Squeezed between Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somaliland, diminutive Djibouti can easily be overlooked. Bordering the busy Gulf of Aden, this coastal country hides a myriad of forgotten treasures within its impressive interior. From dormant volcanoes and derelict colonial buildings to burnished clay chimneys and basking whale sharks, Djibouti has much to offer.
WHY WE LIKE DJIBOUTI
One of Africa's smallest and least-known nations, Djbouti is full of surprises. The eerie lunar landscapes of Lac Abbe and Lac Assal are in stark contrast with the blue waters of the Gulf of Tadjoura and the green slopes of Goda Mountains.
Djibouti offers a vast array of activities for such a small country, from kite surfing and hiking to diving and swimming with whale sharks. Culinary exploration is also on the menu - sample the delicacies of local restaurants which mix Arabic and European influences alongside a sprinkling of eastern flavours. Djibouti captivates, leaving first-time visitors craving for more.
Once a quiet, forgotten Red Sea port, this fusion of Africa and Arabia now bustles with life. Its colonial history ever-present but fast becoming a more distant memory, the city is benefiting from investment thanks to its strategic position looking out over the Gulf of Aden.
But this growth and burgeoning modernity has not come at the expense of tradition. A multitude of cultures, languages and ethnicities still brighten the busy streets. Crumbling French buildings, gleaming new office blocks and white-washed mosques meld together to form a metropolis of character and vitality.
SOME IDEAS FOR A DJIBOUTI HOLIDAY
- Explore the inhospitable environs of Lac Assal, the lowest point in Africa.
- Visit the dormant Ardoukoba Volcano, whose lava streams flowed into the Red Sea as recently as 1978.
- Delve into Djibouti’s history with a trip to its oldest town, Tadjourah, with its white-washed buildings and crumbling mosques.
- Discover the Dantean landscape of Lac Abbe decorated with hundreds of spiky clay chimneys.