Trek - Excursions - Snorkeling


Level: Fighters


This trip has been designed for lovers of walking and the sea bed, but it will still allow you to visit the 'must-sees' of Djibouti. You'll begin your journey amid the lunar landscapes of Lake Abbe before setting off on a 5-day trek that will take you from the camp on Lake Abbe to the salt flats of Lake Assal, in total autonomy, at the pace of camels. Then you'll fill up on fresh air and greenery as you walk between the Day and Dittilou campsites. The end of the trip is devoted to the underwater wonders of Djibouti, with days at Ras Ali in Tadjourah Bay and at Arta, where you can even go whale-shark watching (if you travel between mid-November and the end of January).



Sud-ouest et nord
  Lakes & Mountain
  Itinerant stay

DAY 1 Meet the animals at the DECAN shelter or visit DJIBOUTI CITY

Pick-up at the airport and transfer to your 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.

Depending on your time of arrival, visit the Arihba district or the squares of Mahmoud Harbi and Menélik, the shopping street of the cash desks...

Lunch in a restaurant at the fishing port or La Fontaine

Afternoon : Visit to the Décan refuge: ostrich, cheetah, porcupine, tortoise or visit to Djibouti depending on your day and time of arrival.

Evening meal at the BAIT Al MANDI restaurant Djibouti

Night at Africorne Travel apartment


DAY 2 On the Lac Abbé planet

Morning : From Djibouti to Dikhil, we take a 120 km asphalted road, the main route taken by Ethiopian truckers from the port of Djibouti to Addis Ababa, to import the goods needed 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 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!

Arrival in the evening at Lac Abbé to watch the sunset

Evening meal and overnight at Lac Abbé camp


DAY 3 Stage 1 of the Lac Abbé-Lac Assal trek

Morning: sunrise and flamingo viewing before departure

1st stage: approximately 6 hours' walk: from Lac Abbé to Dakha (Bi Ida region) to the north-east of the Lac Abbé camp.

Lunch on the way

Bivouac in Dakha


DAY 4: Stage 2 of the Lac Abbé - Lac Assal trek

From Dakha to Alé (Dawwano region): 7-hour walk

Lunch on the way

Bivouac in Alé


DAY 5: Stage 3 of the Lac Abbé - Lac Assal trek

From Alé to Kollobita- 7 hours walk

Lunch on the way

Bivouac in Kollobita


DAY 6: Stage 4 trek lac Abbé- lac Assal

From Kollobita to Gaggadé:7.5 hours' walk

Lunch on the way

Bibouac in Gaggadé desert


DAY 7 : Stage 5 and final stage of the Lac Abbé - Lac Assal trek

De Gaggadé au lac Assal en passant par l’oued Kalou : 8 heures de marche

Lunch on the way - Arrival on the salt floe in the late afternoon.

Located 153 metres below sea level, Lake Assal is one of the saltiest lakes in the world (more than 300 grams of salt per litre of water). This fact, combined 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. We'll be able to swim there, as we're taking the fresh water on board for the shower; plastic shoes are necessary to avoid injuring ourselves on the sharp salt crystals. On day 10, on the way back to Djibouti, we'll have time to visit Lake Assal and take a dip.
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 organise a bivouac on site so that you can enjoy the sunrise the next day. From here, it is also possible to walk to the Ardoukoba volcano after an approach in a 4×4 vehicle.

4×4 drive from Assal to Tadjourah

Dinner at Ras Ali camp by the sea near Tadjourah

Overnight at Ras Ali camp


DAY 8 Underwater wildlife show in Ras Ali

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

Morning: Snorkelling on the superb Ras Ali drop-off

The camp has kayaks that you can use to go to a young mangrove swamp, for example.

Lunch at Ras Ali camp

Afternoon: departure for the Day camp at 1500 m above sea level

Evening meal and night at the Day camp


DAY 9 : Stage 1 of the Goda Mountain trek

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.

Morning : hike from the Day camp to the Bankoualé camp

Lunch in Bankoualé camp

Afternoon: visit to the gardens and the village of Ardo

Evening meal and night at the Bankoualé camp


DAY 10 Stage 2 of the Goda Mountains trek 

The Bankoualé camp is set in a green hillside. It's a charming, pleasantly cool place, renowned for its gardens, which are mainly planted with mango and papaya trees.
Rudimentary but effective systems of pipes from the waterfall ensure the water supply, which is also provided by wells equipped with pumps powered by solar panels. These installations are increasingly being destroyed by flooding from the wadi.

Morning: hiking from the Bankoualé camp to the Dittilou camp

Lunch at Dittilou camp

The Dittilou camp is made up of around twenty daboytas (traditional huts) built on a terraced area. Situated in the middle of a green setting at an altitude of over 600 m, the place exudes serenity. The sanitary facilities are very clean and functional. A colony of green monkeys provides entertainment.

Afternoon: visit to Lake Assal and the lava field on the way back to Djibouti

Evening meal in a restaurant in Djibouti and overnight in an Africorne Travel flat


DAY 11 Whale shark encounter (stay between mid-November and the end of January)

Morning 4X4 drive to Arta beach

Whale shark boat trip

As soon as the pilot spotted it, we jumped into the sea to swim above it for a few moments.

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 at Arta in the shade of a straw hut

Afternoon Fins, mask and snorkel on the drop off of Arta beach

Guaranteed underwater spectacle on Arta beach.

Evening meal in a restaurant in Djibouti

Overnight in Africorne Travel flat


DAY 12 Day trip to Maskali Island

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.
Lunch (barbecue) will be taken on the island in the shade of a faré tree.
Our boat will take us just a few hundred metres from the beach to enjoy the underwater flora and fauna.

Evening meal in a restaurant in Djibouti

Overnight in Africorne Travel flat


DAY 13 Snorkelling day on Korambado 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.

Return to Djibouti late afternoon

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

Transfer to Djibouti airport