's Cauldron and the rift between the lake and the sea.

    We had approx 45 mins on the shore of the lake itself, enough time to taste the water on the tip of your tongue (yuck: so salty it burns), collects a few salt balls & crystals and buy a couple of rocks and salt stars from the local sellers...and of course, take some pictures.

    The trip include very basic lunch at a gravel beach in the Ghoubbet & time for a swim before heading back.

    WARNING: This trip is only possible in the winter season, in summer, the temperature can rise to 50+ celsius and even 4X4 cannot access the lake proper b/c their tyres melt and their engine dies, the trip has a diff. itinerary during the hot season.

    Lake Assal
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • janiebaxter's Profile Photo

    The Old Arabic Town of Tadjoura

    by janiebaxter Written Feb 16, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tadjoura is an old Arab town on the gulf of Tadjoura dating back to the 12th century and one of the oldest towns on the East African coast. It has a long beach, a harbour area and dusty streets with whitewashed houses. We arrived by boat on our tour but you can get a bus or drive from Djibouti town. The distance by road is about 170km.
    There is not a great deal to see – it is quite pretty in parts but we managed a walk around in about 2 hours. The Plage des Sable Blancs, about 7km away is good for snorkelling and swimming.

    Tadjoura from the Sea Boat Building in Tadjoura Sunset near Tadjoura Tadjoura Street Tadjoura Seafront
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Historical Travel
    • Diving and Snorkeling

    Was this review helpful?

  • janiebaxter's Profile Photo

    Swimming with Whale Sharks

    by janiebaxter Written Feb 7, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The best time to see Whale Sharks is from mid October to February when the plankton ‘blooms’ develop in Goubet al Kharab (the Devil's Cauldron). The whale sharks are juveniles. Even so the ones we saw ranged from 8 to 20 feet long. Adults are around 40 feet.
    As the Whale Sharks feed on the surface of the water, the best way to see and swim with them is by snorkelling. Our dive boat operated 2 smaller satellite boats which take 6 people in each plus the boatman who is an expert at spotting the Whale Sharks. You can often see the fin just out of the water or a dark shape just beneath the surface. Once a Whale Shark is spotted we had to wait for the boatman to tell us we could jump into the water. We had to be fairly quick as they swim fast so the best way is to jump in as one is swimming towards you, although you can’t know if they will change direction! Often we saw many Whale Sharks together as this was peak season as there was a lot of plankton. Sometimes there were so many we didn’t know where to look!
    The Whale Sharks just carry on feeding as you swim with them and are totally harmless, only interested in the plankton. They don’t mind bumping into you though if you are in the way of the plankton. Each trip lasted about 2 to 3 hours and we had to jump in and out of the water many times. It is very tiring even if you are fit.
    Often the Whale Sharks were very close to the shore in shallow water. Basically they go wherever the plankton is. We stayed on the MY Deli Liveaboard for 6 nights but you can organise day trips to see the Whale Sharks however, you have less chance of seeing them this way. This was certainly one of my best wildlife experiences!

    Whale Shark Whale Shark Whale Shark Feeding Snorkelling with Whale Sharks Snorkelling with Whale Sharks
    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling

    Was this review helpful?

  • janiebaxter's Profile Photo

    The Port

    by janiebaxter Written Feb 1, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Djibouti has the main deep water port serving the surrounding countries, and particularly Ethiopia. Since Eritrea gained independance from Ethiopia in 1993 and the two countries were involved in border disputes relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea have been broken off leaving Ethiopia with no Port access. Djibouti's Port is the nearest accessible to Ethiopia all Ethiopia's sea freight is shipped from Djibouti, then along the main highway which is packed with freight trucks.
    Access to the Port is limited and it is not particularly attractive but is impressive in the volume of shipping coming in and out. If you are in a small boat in the area it can seem quite scary being dwarfed by massive container ships waiting to dock.

    Djibouti Port
    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling

    Was this review helpful?

Djibouti Hotels

See all 4 Hotels in Djibouti

Top Djibouti Hotels

Tadjoura Hotels
1 Review - 8 Photos
Djibouti Hotels
5 Reviews - 143 Photos

Instant Answers: Djibouti

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

28 travelers online now

Comments

Djibouti Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Djibouti things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Djibouti sightseeing.
Map of Djibouti