Djibouti is described as mostly wasteland. However, Lake Assal is known as not only the lowest point in Africa but also the saltiest lake in the world. Djibouti consists of coastal plain and plateau, separated by central mountains. The climate is described as very hot and dry.
Natural hazards in Djibouti include earthquakes, droughts, and occasional Indian Ocean cyclones which bring heavy rains and flash floods. Djibouti experiences limited volcanic activity. A stratovolcano, Moussa Ali, is the highest point at 2,021 meters. The fissure vent volcano, Ardoukoba, at 298 meters last erupted in 1978. The Manda-Inakir fissure vent system along the Ethiopian border is also historically active.
Environmental issues in Djibouti include inadequate supplies of potable water, water pollution, limited arable land, deforestation, desertification, and endangered species. Forests are threatened by both agriculture and the use of wood for fuel. Djibouti has seven protected areas listed, one for protected habitat and species, two terrestrial protected areas, three marine protected areas, and one Ramsar wetland of international importance, known as Haramous-Loyada. Musha park on Moucha Island may be Djibouti’s only designated “territorial park”. Djibouti Nature is a high profile, independent wildlife protection organisation.
The largest city is Djibouti, with a population over 600,000. (No other city in the country has a total population over 50,000.) The French Territory of the Afars and the Issas became Djibouti in 1977. Since Djibouti occupies a strategic geographic location at the intersection of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden and serves as an important shipping portal, China, Japan and the United States maintain military bases there, primarily in the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia.
In addition to Djibouti’s location near world’s busiest shipping lanes, it serves as the terminus of rail traffic into Ethiopia. Djibouti has ten sites pending on the UNESCO list of tentative world heritage, including Lake zone around Assal and the Ardoukoba volcano. The Office National du Tourisme de Djibouti maintains a website at visitdjibouti.dj. Rushing Water Adventures offers kayak tours in Djibouti, except for the summer season June-August.
Tentative World Heritage:
- Les Tumulus (Awellos) (2015)
- Les Gravures Rupestre d’Abourma (2015)
- Le paysage urbain historique de la ville de Djibouti et ses bâtiments spécifiques (2015)
- Le Lac Assal (2015)
- Les îles Moucha et Maskali (2015)
- Les paysages naturels de la région d’Obock (2015)
- Le Parc National de la forêt du Day (2015)
- Aire naturelle terrestre protégée d’Assamo (2015)
- Aire naturelle protégée de Djalélo (2015)
- Lac Abbeh : son paysage culturel, ses monuments naturels et son écosystème (2015)
- Djibouti: New Ethio-Djibouti Railway Boosting Economic Integration – AllAfrica.com – 2018
- Djibouti’s Booming Nightlife Scene — Fueled by Foreign Militaries – OZY – 2018
- World Capital of Culture and Tourism for 2018, Djibouti is rewarded for its rich natural landscape – Travel Daily News International – 2018
- Djibouti studying Saudi Arabia’s success in tourism – Arab News – 2017
- Pipped by Djibouti: Is this New Zealand tourism’s lowest point? – Stuff.co.nz – 2017
- Djibouti: Red Sea Tourism and Sinai Safari Downgraded for Security – Geeska Afrika – 2015
- Djibouti Tourism Attraction: Visit the Beauty of the Honey Lake in the Horn of Africa – National Turk English – 2014