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From Halal Food & Travel

Caution Note: For the city of the same name, see Djibouti (city).

Djibouti is in the Horn peninsula, bordered by Eritrea to the north, Ethiopia to the West and south, and Somaliland to the southeast. The Gulf of Aden lies to the east. The country can be divided into three regions; the coastal plain and volcanic plateaus in the central and southern parts of the country and the mountain ranges in the north. Much of the country is wasteland with virtually no arable land.

Other Muslim friendly Cities in Djibouti

Djibouti map.png Djibouti - the capital and by far the largest city


Obock Tadjoura

Other Muslim Friendly Destinations in Djibouti

  • Day Forest Nation Park — the only national park in Djibouti
  • Lake Abbe on the Ethiopian border is a desolate, steaming lake surrounded by limestone chimneys and a lunar landscape used as the "Forbidden Zone" in Planet of the Apes.
  • Lake Assal is Africa's lowest point (157 m below sea level) and the saltiest lake outside Antarctica. Its shores are largely salt pans and nearby is Ardoukoba, which last erupted in 1978.
  • Moucha Island

Djibouti Halal Explorer


How is the Climate in Djibouti

Djibouti's climate is very hot, humid and arid, especially in the summer. The summer heat is moderated, however, by a sustained breeze in the coastal city of Djibouti. From October to April, the temperature is cooler, with occasional rain. Cyclones from the Indian Ocean create heavy rains and flash flooding.

Muslim Friendly Travel TO Djibouti

A map showing the visa requirements of Djibouti, with countries in lime having visa on arrival

Visa requirements

Most nationals can get a visa on arrival for 15,000 DJF or 90 USD (as of November 2022), valid for one month. Transit visas are valid for 10 days and are available on arrival at the airport to nationals of the European Union, Scandinavian countries and the USA for 10,000 Fdj. If you plan to enter by land you have to arrange for visas in advance. Visas can be obtained from neighbouring countries (e.g. embassy in Addis makes visa within a day). Where no Djibouti embassy exists, they can often be obtained from the French embassy. The types of visas include: Entry (visa de séjour); Tourist (visa de tourisme); Business (visa d’affaires); and Transit (visa de transit). Those travelling on Singaporean passports can get a visa free. It is possible to make e-visa, though there are many reports of rejections and delays without any explanations.

Buy a Flight ticket to and from Djibouti

By car

There are roads from Djibouti to Assab (Eritrea) and going west into Ethiopia via Dikhil. Those using them should be aware that road conditions are generally poor and personal security might be at risk when travelling, particularly to Ethiopia. Visitors are advised to check transit regulations as political conditions in Ethiopia and Eritrea are changeable. There are no formal border posts with Eritrea. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended for the interior. There is a new highway from Djibouti to Tadjoura. Traffic drives on the right. It is advisable to carry water and petrol on any expedition off main routes. An International Driving Permit is recommended, although not legally required. A temporary licence to drive is available from local authorities on presentation of a valid UK driving licence.

Travel by train to Djibouti

Railway Addis Abeba - Djibouti, opened 2016. Passenger train services between Ethiopia and Djibouti City were restarted in December 2016. While the line mostly serves as a vital freight link from landlocked Ethiopia to the major port of Djibouti, it also has passenger service. Reportedly passenger trains reach a top speed of km/h 160 and take 12 hours for the more than km 700 long journey from Addis Abeba that used to take three days by road.

Travel on a Bus in Djibouti

Buses operate from Djibouti to most towns and villages throughout the country. Buses leave when they are full. A minibus service operates in Djibouti, stopping on demand. A flat-fare system is used.

Book a Halal Cruise or Boat Tour in Djibouti

There are ferry services connecting Djibouti to Yemen. Djibouti City is one of the main ports of eastern Africa so it's well traveled.

How to get around in Djibouti

  • Taxis are available in Djibouti and from the airport to the town, as you exit the airport there is a big billboard displaying expected taxi fares, look for it; also in Ali-Sabieh, Dikhil, Dorale and Arta. Fares can increase by 50 percent after dark.
  • Bicycling is a great way to get around the small capital.
  • Ferry services sail daily from L'Escale (Djibouti) to Tadjoura and Obock. The journey takes about three hours.

Local Language in Djibouti

Although French and Arabic are the official languages, Somali and Afar are widely spoken. English may be spoken at tourist facilities, but is not widely spoken by locals or taxi drivers.

