Office National Du Tourisme et de L'Artisanat
Place du 27-Juin, P.O.B. 1938 Djibouti, R.D.
Tel. 35 37 91)/35 28 00
Fax (253) 35 63 22

Physical geography

The Republic of Djibouti is situated on the east coast of Africa, facing the Gulf of Aden. Bounded on the West, South West and the north by Ethiopia, and by the Republic of Somalia in the South East, it extends over an area of 9,200 sq. miles. Its topography, of volcanic origin, is mainly composed of a series of land tables, fringed with wide, flat and low plains. The highest mountains, located in the north of Gulf of Tadjoura, are the Guda and Mabla mounts and the Moussa Ali, which towers at 6,627 feet...


It a tropical, semi-arid region, and its climate is hot and humid from June to September (86°-104°F), with the hot dry Khsin blowing in July, and cool from October to May (77-86°F) like a sunny south European summer. Rains are rare and the vegetation is composed of bush and thorns, except in Djibouti and in the wadis. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Economic geography</H3> The economical activity of the Republic of Djibouti is exclusively concentrated in Djibouti which was liberalised in 1949. <P>Djibouti is equipped with a modern commercial port accessible to ships drawing a maximum of 39 feet and which disposes of 1,655 yards of quayside. With the reopening of the Suez Canal. Djibouti has become the largest port of transit and refuelling stop of the Red Sea. <P>Djibouti also remains one of the sole outlets to the sea of Ethiopia, and it is connected to Addis Ababa by the Djibouti Ethiopian Railway (CDE), complementing the port, and which plays a role of primary importance in the economy of the country. <P>Finally, Djibouti is equipped with a modern international airport which receives the 'Jumbo Jets'. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Demography</H3> Total population: 450,000 approximately, half of whom live in Djibouti. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>A brief history</H3> The French established themselves on the south-western edge of the Red Sea by a treaty of friendship in 1842. In 1890, Lagarde unified protectorates of Obock and Tadjoura, making Djibouti the capital of the new territory which adopted the name of FTAI (French Territory of Afars and Issas) in 1967. <P>In compliance with the desire for independence unanimously expressed by all the political parties, the French Government recognised on 31 December 1976 the legitimate right to self-determination for the territory. Consequently, a referendum was held on 8 May 1977 whereby the overwhelming majority of the population voted for independence. On 27 June 1977 the Republic of Djibouti was proclaimed. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Religions</H3> The bulk of the Population is Moslem, but the Roman Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox and Hindu religions are represented in Djibouti. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Languages spoken by nationals</H3> French and Arabic are official languages. English is spoken and understood in most of the shops, hotels, restaurants and by taxi drivers. Afar and Somali are local languages. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Time</H3> The Djibouti local time is three hours ahead of GMT. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Currency</H3> The unit of currency is the Djibouti Franc which belongs to the Dollar zone. FD175 = US$1. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Official holidays (all offices and shops closed) </H3> All offices and shops closed on Moslem holidays and 1 January, 1 May, 25 December and Independence Day (27 June). International holidays, if considered as such by Moslem countries, will also be maintained. Instead of Saturday afternoon and Sunday the weekend is Thursday afternoon and Friday. <P>During the Ramadan (Moslem Lent), shops are closed during the daytime and open from 6.00 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What one should not fail to see</H3> Twenty-five miles away from Djibouti is Arta, a climatic station on a hill, overlooks an imposing panorama. <P>To the interior, the Baras are nature reserves where various antelopes are in abundance. Strange sights, such as Gubbet Kharab, Lake Assal - large salt depression (830 feet below sea level). Lake Abbe - an apocalyptic lunar landscape, where red flamingos move in a strange setting. <P>On the Goda Mountains, towering above the gulf of Tadjoula, is situated the millenary Forest of the Dal with the rarest species of flora in the region. Its verdant canopy, its pure air and delicious climate mark out in vivid contrast with the desert nature of the country. <P>'Les Sept-Freres', seven small islands in the strait of Bab-el-Mandab an outlet of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, constitute a paradise for diving. Gun-fishing is forbidden. <P>White sand beaches, coral islands (Maskali and Musha), a rich and diversified sea fauna, make the territory a paradise for the skindivers, underwater photographers and for aquatic sports in general, from October to April, when the waters are crystal clear. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Most favourable seasons for sojourns and touring</H3> See under climate. