Djibouti – Fascinating Landscape, Feb 2015

Let me share with you a few images taken during a recent travel through Djibouti, a small country (23,000sq km, 910,000 inhabitants) located at the Red Sea (opposite to Yemen). Djibouti, which in particular offers a fascinating landscape and isolated beaches, so far has not been touched by modern mass tourism (nevertheless do not expect that travelling there is cheap).

To access the pictures click the following link or scroll over the below pictures.

Inhabited by Somalis (60%) and Afars (35%) Djibouti in the second half of the 19th century became a French colony (called French Somaliland) which gained independence as late as 1977. Its economic backbone is the sea port which functions as the main supply route for land-locked Ethiopia. Hosting three military bases (France, Japan, US) underlines the strategic importance of Djibouti which derives from its location at the narrowest part of the Red Sea (one of the world’s most important maritime transport route).

Djibouti’s stunning landscape originates from its geographic location where three tectonic plates collide and volcanic eruptions are frequent. The climate is hot, very hot…

  1. Djibouti city contains a mixture of Arabic and European architecture.

  2. Khat (qat) is the traditional drug used at the Horn of Africa and contains a monoamine alkaloid called cathinone which cause excitement and euphoria. The leaves which have to be chewed fresh are mainly sold by women but traditionally only consumed by men.

  3. Pictures taken along the main traffic arteria leading to Ethiopia. The majority of the rural population still lives in traditional accommodation. The vast part of the country is arid and semi-desert. Thermic activity frequently creates twisters.

  4. Some 80 km off-road drive to Lac Abbee at the boarder to Ethiopia through an extra-terrestrial landscape. The area is famous for its wind-carved stone-“chimneys”, hot springs and pink flamingos.

  5. A canyon which results from the Nubian and the Somali tectonic plates drifting apart. The Afar Triangle, which cuts across Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti, is the largest geologic “construction site” on the planet. Three tectonic plates meet there with the African and Arabian plates drifting apart along two separate fault lines by one centimeter a year. Volcanic eruptions (the last in 1978) form part of the landscape.

  6. Cost line at the Bay of Ghoubbet.

  7. Lac Assal is a saline lake located 155 m below sea level and the world’s largest salt reserve. It is connected to the sea by a subterranean channel.

  8. Travel by road to Tadjoura (west-coast) - part of the cost line consist of lonely sand beaches. The Hotel Plage de Sables Blancs, one of the few ones along the cost, has five rooms only and a few wooden huts.

  9. With a water temperature close to 30 degrees Djibouti is a great place for diving. Between November-January there would even be the possibility to dive alongside the 40m long whale-sharks.