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Panorama of Lac Assal, Djibouti

Djibouti Holidays

One of the smallest and least-known nations of Africa, Djibouti is full of surprises. Explore Lac Assal, the lowest point in Africa or the dormant Ardoukba Volcano, whilst underwater experience swimming with whale sharks.

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.

Assal Lake, Djibouti
Lake Assal, Djibouti

Why we like Djibouti

One of Africa’s smallest and least-known nations, Djibouti 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.

Hotel exterior and pool, Djibouti Palace Kempinski, Djibouti City
Djibouti Palace Kempinski, Djibouti, Djibouti
Tadjourah-Djibouti.jpg
Tadjourah, Djibouti
Swimming pool, Djibouti Palace Kempinski, Djibouti City
Djibouti Palace Kempinski, Djibouti, Djibouti

Djibouti City

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 have 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.

Sunset over Lac Abbe, Djibouti
Lake Abbe, Djibouti

Highlights of 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.
Panorama of Lac Assal, Djibouti
Lac Assal, Djibouti

Djibouti – Salt Lakes and Whale Sharks

Explore Djibouti’s riches – both on land and in the sea. Combine swimming alongside whale sharks with the chance to visit the geological wonders of the country’s interior and to revel in the rich Afro-Arabian culture. Pocket-sized and too often overlooked, Djibouti offers an experience that is hard to find elsewhere.

6 days

from £2,750 pp

See holiday idea

Experiences

Swim with Whale Sharks

Swim beside these epipelagic fish during the cooler winter months, when they arrive in the Gulf of Tadjourah to feed.

Visit Lac Assal

Explore the inhospitable environs of Lac Assal, the lowest point in Africa.

Explore Lac Abbe

Discover the Dantean landscape of Lac Abbe decorated with hundreds of spiky clay chimneys.

Tadjourah

Delve into Djibouti’s history with a trip to its oldest town, Tadjourah, with its white-washed buildings and crumbling mosques.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Jackie Devereux

I was born in Zimbabwe. With a dad who was in the police force, we moved from place to place. I have always been passionate about travel. My grandparents mentioned that our ancestors set off from the Horn of Africa – Ethiopia – looking for better cattle pastures. They ended up settling in the south-eastern hills of Zimbabwe, in the Great Zimbabwe area.
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Illona Cross

Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management. My desire to see more led me to work as a guide for AndBeyond, first in South Africa, then in Tanzania as the company expanded. Here, I lived and worked in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro, guiding and running safari camps.
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Bridget Cohen

Aged five and with my Curious George toy safely tucked under my arm, I set off with my family to travel around Europe in an orange VW minibus. Looking back on the adventures we had along the way, I now know that this was where my love for travel and exploring began.
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Chris Johnston

25 years ago, my first trip to Africa took on a life of its own. I planned for three months, I stayed for two years. Whilst there, I was mistaken for a priest, attacked by sharks and arrested. Yet the countless, clattering journeys opened my eyes to the beauty of the landscapes and the grace of the people. My recent trips are undoubtedly more comfortable, but the welcome is as warm as ever and the best experiences are still those I never see coming.
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Very satisfied with all aspects of our trip. Steppes kept us fully informed of the progress of the arrangements and gave us various choices of hotels.

Nick

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

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Why Steppes