Last updated: 21 Dec 2021



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 2022: 

Jan 1; Mar 1; May 1, 3-4; Jun 27-28; Jul 9-11, 30; Oct 8

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.

Travel Alerts

Last updated: 15/09/2021

Djibouti is open for most international travel, with some health measures in place. Passengers are subject to testing on arrival.

Entry restrictions

  • Passengers arriving from or who have been to Brazil in the past 21 days are not permitted to enter Djibouti.
  • Passengers arriving from or who have been to India in the past 21 days are not permitted to enter Djibouti.
    • The restrictions for travel from India do not apply to nationals or residents of Djibouti.

Test requirements

  • Passengers must present a negative PCR test for Covid-19 issued less than 72 hours and not exceeding 120 hours upon arrival in Djibouti.

Quarantine and testing on arrival

  • Passengers will be subject to Covid-19 screening and testing on arrival.
  • Passengers who test positive must quarantine for 10 days in a hotel at their own expense.
    • Djiboutian nationals may either quarantine at a hotel at their own expense or in designated quarantine locations at no expense.
  • Passengers travelling from other places than India who have not been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and who receive a negative result must quarantine at home.
  • Passengers aged 12 years and older travelling from India will be subject to a rapid antigen test on arrival at their own expense and must quarantine for 10 days in a hotel at their own expense or in a government designated facility at no expense. Passengers will be subject to a PCR test at the end of the quarantine period.
  • Unvaccinated passengers are required to receive the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine prior to ending quarantine.

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Visa Requirements

Visas are required by SA passport holders.

The French Consulates in South Africa issue visas on behalf of Djibouti. (CAPAGO issues visas for France: call centre: 087 231 0313 )
French citizens need to follow the same procedure as for the Schengen visa and need to complete a Schengen visa application form. For other nationalities, please contact the Consulate.

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