Djibouti, known officially as the Republic of Djibouti is a French and Arabic-speaking country in the Horn of Africa, with its capital in Djibouti City. The country is bordered by Somalia to the south, Ethiopia to the southwest, Eritrea to the north, and the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden to the east. Djibouti covers an area of 23,200 km2 (8,958 sq mi).
The country was previously called French Somaliland and gained independence from France on the 27th of June 1977. Independence officially signified the establishment of the Republic of Djibouti, named after its capital city. Djibouti was officially admitted into the United Nations (UN) on the 20th of September, 1977.
Summers in Djibouti are short, hot, and generally cloudy; winters are lengthy, warm, and partially cloudy; and it is unpleasant, dry, and windy all year. Throughout the year, the temperature normally ranges from 74°F to 106°F, with temperatures rarely falling below 71°F or rising over 110°F.
According to Worldometers, the current population of the country is pegged at 1,019,901 as of Friday, September 23, 2022, based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data, with a forecast population of 1,295,373 by 2050.
3. NATURAL RESOURCES
The Djibouti Republic is blessed with natural resources such as salt, petroleum, gold, clay, marble, pumice, gypsum and diatomite.
The most populous ethnic group in Djibouti is the Somalis, taking about 70% of the country’s population, while the Afar ethnic group account for the remaining 30%.
Islam is the most common religion practised in Djibouti. About 94% of the people practice the religion while a meagre of around 6% are Christians.
The Republic of Djibouti has two official languages, which are French and Arabic. Apart from the official languages, other languages spoken in the country are Somali and Afar which are spoken as the first languages of the majority of the local residents.
Djibouti cuisine is highly influenced by its neighbours Ethiopia and Somalia, as well as that of its former occupier, France.
Some of the traditional foods that are worth giving a try include Sambuussa, Fah-fah, Djiboutian banana fritters, Laxoox, Cambaboor, Mukbaza, Skudahkharis, Xalwo, digaag, and Sabayaad.
8. VISA POLICY
According to Visaindex.com, the Djibouti passport is currently ranked at 98 with 46 visa-free destinations with the passport.
Only two nations do not require a visa to enter Djibouti, which is Singapore and the United Kingdom. If you are visiting from these countries, you only need to show a passport with 6-month validity.
Furthermore, you should have enough space in your passport for entry and exit stamps. Immigration agents may request to see your return flight itinerary and a yellow fever vaccination certificate. The access will be provided just for a limited time. Chinese passport holders with the public affairs criterion can likewise travel freely to Djibouti.
Any other nationality including Nigerians can enter the country without the need for an embassy visa, but simply by obtaining the Djibouti Tourist e-Visa. In this situation, all you need to do is connect to the Internet, fill out an online form, and wait for a digital platform to process your application. The Tourist e-Visa will be delivered to your email address which allows you to stay in Djibouti for a maximum of 90 days.
You can also apply for long-term visas (through embassies) or a residency permit if you plan to stay in Djibouti for an extended amount of time for a variety of reasons such as work, education, etc.
All nationalities and citizens of all countries are eligible for Djibouti E-visa if their purpose of travel is tourism, business, family visit, or transit.
There are two main types of Djibouti E-visa. Transit and Short-term. The transit E-visa is valid for up to 14 days while the Short-term E-visa is valid for up to 90 days.
Requirements for Djibouti E-visa
- A flight reservation
- An accommodation confirmation
- Invitation letter (if any)
On the arrival at Djibouti, you must present the following
- Printed Djibouti e-visa
- Travel Itinerary
Processing Time for Djibouti E-visa
The average processing time for Djibouti E-visa is 4-5 business days.
Djibouti E-visa Application Fee
Djibouti’s E-visa fee is 12 USD for up to 15 days (transit e-visa) and 23 USD for up to 90 days (short-term) visa.
Where to Apply for Djibouti E-visa Application
The application for Djibouti E-visa is done online. You can easily apply through this link.
Djibouti Short-term Visa via Embassy
If you want to apply for a Djibouti visa with a longer validity term or if your reason for travel is other than tourism, business, family visit, or transit, you can do so through Djibouti embassies/consulates. In most circumstances, visas can be single-entry and valid for up to 90 days, or multiple-entry and valid for up to 6 months.
