Best things to do in Djibouti
Find out more about those top places in Djibouti
Djibouti is one of Africa’s smallest nations, its capital and economic power house is Djibouti City. The city is nicknamed the “Pearl of the Gulf of Tadjoura” due to its geographical position. It was initially an uninhabited island before being founded by the French in 1888 and it has now been transformed to one of the fastest growing cities in Eastern Africa. It has a population of over 562,000 which counts for more than half of the country’s population. Djibouti city isn't high on the list of preferred tourist destination but it has some attractions such as Lake Assal, Goubbet Al-Kharab amongst others.
This is the starting point for most people touring Djibouti city, the People’s palace opened in 2 March 1985, it was a gift from the People’s Republic of China to the citizens of Djibouti. The monument commemorates the Djiboutian struggle for freedom. The People’s Palace contains numerous monuments of Martyrs who fought for the Djibouti’s freedom and the square itself is surrounded by flags hoisted up.
A gift of nature regarded as a “national treasure” by the Government of Djibouti. The lake Assal is situated 60 miles (96.56 km) west of Djibouti City and it is a Crater lake. It lies 509ft (0.16 kilometers) below sea level, which is the lowest point in Africa, it is also has the third highest salt content of any water body in the world behind Gaet’ale pond and Don Jaun Pond. It high salt content and accessibility makes it’s the largest salt reserve in the World and this often leads to exploitation of the Lake. When visiting Lake Assal, you might witness some wildlife present such as antelopes and camels.
Not as popular as the beaches on Maskali and Moucha Islands but equally impressive. The Khor Ambado Beach is sometimes called the French beach, due to the fact that it was mostly visited by the members of the French military and their families in the past. It is 15 km far from the capital and one of the best spots in the city to relax and have fun. At the beach visitors can engage in water sports, snorkeling and sunbathing.
Known as the Island of the Devil, this spectacular cove gets the attention of every tourist visiting Djibouti. Goubbet Al-Kharab is separated from Lake Assal by the Ardoukoba volcano. The cove is about 200 meters deep and famous because of the strange stories about it. The Cove was explored by French explorer Jacques Cousteau, and he conducted an experiment that included submerging fresh camel meat enclosed in a cage into the cove, by the time they took it out the meat was gone and the cave destroyed. This led to Jacques Cousteau and the locals believing there was some dangerous creature inside the Goubbet Al-Kharab.
The Presidential Palace is the “white house” of Djibouti. The majestic building is the official residence of the President of Djibouti and where major government decisions are taken. Visitors are not often allowed due to security reasons but can still admire and take pictures from outside the gates.