Djibouti trip: mangrove, whale shark, lakes

A partir de 1272$ par personne, pour 4 personnes

Level: Discovery


2 jours au Lac Abbé et au lac Assal

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

We have added a passage in the green Goda Mountains, in order to give you an overview of the mountain areas and allow you to experience the experience of a return to Djibouti city by ferry.

The colors of Lake Assal and its salt ice surrounded by lava are always a wonder, well translated by the image of the 3 circles evoked by the writer-adventurer J Kessel.

You will spend a night at Lac Abbé where you will enjoy the legendary sunset and sunrise. The lunar landscape of the place explains the rumor that it was used as a setting for the 1st version of the movie "Planet of the Apes"'s only a rumor, but the place is extraordinary nonetheless !

You will never tire of observing the wonderful fauna and flora of the seabed in Ras Ali or Korambado, and you will have the chance to approach the whale shark in the season from mid-November to the end of January. Don't forget your fins, mask and snorkel!

A canoe ride will take you into the Godoria mangrove located north of Obock.

Besides Djibouti, you will visit the towns of Obock and Tadjourah.

  Sea & Lakes
  Radiant living room

JOUR 1 Visite de la ville de Djibouti

Accueil à l’aéroport et transfert sur votre lieu d’hébergement avant une visite de la ville ou le départ vers l’intérieur du pays suivant le programme du séjour.

Matin : marché de Ryad et visite d’Arhiba avec un guide habitant le quartier. Il s’agit d’un quartier pauvre touchant le grand marché de Ryad ; ici le visiteur reçoit un accueil chaleureux, les gens nous saluent, les enfants rient.                                                                                                                                            Au marché de Ryad on trouve les étals de fruits, de légumes, de poissons, de viandes…et des commerces de chaussures, de vêtements…

Repas de midi dans un restaurant indien                                                                                                        Après-midi : visite de la place du 27 juin (ex-place Ménélik) : un des cœurs historiques de Djibouti avec ses bâtiments à l’architecture de style colonial, ses beaux hôtels et restaurants. Visite de la place Mahmoud Harbi (ex-place Arthur Rimbaud) ; ici la gare routière de la ville jouxte la plus ancienne mosquée de Djibouti ; l’activité est très dense avec ses rues commerçantes tout autour : les « caisses », la rue des Mouches….                                                                                                                         

En fonction de vos jour et heure d’arrivée à Djibouti, nous nous rendrons au refuge DECAN. Il s’agit d’un parc animalier à proximité de Djibouti, où ont été recueillis des animaux du pays et d’autres régions d’Afrique.                                                                                                                               

Evening meal in Djibouti                                                                                                                         

Nuit : appartement d’Africorne Travel – Africorne Travel met à votre disposition un appartement confortable et climatisé où vous pouvez passer la nuit et où vous sera préparé le petit-déjeuner que vous souhaitez. Bien sûr, un hébergement en hôtel sera réservé si vous le préférez.


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

Morning: departure from Djibouti early in the morning. About forty kms before reaching Lake Assal, we will stop to admire the grandiose landscape of the Dimbiya canyon nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of Djibouti”….

A few kilometres further on, another stop at the stele of B. Borrel, the French magistrate whose partially charred body was found at the bottom of the cliff on the morning of 18 October 1995. The "Borrel affair" soured relations between Djibouti and France 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 in the world (more than 300 grams of salt per liter of water). This fact, added to the very high evaporation due to the intense heat that reigns there, explains why salt has been mined here for hundreds of years. No living organism can survive in the waters of Lake Assal. We will be able to bathe there, because we embark the fresh water for the shower; plastic shoes are necessary to avoid injury from 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.

Note: On request we can organize a bivouac on site to enjoy the sunrise the next day. From this place, it is also possible to walk to the Ardoukoba volcano after an approach in a 4×4 vehicle.

Lunch: picnic on the beach at Goubet in the shade of a hard pitch, facing Devil's Island and near the shark pit.

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

Here you'll be amazed by the superb corals and exceptionally varied underwater fauna.

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 mangroves of Godoria and departure for Bankoualé

Morning: visite du phare de Ras Bir; ne partez pas trop vite, 250 marches sont à monter !

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

Maybe we will see some of the ostriches that frequent the place.

Return to Ras Bir camp for lunch

Afternoon: Drive to the Bankoualé camp

This camp in the Goda Mountains is located in lush greenery, above a wadi, at the end of a superb track.

Evening meal and night at the Bankoualé camp.


DAY 5 Visit of the surroundings of Bankoualé and return to Djibouti city

Morning: walk in the gardens of the Bankoualé wadi and visit the village of Ardo with its school, its crafts.

Lunch on the shaded terrace of the Hotel du Golfe de Tadjourah.

Afternoon: return by ferry

Evening meal in a restaurant in Djibouti

Night in the apartment of Africorne Travel


JOUR 6 Journée à l’île Moucha

This coral island at the entrance to the Gulf of Tadjourah is ideal for relaxation and idleness.

We'll reach it after just 30 minutes by boat.

Le repas de midi sera pris à l’ombre d’un faré

Our boat will take us just a few hundred metres from the beach to enjoy the underwater flora and fauna.

Possibilité de plongée en bouteilles moyennant un supplément.

Return to Djibouti at the end of the afternoon

Evening meal: restaurant in Djibouti

Night: Africorne Travel apartment


DAY 7 Visit to the “planet” Lac Abbé – 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.

Repas de midi au restaurant  à Dikhil

Afternoon After Dikhil, we leave the road to cover 80 km of sometimes sandy tracks. We pass through the villages of As Eyla and Koutabouya. At the end of the route, we may spot some warthogs.

On the border between Ethiopia and Djibouti, Lake Abbé offers a unique panorama. Its limestone chimneys offer a lunar landscape, much sought-after by photographers from all over the world, particularly at sunrise and sunset.

The sulphurous scents wafting from the numerous fumaroles have given the lake its name. Abbé 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!

Arrive at the Lac Abbé camp in the evening to watch the sunset.


DAY 8 Abbé Lake – Arta Beach – Djibouti – 220 kms

Morning: you will have to get up very early to watch the spectacle of the sunrise in the middle of the chimneys! Then we will approach the pink flamingos. We will also observe some sources of boiling water.

Then we take the way back to Djibouti.

Lunch at Arta at Sunny Hill, which is the hotel school of the country!

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.

Arrivée à Djibouti en milieu d’après midi, ce qui nous permettra une visite de la ville: notamment des secteurs animés que sont la place Mahamoud Harbi (ex place Rimbaud) point de départ des transports en commun, la place du 27 juin (ex place Ménélik), la rue de l’Ethiopie, la rue commerçante des Caisses…la rue des Mouches ou une visite du refuge animalier DECAN en fonction du programme effectué lors de la première

Evening meal: Restaurant in Djibouti

Night: Africorne Travel apartment


DAY 9 Day in Arta for an encounter with the whale shark – 55 kms

Morning: Whale shark boat trip

From mid-November to the end of January, the chances of swimming with the whale shark are best, but the whale shark remains a wild animal with which it is not possible to make an appointment.

Lunch: on the beach of Arta in the shade of a straw hut

AfternoonFins, mask and snorkel on the drop off of Arta beach

Guaranteed underwater spectacle on Arta beach.

Return to Djibouti at the end of the afternoon

Evening meal: restaurant in Djibouti

Night: Africorne Travel apartment


DAY 10 Relaxing 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).