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

  • janiebaxter's Profile Photo

    Hot Spring

    by janiebaxter Written Feb 1, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Close to Lac Assal is a naturally Hot Spring coming from the hill and forming a pool in front. The water is hot enough to cook fish! We saw some boiled fish which had accidently swam into the hot water.
    It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to walk from the road to the Spring and it is very hot and exposed so you need a sunhat and water.

    Hot Spring Volcanic Rock aoround Hot Spring
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Diving and Snorkeling

    Was this review helpful?

  • janiebaxter's Profile Photo

    The Canyon

    by janiebaxter Written Feb 1, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you take a trip to Lac Assal from Djibouti City, about halfway there is a quite scary lookout point where you can see a big natural canyon cut from the rocks.
    You can go right to the edge if you have a head for heights but it is quite windy!
    Look for a pull-in area on the right with some boys selling souvenirs.

    The Canyon
    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Mountain Climbing

    Was this review helpful?

  • janiebaxter's Profile Photo

    Snorkelling and Diving - Pristine Coral Reefs

    by janiebaxter Written Jan 31, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Djibouti is in the Southern Red Sea where it flows into the Indian Ocean and the diving and snorkelling sites are unspoilt with spectacular pristine coral, over 200 varieties.
    Most of Djibouti’s coastline is covered with large reefs with dense shoals of fish and large schools of Barracuda, Jacks and Snapper as well as Rays, Dolphins, Whale Sharks, Grey Sharks and Nurse Sharks.
    You can organise one day snorkelling or diving trips but the best way to see the most marine life is to stay on a Live Aboard boat. MY Deli, operated by Dolphin Excursions runs regular trips to see whale sharks during the season and diving trips out of the whale shark season. More details Here

    I don’t dive but found this no disadvantage as the snorkelling sites are on the shallower coral, usually next to the dive sites and we saw plenty this way.
    The diving and snorkelling sites are all within the Gulf of Tadjoura area –
    Arta Plage
    Shark Island and Ras Eiro
    Ghoubet
    Red Virgin
    Stan Point
    Ras Cordli
    Ras Ali
    Sable Blancs
    Ras Mohamed
    Moucha

    Table Coral Fish on the Reef Species of Coral Parrot Fish on the Reef Natural Sponges
    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Beaches

    Was this review helpful?

  • janiebaxter's Profile Photo

    The Gulf of the Demons

    by janiebaxter Written Jan 25, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Gulf of the Demons or Bay of Ghoubet is connected to the Gulf of Tadjoura by a narrow inlet 750m long. The bay is thought to be 200m deep and is surrounded by volcanic rock which makes the water look very black and sinister, made worse by the strong winds causing big waves and currents across the bay. Inside the bay are Devil’s Cauldron, a large underwater crater, and Devil’s Island. There are dolphins in the bay as well as many very large species of fish – some yet to be discovered.
    If you take the trip from Djibouti town to Lac Assal by road there is a lookout point where you can get a good view of the Bay of Ghoubet. Hold on to your hat here – it is very windy!
    If you are staying on a Live Aboard boat you will go into the bay itself and the sea can get very rough particularly going through the passage into the bay of Tadjoura.

    Gulf of the Demons Devil's Island
    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling

    Was this review helpful?

  • janiebaxter's Profile Photo

    The Animal Refuge - Stroke a Cheetah

    by janiebaxter Written Jan 23, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Animal Refuge is about 20 minutes drive from Djibouti town. We were taken by our guide because our boat departure was delayed and we got there quite late in the afternoon so did not have a lot of time there. Normally a visit takes about half a day. It is a refuge for animals that have been confiscated from people trying to smuggle them into the country as pets. Most of the animals were brought in when very young so have grown up in the refuge. We saw Zebra, Oryx and other Antelopes, Hyena, and Ostrich. There are 4 Cheetah there and one of them was reared by our guide so was very pleased to see him when we turned up. It came straight to the fence purring and licked his hand as he stroked it. He allowed us to stroke it too but it really preferred him. There are many other animals there too, which we didn’t see due to the time. The reserve depends on donations.
    I guess most visitors would not be allowed to stroke the Cheetah – we were just very lucky!

    A very soft Cheetah Cheetah Antelope
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Zoo

    Was this review helpful?