Requirements for Djibouti Short-term Visa via an embassy
- Application Form
- Passport and Copy of the Main Page
- Passport photograph
- Travel Itinerary
- Invitation Letter (if any)
- Other supporting Documents Related to Your Purpose for Travel
Processing Time for Djibouti Short-term Visa
The average processing time for Djibouti Short-term Visa is 1-3 working days.
Djibouti Short-term Visa Fee
Djibouti Short-term Visa fee is 85 USD for up to 90 days visa and 113 USD for up to 180 days visa. The fee may vary depending on your nationality and country of submission.
Where to Apply for a Djibouti Short-Term Visa
You can apply for the Djibouti Short-term visa at Djibouti embassies or consulates in your country of residency, whichever accepts visa applications. If none are available in your country, you will have to apply to the nearest embassy or consulate to your location.
9. ATTRACTION CENTERS
Djibouti is an example of a modest thing with a great payoff. Though it occupies a tiny corner of Northern Africa, it boasts abundant beauty and sites that you won’t believe unless you’ve seen them for yourself.
Let’s take a look at some of the attraction centres in the country according to a list by crazy tourists.
1. Djibouti city
Djibouti City offers many functions. First and foremost, it serves as an excellent staging point for trips into the hinterland or out on the sea. Second, it provides a modest dosage of comfort as you return from your adventures. There are numerous restaurants, bars, and motels in the area, so you can look forward to creature amenities. Third, it’s incredibly adorable and simple to fall in love with. You’ll notice a distinct sense of change in town as residents struggle to rebuild their city from the decrepit outpost it was in the 1980s and 1990s. It’s a bit of a melting pot here, with a lot of cultural contrasts that are entertaining to watch.
2. Lake Assal
The crater lake known as “Honey Lake” can be found at the western extremity of the Gulf of Tadjoura. It is 155 metres below sea level, making it the Earth’s second lowest land depression after the Dead Sea. Lake Assal is the greatest salt reserve and is regarded as a national treasure by the inhabitants. It is on its way to becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the views from the lake are breathtaking.
It is one of the oldest towns on Africa’s east coast, dating back to at least the 12th century. Tadjoura, governed by a sultan, was formerly a major harbour for commerce between Djibouti and Ethiopia, including, sadly, the slave trade. Because of the numerous attractive whitewashed residences in town, it’s sometimes referred to as La Ville Blanche, or White Place, and it’s a terrific town for walking because there are many great views of the shoreline. The residents are all out and about in the late afternoons. There are several lovely mosques to visit, and you’ll enjoy sitting and soaking in the atmosphere of this quieter and less frenetic version of Djibouti City.
4. Ali Sabieh
Ali Sabieh, near the border of Somalia and Ethiopia, is bordered on all sides by a breathtaking desert. Within the city, there are numerous wonderful marketplaces, food stalls, and small alleys. This is the best of rustic and raw Africa. Surprisingly, there are natural beauty locations nearby with little tourist development to detract from them. Visit Grand Bara and Petit Bara to experience the desert at its best. While there, try some windsurfing or any of the other sport adventure activities.
5. The Gulf of Tadjoura
The Gulf of Tadjoua, which is flanked by the beautiful Goda Mountains that reach heights of up to 1300 metres, is considered by those who have visited to be the ideal location for diving and snorkelling with whale sharks. Obock and Tadjoura are the two towns that draw the most tourists and with good reason. Beautiful sea views and seven nationally significant mosques can be found in the latter.
6. Goba’ad Plain
This region, which is located between Lake Abhe and the Hanle Plain, is ideal for bird watching. Goba’ad is Djibouti’s only location with an active breeding ostrich population. You’ll also see Black Crown Sparrows, Arabian Bustards, Sand Grouses, Crombec, and a plethora of other birds. Shallow wadis, huge sand flats, and acacia scrub cover this lowland terrain. It’s places like this that make the country so appealing to nature lovers.
7. Hanlé Plain
The environment is comparable to that of the Goba’ad Plain. The lowland valley is flanked by rugged mountains and is home to many small freshwater lakes. It’s also an excellent site for birdwatchers, with the chance to view Egyptian Goose, black crake, and three-banded plover.
