Must See

Djibouti

This young capital city has a noticeably Arabic feel, and is home to two thirds of the country's people. Attractions include the small marina, where various fishing vessels, private pleasure boats and traditional dhows are moored. There's also the colourful Central Market (Le Marché Central) - a bustling place where stallholders sell their assorted wares, such as fresh sprigs of qat - a mild stimulant flown in daily from Ethiopia.

Other places of note include Djibouti's Tropical Aquarium, in which can be seen a wide range of aquatic life from the Red Sea region, and the Presidential Palace. Djibouti also has some fine beaches nearby at Dorale and Kor Amhado, both of which offer safe swimming.

The Lakes

Lac Assal, 100 kilometres south-west of the capital, lies 150 metres below sea level and is surrounded by dormant volcanoes and lava fields. Driving there, visitors will pass Lac Goubet, a seawater loch known as the 'pit of demons' by local people. Near the border with Ethiopia is a third lake, Lac Abbe, a place populated by thousands of flamingoes and pelicans. Travellers will need a four-wheel-drive vehicle to reach it.

Tadjoura

This town is situated across the Gulf of Tadjoura from Djibouti City, and provides excellent access to some superb Red Sea coral reefs, popular with snorkellers and divers. The best time for these activities is from September to May when the waters of the Red Sea are clear. The town itself enjoys a scenic setting, surrounded by several large mountains, and is home to seven mosques.

Ali Sabieh

Ali Sabieh is a city located in southern Djibouti. Just outside the city, visitors can try windsurfing on wheels on the salty Petit Bara and Grand Bara desert plains.