Located just to the south of downtown Djibouti City, Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport (JIB) is the only international airport serving the country. Most flights into and out of the airport serve destinations in East Africa, although there are some flights to Europe and the Middle East.
Airlines serving Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport: African Express Airways, Air France, Daallo Airlines, Djibouti Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Felix Airways, flydubai, Inter-Somalia, Jubba Airways, Kenya Airways, Turkish Airlines, and Yemenia Yemen Airways.
Chances are that if you are in a tour, you'll be transported by mini bus. They are all of a similar model but their owners / drivers seem to take great pride in customising them with artificial flowers garlands in the windscreen.
This add a bit of fun and also can prove very useful when trying to find your mini bus in a row of virtually identical ones: just memorise the colours and arrangement of the garlands and your halfway there!
This Djiboutian airline flies from London Gatwick to Djibouti with a stop-over at Paris CDG.
The food was decent on the way to Djibouti, a bit lacking coming back (a dry sandwich and a all sugar breakfast).
It is operated by Astraeus and I'm not sure Daallo actually owns any plane.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2009: apparently Daalo does not fly London to Djibouti any longer so check with your travel agent/on the internet who else flies from your departure town.
UPDATE 2011: Daaloo flies twice a week from Dubai to Djibouti so this could be your way in!
To go from the town centre (Centre Ville) to the airport should cost you 800 Djibouti Francs ($4.55). Many of the taxis will try it on and quote absurd amounts. Don’t listen to them. There is a picture on my ‘Tourist Trap’ tip that shows the fares FROM the airport. It should be the same price back. Save that tip on you ‘Custom Travel Guide’ here on VT and show them the picture. That should assist them with their memory and honesty.
Rates are slightly higher for areas away from the centre.
You can roam around in djibouti by Taxi which charges you 500 Franks (US$ 3.00) for a short trip and 2000 Franks for a long trip (US$ 11.50 ) Alternatively you can use sharing mini bus with a flat charge of 50 Franks (US$ 0.28)
The only airline to fly to Djibouti from London at the time I went, November 2009, was Ethiopian. Djibouti and Ethiopia have good relations with each other and there are regular flights via Addis Ababa.
Our flight to Addis was 7 hours out and as our connection was longer than 6 hours we used the free hotel transfer option available. Once you arrive at Addis airport go down to the bottom floor and to the transfer desk, show them your tickets or boarding pass. They will take them along with your passport and tell you to wait. After only about 20 minutes we were taken through immigration by airline staff and to a bus which took us to the Riviera Hotel, about 20 minutes drive away. We were given breakfast and a room for the day as well as lunch just before we left. The hotel is a good standard, very clean, nice sized room and friendly staff. We were transferred back to the airport in time for our flight to Djibouti. The airline also stamp your boarding pass so you do not need an immigration stamp and can pass easily through.
Port Peche is the fishing port, which is close to the main port. This is where the fishing boats arrive and depart and where you can get a boat to take you to see the whale sharks or to snorkel. Our trip on the MY Deli departed from and returned to Port Peche.
I would recommend Kenya Airways for its superior flight schedule and standard of service between Ethiopia and Djibouti. They fly 6 days a week and are much cheaper than Ethiopian Airlines. The in-flight service was also good. Daallo Airlines is more expensive and flies through Somaliland first. Djibouti Airlines was cheapest but only flies on Friday nights.
Below are the details for Kenya Airways in Addis Ababa:
Kenya Airways Limited,Hilton International
Menelix 2nd Avenue
P.O. Box: 3381
Admin Tel: +251-1-514258
Sales Office: Hilton +25 11 5525548/7 or 5513018
Sales office: ECA +251 11 5444301 or 5153339
Sales office: AU +251 11 5515700
Finance: +251 11 5525546
Reservation: +251-1-513018/019 444301
Fax: +251 11 511548
Airport Office Tel: +251-1-626980/628393
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Visiting Djibouti as a place of its own is maybe not worth the effort and money, but it can be combined with a trip to Ethiopia, like I did. It can also be visited when you transfer between Ethiopia and Eritrea (borders between those countries are closed due to the border conflict) or between Ethiopia and Yemen.
I arrived by bus from Dire Dawa in Ethiopia. It leaves Dire Dawa at 3am and it is obligatory to buy tickets the previous day. You can also take a train from Dire Dawa. Another possibility is to fly from Addis/Asmara/Sana. I think, that despite what might be said officially, it is possible to get a visa in the airport as well on the land border crossings. I was travelling with someone with a EU passport and he was allowed an entry after paying extra for getting a visa on the border to the border control. I got my visa in a French embassy in Warsaw - in a country without a Djibouti representation it is possible to get a visa from the French embassy.
Rented a car from Pyramid (across Djibouti Bowling, but they will come to you). Cars are not cheap, but given unlimited mileage and quality of most roads it's understandable.
Corolla at 12,000 francs a day; pick-up truck 15,000 (good option if there's just up to two persons to be carried as it will give the off-road option); 22,000 Landcruiser Prado. It's 24-hour rental: what I did was go one day at 12 noon to Lac Assal and on to Tajourah (took me four hours to get there and just two hours going back, driving fast, knowing the roads and not making any stops). The next morning I went to the Somali border and back and handed the car in at noon again.
Just to Lake Assal can be done in a saloon car, but to Tajourah that is already becoming a little difficult (but probably not impossible) as there are a number of 'radiers' (saila/fording/Irisg bridge) that are not asphalted.
Now if you want to step back in time and do a really cool old colonial trip than the “French Ethiopian” train is the trip for you. Truth in lending it is not an easy trip and it was blown up a few years ago by a local terrorist group. But as they say sometime VTers just have the urge to experience something new and adventurous well this will do it for you.
When I grew up in West Africa we had a train like this from Freetown to Bo now all gone this is one of the few left. It give the expression milk run a very new meaning maybe Camels milk as train stpoes at every village and masses of people emerge from tiny villages of every shape and color. What a great photo op this is for sure.
This train line was built in the 1890s by emperor, Menelik II and the French and if you remember your history the Suez Canal was in the mix somewhere. The railroad was considered a major technological accomplishment at this time as it went from sea level to almost 8,000 feet and in its prime, the train took only a day to cross from Djibouti to Addis. Now, as the cars and engines have aged, it takes closer to two days and you get to often time spend some quality time and get to know your fellow passengers as it breaks down often
In April 2006 this Ferry sank off the coast of Djibouti killing 113 people.
The ship was bound for the religious festival of Djamaad, in the town of Tadjoura. Built to hold roughly 80 people, it was reported to have been carrying at least 200 people as well as construction materials at the time it sank. Eyewitness Omar Souleiki, however, blamed it on a small wave.
But other than that it was a nice way to meet people and I got invited to the home of one of the passangers the time I went
The cab is about 1500 DF from the airport and took about 15 mins to give you some idea of cost. It is flat fee no meter so I recommend you ask at your hotel what to pay from here to there at least at first.
If you do decide to meander downtown Djibouti and if you don;'t have car. Just flag down a cab but make sure you negotiate the price before you go anywhere. from the airport to downtown Djibouti or local market it shouldn't cost you more than 1000DF
You can find boats to yemen at the dock. Visit the immigration office, and they will redirect you directly to the captain of the next boat. They also stamp your passport. Have a yemeni visa in advance, and visit the yemeni embassy, maybe you need some official papers. I know four guys who did this trip in august 2005. (price: 30$)
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