The circuit "Beaches and Camps" will allow you in one week, to have an excellent overview of the "representative" sites of Djibouti.
You will stay close to the village of Ardo, in the charming camp of Bankoualé nestled in the Goda Mountains.
You will have a picnic at the Goubet opposite Devil's Island.
You will be amazed by the underwater fauna and flora at Ras Ali camp.
You will be able to bathe in Lake Assal, one of the saltiest lakes in the world, whose beauty inspired the writer-adventurer J Kessel...
And you will spend a night at Lake Abe to enjoy its legendary sunset and sunrise in the middle of a lunar landscape...
DAY 1 : Visit of the DECAN refuge
Arrival Djibouti city - transfer from the airport to Africorne Travel accommodation
Africorne Travel provides you with a comfortable and air-conditioned apartment where you can spend the night and where breakfast will be prepared for you. Of course, hotel accommodation will be booked if you prefer.
Lunch at the restaurant on the port of Djibouti
Afternoon visit to the DECAN shelter. It is an animal park near Djibouti, where animals from the country and also from other parts of Africa have been collected.
Evening meal in Djibouti
Night: Africorne Travel apartment
DAY 2 - From Djibouti to Tadjourah via Lake Assal - 230 kms
Morning: Departure by 4×4 vehicle to Ras Ali camp near Tadjourah -
On the way we will stop at the Dimbio Canyonnicknamed "the Grand Canyon"...
A few hundred meters further on, another stop at the stele of J. Borrel, a French magistrate whose charred body was found one morning in 1995 at the bottom of the cliff; the "Borrel affair" soured relations between the Djiboutian and French states for several years.
Then we will leave the road to take the "access ramp" to Lake Assal. Located 153 meters below sea level, Lake Assal is one of the saltiest in the world (over 300 grams of salt per litre of water). This fact, together with the very high evaporation 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.
Lunch : picnic at Goubet. We will have a picnic on the beach in the shade of a hard stand with a view of Devil's Island.
After lunch, we will walk on the lava field, between the lake Assal and the Goubet, where we will observe on a few meters the rift, which at this place is only a few centimeters wide.
Afternoon: end of the journey to Ras Ali camp
After crossing Tadjourah, at the end of a track of about ten kilometers, you will be welcomed at the Ras Ali camp located on the beach. The sanitary facilities are simple for Europeans but clean and very suitable. The cuisine is excellent. The drop off of Ras Ali is a remarkable site for snorkeling. You can even go canoeing.
Evening meal and night at Ras Ali camp
DAY 3 From Ras Ali to Bankoualé in the Goda Mountains 45 kms
Morning: Swimming, snorkeling, kayaking on Ras Ali beach
Lunch at Ras Ali camp
Afternoon Departure for the Bankoualé camp
The Bankoualé camp is located in a green setting on the hillside. It is a charming place, where a pleasant coolness reigns; it is famous for its terraced gardens. The village is in front of the camp on the other side of the wadi that must be crossed to reach the camp.
On the way we will make a detour to the town of Randa to admire an imposing strangler fig tree.
Evening meal and night at the camp of Bankoualé-
DAY 4 Bankoualé in the Goda Mountains and return to Djibouti - 200 kms
Morning : excursion to the gardens of Bankoualé
Lunch in Bankoualé
Afternoon: Visit of the village Ardo with its craft cooperative, which is located 2 kms from Bankoualé, before taking the road back to Djibouti.
Evening meal at the restaurant in Djibouti
Night in the apartment of Africorne Travel
DAY 5 On the planet of Lake Abe - 200 kms
MorningDjibouti to Dikhil: a 120 km asphalt road is the main route taken by Ethiopian truckers from the port of Djibouti to Addis Ababa, for the import of goods necessary for the country's economy.
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
Night and meal at the Lake Abe camp
DAY 6 Lake Abe - Arta Beach - Djibouti 220 kms
Morning: You 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 will take the road to Arta where we will have lunch. Arta is a charming locality, "perched" at 600 meters of altitude, where the notables of Djibouti have a secondary residence to take advantage of its mild temperature, 4 or 5 degrees lower than that of Djibouti.
Lunch 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.
Afternoon We 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.
In season from mid-November to January : the whale-shark outing option is available Although whale sharks are sociable animals, it is not possible to arrange a meeting with them; therefore, an encounter with them, even if probable, is never certain.
Arrival in Djibouti in the evening.
Evening meal: Restaurant in Djibouti
Night: Africorne Travel apartment
DAY 7 - Relaxing in Korambado before departure
Day trip to Korambado beach - 15 kms
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....
Transfer to Djibouti airport in the evening.
Note: unpredictable events can lead us to modify the program (ex: flooded wadi on the way).