Djibouti's “French Ethiopian” train
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
Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport
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, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, and Yemenia Yemen Airways.
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 wentRelated to:
- Business Travel
KENYA AIRWAYS - BEST OPTION FROM ETHIOPIA
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.orgRelated to:
- Family Travel
- Business Travel
- Work Abroad
TAXI TO THE AIRPORT
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.Related to:
- Work Abroad
- Business Travel
- Family Travel
It may be possible to travel between Djibouti and Yemen by boat.
There are also boats within the country, connecting Djibouti City with the towns of Tadjourah and Obbock across the bay a few times weekly. The Obbock boats pass some inviting looking islands along the way.
The French built a railway line connecting Djibouti with neighbouring Ethiopia, but in the past years this has largely fallen into disuse. Services are now limited to irregular cargo trains, and most people prefer to travel by bus between the two countries, or within Djibouti itself.
Buses connect Djibouti City with Ethiopia and the towns within Djibouti itself, while jeeps go to Hargeisa in Somaliland.
Djiboutian buses tend to be incredibly crowded and booking is recommended.
Fares are also relatively high.
Djibouti Green Taxi
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.
Rent-a-car: do it!
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.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Business Travel
getting around Djibouti
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 hitch till the border with an ethiopian truck (about 6-10$), than you can find a bus till djibouti city (20$!!). In theory the journey should not take more than 4 hours, for us it was 12, becouse the driver had some rest halfway.
From Assab you can find a truck to Moulhoule (5-10$, the first Djiboutian village), where you can change transportation to Obock(20$). The boat departs Obock 3 times a week to Djibouti City (5$), or you can find an another truck to Tadjoura(15$)
It took 2 days for me (from Djib. to Eritrea)
UPDATE 2014: I just notice that Dalloo was banned from flying in the European air space. This is never good so maybe avoid this airline!!!
UPDATE 2011: Daaloo flies twice a week from Dubai to Djibouti so this could be your way in!
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.
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.
Services in the air
Where as the European regional flights which are about two hours in duration take money from its passengers for catering in the air, Yemenia provided a small meal with famous Yemeni coffee (Mokka or Mocha) Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm it was good!!! Thanks Yemenia.
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