Djibouti, nestled in the Horn of Africa, is a little piece of heaven for nature and history buffs, foodies, and anyone intrigued by the ethnic makeup of this tiny land inhabited since the Neolithic Age. Here are some of the reasons why you should visit Djibouti at least once in your lifetime.
- 1 Reasons Why You Should Visit Djibouti
- 1.1 The Exotic Wildlife
- 1.2 The most peaceful communities in the world live together here
- 1.3 Its Off the Beaten Path
- 1.4 The Diverse Landscape
- 1.5 Djibouti City has some pretty unique architecture
- 1.6 Fish fans will be in heaven
- 1.7 It’s home to the only American military base in Africa
- 1.8 It has one of the best-kept secrets in Africa
- 1.9 You’ll learn new dances (and some French)
- 1.10 You Can Visit a Movie Set in Real-Life
Reasons Why You Should Visit Djibouti
The Exotic Wildlife
Most African countries have a diverse range of wildlife, and Djibouti is no exception. The Djibouti francolin – an endangered bird found only in this country – can be found in Day Forest in Goda Massif. There are also warthogs, leopards, camels, donkeys, vervet monkeys, and raptors to be found.
The most peaceful communities in the world live together here
Djibouti is home to three ethnic groups that coexist in harmony and peace: Somalis, Afars, and Arabs who have lived here since the Ifat Sultanate in the 12th century. Djiboutians love foreigners and take hospitality to a whole new level. You’ll never be lonely if you hang out with Djiboutians because you’ll almost always be invited to a family celebration or simply to share a homemade meal.
Its Off the Beaten Path
Turn off your electronic devices and relax into a more relaxed way of life. Outside of the capital city, the country’s remaining cities have small populations and are severely underdeveloped. There is no public transportation, but there is no shortage of outdoor activities, including hiking the sprawling Ardoukoba fissure vents volcano and snorkeling in the Bay of Ghoubbet.
The Diverse Landscape
The terrain ranges from jagged mountain peaks to plateaus and low deserts. Aside from the lakes, Lake Assal and Lake Abbe, the terrain is devoid of any other bodies of water above ground. This gives the land the appearance of a lunar landscape, which will take your breath away.
Djibouti City has some pretty unique architecture
Djibouti City, as a former French colony, has preserved some stunning buildings that reflect the French architectural style. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the landscape changes as you travel from downtown near the National Assembly to Heron, or from Harmouss to Quartier 7. It’s an enlightening look at Djibouti’s multifaceted layers.
Fish fans will be in heaven
Despite the fact that Djibouti is a coastal country, Djiboutians prefer meat to fish. However, if you take a tour of the harbor or the local market on Fridays, where mesmerizing types of fish are showcased at extremely low prices, you will have access to freshly caught fish and seafood. If you don’t feel like cooking, stop by one of the city’s many Yemeni restaurants, such as Al Jannatayn, and enjoy the riches of the Red Sea the authentic Yemeni way.
It’s home to the only American military base in Africa
Knowing that the only American military base in Africa exists here, on a tiny piece of land, is remarkable in and of itself. But once you understand the significance of Djibouti’s geographical location as one of the most important gateways to the Middle East and Asia, all the puzzle pieces fall into place. Other bases exist as well, including French, Japanese, German, and, more recently, Chinese.
It has one of the best-kept secrets in Africa
Ghoubet Al-Kharab, or “Devil’s Island,” is a fascinating location in the Tadjourah Gulf. Legend has it that the waters are so deep here that anyone who tries to swim drowns, especially at sunset or nighttime, making it the most dangerous place in all of Djibouti and one of the most strange natural formations in all of Africa. Perhaps it’s better to be content with a distant shot…
You’ll learn new dances (and some French)
You’ll be envious of the men and women of Djibouti who can dance to any type of music. Put yourself to the test and begin learning some of the coolest dances ever, ranging from Somali to Ethiopian and Afar. You’ll quickly immerse yourself in this bustling country with life, learn some French, and enjoy the Eastern African vibes because it’s a multicultural scene.
You Can Visit a Movie Set in Real-Life
Djibouti was chosen as the backdrop for the film Planet of the Apes because of its moonlike landscape. You can drive to this barren land 120 miles southwest of the airport in a 4×4 jeep to see the amazing limestone chimneys that stick up from the ground.