8. Doralé and Khor Ambado
These two amazing beaches are roughly 15 kilometres from Djibouti City. Great swimming and black lava cliffs border the beach. There are wonderful local sightseeing trips that depart from here, and you can also participate in a variety of water activities. The sunsets from Khor Ambado are among the best in the country. You can’t go wrong if you want to rest and unwind for a few days of sand and surf.
9. Day Forest National Park
The bright colours of the Djibouti desert fill this massive oasis. Nature lovers will fall in love with Day Forest National Park, which is around 20 kilometres from the Gulf of Tadjoura. This is one of two protected woodland regions in the country, surrounded by desert. It is the largest forest, and the most important ecosystem is a 900 ha stand of East African Junipers that can grow to about 1000 metres in height. If you’re lucky, you might spot the Toha or Djibouti sunbirds, which have only ever been seen inside the forest.
10. Tropical Aquarium
This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. It is one of the best in Africa and is located in the historic district of town. It’s designed to make you feel as if you’re underwater in the Red Sea, getting a personal look at the marine life in this extraordinary body of water. The ecosystems have been meticulously repaired and reproduced here. Combine your visit with a stop at Marche Central, the city’s colourful and chaotic central market, and you’ll have a fantastic afternoon in the city.
10. COST OF LIVING
According to livingcost.org, the cost of living in Djibouti is $548, which is 1.7 times less expensive than the world average. Djibouti ranked 159th out of 197 countries by the cost of living and the 174th best country to live in.
The average salary after taxes in Djibouti is $383, which is enough to cover living expenses for 0.7 months.
There are many different accommodation alternatives in Djibouti. These could be lodgings like hotels, apartments, studios, or flats. On average, a one-bedroom apartment in Djibouti city centre costs around $235 while 3 bedroom apartment in the city Center cost around Center cost around $461.
12. MINIMUM WAGE
As part of the 2006 Labor Code, Djibouti abolished the national minimum wage in favour of occupational categories. Wages are now decided by employers and employees as part of an employment contract. The minimum wage in the public sector is 35,000 DJF, or about $198 per month. This was last updated in 2015.
13. WORKING HOURS
Working hours in Djibouti are typically no more than 48 hours per week, at eight hours each day over six days. Employees have the right to at least 24 hours of rest every week.
The currency spent in the republic of Djibouti is Djiboutian Franc (DJF).
15. JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR FOREIGNERS
Teaching of the English language might be an employment option in Djibouti if you are a native speaker of the language. You can equally search for jobs in Djibouti on expats job portals such as overseas jobs, Go abroad, and Linkedin.
16. WORK PERMIT
Foreigners who want to work in Djibouti typically need to find a job before they arrive in the country. They can get an identity card upon arrival by presenting documentation of their employment offer, a copy of their passport, and four pictures. Without a job offer, anyone who wants to start a business in the nation must submit four passport-sized pictures, a copy of their passport, information about their investment, and proof of their financial resources.
Djibouti has a variety of transportation alternatives for moving about the country.
In Djibouti City, green taxis are widely available and are frequently used as a mode of transportation.
There are some privately owned vehicles that can be rented. Prior to beginning the ride, it is customary to haggle over the fare with the driver.
The cities of Obock, Tadjoura, and Djibouti City can all be reached by ferry daily. Also available are boat transfers to the adjacent Moucha Islands from the Djibouti Port.
The train service in Djibouti is used on a small scale to and from Ethiopia.
This is the most direct route connecting Djibouti to the country’s other urban centres.
18. CRIME AND SECURITY
According to the 2021 statistics on the organized crime rate in Africa by statista.com, the Republic of Djibouti is placed at number 45 out of 54 countries with a 4.21 crime index out of 10 while the Democratic Republic of the Congo had the highest organized crime index on the list, scoring 7.7 points.
Djibouti’s crime rate is generally low, especially when compared to that of some of its neighbours such as Somalia and Ethiopia. But that does not mean that the country is completely free of crime, so be careful of pickpockets and stealing in general. There have also been allegations of occasional banditry outside the capital, Djibouti City.
19. HOW TO ENSURE SAFETY
As a foreigner in Djibouti, you should avoid travelling alone in isolated places, particularly coastal areas like Dorale and Khor Ambado. You should also endeavour to avoid a late-night journey as it increases your chances of falling victim to pickpocketing and other dangers.
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