  • janiebaxter's Profile Photo

    Lac Assal - The Lowest Point in Africa

    by janiebaxter Written Jan 23, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lac Assal is the lowest point in Africa and the third lowest in the world. It is 153 metres below sea level and 20 metres deep. The lake water and the shore are saturated with salt. The approach down to the lake has stunning views of the lake and the surrounding black volcanic rock. You can walk to the edge of the lake and the salt actually looks like thick ice underfoot as it has a thin layer of water on top when you get closer to the lake itself. Apparently you can swim in the lake but it is so salty it is not pleasant as the salt really stings your eyes.
    From Djibouti town you can visit Lac Assal for a day trip. It takes about 2.5 hours each way. You will need a 4 wheel drive as the road is quite poor in some places. Part of the route is the same one the trucks take from the port to Ethiopia and it is not in good condition so the journey can be very slow. It is also quite dangerous if you are not a careful driver. We saw many trashed vehicles along the route.
    Other things to see along the road between Djibouti town and Lac Assal are The Canyon and the view of Devils Island which are about halfway between the two and the Hot Spring which is close to Lac Assal.
    We took a picnic lunch and stopped to eat at a basic gite on the sea shore overlooking Devils Island.
    The trip was organised by Dolphin Excursions in Djibouti and cost a massive £250 for 2 people with 4WD and English speaking guide/driver.

    Salt at the edge of Lac Assal Volcanic rock around Lac Assal
    Related to:
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • DAO's Profile Photo

    LUXURY FOR A DAY

    by DAO Updated Sep 9, 2009

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This fantastic 5-Star sea-side resort offers a day package with use of a room, all the facilities, food & drink for $99. It’s actually a good bargain when you see what you get. Its also a lot cheaper than staying overnight. The food is fantastic, the staff are great and the rooms & facilities are the best in the country. Go on, pamper yourself. You deserve it!

    Related to:
    • Luxury Travel
    • Spa and Resort
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • DAO's Profile Photo

    THE $14 POOL VISIT

    by DAO Updated Sep 2, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Welcome to the Sheraton! Or are you welcome?
    Should probably be under the 'Tourist Trap' Category. Like the pictured sign says – in French:

    Saturday & Wednesday – 2000 Francs ($11)

    Mon, Tues, Thu, Fri, Sun – 2500 Francs ($14)

    I was so hot I almost did this even though it was ridiculously expensive for a crappy small pool with an average sea view. If you have the money spend $99 at Kempinski Palace and get a room, pool, food and drinks for a whole day! If not, it’s going to cost you $11-14 here.

    You could probably use the pool at the Hotel Kempinsky for free!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Luxury Travel
    • Spa and Resort

    Was this review helpful?

  • JAVATO's Profile Photo

    Enjoy Africa

    by JAVATO Written May 4, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The best thing that you can do in Djibouti is meet people from there. They are really kind and friendly.
    If you forget your european thoughts, you can discover a very great country.
    Also you can enjoy of the sun and the good beaches there.
    To visit the desert and the lake of "lasal"is very great too.

    Was this review helpful?

  • find interesting art in djibouti

    by dobsonmnpeurope Written Mar 21, 2008

    I will give you all the info I get to virtual tourist.
    It seems the markets are not very good (see3 answer below) and if you want anything you need to find the local artists and go direct...(I read this in a Frecnh guide book), we are one day in Djibouti then going on a boat so the info might be limited.
    I will check out the French alliance they should have an art gallery or something.

    Was this review helpful?

  • DAO's Profile Photo

    USE THE ATM MACHINES

    by DAO Updated Dec 23, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    NEED CASH? Some guidebooks say there are no working ATM’s in Djibouti. There are! In fact several are air-conditioned kiosks and I went in to a couple just to get cool. The best is at Saba Islamic Bank in Place Menelik (2nd picture). Their machine accepted every card imaginable. I have never seen so many symbols for different cash networks displayed in one place before.

