There are quite a number of places to visit in Djibouti. Despite being tucked away in a little portion of Northern Africa, it is abundantly beautiful and home to sights that you really won’t believe unless you’ve experienced them.
Few places offer as diverse a terrain as this one, which includes volcanoes, sinking plains, limestone chimneys with steam rising from the top, salt lakes, enormous canyons, and stunning plateaus.
There is a lot to do here for individuals who enjoy outdoor exploration. Enjoy diving, kiteboarding, trekking, and shark snorkeling.
Outside of the capital, the nation isn’t particularly developed, so visiting here is the ideal eco-travel opportunity to see how ancient nomads lived.
Ready to explore? Here are 14 beautiful places to visit in Djibouti.
- Djibouti City
- Lake Assal
- Ali Sabieh
- The Gulf Of Tadjoura
- Goba’ad Plain
- Hanle Plain
- Dorale And Khor Ambado
- Tropical Aquarium
- Day Forest National Park
- Mouch Island
- La Mer Rouge
- Abourma Rock Art Site
1. Djibouti City
Djibouti City has a variety of uses. It’s a fantastic staging point for outings into the hinterland or on the water, to start. Second, it provides a tiny bit of consolation as you return from such outings.
You may look forward to personal pleasures because there are excellent hotels, bars, and restaurants here. Third, it is incredibly endearing and simple to love.
As the residents work to convert their city from the decaying outpost it once was in the 1980s and 1990s, you’ll notice a noticeable sense of change in the air. Here, there is a bit of a cultural melting pot that makes for interesting observation.
2. Lake Assal
At the western extremity of the Gulf of Tadjoura sits “Honey Lake,” a crater lake. After the Dead Sea, it is the lowest land depression on Earth at 155 metres below sea level.
As a result, it is sometimes referred to as white diamonds. It is worthwhile to take pictures of the scenery the salt heaps have produced.
The inhabitants view Lake Assal, the country’s largest salt resource, as a national treasure. The views around the lake are amazing, and it is on the verge of being recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
It is one of the oldest towns in Africa, having existed at least since the 12th century. Tadjoura, which was ruled by a sultan, was historically a major harbor for shipping goods between Djibouti and Ethiopia, including the disheartening slave trade.
The town is frequently referred to as La Ville Blanche, or White Location, due to the numerous attractive whitewashed residences there. It’s a terrific town for walking because there are many fantastic waterfront views.
The residents are all out and about in the late afternoons. You’ll enjoy unwinding and taking in the ambience of this calmer and less chaotic version of Djibouti City, where there are several lovely mosques to see.
4. Ali Sabieh
Ali Sabieh is encircled by breathtaking desert on all sides and is located close to the border between Somalia and Ethiopia.
There are several wonderful marketplaces, food shops, and winding lanes inside the city. This is Africa at its most untamed and primitive. Surprisingly, there are areas of natural beauty close by that haven’t been significantly impacted by tourism.
Visit Grand Bara and Petit Bara to experience the desert at its finest. While there, it’s also worthwhile to attempt some adventure sports like wind surfing. The area is renowned for its difficult walking trails.
5. The Gulf Of Tadjoura
The Gulf of Tadjoua is regarded by many who have been there as the ideal location for diving and snorkelling with whale sharks.
It is magnificently surrounded by the verdant Goda Mountains, which reach heights of up to 1300 metres.
Obock and Tadjoura are often the two towns that draw the most tourists, which is only natural. Beautiful sea views and seven mosques of significant national importance can be found in the latter.
6. Goba’ad Plain
For bird watchers, the region between Lake Abhe and the Hanle Plain is ideal. Only in Goba’ad does Djibouti have an active breeding population of ostriches.
Additionally, you’ll see Black Crown Sparrows, Crombec, SandGrouses, and Arabian Bustards, among many other species.
Large sand flats, acacia scrub, and shallow wadis are all present in this lowland region. These kinds of places are what attract nature enthusiasts to the nation.