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>How to dress</H3> Daytime wear is extremely casual. In the evenings, informal dress. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main holiday resorts</H3> See paragraph 'What one should not fail to see'. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main holiday sports</H3> All the water sports, such as scuba diving, underwater photography, fishing. In Djibouti, every sport, such as tennis, judo, karate, riding, parachuting, sand and land yachting can be practised. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What to eat and drink</H3> The wide variety of restaurants in Djibouti provide excellent French food, and also local food, Ethiopian. Vietnamese Italian and Yemeni food (baked fish). <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What to buy</H3> In Djibouti there are advantageous prices for goods, such as perfumes, alcohol, radios, Hi-Fi equipment, cameras. <P>Local handicraft provides dolls, skins, wooden carvings, bean necklaces, Afar daggers, African souvenirs. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Frontier formalities</H3> <H3>Passports and visas</H3> Valid passport, plus entry via: foreigners can obtain a visa from the Djibouti diplomatic office or from the French Consulate of their country. Cost: FD5,000, valid for ten days, renewable. For French subjects no visa is required for a period not exceeding three months. <H3>Health regulations</H3> Cholera and yellow fever vaccinations and antibiotics for paludism are recommended. <H3>Customs</H3> Personal effects 200 cigarettes, one litre alcoholic liquor. Visitors arriving by air or sea must hold a return ticket. <P>A 'carnet de passage en douane' is necessary to enter the Republic of Djibouti with a vehicle. <H3>Currency regulations</H3> All exchange control and restrictions on commercial transactions were abolished in 1949. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main travel routes</H3> Djibouti, Tadjoura and Obock are covered by domestic lights operated by private company, and also by the ferry-boat 'L'Unite'. <P>Djibouti is connected to Tadjoura by the 'Unity' road (130kms - 2h.30). <P>Taxis and self-service cars are available in Djibouti. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Miscellaneous </H3> Night entertainment in Djibouti: casino, night clubs, discotheques, within Sheraton Hotel and everywhere. <P>Communications: permanent telephone service with the world. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Representatives abroad</H3> Diplomatic representation in: <P>Ambassade de Djibouti Sanaa: Indicatif (00) 967 (2), Tel: 265469. Fax: 247791. Tlx: 08953274. BP 10. 377 Sanaa. <P>Belgium: Ambassade de Djibouti 3 Bruxelles. Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt, 24 B. 1050 Bruxelles. Tel.: 6462777. Fax: 6464459. Tlx: 27242. <BR>Office Europeen de Promotion de Djibouti. Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt, 24 B. 1050 Bruxelles. Tel.: 6462777. Fax: 6464459. Tlx: 27242. <P>Canada: 215 Highfield Avenue Ville Mont-Royal, Province de Quebec q3P IC9 - Telex 05-8295761515 Habitat 67, Montreal Quebec H3C 3R6 - Ottawa. <P>Egypt: 11, Rue Algerie, Medan Asswan Al-Ajouza, Cairo. Tel: 3456546/547/48. <P>Ethiopia: B.P. 1022. Addis-Ababa. Tel. 183200/183201/1825W. Tlx: 21317 ET. <P>France: Ambassade de Djibouti, Paris, 26 rue Emile Menier, 75116 Paris, Tel.: 47274922, 47274198. Fax: 45535053. Tlx: 614970 F. <BR>Association 'Djibouti Espace Nomade' 25, avenue du Chateau, 94300 Vincennes. Tel.: 43986562. Fax: 43989602. <P>Iraq: 8, rue Agglomeration 605 - BAT. 21 Mansour, B.P. 6223 Branche Mansour. Tel. 551.38.05. Tlx: 213372 JIAMB IK <P>Japan: 9-12 Nanpeidap - cho. Shibuya-Ku Tokyo, 150 Japan, Tel.: 03-496 6135 , Telex: 2423521 Ambjik. <P>Kenya: P.O.Box 59.528, Nairobi. Tel. 33.96.33. Telex 25759 CONSJIB. <P>Morocco: I Rond-Point St-Exupery BLD Hassan II, Casablanca l, Tel. 270.144. Telex 23783. <P>Saudi Arabia: B.P. Code 11683, N° 94340, Tel: (00 966 1) 45 43 583, Telex: 406544 Riyad. Djeddah. Tel. (00 966) 268 288 8 1. <P>Somalia: B.P. 21.42. Mogadicchio. Tel. 20359 - 22103. Telex 771. <P>Switzerland: Route de la Claie aux Moines, 1602 La Croix-sur-Lutry. Telex 27699. <P>Tunisia: 5. rue Fatllla El Fehiria Mutuelle Ville, Tunis, Tel. 89.35.17/89.05.89. Telex 131.48. <P>USA: 866 United Nation Plaza, 48th Street, Porte 4011, New York, NY, 10017. Tel. 753.31.63/65. 397.91.18. Telex 668.503. <BR>1430K Street, N.W., Suite 600, Washington D.C. 20005, Tel.: (202) 34702 54 - Telex: 449 00 85 AMDJ US, Fax: (202) 347 03 06 Ambjib Wash D.C. <P><P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"> <I>We have been able to publish the present tourist information on Djibouti thanks to the co-operation of the Office National de Tourisme et de L'Artisanat in Djibouti. <!-- End of article --> <P> <CENTER><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="4"></CENTER> <P> <CENTER><A HREF=#TOP><IMG SRC="Countrypics/WhiteTopbut.gif" BORDER="0" hspace="5"></A> <A HREF="../../../watanetwork/NTOs/Countrieslist/"><IMG SRC="Countrypics/WhiteNTObut.gif" BORDER="0" hspace="5"></A></CENTER> </TD> </TR> </TABLE> </BODY> </HTML>