Djibouti, officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Somaliland in the south, Ethiopia in the southwest, Eritrea In the north, and the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden in the east. Across the Gulf of Aden is Yemen. 

The Gulf Of Tadjoura
The Gulf Of Tadjoura  is One of the most ancient towns in Djibouti, this is a popular place for a quiet retreat and is ideal for laidback activities like fishing and sightseeing. The Gulf of Tadjoura is famous for activities like diving and snorkelling with whale sharks. The sprawling golf resorts in the area boast attractive views of the nearby mountain ranges.(Image: Traveltourxp)

Djibouti is a multi-ethnic nation with a population of over 921,804 inhabitants (the smallest in mainland Africa). French and Arabic are the country’s two official languages, Afar and Somali are national languages. About 94% of residents adhere to Islam, which is the official religion and has been predominant in the region for more than a thousand years. The Somalis and Afar make up the two largest ethnic groups, with the former comprising the majority of the population. Both speak the Cushitic branch of the Afroasiatic languages.

According to Wikipedia, Djibouti is strategically located near some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, controlling access to the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. It serves as a key refuelling and transshipment center, and is the principal maritime port for imports from and exports to neighboring Ethiopia. A burgeoning commercial hub, the nation is the site of various foreign military bases. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) regional body also has its headquarters in Djibouti City.

Tropical Aquarium
Tropical Aquarium  is one of the country’s top tourist draws.  Located in the historic part of town, it’s considered one of the best in all of Africa.  It’s designed so that you feel like you’re underwater in the Red Sea, getting a firsthand look at marine life in this unique body of water.  The ecosystems are perfectly restored and recreated here.(Image: Traveltourxp)

Djibouti has eight mountain ranges with peaks of over 1,000 metres (3,300 feet).The Mousa Ali range is considered the country’s highest mountain range, with the tallest peak on the border with Ethiopia and Eritrea. It has an elevation of 2,028 metres (6,654 feet). The Grand Bara desert covers parts of southern Djibouti in the Arta, Ali Sabieh and Dikhil regions. The majority of it sits at a relatively low elevation, below 1,700 feet (520 metres).

Djibouti’s economy is largely concentrated in the service sector. Commercial activities revolve around the country’s free trade policies and strategic location as a Red Sea transit point. Due to limited rainfall, vegetables and fruits are the principal production crops, and other food items require importation.

Hanle Plain
Hanle Plain Hanlé Plain is another interesting place for bird lovers where Egyptian Goose, black crake, and the three banded plover is spotted. It is fenced in by steep mountains offering several scenic views..(Image: Traveltourxp)


A plate of sambusas, a popular traditional snack

Djiboutian cuisine is a mixture of SomaliAfarYemeni, and French cuisine, with some additional South Asian (especially Indian) culinary influences. 

Mukbaza Commonly used to refer to Yemen‘s traditional fish meal and its accompanying side dishes, mukbaza is actually a kind of folded bread, that after being cooked, is cut into pieces and blended with honey and banana, or dates. Served as a thick purée along with some nuts, it is the perfect dip for your Yemeni fish, traditionally cooked over charcoal.  © Culture Trip / Zineb Boujrada

Local dishes are commonly prepared using a lot of Middle Eastern spices, ranging from saffron to cinnamon. Grilled Yemeni fish, opened in half and often cooked in tandoori style ovens, are a local delicacy. 

Djiboutian lamb stew | © PepperandStewPhotos / Flickr
Skudahkharis, or Djiboutian lamb stew  is indisputably the national dish of Djibouti. Commonly prepared during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, it is made of rice, lamb and ayurvedic spices such as cardamom. It can also go well with chicken, beef or fish. Again, it can also be served on top of laxoox, though accompanying platters of brightly dyed rice are also common, served alongside grilled chicken and a buttery sauce called niter kibbeh. PepperandStewPhotos / Flickr

Spicy dishes come in many variations, from the traditional Fah-fah or “Soupe Djiboutienne” (spicy boiled beef soup), to the yetakelt wet (spicy mixed vegetable stew). Xalwo (pronounced “halwo”) or halva is a popular confection eaten during festive occasions, such as Eid celebrations or wedding receptions. Halva is made from sugar, cornstarchcardamom powder, nutmeg powder and ghee. Peanuts are sometimes added to enhance texture and flavor. After meals, homes are traditionally perfumed using incense (cuunsi) or frankincense (lubaan), which is prepared inside an incense burner referred to as a dabqaad.

