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Djibouti (city), Djibouti


Djibouti (city), Djibouti's capital city, Horn of Africa

Djibouti (city), Djibouti's capital city, Horn of Africa

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Basic Facts About Djibouti
Djibouti is the capital and largest city in the Republic of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. Two thirds of the country's population live in the city. Djibouti city is situated on the coast, on the Gulf of Tadjoura right across from Yemen. In 1891 the French made Djibouti the capital of French Somaliland. Djibouti gained independence from France in 1977. The population of Djibouti is around 500,000 and they're largely of Somali, Afar and Arab descent. The inhabitants of Djibouti city are predominantly Islamic.

Claim to Fame
Lac Assal, about 100 km from Djibouti city, is the lowest point on the African continent. This salt lake lies at 156m below sea level. The salt fields around the lake can reach depths of 65 meters.

Travel to Djibouti City
The Lonely Planet Guide describes Djibouti City as "a ramshackle little port village, with peeling colonial and modern buildings ... Unashamed Qat-chewing men, sensuous women swathed in superb shawls, proud but desperate Somali refugees, gaunt faced beggars and stalwart foreign legionnaires in their knee-length socks all roam the streets". The appeal of Djibouti city is to walk or cycle around, take it all in and enjoy the scene. Djibouti city is known for being more expensive than cities in neighboring countries, and you don't really get more value for your money.

There aren't any obvious points of interest in Djibouti city except for the Central Market (Marche Central) which buzzes with activity in the mornings. By the afternoon, Djibouti city gets very quiet and it's not just the heat that folks are avoiding, but the national pastime - chewing Qat, begins in earnest. Qat (or Khat) is a mild narcotic. The leaves of the Qat plant are chewed, it has to fresh for the narcotic effect to work best. The daily Qat delivery from Ethiopia to Djibouti city arrives at around 1pm in the local markets.

Djibouti's location on the Red Sea means there are some excellent diving and swimming opportunities particularly around the islands of Maskali and Moucha in the Gulf of Tadjoura. It takes 30-40 minutes to get to the islands by boat.

Sources and More Information about Djibouti City
Djibouti City Travel Guide - Lonely Planet
Djibouti Hotels - Reviews fro TripAdvisor
Djibouti: Khat dominates male life in this tiny nation -- From EritreaDaily.net
Djibouti Travel Blogs
Moucha and Maskali Island Travel Blog

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