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Djibouti, Djibouti

1-800-845-1717

Awaiting Your Return From Shore

  Djibouti, the former French Somaliland, is a small country sandwiched between Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia consisting of little more than a port at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. Its importance increased during both the Gulf War and the U.N. intervention in Somalia when it served as a base for Allied troops.
  The area known as Djibouti was only sparsely populated by nomadic people who used it as grazing land, until the French realized its strategic value in 1859. Their initial interest in the area was to counteract the British trading presence in Aden, fueled by the desire of both countries to control the entrance to the Red Sea. In 1862, the French established themselves on the coast and drew up a treaty with Afar leaders to legitimize their acquisition of the coastal region. International pressure from the Arab League, local unrest and the increasingly turbulent situation in the horn of Africa eventually led to the French withdrawing from Djibouti in 1976. Close links with France still exist, with over 3,500 French troops remaining in Djibouti.
  Independence did not bring harmony to the former French colony due to the tension between the Afar and Issa tribes. These indigenous people are evenly divided, with the Issa located in the south and the Afar living in the northern part of the country. Both tribes are Muslim with nomadic culture. The country also harbors some 30,000 refugees who have fled into Djibouti as a result of various wars in neighboring Ethiopia and Somalia.
  The construction of the country's capital began under the French in 1888. More than half of the country's population, thought to be around 500,000, live in Djibouti City, which acts as an international transit port and refueling center. The town has an Arab flavor to it both in terms of its architecture and its culture. A colorful market near the mosque in the center of town is probably the main attraction. It retains elements of African, European and Arab culture.
  Most travelers visit the country for its desert scenery, interesting sea life and white sand beaches. Much of Djibouti's territory lies below sea level accounting for the vast deposits of salt. The only continuous annual vegetation is found in the upper part of the basaltic range, north of the Gulf of Tadjoura, where the altitude reaches more than 3,940 feet above sea level.
 Please Note: Guests must be aware of poor conditions and very limited infrastructure in Djibouti.

Awaiting Your Return From Shore

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Complimentary Spirits Await

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