Djibouti Things to Do

  • Sunset Lac Abbé
    Sunset Lac Abbé
    by sachara
  • track to Bankaoualé
    track to Bankaoualé
    by sachara
  • view from the campement
    view from the campement
    by sachara

Djibouti Things to Do

  • Wild and hidden valley of Bankoualé

    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...

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  • Ghoubet el Kharâb

    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...

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  • Ardoukoba vulcano

    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....

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  • Grand Barra and Petit Barra

    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...

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  • Lac Assal, salt lake at 155m below sea...

    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...

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  • Chimneys of Lac Abbé

    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...

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  • Visit to Central Markets

    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.

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  • Snorkel with whale sharks

    See 'sport travel' for more details. Great emotion when I saw my first whale shark near Arta beach! Then another came, and another!!!This alone justified the long trip to Djibouti.

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  • Day trip to Lake Assal

    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...

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  • The Old Arabic Town of Tadjoura

    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...

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  • Beautiful Sunsets

    With a clear sky, Djibouti gets great sunsets. Even better seen from a boat. Being close to the equator, the sun sets quickly so you have to have the camera ready.

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  • Swimming with Whale Sharks

    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...

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  • The Port

    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...

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  • Hot Spring

    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.

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  • The Canyon

    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.

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  • Snorkelling and Diving - Pristine Coral...

    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,...

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  • The Gulf of the Demons

    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...

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  • The Animal Refuge - Stroke a Cheetah

    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...

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  • Lac Assal - The Lowest Point in Africa

    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...

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  • LUXURY FOR A DAY

    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...

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  • THE $14 POOL VISIT

    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...

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  • Enjoy Africa

    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.

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  • find interesting art in djibouti

    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...

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  • USE THE ATM MACHINES

    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...

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  • SEE THE PORT

    ‘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...

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  • The Decan Refuge

    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...

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  • The Port of Djibouti

    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...

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  • Two days

    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...

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  • Lake Abbe

    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...

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  • Scuba diving: part 4 - Closer to...

    The Moucha and Maskani islands are good for wrecks. There are 3 or 4 around.The islands are close to Djibouti town so are good if you do not have time for a week-long cruise to Tadjoura or the Seven Brothers. Boats heading out to those two areas will usually do their first and last dive on the islands. Warning: to enjoy the wrecks you will need to...

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  • Scuba diving: part 3 - Gulf of Tadjoura

    The gulf of Tadjoura is easier diving than the Seven Brothers. Currents are not as strong or inexistant. Some dead coral here too, esp. table coral.This is THE place to see the whale sharks. The sharks can be seen near Arta beach or in the Ghoubet. You can't scuba with them, just snorkel.Viz is generally not so good due to the rich plancton on...

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  • Scuba diving:Part 2- The Seven Brothers

    The Seven Brothers are seven Islands in the narrow part between Yemen and Eritrea. They are imaginatively named: the West Island, the East Island, the Double Island etc...Currents are strong and this area is not recommended for beginners.Glabal warming is killing some coral and Yemenite fishermen have all but exterminated the sharks. You can still...

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  • Scuba diving:Part 1- overview

    There are 2 major diving areas in Djibouti: 1) the Seven Brothers - Les Sept Freres- at the narrowest part of the Red Sea, between Southern Eritrea and Yemen; This is good for typical Red Sea stuff but currents are strong. The sharks have almost all been killed by teh Yemeni fishermen and piracy is alive & well 2) the Gulf of Tadjoura, including...

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  • Lowest Point in Africa which is Lake...

    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...

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  • Dhow to Tadjoura

    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...

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  • Walk around Menelik Square

    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...

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  • Maskali Island

    The island is so beautiful and just 30minutes boat ride from the port. It is also a paradise for snorkling lovers and scuba divers. The beaches are clean and the rocks are magnificent. However, the island is not a typical tourist paradise, where it would be a nitemare for the reason the facilities built on this island are meant for French...

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  • checking out the big cats

    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...

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  • catch some sun

    If you are hoping to catch some rays and get your feet wet while in Djibouti. Head to Moucha island, about 30 minutes from the port. It offers a nice relaxing place to have a beer and soak in the hot sun. There is a dive shop located by the beach where you can rent some snorkeling or scuba gear.

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  • The lowest point in Africa

    It's one of those days when we have nothing better to do that we decided to go on a trip. One of the guys we know got a vehicle and drove us to Lake Assal. Lot of people when they hear Lake Assal it's gonna be like a beach resort but what they didn't know that there wasn't much of a water around here. Lake Assal is the lowest point in Africa ar 500...

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  • La Caravane du Sel

    La Caravane du SelThey organize excursions in camels to the Valley of the Rift and the depression of the Asal Lake (153 metres under the sea level, the deepest in Africa) surrounded by dead volcanoes, to the Denakil area to see the nomad affar tribes, diving, etc.

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  • Diving

    Diving is possible, but expensive (french and american soldiers with too much money to spend) You can find travel agencies in the city center, ask around. The upmarket hotels can help you also.I think it is better and cheaper in Eritrea.

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  • The Presidential Palace

    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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  • Djibouti by night

    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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  • The showpiece building

    Much of the old European Quarter is in a very sad state of general decay, but two sides of this building have been renovated - so this is what graces all the postcards of the town.

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Djibouti Things to Do

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