Sea, Mountain and Prehistory routes

From 1137 $ or 932 € (course May 2021)$ per person, for 4 people

Level: Fighters

Difficulty:

Lovers of prehistory will appreciate a visit to Abourma, a site with rock engravings covering nearly 3 kilometres: dating from the Neolithic period, it was only in 2008 that it was listed by French archaeologists.

This stay will allow you to take full advantage of the range of sites and activities offered by the country on land and sea: swimming on 3 beaches with wonderful underwater fauna and flora: Ras Ali, Ras Bir, Korambado, dugout excursion in the mangrove of Godoria.

You can even try to approach the whale shark in Arta during the season.

You will discover the mythical lake Assal whose beauty inspired the writer-adventurer J Kessel...

You will spend a night at Lake Abe to enjoy the sunrise and sunset in the middle of the chimneys, and to get closer to the pink flamingos; its lunar landscape was used as a set for the movie "Planet of the Apes"...

   Djibouti 
Centre-North
  Sea & Mountain
  Itinerant stay
  9d / 8n

DAY 1 :   Arrival  - transfer to Africorne Travel's accommodation and visit of the DECAN hut

Africorne Travel offers you a comfortable air-conditioned apartment to stay overnight and have a breakfast prepared according to your wishes. Of course, if you prefer, hotel accommodation can be booked.

Lunch at the restaurant on the port of Djibouti

AfternoonVisit to the DECAN shelter, which is an animal park near Djibouti, where live animals from Djibouti and also from other parts of Africa.

Evening meal: restaurant in Djibouti

Night: Africorne Travel apartment

 

DAY 2   Excursion and beach in Arta - 55 kms

Morning: Hiking from the hikers' house adapted to the level of each one. For the more experienced, walk to the beach (about 2 hours)

Lunch: picnic on the beach of Arta

AfternoonFins, mask and snorkel on the pebble beach of Arta: amazement guaranteed!

In season from mid-November to January The whale shark outing option is possible; although they are sociable animals, it is not possible to arrange a meeting with whale sharks; therefore an encounter with them, even if probable, is never certain.

Return to Djibouti at the end of the afternoon

Evening meal: restaurant in Djibouti

Night: Africorne Travel apartment

 

DAY 3  From Djibouti to the Day camp via Lake Assal - 230 kms

MorningDeparture from Djibouti early in the morning. About 40 kms before reaching Assal, we will stop to admire the imposing landscape of the Dimbio canyon nicknamed the "Grand Canyon of Djibouti" ....

A few kilometres further on, another stop at the stele of J. Borrel, a French magistrate whose partially burnt body was found at the bottom of the cliff on the morning of 18 October 1995. The "Borrel affair" has poisoned the relations between the Djiboutian and French states for several years.

Then we leave the road to take the "access ramp" to Lake Assal. Located 153 meters below sea level, Lake Assal is one of the saltiest lakes in the world (over 300 grams of salt per liter of water). This fact, combined with the high evaporation rate due to the intense heat, explains why salt has been mined here for hundreds of years. No living organism can survive in the waters of Lake Assal. If the weather is good, we will be able to swim there; plastic shoes are necessary to avoid hurting ourselves on the sharp salt crystals.

The very high temperatures that prevail in this place do not make it very hospitable, but its legendary beauty, described in particular by the adventurer writer J. Kessel, makes it a site not to be missed.

Lunch: picnic on the beach at Le Goubet in the shade of a hard stand, facing Devil's Island

Afternoon: we will visit the lava field located between Assal and Goubet, where we will observe the rift fault on a few meters, which at this place is only a few centimeters wide.

Then we take the superb Day trail leading to the camp at 1500 m altitude.

The Day camp is equipped with Daboytas (traditional huts) arranged on a nicely terraced area with trees. Its sanitary facilities are very satisfactory. From this place, it is possible to make excursions in the eponymous primary forest or to hike to the other camps of the Goda Mountains, provided you are a good walker. This camp is also the ideal starting point to go to the Abourma rock engravings site.

Evening meal and night at the Day camp

 

DAY 4 Visit of the Abourma rock engravings  

Morning: The engravings of Abourma, that is to be deserved! After 2 hours of bad track, we leave our vehicle at the end of a wadi (in the shade), and we leave for 1h30 of walk before reaching the first engraved rocks. The engravings dated from the Neolithic, very well preserved, represent animals (some disappeared like giraffes) as well as scenes of combat or hunting. The site, listed in 2008 by French archaeologists, unfolds the engravings over a length of 2 km.

Lunch on site

Afternoon: Departure to Ras Ali camp after Tadjourah, by the Randa track.