Fah-fah, Djibouti | Courtesy of International Cuisine fah-fah, a classic Djiboutian stew made with goat meat, vegetables and chillies, that can also be made with camel or lamb meat. This dish is normally served with a sponge-like bread called canjeero to soak up the stew sauce.

The country is internationally renowned as a geologic treasure trove. Located at a triple juncture of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and East African rift systems, the country hosts significant seismic and geothermal activity. Slight tremors are frequent, and much of the terrain is littered with basalt from past volcanic activity.

 Djibouti Palace Kempinski
Djibouti Palace Kempinski Palace is a building that should be seen and visited. The history of this work is quite ancient. Today, this building serves as a hotel. It is a very stylish and popular hotel and welcomes a large number of tourists throughout the year.(image:

Cultural life

Djibouti is renowned for its delicate multicoloured textiles, which are made into saronglike garments called futa. These garments are sold in the capital’s colourful central market.

The cuisine of Djibouti mingles African and French influences to produce meals that might include roast lamb with a delicate yogurt sauce, lentil stew, flatbread, and cucumber salad, served with mineral water and fruit juice. The souk (marketplace) of Djibouti city is famed for its spicy oven-baked fish. The capital also houses several high-quality Vietnamese, Chinese, and Lebanese restaurants, making it a somewhat remote but altogether fascinating destination for gourmands.

Muslim feasts and holidays, including ʿĪd al-Fiṭr, which marks the end of Ramadan, and ʿĪd al-Aḍḥā, which marks the culmination of the hajj, are celebrated by Djibouti’s predominant Muslim population. In addition to these, other major holidays in the country include Independence Day, which is celebrated on June 27.



 Djibouti Palace
Djibouti Palace is an important building opened on March 2, 1985. This structure has been constructed as a symbol of the freedom of the country and is a very important place for the country.(image:


Unlike women in many other Muslim countries, women in Djibouti do not wear veils, although married Afar women wear a black head scarf. City dwellers wear Western-style clothing, while those in rural areas wear the loose clothing typical of desert dwellers. The traditional outfit of the Afar is a garment called a sanafil, consisting of a cloth tied around the waist and reaching to the calves (with a knot at the right hip for men and at the left for women). The wealthier Afar wear another piece of cloth, the harayto, slung over their shoulders. Afar men are known for the long, sharp, double-edged dagger, called a jile, which they wear at their waists. Among the nomadic Somali in rural areas, the men wear a garment similar to the sanafil of the Afar, while the women wear a long, brightly colored cloth called a guntina, wound around their torsos and knotted at the right shoulder.

Afar girl wearing the traditional guntiino, armlets, headband, henna, and jewellery
Afar girl wearing the traditional guntiino, armlets, headband, henna, and jewellery

Most Djiboutians observe Islamic dietary laws, which include a ban on eating pork and consuming alcohol. Smoking hashish and chewing chat leaves, both narcotics, are as moral as alcohol is immoral.


Local Muslim saints’ days associated with the Afar and the Issa are popular among their respective groups. Among the Somalis, various devout dervish orders have their own particular and universal observances, such as the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday. Many Afars and Somalis are uninformed about the symbolic, mystical content of their own holidays. In Djibouti most urbanites and town residents attend Friday prayer at their mosque.

 Abbe Lake
Abbe Lake, located between Ethiopia and the border of Djibouti, has a salt lake   which is part of a chain of six connected lakes. Being a hypersaline lake, Lake Abbe’s water contains mineral salts that flow but no outflow, and the evaporation of pure water happens from the surface. Lake Abbe is also known as an “amplifier lake”, because the water level fluctuates, which is a natural response to small changes in Djibouti’s climate. Djibouti boasts of the lake’s limestone chimneys; 50 m high from which steam emits forth. This lake  adds a very different color to the two countries.(image: 


Source: Wikipedia, Britannica,, traveltourxp, Theculturetrip, Iexplore

1 thought on “Republic of Djibouti the multi-ethnic nation

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