Interesting facts about Djibouti

djibouti flag

Djibouti is a country in Northeast Africa.

The official name of the country is the Republic of Djibouti.

It 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 at the east.

Djibouti has two official languages: Arabic and French.

As of 1 January 2017, the population of Djibouti was estimated to be 905,618 people.

It is the 146th largest country in the world in terms of land area with 23,200 square kilometers (9,000 square miles).

Djibouti City is the capital and largest city of Djibouti, which is named after it. It is located in the coastal Djibouti Region on the Gulf of Tadjoura. The city is known for its 19th-century architecture and the port at the entrance to the Red Sea.

djibouti city

The country is situated in the Horn of Africa (peninsula in Northeast Africa).

Djibouti can be divided into three major geographic regions: a coastal plain, mountains behind the plain, and a plateau behind the mountains.

Mousa Ali is a 2,021 meters (6,631 feet) stratovolcano located on the tri-point of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti. The volcano is the highest point in Djibouti.

mousa ali

About 90 percent of Djibouti’s terrain is flat, barren desert land made up of volcanic rock.

The desert terrain of Djibouti is broken in places by salt lakes. The largest of these is Lac Assal [photo below] at 155 meters (509 feet) below sea level, it is the lowest point in Africa and the second-lowest elevation in the world. It is also the world’s saltiest body of water, with a concentration surpassing even that of the Dead Sea. Its water reaches temperatures of up to 57°C (135°F) in the summer.

lac assal

The country’s flora and fauna live in a harsh landscape with forest accounting for less than one percent of the total area of the country.

The Danakil Desert is a lowland geothermal region which covers much of western Djibouti. The Danakil Desert extends into Ethiopia and Eritrea. The area is known for its volcanoes and extreme heat, with daytime temperatures surpassing 50 °C (122 °F). The Danakil Desert is one of the lowest and hottest places on Earth.

danakil desert

Djibouti has 314 kilometers (195 miles) of coastline. Much of the coastline consists of white and gold, sandy beaches.

djibouti beach

There are three national parks in Djibouti: Day Forest National Park, Djibouti National Park and Yoboki National Park. It protects an important forest island in a sea of semi-desert and deserts of Afar region.

Day Forest National Park, also known as Forêt du Day National Park, is a national park in the Goda Mountains of Djibouti. This isolated forest is surrounded by endless semi-deserts and deserts of Afar region. This is the largest forest in Djibouti. The forest has a total area of approximately 13,900 hectares (34,350 acres).

day forest national park

The Aquarium Tropical de Djibouti is one of the country’s top tourist attractions. Located in the historic part of Djibouti City, 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.

aquarium djibouti

The Djibouti area has been inhabited since at least the Neolithic.

Pottery predating the mid-2nd millennium has been found at Asa Koma, an inland lake area on the Gobaad Plain.

In antiquity, the territory was part of the Land of Punt and then Sabean and Axumite rule.

The Djibouti area, along with other localities in the Horn region, was later the seat of the medieval Adal and Ifat Sultanates.

In the late 19th century, the colony of French Somaliland was established following treaties signed by the ruling Issa Somali and Afar Sultans with the French.

It was subsequently renamed to the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas in 1967.

In 1977, the Djiboutian people voted for independence, officially marking the establishment of the Republic of Djibouti.


In the early 1990s, tensions over government representation led to armed conflict, which ended in a power sharing agreement in 2000 between the ruling party and the opposition.

The economy of Djibouti is derived in large part from its strategic location on the Red Sea. Its port is the lifeblood of its economy, providing the biggest source of income and employment in this otherwise barren country.

Djibouti’s climate is significantly warmer and has significantly less seasonal variation than the world average. Mean daily maximum temperatures range from 32 to 41 °C (90 to 106 °F), except at high elevations, where the effects of a cold offshore current can be felt.

According to the country profile related to biodiversity of wildlife in Djibouti, the nation contains more than 820 species of plants, 493 species of invertebrates, 455 species of fish, 40 species of reptiles, 3 species of amphibians, 360 species of birds and 66 species of mammals.

The Djiboutian Franc is the official currency of the state.

Football is the most popular sport amongst Djiboutians.

Khat chewing is common in Djibouti. Khat is a flowering plant and contains the alkaloid cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant, which is said to cause excitement, loss of appetite, and euphoria. The World Health Organization (WHO) classified it as a drug of abuse.

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