We will stop to admire the impressive strangler fig tree of Randa before continuing our journey to Tadjourah where we will take a well deserved refreshment on the corniche.

The camp of Ras Ali is located after Tadjourah, at the very edge of the sea, at the end of a track of about ten kilometers. The sanitary facilities are rudimentary for a European, but very adequate and clean. The food is excellent and the site is a paradise for snorkeling. You can also practice kayaking.

Evening meal and night at Ras Ali camp

 

DAY 5  From Ras Ali to Ras Bir - 100 kms

Morning: Swimming, snorkeling, kayaking on Ras Ali beach

Lunch at Ras Ali camp

Afternoon Departure to Ras Bir camp after Obock

In Obock we will visit the house of Governor Lagarde, a vestige of the French colonization that started in Obock and we will go to the marine cemetery which gathers the graves of French soldiers who died of fevers between 1885 and 1889.

Evening meal and night at the Ras Bir camp located on the seaside, less than ten kilometres after Obock

 

DAY 6  Walk in the mangrove of Godoria and return to Djibouti (1)

Morning: visit of the Ras Bir lighthouse - don't go too fast, more than 200 steps have to be climbed before reaching the top.

Then we will continue the trail northwards to the Godoria mangrove where a pirogue ride awaits us.

Return to Ras Bir camp for lunch

Afternoon: return trip to Djibouti (1)

Arrival in Djibouti at the beginning of the afternoon, which will allow us to visit the city: in particular the animated sectors such as the Mahamoud Harbi square, starting point of the public transport, the Menelik square, the Ethiopia street, the shopping street of the Caisses...

Evening meal in a restaurant in Djibouti

Night: Africorne Travel apartment

 (1) depending on the day of the week, it is possible to organize a return trip by ferry

 

DAY 7  Visit to the "planet" Lake Abe - 200 kms

MorningFrom Djibouti to Dikhil we take an asphalt road for 120 kms; it is the main road taken by Ethiopian truckers from the port of Djibouti to Addis Ababa, for the import of goods necessary to the economy of the country.

We will cross the semi-desert expanses of the Petit Bara and the Grand Bara where we will observe mirages, whirlpools and gazelles with a little luck.

Lunch at La Palmeraie restaurant in Dikhil

Afternoon After Dikhil, we leave the road to travel 80 km of sometimes sandy tracks. We will cross the villages of As Eyla and Toubacouta. At the end of the journey we will be able to see warthogs.

Abe Lake is a border site between Ethiopia and Djibouti, with a unique panorama. Its limestone chimneys offer a lunar landscape, very popular with photographers from all over the world, especially at sunrise and sunset. The first version of the movie "Planet of the Apes" was shot at Lake Abe

The sulphurous scents escaping from the numerous fumaroles gave the lake its name. Indeed, Abe means "rotten"!

The unique landscapes of the chimneys, which can reach 50 metres in height, would almost make us forget the presence of the lake, on whose shores pink flamingos can be observed!

Arrival at the Abé lake camp in the evening, to watch the sunset

Evening meal and night at the Lake Abe camp

 

Day 8 Lac Abe - Arta Beach - Djibouti - 220 kms

MorningWe will have to get up very early to see the sunrise in the middle of the chimneys! Then we will try to approach the pink flamingos at the edge of the lake, which from year to year withdraws more and more far. We will also observe some boiling water sources.

Then we take the way back to Djibouti.

Lunch in Arta at Sunny Hill or at the Maison des Randonneurs run by an ex-French legionnaire, who fell in love with the country and is a real celebrity in Djibouti.

Arta is a charming locality, "perched" at 600 meters above sea level, where the notables of Djibouti have a second home to enjoy the mild temperature, 4 or 5 degrees lower than in Djibouti.

AfternoonWe will go down a superb track to the pebble beach of Arta which is a remarkable site for the observation of the underwater fauna and flora.

Evening meal: Restaurant in Djibouti

Night: Africorne Travel apartment

 

Day 9  Relaxation day in Korambado -15 kms

Snorkeling on the program for this day

Lunch in a straw hut on the beach

A good 4×4 vehicle is needed to go down to Korambado. Not far from Djibouti, the site is interesting for snorkeling (east side). Some "local color" straw huts, installed on the seafront, provide the shade and the meal necessary to spend a very pleasant day.

Evening meal in a restaurant in Djibouti. On the menu Yemeni fish; the fish you choose yourself, is cut into two slices and placed in a circular oven....

In the evening transfer to Djibouti airport

 

 

Note: unpredictable events can lead us to modify the program (ex: flooded wadi on the way).

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