10 facts about Djibouti you did not know

The Erta Ale volcano settles in the Danakil Desert.

Djibouti is a country located in the horn of Africa. With a multi-ethnic society and almost 884,017 people, this small African country is bordered by Eritrea in the North, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the Southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden to the east.

Djibouti is predominantly inhabited by two ethnic groups, the Somali and the Afar people. Here are a few facts you didn’t know about this lovely country.

Salt of the earth, Lac Assal in Djibouti
Salt of the earth, Lac Assal in Djibouti

Lac Assal of Djibouti is the saltiest lake in the world with the exception of Antartica’s lakes. It is even saltier than the Dead Sea.

According to tourists, Lac Assal in Djibouti is wickedly deceiving. It is said to look glorious, however, behind the facade, lies a painful lesson: the vast white plain is not sand at all but salt: jagged shards that bristle and leave you itching for water


Taxi fares increase at night by around 50% after sunset.

Erta Ale volcano
The Erta Ale volcano settles in the Danakil Desert

The Erta Ale volcano settles in the Danakil Desert.

Erta Ale volcano is a large basaltic shield volcano in the Erta Ale volcanic range in the central northern Danakil depression. It is known for persistent lava lake which has been active during most of the past decades since it was first discovered in the 1960s. It is one of the main attractions of the Danakil, and had become a popular tourist destination in recent years.

Lac Assal
Lac Assal

Lac Assal is the lowest point in Djibouti, it is also the lowest point of the continent of Africa.

Grand Bara Desert

Almost 90% of Djibouti’s land is a desert.

Djiboutian Francolin

Djiboutian Francolin (One of over forty species of francolins, a group of birds) is only found in the country.

The Djiboutian Francolin is one of over forty species of francolins, a group of birds in the phasianidae family. It is critically endangered and found only in Djibouti. This species is greyish-brown overall with white stripes and streaks on its underparts which become finer towards the upper parts.


Djibouti Christmas is celebrated on January 7  and not December 25

While many celebrate Christmas on December 25, Orthodox Christians in Djibouti mark it on January 7 which is based on the Julian calendar.


Khat, the favorite plant of Djibouti is banned in many European countries.

Khat is a mildly narcotic plant that has been chewed and enjoyed socially for centuries in the Horn of Africa. It has widespread use in Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.  It is the subject of considerable controversy, with some experts describing it as a mild social stimulant and others labeling it an amphetamine-like drug.  It is a banned substance in most European countries and America/Canada.

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Harrington, commanding general of U.S. Army Africa in Djibouti

Djibouti is the only country in Africa with a permanent US military base [Camp Lemonnier]

Hussein Ahmed Salah

Hussein Ahmed Salah is the only Djiboutian athlete to win an Olympic medal.

He won a bronze medal in the marathon in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea.