If you were asked to name all the countries of the world, we’d forgive you if you forgot about little Djibouti.
It’s a tiny speck on the Horn of Africa, right on the mouth of the Red Sea (you can almost wave to Yemen across the water). With the possible exception of Iceland, Djibouti has one of the weirdest collections of landscapes on the planet: volcanic salt lakes, sunken plains, rocky canyons, limestone pillars bathed in sulfuric steam. Classic Lion King this place is not. In fact, most tourists have never heard of Djibouti, which means you get its world-class hiking, diving and kite surfing all to yourself.
Everyone travelling on an Intrepid trip must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of carriage.
All travellers are required to produce:
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination
All children aged 5 to 17 years old must provide proof of vaccination (if eligible), proof of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional.
In all cases, you must be fully inoculated. This means you must receive the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine and allow enough time for immunity to take effect. Each COVID-19 vaccine has different dosages and timeframes for inoculation, so please check the relevant medical advice associated with your vaccine.
All nationalities require a visa to visit Djibouti.
All nationalities – except for India, Syria and Yemen – can obtain a visa on arrival at the airport. A tourist visa is valid for one month and costs around USD 55. A 3-day transit visa is also available at a cost of around USD 25. Proof of onward travel is also required.
If you arrive by land, visa arrangements should be made in advance from a Djibouti embassy in a neighbouring country. Where there are no Djiboutian consulates, visas can often be acquired from French embassies.
Leaving a small tip in restaurants is welcomed.
WiFi is increasingly common in hotels and restaurants, and there are internet cafes across Djibouti City. USB internet dongles can be purchased and loaded with data from a local provider.
Mobile coverage is generally good across the country. Your phone may work on roaming, depending on your home network. You can also purchase a local SIM card for around USD 11.
Very basic squat/pit toilets are the standard in Djibouti, except for western-style flushable toilets that are sometimes available in large hotels and other modern buildings. Carry your own supply of soap and toilet paper, as this is rarely provided.
Cup of coffee = 750 DJF (approx. USD 4)
Soft drink = 130 DJF (approx. USD 1)
Bottle of beer = 700 DJF (approx. USD 4)
Simple lunch = 1000 DJF (approx. USD 5.5)
Nice dinner in a restaurant = 6000 DJF (approx. USD 33)
Tap water isn't considered safe for travellers to drink. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Ask your leader and accommodation provider for local advice on where drinking water can be accessed. Also, avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit before eating.
Credit cards are accepted at upmarket shops and hotels, though some will place a surcharge on the payment.
There are ATMs in Djibouti City. They all except Visa. Outside of the capital there are no such facilities. Be sure to have both the local currency (Djibouti franc) and US dollars/euros in cash. The Djiboutian Franc is pegged to the US dollar, but beware of the conversion rate offered in some places.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.