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Djibouti is a small country in Northern Africa that is big on adventure. Few places have the variety that you’ll find here. Explore volcanoes, plateaus, grand canyons, limestone chimneys, and salt lakes on this Djibouti expedition.
- Looking for leopards during your hike through Day Forest National Park
- Sleeping in a traditional Afar hut on a hill overlooking Campement Touristique d’Asboley
- Joining a nomadic camel caravan as you make your way to Lake Assal – one of the worlds saltiest lakes
- Watching the sunrise from Lake Abbe with its famous chimneys and hot springs
- Snorkelling with the whale sharks in the Bay of Ghoubbet
- Explore the city of Tadjoura
In Djibouti City, take a walking tour of the markets and harbour and get your first taste of the local cuisine. At Arta Beach you’ll have the chance to snorkel with the whale sharks – some of the gentlest creatures in the ocean. There’s a fantastic 4×4 adventure through Grand Bara Desert as well as some traditional dancing at your destination – Lake Abbe. Your time here ends with an phenomenal sunrise over the lake that you’re certain never to forget.
Camel trekking is a wonderful way to see the villages, chat with locals, and learn the customs within the villages you pass through. You’ll love the unique perspective that your camel affords. Camp and hike around Lake Assal – the lowest point in Africa – before travelling to Ardoukoba Volcano for a trek to the craters rim. The adventure winds down with visits to Day Forest National Park, Plage des Sables Blanc, and the historic village of Obock. After a chance to explore the markets and mosques of Tadjoura, you’ll come full circle to Djibouti City.
This adventure requires a moderate level of fitness as you’ll be hiking on several days. This is your chance to experience life like the nomads of Djibouti. You’ll fall in love with this diverse and spectacular country. Enquire today to learn more.
Day 1 Djibouti City
Salaam aleikum! Welcome to Djibouti! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 3pm, followed by a walking tour of the city. See the European Quarter (home to Moorish and European architecture), L’Escale harbour walk and Hamoudi Mosque in the African Quarter. Tonight’s dinner will feature traditional Djiboutian and Ethiopian food.
Day 2 Djibouti City
Today we’ll head to Arta Beach for a thrilling whale shark encounter in the Bay of Ghoubbet. This is one of the world’s most reliable spots for seeing these giant, gentle creatures in the wild. Between November and January whale shark sightings are almost guaranteed. Then it’s time to head back to the city where we spend the night.
Day 3 Lac Abbe
Take a 4×4 journey through the Grand Bara Desert to the otherworldly Lake Abbe, which lies on the border between Ethiopia and Djibouti. Keep your eyes peeled for mirages, antelopes and gazelle. After enjoying a traditional dance during dinner, you’ll sleep in a traditional Afar hut at Campement Touristique d’Asboley. The cluster of permanent nomad-style tents is perched on a hill with views of the spectacular and surreal desert landscape.
Day 4 Allouli
Wake early to catch sunrise over the shores of Lake Abbe, which featured in the 1968 movie Planet Of The Apes. Marvel at the famous chimneys, salt flats and hot springs. Then hike to the lake, where you can spot flamingos before jumping back in the 4x4s and heading to Allouli passing by Dikhil, Yoboki and Gagade on the way. It is here that we meet our nomad camel caravan and sleep under the stars.
Note: Camel trekking is one of the best ways to get to know the people, villages, customs and topography of a destination. You can ride on top of the camel or walk beside it if you prefer.
Day 5 Lac Assal
Today is the biggest hiking day on the itinerary. Wake at around 6am for breakfast then depart with the Camel Caravan to Lac Assal (around 14 kilometres). Lake Assal, also known as the honey lake, is a crater-lake that sits atop the Great Rift Valley. It’s one of the world’s saltiest lakes and also the lowest point on land in Africa. Take a dip (or a float) in the lake if you’d like. Tonight we’ll sleep “belle etoile” again (under the stars).
Day 6 Bay of Ghoubbet
Early morning departure for our hike to Ardoukoba Volcano, which erupted in 1978 after lying dormant for around 3000 years. Take a 4×4 across extremely rugged terrain and then hike (moderately strenuous) to the top of the volcano. Continue to the scenic bay of Ghoubbet at the Gulf of Tadjoura and the entrance of the Red Sea. The afternoon is free to relax on the beach.
Day 7 Foret du Day National Park
Rise early and leave for Foret du Day National Park after breakfast. Despite its size, the plant life here is incredibly diverse and it’s one of the few places where leopards are still seen. Take a short (4km) hike through the forest towards our camp, then visit the Day Village.
