Sleepy Baboon
Flag of Djibouti
23,200 km²
634,000 (1997)
Muslim 97%
1 Djibouti franc = 100 centimes


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Our Thoughts

Is any other country's name more fun to say than Djibouti? The currency, oversized and colorful, could win top prize for beauty. Unfortunately the same can't be said for the countryside which looks like a deserted quarry of volcanic rock. Geological oddities set it apart: Lac Assal is Africa's lowest point, Lac Goubet is called the 'pit of demons,' and Lac Abbe is remarkable for steam vents that have formed fantastic natural chimneys.

Djibouti is a country built around a sea port. Ethiopia depends on it for access to the Red Sea. Eritrea and Somalia envy commerce that runs through it. Djibouti probably owes its independence to the fact that it's too strategic to be annexed by bigger neighbors; no one would allow that to happen without a fight. However, it's internal strife may be inflamed by neighbors who want to attract trade to their own countries.

Djibouti imports everything because nothing grows in its barren land. Commodities are more expensive here. Even though this is a Muslim country, a few nightclubs exist where you can "shake your Djibouti."

Highlight: Ride the smuggler's train. This should be on any adventurer's top ten list for train journeys.



Trip 2002
March 14 Enter Djibouti by train
March 15 Find Africa's lowest point
March 16 Djibouti offers more than a strange name
March 17 Leave for Yemen and get detained at the airport


Copyright 2004