"Djibouti: Africa's Worst Tourist Trap" Top 5 Page for this destination Djibouti by hunwagner
Djibouti Travel Guide: 230 reviews and 1,324 photos
Of the 90 or so countries I have been to, this tiny Francophone corner of Africa gets the prize for being the least attractive - to say it politely.
The country is little more than a patch of desert centred on its capital, which is a busy port at the entrance to the Red Sea. While the countryside does have some minor attractions in the form of desert scenery, salt lakes, nomad life and beaches, there is nothing you couldn't find more and better of in the neighbouring countries - at a fraction of the cost.
Most people focus their visit on the capital, Djibouti City. This overcrowded place must simply be the worst hell-hole I have ever been to! Much of the city is nothing more than a sprawling slum, with poverty-stricken residents being baked in tin shacks in the steaming, humid heat of this hottest place on Earth. It is also about the dirtiest place I have ever seen - even rivalling India! Approaching from the Somali border, miles of garbage deposits welcome you to the capital.
OK, you might say, there are many poor countries in the World where standards are not exactly up to Western expectations. That is certainly true. However what sets Djibouti well and truly apart from other poor nations is the cost of living. To be able able to endure all the above, one is hit with just about the highest prices anywhere - I found Djibouti more expensive than Japan!!!
Oh, if it is so bad, it must at least be unspoilt by tourism, and friendly - some might think. Forget it! Djibouti is an important French and American military base, and well-paid soldiers, their families and other expats are a common sight in the centre of the city, along with plenty of hustlers trying to part them with some cash either by begging or selling souvenirs. I did meet some friendly locals out in the country, but can hardly think of any in the capital!
So why come?
Other than adding another country to your collection of passport stamps, the main reason to visit Djibouti is transiting through between Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somaliland and Yemen. This is why I had to visit the place twice.
Once there, it is worth having a look around the old, crumbling European Quarter of the city, but you would have to be a strange sort of person to want to linger.
- Pros:None that I can think of ...
- Cons:Unbearable heat, poverty, dirt, lack of sights & some of the highest prices anywhere
- In a nutshell:The worst place I have ever been to!
I don't know of any guidebook devoted to Djibouti alone. Most people use Lonely Planet's general Africa guide there,... more travel advice
Much of the old European Quarter is in a very sad state of general decay, but two sides of this building have been... more travel advice
hunwagner's Related Pages
Djibouti Travel Guide
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