Djibouti Sea and Lakes Route

From 1,211 $ or 993 € (course May 2021) $ per person, for 4 people

Level: Discovery


This circuit named "Sea and lakes" privileges the aquatic environment. This is why it radiates from the city of Djibouti to the most beautiful beaches and lakes of the country.

The colours of the Assal lake and its salt floe surrounded by lava are always a wonder (the 3 circles described by the writer-adventurer J Kessel).

You will spend a night at Lake Abe and enjoy the legendary sunset and sunrise. The lunar landscape of the place explains why it was used as a set for the first version of the movie "Planet of the Apes" ....

You will not get tired of observing the wonderful fauna and flora of the seabed in Ras Ali, Korambado, among others, and you may have the chance to approach the whale shark in season. Don't forget your fins, mask and snorkel!

A pirogue ride will take you into the Godoria mangrove.

In addition to Djibouti, you will visit the cities of Obock and Tadjourah, all three on the seaside...

  Sea & Lakes
  Radiant living room

DAY 1 : Arrival day 

Arrival Djibouti city - transfer from the airport to Africorne Travel accommodation

Africorne Travel offers you a comfortable air-conditioned apartment to stay overnight, where you can 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

Afternoon : visit of the DECAN refuge which is a wildlife park where you will observe animals from Djibouti and other African countries.

Evening meal in a restaurant in Djibouti

Night: Africorne Travel apartment


DAY 2 From Djibouti to Tadjourah via Lake Assal - 230 kms

Morning: Departure from Djibouti early in the morning. About 40 km before reaching the Assal lake, 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; at this place it is only a few centimeters wide.

Arrival in the evening at Ras Ali camp

Evening meal and night at Ras Ali camp


DAY 3 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; then 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 4 Walk in the mangrove of Godoria and return to Djibouti (1)

Morning: visit of the lighthouse of Ras Bir, do not leave too quickly, more than 200 steps are to be climbed!

Then we will continue on the track towards the north, until the mangrove of Godoria which we will visit by pirogue.

Return to Ras Bir camp for lunch

Afternoon: return trip to Djibouti (1)

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 5 Day trip to Moucha or Maskali Islands

With only a few inhabitants, these two coral islands located at the entrance of the Gulf of Tadjourah are ideal for relaxation and idleness.

We reach these islands after 30 minutes of boat. With a bit of luck, we will meet some dolphins...

Snorkelers will prefer to observe the underwater fauna and flora at Maskali.

For an additional fee of 30 $ per person, a day of scuba diving with oxygen tank can be offered on Moucha Island.

Lunch will be taken on the island.

Return to Djibouti at the end of the afternoon

Evening meal: restaurant in Djibouti

Night: Africorne Travel apartment


DAY 6 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


DAY 7 Lake 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 its mild temperature, 4 or 5 degrees lower than Djibouti.

Arrival in Djibouti in the early afternoon, which will allow us to visit the city: notably the animated sectors that are the Mahamoud Harbi square, the starting point of public transport, the Menelik square, the Ethiopia street, the shopping street of the Caisses...

Evening meal: Restaurant in Djibouti

Night: Africorne Travel apartment


DAY 8 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 drop off of Arta beach

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 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).