    SABA ISLAMIC BANK
    Related to:
    • Work Abroad
    • Business Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • DAO's Profile Photo

    SEE THE PORT

    by DAO Updated Dec 23, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    ‘At the crossroads of 3 continents’. Djibouti Port is proud of the fact that it provides shipping for Europe, Asia and Africa. This place is huge. Its started out because land-locked Ethiopia needed more port facilities. Work on a modern port and railway started in 1897 and were completed in 1917. Since then a series of deep water quays were constructed, there are huge storage facilities and the port also hosts transient navy warships ships of many nations. The modern container terminal was finished in 1985. This is the economic engine that drives the whole country.

    YES - I DID TAKE THIS PICTURE!
    Related to:
    • Business Travel
    • Work Abroad
    • Study Abroad

    Was this review helpful?

  • traveldave's Profile Photo

    The Decan Refuge

    by traveldave Updated Nov 30, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Decan Refuge was founded by veterinarian Bertrand Lafrance as a refuge for cheetahs that have been confiscated from smugglers and poachers by the Djibouti government. The idea for such a refuge began when Lafrance saw a captive cheetah for sale in a local restaurant. He took action and began rescuing captive cheetahs. When he had seven in his garden at home, he decided it was time to establish the refuge. Nowadays, the Decan Refuge is working in collaboration with Doué la Fontaine zoo in France on a breeding program for cheetahs.

    In addition to cheetahs, the Decan Refuge takes in other African animals, such as gazelles, and rehabilitates them for eventual release into the wild. Those that cannot be released back into the wild are kept at the refuge and are well cared for.

    The refuge is set amid acacia trees and scrub on an arid, dusty plain south of Djibouti City. Visitors can walk along trails through the acacia, view the animals (some of which are used to people and are not in any sort of enclosure), learn about Djibouti's wildlife in the sparse but interesting visitors' center, and get an overview of the refuge from the watch tower.

    Was this review helpful?

  • traveldave's Profile Photo

    The Port of Djibouti

    by traveldave Updated Nov 30, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Since ancient times, Djibouti has been a trading center because it sits at the crossroads of the Red Sea and Indian Ocean shipping lanes, and its strategic location between the Middle East and the east coast of Africa. Nowadays, the Port of Djibouti is one of the busiest ports on the African east coast.

    Serious development of Djibouti's port occurred between 1948 and 1957. During that period, four deep-water quays were constructed, access channels were dredged, warehouses and oil-storage facilities were built, electricity and water supplies were developed, and railroad lines linking Djibouti with Ethiopia were laid. In 1985, a new container terminal, dry port, and the establishment of a Trade Free Zone helped the Port of Djibouti become a regional shipping hub.

    Because neighboring Ethiopia is now a landlocked country (after losing its coastal areas to what is now Eritrea in its civil war), most of the goods shipped to Ethiopia pass through the Port of Djibouti. The Djibouti-Addis Ababa Railway carries about 60 percent of Ethiopia's foreign trade, and the main highway between Djibouti and Ethiopia is busy with large trucks transporting all sorts of goods and products to Addis Ababa and beyond.

    Was this review helpful?

  • dutchwindmill's Profile Photo

    Two days

    by dutchwindmill Updated Mar 30, 2007

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Day one: walk around town. It's all easily accessible on foot. Both the old French quarter and the poor areas behind it, are pleasnt to stroll around at a leisurely pace. Some nice old residential and office buildings, as well as a couple of old mosques with very sturdy minarets. It's poor and dirty compared to the West, but not as appalling as some Third World countries.

    Day two: rent a car and go to Lake Assal (hot and saline: beautiful rocks of various kinds for sale - don't haggle too hard - imagine having to make a living there!); continue by the coast to Tajourah. Nice scenery, the latter town is "trois fois rien" but there is a pleasnt "centre de loisirs" at the entrance of town, where you can get a reasonably priced beer in the shade by the sunside. Gazelle and dik-dik walking around on the premises.
    Another little excursion I took was to the border of Somaliland: take a right on your way to the airport (there is a sign "Somalie") and follow the road. First you gou through a car junkyard, then you pass a checkpoint (no check), then you feel like you're entering a regular dumping ground. Indeed, the road forks and the asphalted road to the left leads into the typical smouldering dump ground that you associate with the Third World. If you don't turn left at the fork but continue straight there is a nice hardened (but not asphalted) piste leading to the border. Not much traffic, laid-back atmosphere. All in all from Djibouti ville to the border takes half an hour. (This tip is really only for border freaks.)

    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

22 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