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What do you need to travel to Djibouti?

by Diana Quintero | December 13, 2022
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Mesmerizing. That’s the most accurate word to describe Djibouti. 

This captivating and mysterious little piece of African land bordering the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden offers a multitude of astonishing landscapes shaped by colliding tectonic plates. From extinct volcanoes and sunken plains to salt lakes, and majestic canyons, you’ll never get bored in Djibouti. What’s more, the country’s turquoise waters also provide intrepid travelers with mesmerizing sceneries. And every year, in November, plankton upwelling draws hundreds of whale sharks to this gorgeous part of the planet, allowing for a truly magical show.

But the beauty of Djibouti is also all about its multi-ethnic population made up of Afars and Somalis. Once there, you will come across some of the last nomadic families in the region and experience the unique cultural scene of this former French colony.

Djibouti has always captivated the imagination of adventurers, so if you love adventure, you’re in for a treat! Here’s everything you need to know to plan your Djibouti visit. 

Requirements To Visit Djibouti 


Like many counties, if you want to travel to Djibouti, you’ll need to hold a passport with a minimum validity period of 6 months. This means that if you’re planning to travel to Djibouti on the 1st of February 2024, your passport shouldn’t expire before the 2nd of July 2024. Also, the local authorities require that your passport contains at least two blank pages. 


No matter your country of origin, you’ll need a visa to enter Djibouti. To apply for your eVisa, you’ll need to follow strict Djibouti visa requirements. You’ll need a passport with at least six months of validity from the planned date of stay, your flight reservation, an invitation letter, an address, and a credit card. 

Travel Insurance

It’s highly recommended that you get comprehensive travel insurance before traveling to Djibouti. COVID-19 remains a risk in the country, as do insect-borne diseases and polio. Djibouti’s medical facilities are limited, so you should ensure your travel insurance covers any evacuation, repatriation, and medical expenses linked to COVID-19. Also, ensure your insurance covers you for all the activities you plan to undertake during your trip.


The official currency of Djibouti is the Djiboutian Franc (DJF). Note that ATMs aren’t widely available, and credit cards aren’t the norm. However, you can exchange money at major banks. Also, while you can exchange currency directly on the street be wary of scammers. 

seafront, sea houses and sea from Djibouti

Things You Need To Know When Travelling To Djibouti

Is Djibouti open for tourists? 

Djibouti is open for tourists whether they’re traveling by air, sea, or land.

Do you need a transit visa in Djibouti?

You won’t need a transit visa if you’re waiting for a connecting flight at the airport in the transit area. However, if you wish to leave the airport and catch your flight later, you’ll need to apply for a transit visa. 

Vaccines, Health, and Covid-19 Restrictions

If you’re curious about travel vaccinations for Djibouti, here’s what you need to know. Yellow fever vaccination is mandatory for travelers over one year old traveling from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission. A yellow fever certificate is required upon entry into the country.

Here’s a list of recommended vaccination

  • Hepatitis A and B 
  • Typhoid fever
  • Polio
  • Rabies

It’s also highly recommended to bring malaria tablets with you.

If you’re unvaccinated and want to enter Djibouti by air, you’ll need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before your flight. If you’re arriving by sea or land, you’ll have to pay for a PCR test on arrival.

How to travel around Djibouti?

Djibouti’s public transport system is limited to ferry and bus services between Djibouti (the capital) and the towns of Obock and Tadjoura. In Djibouti city, you will also find private-owned mini buses that don’t really have a schedule and stop when people hail in the street. 

Other than that, the easiest and safest way to travel around the country is to hire a private chauffeur or rent a car. Europcar is particularly popular among international travelers.

Safety in Djibouti

Many travelers have been asking us, “Is Djibouti safe?”. And the answer is that due to the Western military presence in the region, Djibouti is considered one of the safest places to travel to in Africa. Yet, petty crime, scams, and violence happen. 

So, here are a few tips to enjoy a fun and safe trip to Djibouti:

  • Don’t travel within 10 km of the borders with Somalia or Eritrea.
  • Avoid other remote areas.
  • Remain on sealed roads. Some regions still have landmines.
  • Don’t travel at night.
  • Dress conservatively. Djibouti is a Muslim country so try to wear clothes that cover your skin as much as possible.
  • Pickpockets often operate in crowded places and markets.
  • Don’t carry any valuables with you.

When is the best time to travel to Djibouti?

Djibouti has two distinct seasons: a hot season from May to October and a cooler season from November to April. 

Between November and April, the temperatures tend to be cooler, making it the ideal time to visit Djibouti and explore the stunning parks and other natural wonders the country has to offer. The season between November and February is also the prime period to observe whale sharks as they feed in the plankton-rich waters of Ras Eiro and Arta beach. 

But this doesn’t mean that you should avoid Djibouti during summer. In fact, summer is the low season in Djibouti, meaning prices are lower and places are much less crowded. 

The months between May and September are a great time to experience famous culinary delights such as the Moukbasa, a delicious puree of honey and dates typically served with fish. And, of course, it’s the ideal period for any water-related activities, including diving and snorkeling along the stunning coastline. 

Travel tips for Djibouti

  • Djibouti is at the junction between three tectonic plates and experiences earthquakes every now and then. If that happens while you’re there, drop the ground, take cover and hold onto something sturdy until the shaking stops.
  • Being drunk in public is illegal and could result in a two-year prison term. 
  • If you can, visit the Island of the Devil. This famous site is believed to be home to an indescribable marine creature!
  • People from Djibouti are famous for being warm and welcoming people. So, don’t hesitate to start the conversation with them. They’ll happily share stories and tips about traveling in Djibouti!