Most interesting landmarks of Djibouti

This small country is rather sparsely inhabited, with arid climate.
Although the country is not rich with natural or man-made heritage, there are some truly surprising landmarks, especially – the eerie landscape of limestone chimneys at Lake Abbe.
Below are listed the most amazing natural and man-made landmarks of Djibouti.

Natural landmarks of Djibouti

Eerie chimneys at Lake Abbe, Djibouti
Eerie chimneys at Lake Abbe, Djibouti / Rolf Cosar, / CC BY 3.0
  • Day Forest (Goda Mountains) – Tadjourah. Largest forest in this area of Africa, the densest vegetated area in Djibouti. This isolated outlier of Ethiopian montane forest contains several unique species, such as Djibouti francolin (Pternistis ochropectus, found also in nearby Mabla Mountains), reptile Platyceps afarensis and other species. Dominant species – the East African juniper (Juniperus procera) which grows here up to 20 m high, forming a pure 3.5 km² large stand of single species.
  • Lake Assal – Tadjourah, Dikhil. One of most saline lakes in the world, its surface is 155 m below sea level. World’s largest salt reserve, with estimated 300 million tonnes of salt. The saline brine of the lake at certain lighting has unusual, bright color. Lake is fed by subsurface geothermal springs.
  • Limestone chimneys of Lake Abbe – Dikhil. Thousands of limestone chimneys, which are arranged in rows and rise up to 50 m tall. These chimneys are formed by vents of volcanic steam and create unusual landscape.

Man made landmarks of Djibouti

  • Abourma petroglyphs – Tadjourah. Site contains several thousand Neolithic petroglyphs, depicting humans, wildlife, hunting and warfare. Oldest might be created around 3000 BC.
  • Asa Koma – Dikhil. Ruins of prehistoric settlement from the second millenia BC. Ruins include circular enclosures, rectangular platforms, mounds.
  • Balho petroglyphs – Tadjourah. Site with prehistoric cave paintings.
  • Barogali elephant hunt site – Dikhil. Deposits of ancient swamp with remnants of extinct elephant Elephas recki ileretensis, which disappeared some 1.3 – 1.2 million years ago. Elephant was butchered by hominins who used diverse stone tools.
  • Goubet Al-Kharab sea monster – Arta. According to local stories in the deep waters of this sea bay lives a monster.
  • Handoga – Dikhil. Site of prehistoric settlement. It is possible that it was developed by unexplored, indigenous culture.

Described landmarks of Djibouti

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Featured: Day Forest (Goda Mountains)

Day Forest in Djibouti, sea is seen in the background
Day Forest, sea is seen in the background / Singlab, / CC BY-SA 3.0

The largest forest in Djibouti is Day Forest in Goda Massif. This isolated forest is surrounded by endless semi-deserts and deserts of Afar region and there is only one more, smaller forest in Mabla Mountains to the east.

Recommended books

Djibouti: Including its History, The Gulf of Aden, The Stade du Ville, and More

Discover Djibouti like you have never seen it before. Whether you are a first time traveler or avid visitor of this region of the world, this book is the perfect guide for you. Read about all the amazing surprises you could find and all the must see places. Included in this book is the information about The Lake Assal, The Mousa Ali and everything in between.

Lonely Planet Diving & Snorkeling Red Sea

For five millennia people have gathered along the shores of the Red Sea, but only in the past five decades have recreational divers delved beneath the waves. They flock here to explore the incredibly diverse underwater topography and marine life, as well as shipwrecks such as the Thistlegorm and the wrecks of Shahab Abu Nuhas.

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