7. Hanle Plain
The environment is comparable to that of the Goba’ad Plain nearby. The lowland valley is flanked by cliffs and is home to a number of tiny freshwater lakes. With the opportunity to see the three banded plover, black crake, and Egyptian Goose, it’s yet another fantastic location for birdwatchers.
8. Dorale And Khor Ambado
These two magnificent beaches are roughly 15 kilometres from Djibouti City. The black lava cliffs that encircle the beach are an excellent place to swim. From here, you may embark on fantastic local sightseeing trips and engage in a wide range of water sports.
The best sunsets in the nation can be seen from Khor Ambado. The is also the most visited location in the nation and is situated along Tadjourah Bay’s coast. It is open to visitors all year long.
This area is also known as French Beach. The reason is that this beach is also used by the local French soldiers and their families.
The location is excellent for swimming, scuba diving, and other water sports. You can’t go wrong here if you’re seeking to chill and unwind for a few days of sand and surf.
9. Tropical Aquarium
This is one of the main tourist attractions in the nation. It’s regarded as one of the best in all of Africa and is situated in the town’s old district.
It is made to make you feel as though you are underwater in the Red Sea, obtaining a close-up view of the marine life in this unusual body of water.
Here, the ecosystems have been expertly reproduced and repaired. Spend a fun-filled afternoon in the city by combining your visit with a stop to Marche Center, the city’s bustling and chaotic central market.
10. Day Forest National Park
The bright colours of the Djibouti desert are reflected in this enormous oasis. Nature lovers will adore Day Forest National Park, which is located around 20 kilometres from the Gulf of Tadjoura. This is one of the two protected forests in the nation surrounded by desert.
It is the largest forest, and the 900 ha stand of East African junipers, which may reach heights of approximately 1000 metres, is the most significant ecosystem.
The Toha or Djibouti sunbird, both of which have only ever been observed inside the forest, may be spotted if you’re lucky.
11. Mouch Island
A beautiful place to visit is Moucha Island, which is situated in the midst of Tadjoura Bay. You can get there in around 10-15 minutes via ferry from the capital.
There are 20 people living on this island. Their cultures are distinct, and their lives are somewhat different. On the island, there is just one hotel. You can travel here to dive, see the stunning coral reefs, and see whale sharks swim.
12. La Mer Rouge
One of the best places in Djibouti City for seafood lovers is La Mer Rouge restaurant. You may select your lobster and crab from the tank, and you can watch skilled cooks stretch noodles in front of you as you eat.
Despite having a higher quality to price ratio than other nearby eateries in the downtown area, it is definitely worth it.
There is a wide variety of fish, including the renowned king fish and red tuna harvest from the Red Sea, and the seafood is exceptionally fresh. The eatery has a separate parking lot as well.
The well-run wildlife sanctuary Decan is a short two- to three-hour drive from the capital and is located about 10 km south of Djibouti City in Douda, on the road to Somaliland.
It is a small wildlife reserve, not a zoo, with a unique habitat. Ostriches, tortoises, Somali donkeys, caracals, squirrels, antelopes, kudus, zebras, and porcupines are among the other animals you’ll see in addition to the four lions and eight eternally appealing cheetahs.
Decan, which is run by a French veterinarian, was established as a rehabilitation facility for numerous species that had been abandoned or imprisoned forcibly for animal trafficking.
14. Abourma Rock Art Site
This outstanding archaeological site contains well-preserved Neolithic rock engravings that are remarkable for their depth of intricacy and extraordinary variety.
Many of the engravings show creatures that are no longer found in the area. These include giraffes, cows, antelopes, kudus, oryxes, and ostriches.
There are also representations of people. A group of French archaeologists discovered the rock art pieces in 2008. The location is only accessible on foot and is located around 30 kilometres northeast of Randa.
The hike often begins at the little Afar community of Giba Gebiley, which is located about 22 kilometres north of Randa. To get here, you’ll need to rent a 4WD with a driver. To get there and back should take about eight hours from Giba Gebiley.
Following the completion of a dirt road from Giba Gebiley in 2014, it is now possible to drive further to the location (assuming the dirt road is adequately maintained) and shorten the walk to a much more reasonable two hours return.