The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in the closet.
— Philip Henry Stanhope, 1805 - 1875




The French Territory of the Afars and the Issas became Djibouti in 1977. Hassan Gouled APTIDON installed an authoritarian one-party state and proceeded to serve as president until 1999. Unrest among the Afars minority during the 1990s led to a civil war that ended in 2001 following the conclusion of a peace accord between Afar rebels and the Issa-dominated government. In 1999, Djibouti's first multi-party presidential elections resulted in the election of Ismail Omar GUELLEH; he was re-elected to a second term in 2005. Djibouti occupies a strategic geographic location at the mouth of the Red Sea and serves as an important transshipment location for goods entering and leaving the east African highlands. The present leadership favors close ties to France, which maintains a significant military presence in the country but also has strong ties with the US. Djibouti hosts the only US military base in sub-Saharan Africa and is a front-line state in the global war on terrorism.


For the city of the same name, see Djibouti (city).

Djibouti is in East Africa, bordered by Eritrea to the north, Ethiopia to the west and south, and Somalia to the southeast. The Gulf of Aden lies to the east. The country can be divided into three regions; the coastal plain and volcanic plateaus in the central and southern parts of the country and the mountain ranges in the north. Much of the country is vast wasteland with virtually no arable land.

Read more about Djibouti in our Djibouti travel guide »

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DjiboutiDjibouti Palace Kempinski 

Ilot Du Heron P O Box 1960

Price (US$): $317 - $398 / night

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Location. Djibouti Palace Kempinski is located in Djibouti and local attractions include Stade du Ville and Camp Lemonier. Hotel Features. Djibouti Palace Kempinski features 4 bars/lounges and a coffee shop/café. Room service is available. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool and a fitness facility. There is a full service health spa on site. This 4.5 star property has a 24 hour business center and offers secretarial services, limo/town car service, and business services. Wireless… more »

DjiboutiBavaria les Acacias Hotel 

Lotissement Heron
Djibouti 4111

Price (US$): $273 - $346 / night

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Location. Located in Djibouti, Bavaria les Acacias Hotel is connected to the airport and Stade du Ville and Camp Lemonier are local attractions. Hotel Features. This Djibouti hotel has a private beach. Dining options at Bavaria les Acacias Hotel include 2 restaurants. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts each morning (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool. This 3.5 star property has a 24 hour business center and… more »

DjiboutiSheraton Djibouti Hotel 

BP 1924
Plateau du Serpent

Price (US$): $217 - $218 / night

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Location. Located in Djibouti, Sheraton Djibouti Hotel is near the airport and close to Stade du Ville. Additional area points of interest include Camp Lemonier. Hotel Features. In addition to 2 restaurants, Sheraton Djibouti Hotel offers a snack bar/deli and a coffee shop/café. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet breakfasts each morning in the brasserie (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities… more »

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Full name
Republic of Djibouti

Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, between Eritrea and Somalia

Geographic coordinates

11 30 N, 43 00 E

Area comparative

slightly smaller than Massachusetts

Border countries

Eritrea 109 km, Ethiopia 349 km, Somalia 58 km


314 km


desert; torrid, dry


coastal plain and plateau separated by central mountains

Lowest point

Lac Assal -155 m

Highest point

Moussa Ali 2,028 m

Natural resources

potential geothermal power, gold, clay, granite, limestone, marble, salt, diatomite, gypsum, pumice, petroleum


740,528 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Somali 60%, Afar 35%, other 5% (includes French, Arab, Ethiopian, and Italian)


Muslim 94%, Christian 6%


French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, Afar

Government type



27 June 1977 (from France)

National holiday

Independence Day, 27 June (1977)

Chief of state

President Ismail Omar GUELLEH (since 8 May 1999)

Head of government

Prime Minister Mohamed Dileita DILEITA (since 4 March 2001)

Internet country code


Internet users

25,900 (2009)


13 (2010)

Ports and terminals


Other countries in the region