Fun things to do in Djibouti

  • Sunset Lac Abbé
    Sunset Lac Abbé
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  • track to Bankaoualé
    track to Bankaoualé
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  • view from the campement
    view from the campement
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Djibouti

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    Lake Abbe

    by Ekahau Updated Nov 21, 2006

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    For you VTers who are Geology buffs this is a very import spot know as the The Afar Depression. Lake Abbe is a plate tectonic triple junction where the spreading ridges that are forming the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden emerge on land and meet the East African Rift.

    AND, the central meeting place for these three pieces of Earth's crust is right here around around Lake Abbe. The Afar Depression is one of two places on Earth where a mid-ocean ridge can be studied on land, the other being Iceland.

    And you luck VTer you got to visit it on line how about that!!

    Lake Abbe Lake Abbe Lake Abbe
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    Lowest Point in Africa which is Lake Assal

    by Ekahau Updated May 28, 2006

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    The VTer can visit the Lowest and hottest Point in Africa which is Lake Assal, Djibouti: 512 feet / 156 meters below sea level. Lake Assal is also the saltiest body of water in the world -- yes more than the dead sea. The other cool thing for a VT geek like me is that it is where the Great Rift Valley flows on its way to the Red sea. The rift valley is what makes up the great lakes in Africa, what the Victory falls flow over and than leads into the Red sea across to Asia and ends at the Dead sea. The former lake floor is a huge salt flat that is great to Wind sail on. When salt trading was king this was the place.

    You can see the salt Beds in photo four below

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    Walk around Menelik Square

    by Ekahau Updated May 27, 2006

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    Menelik Square has been the main hang out for the French and the cruse ships passagers going through the Suez Canal since 1897 when it was named after Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia in honor of the agreement between the French and Ethiopia when the boundaries of the protectorate, marked out in 1897.

    You can sit here have a nice French coffee and watch the French foreign legion hang out when they are off duty.

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    Dhow to Tadjoura

    by Ekahau Updated May 28, 2006

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    You can take a dhow ferry to the second largest and oldest city in Djibuti, Tadjoura. This was the originally like Zanzibar and “Arab” trading port and it was the the seat of the Afar Ad-Ali abli Sultanate. By about 1840 or 50 Tadjoura was a major slave market; with about 6,000 people a year left mostly from Ethiopia enslaved via this ports. Once Tadjoura came under French control, the slave trade was abolished there by decree on 26 October 1889. When the French move the capital and built the Franco-Ethiopian railway Tajoura's importance declined.

    Today Tadjoura is home to about 27,700 people and is one of those African mystery cities from another time -- the whitewashed buildings glisten in the sunlight as you come in by ferry and is known for its beautiful white beaches. Really is a place time has forgotten and not at all touristy ---yet!!!!

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    The Decan Refuge

    by traveldave Updated Nov 30, 2007

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    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.

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    The Central Market

    by hunwagner Updated Apr 29, 2005

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    Just south of the decaying European Quarter, the Central Market is probably the heart of Djibouti City.
    Its food section bears the dubious distinction of being one of the dirtiest markets I have ever seen - the thick clouds of flies made us afraid to talk lest we swallow some if we open our mouth.
    A bit to the east there is a tourist-oriented souvenir market, mostly selling junk from Kenya.

    The market is the entrance to the Europea Quarter

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    The Port of Djibouti

    by traveldave Updated Nov 30, 2007

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    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.

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    Djibouti by night

    by hunwagner Updated Apr 29, 2005

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    At night the unbearable heat of the day becomes just a bit less opressive, the darkness covers most of dirt, with only finer buildings lit-up, and the flies are asleep.
    This is then the best time to walk around the city - despite all the poverty around, I felt it was safe to do so, at least in the European Quarter.

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    Facing (or trying to avoid) the realities

    by hunwagner Updated Apr 29, 2005

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    No one can avoid noticing the slums that make up much of the capital, Djibouti City.
    They just seem to stretch endlessly in all directions, starting just south of the Central Market and the European Quarter.
    Even if you live a sheltered life at an army base or in an upmarket hotel, they will be a constant reminder of what life is like for the Djiboutians.

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    LUXURY FOR A DAY

    by DAO Updated Sep 9, 2009

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    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!

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    The Presidential Palace

    by hunwagner Updated Apr 29, 2005

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    Easily the most beautiful piece of colonial architecture in Djibouti, the Presidential Palace overlooks the busy harbour on the waterfront. Of course it is closed to visitors, and even photographing it is forbidden.
    This sneaking shot taken in the evening is the best I could manage.

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    SEE THE PORT

    by DAO Updated Dec 23, 2007

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    ‘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!
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    THE $14 POOL VISIT

    by DAO Updated Sep 2, 2009

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    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!

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    Day trip to Lake Assal

    by adelinemmc Updated Nov 22, 2010

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    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
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    checking out the big cats

    by terps94 Written May 4, 2006

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    If you are in Djibouti and want to escape the chaos of the city I suggest you go to this little escape. The refuge houses seven cheetahs , gazelles, turtles and exotic birds. It cost 500 DF to get in the site so you can wander around. There is not really a whole lot to see on this refuge but at least it's nice break from the city scene.
    Be careful with the gazelles they might look friendly but a couple of them try to gored us with their horns. Make sure to keep a distance from them and if they start charging you don't run. Also be careful while you are walking in the park there are lot of briar trees with long spikes so be careful when walking around.

    cheetah playing duelign gazelles weird tree at the cheetah refuge turtles

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Djibouti Things to Do

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