Formerly known as French Somalia, Djibouti is a tiny speck of land which offers incredible outlandish sights. Not being part of our Horn of Africa Combo tour prior to this year, we were often asked why we don’t run a tour to Djibouti. Well, consider it fixed. For the first time this year, YPT will bring you for a short but incredible tour to the land of Djibouti.
Known for its lakes of sulphur and other incredible sights, you will feel like you are on a different planet. This tour covers the two main highlights of the country, Lake Assal and Lake Abbe, as well as exploration of the capital city, Djibouti City. Djibouti, no matter how small it is, is an intriguing country which hosts military bases from some of the world’s most powerful nations and is a key-element to the politics of the MENA region.
This tour can be done as a standalone tour but can also be combined in our Horn of Africa tour which will take you to Somaliland and Eritrea too.
Arrival at your convenience in Djibouti city where you will be greeted by an airport pickup and driven to our hotel, Auberge Boulaos
Around 4 PM we will gather in the hotel lobby and head out on our exploration of Djibouti City.
During this walk, we’ll go see the two most famous mosques of the country, the Hammoud Mosque as well as the Al Sada Mosque and stop by the old colonial train station.
After we’ve built up an appetite walking around town, we will head to café Melting Pot to try some of the best local food or sushi!
After dinner, we’ll check out the port of Djibouti and stop for drinks in what is probably the busiest nightlife of the Somali world.
Overnight in Djibouti City, Auberge Boulaos
Friday 15th May – Djibouti City/Lake Abbe
After breakfast, we will start our excursion to Lake Abbe, located on the border between Djibouti and Ethiopia.
On the road there, we’ll stop by the Little and Grand Bara, which are large fields of white clay, upon which mirages are frequently seen alongside the local gazelles and antelopes.
On the road, we might also spot some of the local nomad shepherds, who have made this desert region their home, even though it is amongst the hottest and most hostile places in the world.
Stop for a local lunch along the way.
Late afternoon arrival at Gite d’Asboley, which is just on the border of Lake Abbe and should offer us a wonderful night view. Here the land is flat apart from one hill and clouds are a rarity!
Dinner and overnight in Gite d’Asboley.
Saturday 16th May – Lake Abbe/Lake Assal/Djibouti City
Wake up early to check out the sunrise over Lake Abbe, a formidable sight as the sun rises unobstructed over the lake with hundreds of natural limestone chimneys, spitting out steam and sulphur. You will wonder if you just woke up on the same planet!
After breakfast we head out on a trek around the lake before the sun rises and scorches the earth. The trek shall take two hours but will reward us with massive colonies of pink flamingos.
During this trek, we might meet the local donkey and camel herders and our local guide will introduce us to them.
Lunch back at the accommodation.
We then make our way to the second lake of Djibouti, and certainly its most famous, Lake Assal
Lake Assal is located no less than 150 metres below sea level, making it Africa’s lowest point and the world’s third lowest point. It is crowned by an almost alien chain of volcanoes spewing black lava. The border of the lake is surrounded by salt banks of a white so bright that it looks like snow. This lake is the world`s biggest reserve of salt.
Once we’ve visited the lake to our heart’s content, we will drive back to Djibouti City, arriving in the late afternoon.
After our return to our hotel we’ll partake in a well earned shower and then head back into town to check the sights we might have missed on our first night.
Dinner at restaurant La Mer Rouge for a feast of fresh seafood.
Head for drinks before overnight at Auberge Boulaos
Sunday 17th May
End of tour
For those not following us to Djibouti’s unrecognised brother, Somaliland. YPT can help arrange further accommodation, transportation or red sea scuba diving if you have more time