A tiny speck of a nation on the Red Sea coast bound by Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia in the north, west and south respectively, Djibouti is an example of ‘small is big’. Originally a land of nomadic tribes Issas and Afars, like other African nations Djibouti too was under French rule. Having achieved its independence in 1977, Djibouti has major strategic importance as the gateway to Ethiopia and Eritrea. Treated as a transit point by travelers Djibouti offers wonders one can seldom imagine.
Pristine coastal regions, rocky volcanic plateaus and lush green mountains all packed into this tiny nation, it surely is a vacationer’s delight. You can start your visit with the cosmopolitan capital Djibouti city. Visit the Presidential Kempinski palace, the Arabic styled central market and the tropical underwater aquarium. The city has some wonderful beaches at Khor – Ambado and Dorale. Lying partly on the Great Rift Valley, Djibouti has a low-lying rocky desert landscape. The adventurous can try indsurfing. Surrounded by dormant volcanoes at 150m below the sea level lies Lake Assal.
One of the lowest places of the planet, this salt lake definitely deserves a visit. An hour’s drive would take you to the very scenic black lava beach of Ghoubet al Kharab. You may spot some whale sharks if you are in luck. Painting a contrast picture Lake Abbe is a natural paradise. Be on the lookout for natural steaming chimneys and pelicans and flamingoes if you are interested in bird – watching.
Traveling northwest you may be amazed by the sudden change of topography from the hot, rocky, dusty terrain to cool and misty greens of the Goda mountains. Home to the Bankoualé, Dittilou and Randa tribes; the Goda mountains house the Forêt du Day National Park – a great hiking spot.
Tired with so much traveling if you feel like lazing around, look no further; nestled in the cool shades of the Goda mountains, the Gulf of Tadjoura is Djibouti’s best bet. Taking sun bath on the beaches, experimenting with the local cuisine, going fishing or trying out a host of activities from underwater photography, scuba diving, snorkeling to waterskiing; take your pick, there’s something for everyone.
No political unrests to boast off like other African nations, this mighty nation is an unexplored treasure trove. Full of surprises Djibouti will definitely make for a one of a kind holiday experience.