Day 8 Plage des Sables Blanc
Depart after breakfast and head towards Plage des Sables Blanc, considered to be one of the best beaches in Djibouti. Today you’re free to splash around and enjoy the beach before spending the night in air-conditioned rooms.
Day 9 Plage des Sables Blanc
Today is another free day beachside. You can take part in kite flying with locals, swim, snorkel or simply catch up on some sleep after all that hiking!
Day 10 Obock
This morning we depart after breakfast to the Red Sea Village Camp in Obock; a historic town of colonial times. Visit the market, the lighthouse, and Ras Bire. Have lunch at the beach before heading to Godoria Mangrove this afternoon. Return to Obock for the night.
Please note that if it is not high tide we will be unable to enter the bay by boat to visit the mangrove.
Day 11 Tadjoura
After breakfast we’ll head to Tadjoura, the oldest town in Djibouti and the capital of the Tadjourah Region. It is the third largest city in the country after Djibouti City and Ali Sabieh. Take part in a city excursion, which visits the Hammoudi Mosque and the local fish market.
Day 12 Djibouti City
After breakfast we start our journey back to Djibouti City. Hop on the 11am ferry back to Djibouti City and arrive by around 2pm this afternoon. The rest of the afternoon is free before a final group dinner tonight.
Day 13 Djibouti City
This trip comes to an end after breakfast. There is no accommodation included for tonight, but speak to us if you’d like to extend your stay.
This is an expedition trip and requires a minimum of 4 people to depart. Please do not book any non-refundable flights or services before the departure is guaranteed to depart.
Expedition trips may not suit everyone. While a lot of research and planning goes into putting together an Expedition itinerary, they are pioneering and innovative by nature. If smooth, ripple-free travel is what you’re after, perhaps wait until they (possibly) become established trips. But for those with a yearning to veer off the beaten track and explore free of crowds and preconceptions, this is an adventure above all others.
The standard of health facilities in Djibouti’s capital is limited and very basic to non-existent in outlying regions. Medicines are sometimes unavailable in rural areas and can be expensive. In the event of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation (at considerable expense) to a destination with appropriate facilities would be necessary.
Bungalow (3nt), Bush camp (no facilities) (2nt), Camping (with basic facilities) (3nt), Hotel (4nt)
Your group leader will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. There are, however some meals and activities that are fixed in advance and therefore cannot be modified to suit dietary requirements. These instances will be indicated in the ‘trip notes’ itinerary. Please notify your group leader of any dietary requirements in your group meeting at the start of the trip.
For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.
12 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 11 dinners
As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it’s important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.
Climate and seasonal information
The Djibouti climate is typically hot year round especially May to September when the average daily temperature is around 40 degrees and sometimes peaking at 45 degrees. November to January are the coolest months and average temperatures of around 25 degrees making it perfect for outdoor activities. This also coincides with th4e annual Whale sharks visit.
- 19 November -1 December 2017 FULLY BOOKED
- Sun 4 Feb 2018
- Wed 14 Feb 2018
Price: From £2,045 GBP
Trip length: 13 days
12 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 11 dinners
4×4 Safari Vehicle, Camel, Ferry
Bungalow (3 nights), Bush camp (no facilities) (2 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Hotel (4 nights)
- Djibouti City – Leader Led Walking Tour
- Arta Beach – Whale Sharks Tour
- Lac Abbe – Cultural Dance
- Lac Abbe – Guided sunset walk to Chimneys
- Lac Abbe – Morning Hike to the lake
- Full day trek with camel caravan
- Ardoukoba – Volcano Hike
- Foret du Day – Hike
- Obock – Visit to Godoria Mangrove
- Tadjoura – Town visit
We love this operator for the freedom and flexibility they give travellers to get off the tourist trails and really experience local cultures. Their grassroots style of travel ensures the impact on the communities they visit is minimised. They use local leaders, local accommodation and transport and support local community projects, ensuring sustainability is at the centre of everything they do.
This operator is committed to operating in a responsible manner, incorporating the principles of sustainable development in the way they provide travellers with real life experiences. However, these values are more than just words on a page; they are ingrained in the culture and daily operations of every office and tour. In addition, they expect their staff and travellers to demonstrate the principles of responsible travel – respecting people, cultures and local environments; in the distribution of wealth; in good will and cross-cultural sharing; and in contributing to sustainable development.
- Trip Code: AWA350
- Dates: Nov 2017, Feb 2018, Nov 2018
- Price: From 2,045 GBP
- Depart: Djibouti City, Djibouti
- Arrive: Djibouti City, Djibouti
- Length: 13 days
- Adventure: An expedition through the little-known north African country of Djibouti