DJIBOUTI TRAVEL GUIDE
Djibouti holds a strange fascination for the traveller – ignored on the tourist circuit for years due to its internal strife – but Djibouti is slowly gaining a reputation as a quintessential slice of northeast Africa. If you ever had a surreal vision of a punishing hot and unremittingly desolate African destination, filled with weird natural formations and vast tracts of wilderness, punctuated only by a few quaint villages, Djibouti is that place.
Some of its unusual attractions include a lake that is one of the lowest surfaces in the world, another that is home to thousands of flamingos at dawn, natural chimneys blowing steam that seems to come from nowhere, spectacular diving and snorkelling off the Red Sea coast and bustling little Arab-style souks around the country. The country can be divided into three regions; the coastal plain and volcanic plateaus in the central and southern parts of the country and the mountain ranges in the north. Much of the country is a vast wasteland with virtually no arable land.
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DJIBOUTI QUICK FACTS
Currency: Djiboutian franc (DJF)
Area: 23,000 sq km
Population: 958 920 (2018)
Language: French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, Afar
Religion: Muslim 94%, Christian 6%
Electricity: 220/240V 50Hz
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DJIBOUTI PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 1 January, New Year’s Day
- 1 May, Labor Day
- 27 June, National Day
Also, Maulid an-Nabi, Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, and Al Hijrah.
DJIBOUTI WEATHER SYNOPSIS
Djibouti’s climate varies across the country. The inland is hot, with average temperatures above 30°C during the summer months of May-September. Nights are generally warm, with average temperatures around 17°C. At the peak of the hot season, temperatures have been known to top 45°C. The cooler season runs from October-March/April with average temperatures of 25°C. Climate on the coast varies from the north to the south. The average temperatures are around 24-25°C and the wettest months are April, July, and August, with a monthly average of 30 mm. January, June and December are the driest months, with average rainfall of 10 mm or less. The humidity is very high with peaks of 90%. Rainfall is largely regulated by the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and the climate is also susceptible to the impacts of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The country also experiences occasional catastrophic floods.
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
HIKING & CYCLING IN DJIBOUTI
Although outdoor activities are possible all year round in Djibouti, May to September can get unbearably hot.
BEACH OPTIONS IN DJIBOUTI
It's always hot in Djibouti, so any day is a good day for the beach! May to September can get unbearably hot. Some of the best beaches to visit are: Khor Ambado, Doraleh, Siesta Beach and Heron Beach. Just be sure to check which beaches are tolerant of western swimwear before you plan your beach holiday! The best season for watching whale sharks off the coast is from November to January, although this is also a busy tourist season.
KITESURF IN DJIBOUTI
Although not well known, it is possible to kitesurf all year round from the Maskali Islands in Djibouti, with the best winds in June, July and August.
HEALTH RISKS IN DJIBOUTI
Be aware of possible health risks in
Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.
Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.