What to see in Djibouti

Lake Assal

  • Lake Assal - | . 150 m below sea level, Lake Assal is the third-lowest point on Earth. You'll need to hire a car or ask someone who lives in Djibouti to drive you there. Expect a rough ride: the roads outside the capital are destroyed by the truck traffic between Djibouti and Ethiopia. The road passes within sight of the Devil's Island, and some impressive views. Expect to be awestruck.
  • Lake Abbe is one of the most desolate places on Earth and is dotted with limestone chimneys standing as high of 50 m. It was described as lunar, and Planet of the Apes was filmed here.

Top Muslim Travel Tips for Djibouti

  • Scuba diving — Despite the country's arid landscape, off the coast lie several reefs teeming with all sorts of life.
  • Sea kayaking — Sea kayaking allows you to enjoy the Gulf of Tadjoura and Ghoubet Kharrib in an eco-friendly way, with the possibility of observing whale sharks and sea turtles.
  • Whale shark tours — You can also go snorkelling or diving with whale sharks, although the chance of seeing them varies throughout the season (70-80% in November - Jan and close to zero during warmer months).

Muslim Friendly Shopping in Djibouti

Money Matters & ATM's in Djibouti

The currency of Djibouti is the Djiboutian franc, denoted by the symbol "Fdj" (ISO currency code: DJF). The Djiboutian franc is pegged to the US dollar. You can convert dollars to francs with local street money changers located in the Djiboutian market area. The street money changers are women who line the street waiting to convert foreigner currencies to francs. Whilst generally honest brokers it is still advisable to have your a ready and check the exchange rate in advance. Most of them speak a basic English.

Muslim Friendly Shopping in Djibouti

Khat: A leafy stimulant popular with the locals. The herb is flown into the country each morning from Ethiopia and arrives by truck in Djibouti's Central Market at about 13:00. It is fairly inexpensive, but quality varies greatly, so shop with caution. Khat may not be taken out of Djibouti through the airport.

You can purchase general merchandise and food items at the larger department stores using US dollars. The tourist traps will see you coming a mile away and hit you with ridiculous conversion rates and tourist prices. If you have access to Camp Lemonnier, go to the disbursement office for the best rate.

Halal Restaurants in Djibouti

The city of Djibouti has many places to eat, including tourist traps. International food is often expensive cuisine, with local cuisine being much cheaper. For example, the Ethiopian Community Center offers a wide variety of local, tasty and reasonably priced dishes. Average price per meal outside tourist areas is US$4 including drink.

Muslim Friendly Hotels in Djibouti

Stay safe as a Muslim in Djibouti

Shores of Lake Abhe Natural hazards include earthquakes and droughts. Occasional cyclonic disturbances from the Indian Ocean bring heavy rains and flash floods.

Visitors should be aware of the risk of banditry outside the capital city.

Medical Issues in Djibouti

Health insurance is advisable. Doctors and hospitals may expect immediate cash payment for any medical treatment. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over one year of age coming from infected areas. Cholera is also a serious risk and precautions are essential. Up-to-date advice should be sought before deciding if these precautions should include vaccination as medical opinion is divided over its effectiveness. Typhoid immunization is usually advised.

Malaria risk, predominantly in the malignant falciparum form, exists year round. Resistance to chloroquine has been reported. Mefloquine, doxycycline or atovaquone/proguanil are recommended.

The adult HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is over 3% or 1 in 33 adults. Protect yourself.

Tap water is not safe to drink unless it has been boiled or otherwise sterilized.

Local Customs in Djibouti

Casual wear is widely acceptable, but Djibouti is a Muslim country and certain codes of behavior should be observed. Shorts are generally not appropriate outside of hotels, beaches, or sport activities.

Telecommunications in Djibouti

The 13th French Foreign Legion Demi-Brigadeis (13ème DBLE), permanently stationed in Djibouti, consists of about 800 men. They can be contacted by mail at: 13ème DBLE - Djibouti, Quartier MONCLAR, SP 85030, 00815 ARMEES.

There is also a U.S. military presence in Djibouti: more that 2,000 personnel at Camp Lemonier across the runway from the international airport.

There is a 4G phone nextwork in the country that runs on 900MHz. The maximum speed is 7mbps but expect it to be lower. You can get 1GB of data for about US$3. More info can be obtained here

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