Last updated: 13 Jan 2020



Djibouti was originally inhabited by nomadic tribes, the main ones being the Afars and the Issas, who are strongly linked to Ethiopia and Somalia respectively. In Djibouti, a late 19th-century city with a distinctly Arabic feel, visit the lively Central Market (Le Marché Central) near the Mosque. Also worth seeing in Djibouti is the Tropical Aquarium with underwater exhibits from the Red Sea (open daily 1600-1830), and the Presidential Palace

The Gulf of Tadjoura (especially Obock) contains many species of fish and coral and is ideal for diving, snorkelling and underwater photography; in many places, the coral reefs in the Red Sea are easily accessible from the beaches. The best time for these activities is from September to May when the waters of the Red Sea are clear. Waterskiing and windsurfing can also be arranged.

Geology and wildlife enthusiasts may head to the wilderness around Lake Abbé (accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicles only), a gathering place for flamingos and pelicans and the location of strange natural steaming chimneys.

Djibouti lies within a geological feature known as the Afar Triangle, one of the hottest and most desolate places on Earth. Part of the Great Rift Valley system, it is a wedge of flat desert pushing into the Ethiopian Massif. Much of it is below sea level.
Capital:  Djibouti (JIB)
Currency:  Djibouti Franc (DJF)
Language:  Arabic and French
Dialling code from SA:  + 253
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +3 (1 hour ahead of South Africa)
Public Holidays 2020: 

Jan 1; Mar 22; May 1, 24, 25; Jun 27, 28; Jul 30, 31; Aug 1, 20; Oct 29

Side of the Road: Right
Best Time to go: November - mid April
Plugs: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Rounded two-pin plugs are used.
Drinking Water: All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Milk is unpasteurised.
Health: Medical facilities are very limited. It is advisable to carry basic medical supplies.  If you require any medication on your travels it is best to bring it with you, in the original packaging, with a signed and dated letter from your doctor detailing exactly what it is and why you need it. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended and it should include emergency air evacuation coverage.
Customs: As a predominately Islamic country, dress should always be conservative: men should wear long pants, and women should keep their arms and legs covered. Respect to religious customs should be shown.
Travel Tips / Warnings: Credit cards are only accepted by large hotels and airlines. Street protests should be avoided. Sea travel along the coast should be avoided due to high incidents of piracy.

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SA Representative

Ambassador accredited from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Travel Health

Compulsory:  Yellow Fever (Dependant on Country of Origin/Stopover)
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis A & B, Meningitis, Rabies, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio
  Malaria Risk