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Djibouti, originally called French Somaliland, only gained independence from France in 1977. The country is strategically important because of its location that controls access to the Red Sea. In fact, during the Gulf War, the French used it as a base for their military operations and there is still a strong French presence in the country today.
A little-known and little-visited destination, Djibouti offers tourists some fun adventures, including unusual landscapes to explore. A large part of the country lies within the Afar Depression, a region 155m below sea level that is famous for its ancient fossils. The interior is mountainous and arid, so exploring there is done in a 4x4 vehicle.
Remember that Djibouti is predominantly a Muslim country and therefore certain codes of conduct should be respected. For example, shorts are generally not appropriate attire outside of hotels, beaches, or sport activities.

Visa Requirements & SA Embassy Details

  • South African passport holders do require a Visa for Djibouti. Ensure your South African passport has at least 6 months remaining on it from your return date and that you have at least 2 blank pages available for stamps.
  • The closest South African Embassy to Djibouti is located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Nifasilk Lafto, Subcity Kebele 03, South Africa Avenue (Old Airport Area), Addis Ababa. Phone: + 251 11 371 1002. Email: (Immigration & Civic Affairs).

See and do

Most travellers to Djibouti combine a visit here with one to Ethiopia. Aside from exploring the country itself, the city has a number of fascinating sights, including the Central Market, the National Stadium (Stade du Ville), Presidential Palace and Hamouli Mosque. 
Further afield there are the salt lakes, especially Las Assal in the Afar Triangle, which is located at the lowest point on land in Africa (it’s 509 feet below sea level). As the area is covered with glittering crystalised salt, it’s necessary to wear sunglasses when visiting.
Djibouti has some sights that you’ll find nowhere else on earth. One of these is Lac Abbe, with its surreal landscape  – here, subterranean activity has resulted in magical terracotta-coloured chimneys that rise like giant termite mounds from the flat white ground. The country is also home to an extraordinary marine life, including the rare whale shark, so snorkeling and diving is an exciting option while you’re on holiday here.

Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport – JIB

Djibouti Airport, which is located 5km from the city centre, is a combined civilian/military airbase. It handles flights from several major international destinations including Paris, Istanbul and Dubai, as well as several African capitals.
Food and beverage: Kempinski Lounge.
Lost Luggage: Lost hold luggage should be handled by your individual airline’s help desk. Report items lost or found within the airport terminal to Djibouti Airport luggage services on +253 32 29 12.
Airport Hotels: There are no hotels at the airport. Nearby: Djibouti Palace Kempinski, Hotel Sheraton Djibouti, Imperial Resort Red Sea Hotel, Hôtel La Siesta, Hôtel Plein ciel, Hôtel Résidence de l’Europe, Hotel Alia.
Airport Hub: Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport (code JIB) is a hub for Daallo Airlines.

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